Despite her passion for acting, she has added another feather to her cap as the publisher and the CEO of Central Star magazine. Mariam Omolara Barake, actress, is a mother of three. In this interview with SEYI SOKOYA, she speaks on why she ventured into magazine production, her take on the Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners (ANTP) crisis and her fashion preferences. Excerpts:
Why I kept a low profile.
I agree with you that I kept a low profile in recent time. It was my decision to focus on another things and I don’t have any regret that I am still in the industry. I think it was high time for me to take such step since I had already registered my face in the minds of my fans and it was a thing I have been longing for years back. To me, what I am doing at present is still part of entertainment. I now produce a magazine called ‘Central Star magazine’. Despite all odds, the outcome is really impressive. The magazine focuses on the entertainment industry, both up-and-coming and stars, legends of the industry, entertainment events, behind the scenes, culture and tradition among others.
Weather I am tired of acting.
I can’t be tired of my passion. It is just that I had to purse for a while. It got to a stage that I had to mellow down to focus more on my family. I discovered that my family needs me more, so I had to make a u-turn to attend to my home diligently before any other thing.
How I discovered acting.
Unknown to me, I had the talent right from my tender age. Back then, I made people around me laugh and happy. The way I pronounce some languages, even in Yoruba amazes people, but indirectly it was funny to them. Though, I am a quiet person, I feel I love to be in another world. Gradually I discovered myself and I am proud to be part of the stakeholders of the industry. The experience has been interesting and I feel glad to be a professional actress. Nobody had really influenced my career because my talent was revealed to me.
It was fun. I was brought up from a mixed family. A Hausa and Yoruba background; my father is Hausa man from Kano precisely and my mum is from Ifon in Ondo State. My dad is a retired officer and a business man, while my mum was a banker at the Union Bank until she retired. It’s always an interesting family; I have three sisters and a brother.
Challenges in the industry.
I don’t see challenges as a stumbling block, it is part of what you should expect when you want to achieve a result in whatever you lay your hands upon. I am always ready to face anything I come across. I am used to it in my previous businesses. I was into auto mobile business. I travel to neighbouring countries like Togo and Mali to buy and sell cars. I am also into treasure stones businesses. These businesses had prepared me to face any other challenges I might come across later in life, especially in the entertainment industry. Whatever I experience in the industry today is not new to me. I love to meet and relate with different people every day because that is the only way to learn. I have encountered lots of challenges. I could remember what I faced when I featured in one of the movies that shut me into limelight. There were lots of discrimination against uncle Jide Kosoko’s auditioning. Some people tried to poison his mind not to use me because I am not a Yoruba person, but he insisted and at the end, God had His way; he eventually picked me. But the joy is that I have been able to impact life positively with my talents.
My favourite film.
I have featured in several movies and I have also produced couple of movies too; three precisely. In fact, I have one that I am working on at present titled ‘Omi’ (water). I have done ‘Se o tan,’ ‘Igba ara,’ and ‘Obirin rere.’ All are my favourite because I like to share experience, act different roles as well as meet different people.
My take on ANTP crisis.
I want to use this medium to charge everyone that wants progress for this association to look inward on the things that will bring it back to its right. I am really interested in the progress of the association and that is one of the reasons I support the vision of President Ashaolu. I think we should all join hands to support his vision. He had carried out a lot of landmark projects and reasonable activities to foster unity in the association. He is really fighting actors that are lacking behind. He is trying to bridge the vacuum and create equal right among all actors. There are large numbers of talented actors suffering due to neglects; these are the set of people that are very punctual in meetings and strive to pay their dues. Ashaolu is standing against these bad ideas and I think we should join hands with him to restore oneness that would lead this association to our promise land. It is sad that we are yet to have our own office as an association. Currently he is creating harmony between the Yoruba actors and others in the movie sector. He is also making efforts that ANTP could also have access to the funds government gave the industry. It is high time we all reason together and have collective minds to move ANTP forward.
