Yewande Salami trained as a scientist, but that did not stop her from pursuing her childhood dream of acting.
While she is not against kissing on set, Yewande declared that she cannot act nude under any circumstance.
The passionate actress evinced joy and satisfaction in this interview she granted Ogun News Express (ONE) on why she chose acting and the happenings in the movie industry.
Can you tell us your full name, a little bit about your background, growing up and where you came from?
My name is Yewande Salami, I grew up in Sango Ota, Ogun State, but I am from Ogbomosho in Oyo State.
What of your education?
I finished from Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun State in 2013.
What course did you do?
I studied Micro Biology and I did a course in Basic Communication from Federal Radio Corporation, Oshodi.
You are a scientist, why did you have to go into acting?
I have always had passion for art from childhood; I always wanted to be a doctor or a broadcaster. I could remember that my mother used to ask me how I wanted to be a doctor and a broadcaster and also an actor at the same time. I now felt that I could do this on a part time basis and do my medicine and science. Unfortunately I couldn’t gain admission into the university and I had to do Science Laboratory technology, and I had to do my HND in Micro Biology.
Are you a daughter of the popular Coach Salami?
Yes. I’m his daughter.
Why didn’t you go into football as a career?
I never had passion for football. I always said that I would rather go into athletic if I wanted to do sports. I have always been part of athletes group in primary school. Football had never been something I wanted to do, may be because I am a woman.
When did you join the main acting group that you are now?
I started with Charles Olumo aka Baba Agbako, when I was in secondary school. I used to attend his rehearsals. They had an office in my house. So, I attended freely and I was part of their group from 2003 to 2006. But I didn’t have the opportunity to feature in their movie because my mother didn’t want me to be part of them. She said I must finish my education before I could become an actress. So, back then in secondary school, I had an opportunity to partake in their movie; not as an actress, but as a crew member, I was part of the welfare group. That was in ‘Agba Aja,’ produced by Charles Olumo in 2004/2005. That was my first production, but not as an actress. But after my HND and my incursion into journalism, I said let me add acting to what I am doing. That was how I decided to join acting and I said let me become a face in acting and I joined Odunlade Adekola Group in 2016.
Tell us about Odunlade Adekola, does he have a training school or you just go there and just be in his house and play there?
Odunlade Adekola has a school for students, who are interested in acting or any other field in production. You can enroll in the school, you will do an interview with him, if he likes you or feels you have that quality to become an actor, he would choose you, you will spend like three or five years with him before graduating.
Have you featured in any of his movies?
Yes, the first movie I featured with him was ‘Edun Okan,’ then ‘Gbemileke,’ ‘Matron,’ ‘Omoyele’ and several others.
Who are your main role models in the movie industry?
I don’t really have role models, but I have people that I admire and look up to including Odunlade Adekola, Sola Sobowale and so many others.
People say that there are a lot of sex scandals in the movie industry, what is your own view on that and have you ever been harassed sexually?
May be because I have a chosen field aside acting, I am a journalist, many people would not want to misbehave with me as they would believe that if they do they would find themselves in the media. There is this fear in them. I have never been harassed in the movie industry, but it is a normal thing for people to say ‘I like you, I like to go on a date with you.’ But it is your choice to say yes or no. Being an adult you should know what is good for you and what is not good for you. For me, I don’t believe that you have to sleep with somebody before you can be featured in a movie or get a roles. If you have your money you can start your own movie, not necessarily dating anyone.
Would you say Yoruba genre of movie is financially rewarding?
I will say yes, but it has a ‘but.’ There is a saying that you have to make fame before you make money. If the money doesn’t come, when you start having that fame, then people have started knowing you here and there, then you will make money. If nobody knows you the money is not going to come in.
How does the money come in?
The money comes in, when you start making movies and people know you.
How do you make the money, will people throw money at you?
They will call you for movie production and you get paid. But if you don’t have that fame, nobody will pay you, they will believe that they are helping you, which is the normal philosophy in Yoruba movie industry. They believe that you don’t have that face.
In Yoruba movie industry, you see female actresses showing off a lot of things as if they are wealthy, people believe that there is something else they do aside movies. What do you feel?
In every industry, every area of professionalism people help females than the males. As a female you can get gifts from your fans, people would want to help you. If you are a female it doesn’t mean you cannot make money. If you have the talent, you are hardworking and you can interpret your role perfectly well and you are consistent, you can make money. Also, there are other ways people make money now, being brand influencers, and brand ambassadors, that is where the money keeps coming from not acting itself. Acting just provides the platform for you to meet people, and brings favour into you. They may not get the money from movies, they get money from products endorsements, influencing and all that.
When you started were you given anything as enumeration?
There was nothing because you were still a student. If you are a student under Odunlade Adekola, you are not entitled to any money for production. It’s a choice, you might decide to come and not come. You might choose to go to class rather than for production.
Can you act nude?
No, it’s a no go area for me.
You cannot expose any part of your body?
Not at all.
But most superstars do that?
It’s a choice, it’s not something I want to do.
Can you play a romantic role?
Of course, yes.
You can kiss on set?
Of course, that is a normal thing.
How many guys have you kissed on set?
For now, may be one or two.
But do you develop emotion, when you are kissing?
No, it’s just profession. It has to do with your profession so you don’t have to attach any emotion into it.
Can you act like someone that has run mad?
Of course, as an actor you should do it. It is your ability to interpret any role, so you don’t have to be specific, you should be able to do anything as an actor.
Can you act like a call girl, like a prostitute in a movie?
Of course, yes. My first role with Odunlade Adekola was even a prostitute role, I played a prostitute.
Who is your pillar of support?
Let me say my mother. Initially, she was not in support, but she knows I have other things that I do. God is also my pillar.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
I see myself in a big place, known nationwide.
Can you act in the English genre of Nollywood?
Of course yes, I will still do that.
Are you married?
I am still single, but not searching.
We heard that you snub guys, is it true?
It’s not true. I don’t snub guys, every guy wants to go out with you so you have to be disciplined in that aspect. You don’t have to jump from one person to another.