Not many people know that he has been in the movie industry for
almost twenty years and that he was trained as a furniture maker. Yoruba
actor, Soji Taiwo, otherwise known as Omobanke, is one actor that knows
how to capture his audience’s mood any time he appears on the screen.
In this interview with Glitz, the Mushin-born actor speaks on
his career and love for women.
It is hard to believe that you have spent almost twenty years of your life as an actor, how did you pull that? If
I start to describe the picture of my life as an actor in the last
twenty years, we won’t conclude this interview. It was not that somebody
took me to a location. I’d been seeing theatre practitioners on stage
since I was in the secondary school and I fell in love with acting since
then. The rest is history today. I can tell you that if there is one
thing that has helped my life till date, I will say it is consistency
and hard work. Right from my childhood, I had been made to understand
that life is not a bed of roses and even when things appear to be rosy,
you have to be careful about how you handle certain things about
yourself so that you won’t have yourself to blame in the long run. I
also believe that when you are truthful and committed to a cause, you
will be successful, though it may take a while.
Different reports have been written about your family and
your affair with women but you have not been reacting to any of them,
why?I don’t know which version to react to so I decided to
keep quiet and allow people to continue to talk about it while I
concentrate on what put food on my table.
How is your family taking all these? I am not
going to talk about my family for obvious reasons, but then I will say
that I have a family and I am happy about it. Is it possible for a man
to keep having an affair with every woman that comes his way? That is
how much the media have said about me. I like the fact that they write
about me. It shows I am still relevant. Why didn’t they write about
vulcanizers or battery chargers on the streets? My brother, let them
continue to write.
But some of your colleagues once told me that you like women?Yes.
I don’t hide it. If people say I like women, I will say they are right.
I like women a lot. Why won’t I like them if they are part of what make
our job going. Women and our job are two things that can’t be
separated. I will be foolish to take advantage of that and start to
misbehave. Come to think of it, who doesn’t like women? Who was not born
by a woman? I always mention Iya Banke in movies because I like her so
Tell me about your crazy experience with women?I
have had nasty moments but I could remember a day when I was walking on
a street in Lagos when, suddenly, a woman from nowhere approached me,
drew me closer to her and kissed me. I was shocked and embarrassed. I
asked her why she did that and her response was that I like you and I
have always wanted to do this.
How do you react to the report that said you abandoned your wife and kids for your Canadian lover?There
you go again. Actually, it was not a report. There were series of
reports. People have written a lot of stories about me. They keep
writing what they don’t know how true it is. Right now, I am less
bothered about that. You can’t tell me you are a celebrity if you don’t
have different versions of your stories in the media, whether good or
For the sake of those who wish to know, could you tell me the correct version?Those
who wish to know already know the real thing. Those who don’t know will
also know at the right time. I know what you want to hear, whether I
did this or that…Let’s just say I am happily married and I love my
kids. My wife appreciates my work because I am progressing. I am really
enjoying this interview.
What do you regret most about being famous?I
don’t like how some fans embarrass me when I move around. What makes it
more painful is when they see you in company with a public officer, who
could throw some money around. I sometimes wonder why they would leave a
public officer and come to me, an ordinary actor that is looking for
his means of livelihood.
Is it true you were trained as a furniture maker?Yes. I wonder where you got that from.
I did a background check on you before today. Are you surprised that I know?I
am not totally surprised. It shows that you know your job. I was
trained at a technical school at Ijebu Ode when I left Baptish Boys High
School. I didn’t bother to practise the furniture business because I
knew it was not meant for me.
Your real name is Soji Taiwo but people call you Omobanke, how did you come about the name?I
woke up one day and I felt that I needed a name that would not only
make me popular among my fans but something that would stick and command
respect, so I came up with Omobanke. The name instantly became a brand
that has helped my career and gave my fans something to talk about
anywhere I go. Since that day, the name has become a big part of my
existence that I can’t do without.
What’s the difference between Soji Taiwo and Omobanke?Soji
Taiwo is a cool headed guy. A father who loves his family and a
professional actor. Omobanke is just a name that does not really exist
in the real sense of it. When I am on set, I am Omobanke, but if you see
me on the streets or anywhere and call me Omobanke, I will not answer
you because that is not my name. The Omobanke you are calling exists in
movies and not here, so if you want me to be your friend, just call me
Soji. I will gladly respond and even play with you.
Tell me about your relationship with NURTW top shots in Lagos?I don’t have any special relationship with any of them
So, why are always using words common to them?You
should rather say they are the ones who use the words that I use in
movies. Those who know me will tell you that I don’t deal with them;
they are not my friends and I don’t hate them either. But we are not as
close as people think.
So who are your friends?If you talk about Taye Taiwo, Obafemi Martins, Akeem Agbetu, Lukmon Aruna, Ayila and a handful of others are my friends.
You drive a Range Rover Sport at the moment and I was told
that you actually like driving choice cars, but some of your colleagues
complain about poor remuneration in the yoruba speaking movies. Where do
you make your money from aside acting?If my colleagues
complain, they have the right to do that. You can’t be suffering and be
smiling. Some people do it but go and look at their lives, you will feel
sorry for them. I thank God for my life and the blessing that I receive
everyday. I am not crazy about cars, don’t get it mixed up. I have not
got to my destination. I want to be richer than Dangote. May be people
don’t know that I also deal in cars, when I travel out of the country, I
buy cars and sell them when I return to the country. There is no money
in this job but there is blessing in it. You don’t have to earn a
million before you are blessed. I am neither rich nor poor.