Definition of style.
I believe in simplicity because I am a simple person. My nature and the way I see things also has to do with my style. It is not that I don’t know what is in vogue, but I love to remain simple and not noisy.
Description of self.
As I said earlier, I am a very simple and God fearing person; ready to serve people and make people around me happy irrespective of any circumstances.
Choice of accessories.
I crave for designers a lot, both international and our own. I know what it entails because I am into the business too.
It is the normal routine. I take my birth before I go to bed. I don’t use much make-up on myself. I usually apply white powder on my face.
I love white dearly. I feel comfortable in it and it think it brings out my beauty whenever I on it. I make more statement in white.
Fashion item I cannot do without.
I cannot do without my eye brow because I have a nice I eye led to play with it. I don’t think my day is complete without it.
Fashion items you cannot be caught dead wearing.
That has to do with what is in vogue these days. I can’t wear a tattoo, either bogus or minor. I believe as a professional actress you don’t need to wear a permanent make-up or tattoo on our body. That is one of the sacrifices we ought to bear as far as this profession is concerned. An actor must be dynamic because you could feature in any role in any movie and it is unprofessional to wear same face or look tall the time. That is why we have the costume segment in movie production. There are a lot of unpardonable errors in our movie production. For example, in a typical local setting of a movie, you would see the actor with a long fixed painted nails. Also, an actress wearing an obvious tattoo and at the same time acting as a responsible mother in a movie. What message are we passing across? You must look natural so as to be ready to act any role at any point in time.
I give glory to God for creating me this way. He is my secret.
How I keep in shape.
I wasn’t conscious of myself, because I didn’t take time to take a glance at the mirror, until recently when I discovered that I have really gained weight. Initially I was slim, but people said it was because I have started bearing children. But for some time now I have been working hard to watch my weight and the things I eat in other to keep in shape.
My opinion on toning.
I don’t have a positive take on that. To me, it is very dangerous. I am sure that those who did such must have been regretting it by now. There are lots of misconceptions about me because of the kind of complexion I have. I will tell you categorically that I only use Lux soap. A lot of people that are addicted to this do not consider the kind of weather we have here. They are always conscious of being noticed, which is a bad idea.
Take on provocative dressing.
It is not ideal to castigate anyone concerning this because we are all brought up from a different home and background. Back in the days, any lady that wore trousers is described as prostitutes, but it is a different thing today. This is because we have been influenced by the foreign world. Today, provocative dressing is on the increase, it is beyond trousers. You cannot comprehend what you see in the social world today. Even in our industry, it is now a mixture of prostitutes and professionals. We have gone beyond what we tapped from the foreign world. Our young generations have also joined the race of indecent dressings. A lot of actors in the industry don’t have passion for this profession; they have come into the industry with a dirty motive and to sell or showcase themselves. We have made effort to caution them, but they would not want to adjust. Whether they like it or not, nemesis will catch up with them someday. They are poised to flaunt their selling points and to use the industry as a means to showcase their businesses. That is why they do all sort to look for fame. We are expected to be a good model to our fans and the general public.
How I handle my male admirers.
It is a normal thing. It is not only in this industry one encounters such; it is everywhere. It depends on the way you present yourself. As a married woman I know how I portray myself and there had never been any problem to handle that because mere looking at me, you will know that I am a responsible wife.
My husband’s support.
I thank God for the kind of man He gave me. He is always ready to give a hand to actualise my dream. He was the person that registered my company and came home to give me the certificate. The management of the home front and my career has always been smooth with his assistance.
WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE TRYING TO CARVE A NICHE FOR YOURSELVES WHEN YOU ARE AS BAD AS THE OTHERS?
THE INTERVIWER CAN NOT EVEN SPELL RIGHT, UP SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM IN NIGERIA.
TO THE ACTRESS, ITS A CASE OF THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK.
SHUT YOUR TRAP ,YOU ARE BAD PUBLICITY TO NIGERIA.