Veteran actress, Mama Rainbow whose real name is Prophetess Idowu Philips is now a woman of God in charge of a C&S Church, Ojodu Berger, Lagos.
For some time now, she hasn’t been featuring in movies, at a point she even became broke but Goodluck shined on her after she bagged several ambassadorial deals.
In this chat with Seye Kehinde, the 77 year old revealed why some movie producers stopped using her when she became a Prophetess many years back and how God turned her situation around for good.
Let me start by asking, what is the secret of your youthful looks?
It’s God. There is nothing Seye Kehinde doesn’t know about me, but one thing I know is that, whoever has God in his or her life, would surely enjoy life.
We are teaching our children that, after God is God. Though, our children have a contrary opinion; they believe that after money is money, that money is everything. You will kill yourself untimely if you keep chasing money, but once you know that there is God, who is providing for your needs in all ramifications, then everything is settled. I hustle a lot, but God has always been the secret of my beauty.
Now that your face is more regular in advert, you have become many companies ambassador. How do you joggle it with God’s calling?
I think that has been planned by God. You would recall that there was a time you did not see my face in Nollywood movies. I asked God what did I do? At times, God hides His people for a reason, a reason; that would be better in the future. Movie producers insisted that if I could not play witch’s role they would not use me again. Then, opportunities started coming in. And God has been helping me to manage all the appointments, very well. There has never been any conflict. When it is time for me to inspect the land, I go. When it is time for me to go to location, I go. And when it is time for me to preach, I preach. God has planned everything well for me.
What were people’s reactions when they heard you have become a prophetess?
That was the genesis of why many producers abandoned me and they didn’t call me for jobs, because I have become a prophetess, that I have been carrying Bible. If I am carrying a Bible, won’t I eat? I asked them. But they said they had asked many people and were told that I was no longer interested in theatre arts, that I have Iya Aladura. I said if that is the case no problem.
But when they saw my advert promos they succumbed. They said if Mama Rainbow could have time for advert promos she still has time for acting.
That was how they started using me again.
You have had a rich experience in this industry. How best can you describe the situation of things in Nollywood?
I don’t even understand again. Can you remember the recent event of Foluke Daramola? The number of those who are sick is up to 25. Those were the ones who came. Meanwhile, we have many who couldn’t come out. If one is sick, without food, without medication that person will definitely die. Many veterans are abandoned. Nobody is calling them for job again.
Look at the younger ones in the industry now. What we can’t do is what they are doing now. At this age now, can I wear a bum-short? Can I carry a gun now? No. They are not writing stories for our age group again, unlike Igbo genre that will go to their villages, to fetch their old actors, but our own children prefer to make up for younger ones to look like old. Many of our veterans are dying of hunger. I am appealing to the government to please come to our aid.
Our mother, Reverend Abimbola Esther Ajayi, has done much. She spent close to N200m on the lady who died of cancer recently. And not only her, to everyone who is sick in the industry. We have many that she has assisted with money. If we have a government that is taking care of the sick and ageing actress/actors, and if the industry is giving them jobs, they would not be sick and nobody would die untimely. To say the truth, there is nothing in the theatre again. Those children who are working, producing are only helping one another. Many of the works you are seeing are products of trade by barter. For how long are we going to do that? Anything could happen tomorrow. Only God can restore everything, but for now, nothing is in that industry.