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My Role In Lepa Shandy Movie Shot Me To Limelight – Folashade Omoniyi-Adewale to mark 45th Birthday in grand style

Many people don’t know her
real name. This is because over the past decade, Folashade
Omoniyi-Adewale has been called Lepa Shandy, an alias that came from her
role in a movie produced by Bayowa in early 2000. That was the movie
that gave her the big break she had always prayed for. So, 16 years
after the name has stuck, and everyone calls her Lepa Shandy.
Interestingly not much has changed about this pencil slim Yoruba
actress.
Since she got married about 5
years ago she has been shuttling between Lagos and the UK, where she
lives with her husband and kids. See excerpts from her recent interview with Seye Kehinde.


How has it been shuttling between the UK and Nigeria since you got married?
I never left, just that I have not been
steady both abroad and here. I stay a while in Nigeria and I go back to
the UK, spend some time and come back. I have been appearing in some
movies and soaps. I still have the interest in movies. I do whatever I
can do when I am around.
You have been away for how long now?
I have not been away. I have only been on
and off. The last time I travelled I spent a year. And I have been
around now for almost a year.
How do you balance been here and been there?
Career wise its in me. I don’t want to
leave what I do. I also want to  take care of my home front. I balance
the 2. This is where my fans are. I have to continue to be relevant
here. It has not been easy sha. I still cope. Thank God for my husband.
He is very understanding. He allows me come to Nigeria to do my movie
shoots.
Have you done any production of your own?
I have a movie I want to launch next
month. I shot it a while ago. People have been asking me where are you?
So I want to do this to get across to my fans. My launching is coming up
on April 10, so after the launch it will come out.
I have seen the promo of your birthday. When is it? and what do we expect?
I am so excited about it. The Bible says
learn to count your days. When you are hitting the big number you want
to celebrate. I don’t want it to be like the launching of a movie, I
want to attach it to something. So I want do my birthday with the launch
so its like a 2-in-1 movie. My birthday and the launching of my new
movie Eri Ife (Evidence of Love).
It is coming up April 10 at Blue Roof LTV
8 because of the Easter Season. My actual birthday is March 23rd, its
going to be a grand party, a big one. So help me God. I will be 45.
When you look back at your life, how do you feel?
I just give thanks to God. There are so
many people who want to be where I am, so I just thank God. People have
also said I don’t look 45. They have been asking me what I do that I am
still looking young. That I don’t look my age. I just thank God. Its
been rough and tough, sweet, rosy. I thank God for everything.
But really how have you been able to keep looking young
I don’t know. Its in me. Its from my
gene. I don’t really have a particular thing that I do to keep me young.
There is nothing I can’t eat. These days I drink more liquid, more of
water.
How have you been able to keep your marriage going?
That one na God. Na God ooo. You know my
story now. This one must work ooo. This one must survive. We actresses
go the extra-mile to keep our marriages because our jobs is demanding.
Somehow people think all actresses don’t want to keep their homes. I
find that funny. I am yet to see someone who goes to the altar swears by
the Bible and does not want her marriage to work. Me ooo, this one has
to work ooo with God.
Looking at your career it has spanned so many years. Like how many years now
21 years. But professionally 20 years.
How did it start for you?
It started like joke, like joke. It
started when I was in secondary school. Late Bambo Adebajo, happened to
be my sisters teacher in secondary school in Isolo, Lagos.
After school, I normally go to my sister
school in Isolo, Ire Akari Estate. I like playing Table Tennis when I go
to their school, I used to play Table Tennis and Uncle Bambo will say
look at this little tiny thing. You want to play by force and you are
not tall. So I got to know him.
He has been in the industry for long. But
then my dad used to take us to the Theatre to watch movies then when we
were very young.
After secondary school, I now told my
sister Funke. She handed me over to the late Uncle Bambo Adebajo who now
took me to late Ayo Oluwasanmi. It is Ayo Oluwasanmi that trained me
into what I am today.
I started from English. It was from stage
I started. He taught me all the rudiments in the Theatre. He was into
Production Management. He wanted me to know a bit of everything with
Steve Ogundele.
He took me to Aunty Peju Sodeinde, now
Oloori Peju Sonuga. She was into Makeup. Everybody knows her very well.
She worked with NTA then. Thats is why I said I know a bit of every part
of the Theatre.
How did your career now progress?
From there I began to appear in English
soaps, a soap by Tajudeen Adepetun. The first English movie I starred in
was Breaking Point by Emmem Isong with Stella Damasus. But after a
while, discrimination started to set in. When you go for open audition
that people will commend you that you did well, by the time the final
list comes out, you won’t see your name.
I had a Salon then in Jakande Estate in
Lagos. Ayo Badmus used to stayed there. We were friends. He was one of
the 3 Orange Men who did one popular advert for a product. He came and
said why waste your time in this English sector, despite the fact that
you do well, they won’t give you roles, come to Yoruba sector. He was
the one that encouraged me. That is how I found myself in the Yoruba
movie industry, since then no looking back. I adjusted easily and I was
lucky to have worked with a lot of understanding producers.
Who are your contemporaries?
Stella Damasus, Genevieve, we all used to
go to audition together. I don’t know who came in first between me and
Fathia. Bukky Wright was there before. But we all started about the same
time.
How do you see your rise in the Yoruba movie industry?
It was gradual. I learnt as I grew up. I
grew up gradually. Many people didn’t know that I had been in the Yoruba
movie industry before Lepa. I had been in the industry from 1995 to
2002 when I did Lepa Shandy. I have been there I have seen it all.
I hit the limelight in 2002. But my stardom was very gradual. Thank God I am still very active. I am still there.
Did you see your big break coming?
No. I did not see it coming, it was like a
miracle. There is this movie Makan produced by Yinka Fowora. I did just
one scene in the movie in Ijebu-Ode. I never knew I could perform so
well. I tried my best, it was a rape scene. People came to commend me. I
played the role of a 16 year old girl in that movie.
It was on that set that Folabi Ogunjobi
who managed that production and who was the then manager for Bayowa,
came to see me in my room and he said I like the way you acted yesterday
and I have a role for you in another movie.
But can you smoke? I said I don’t smoke
but if it has to do with a movie I will try. He said do you drive? I
said yes. Can you wear skimpy dresses? Can you be wild? I said why? He
said I have a role for you in a movie coming up, I will get back to you.
Then, there was no GSM. We were like 3 streets away from each other and
we didn’t know. He was looking for me for 3 months. He was all over the
town looking for me. He located me and invited me to Bayowa house where
I did the audition and they gave me the role. Before giving me,  they
had gone to 3 different Universities to look for a lady to play the
role. They didn’t get and God said it is you.
The role they were looking for someone to
play was Lepa Shandy. That gave me the name Lepa Shandy. When I met
Bayowa, he said we have a role for you ooo. You are going to play Sade
in that movie. I said my name is Sade can they change the name. And they
changed it to Lepa Shandy. So they changed it from Sade to Sandy. That
was how it became my 2nd name. You can imagine, I couldn’t have been the
only Lepa in the whole world. They went to 3 schools. We shot in 2001
and it came out in 2002 I was over 30 then and I came to play the role
of 23 year old young girl. God just said its going to be my role.
How did you now feel when the movie became a big hit?
I did not prepare for it. They showed it
at the theatre and we were supposed to appear in the same costume that
was used for that posters. That was what I wore. There were so many
people, a crowd had gathered to watch. Somebody touched my body and was
so excited, shouting, I touched her she is real. I said Mogbe ooo
Semino  ni eleyi. I thank God and I thank Bayowa I was not prepared for
the stardom when it came out I instantly became a house hold name. Even
my dad kept taking the calender of the movie everywhere and showing
people and saying she is my daughter, so you don’t know. He was proud of
me.
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Wife of the Minister of state for Labor, James Ocholi, dies in hospital (photos)

The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim
Usman Jibril, has announced the death of the wife of the late Minister
of State for Labour, Mrs Ocholi.
It's a very sad day in the Ocholi family as Mrs. Ocholi, the only survivor of the auto crash that left the Minister of State for Labour and his son dead, has also passed on.

According to a tweet by the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, Mrs Ocholi passed on after the battle to sustain her.
"A very sad day indeed! The wife has also just passed
on. Join us in praying for the souls of the departed please. RIP," the
minister had tweeted via his official twitter handle.
The late minister of state, James Ocholi,...
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