Femi Adebayo is a natural born leader –Actress, Aisha Lawal

Amin Agbara actress, Aisha Lawal, popularly known as Aisha Irugbin recently spoke with Bisola Bello about her Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) 2016 nomination and her ideal man, amongst other things.

Did you think you were going to have a successful acting career when starting out?

While I would not boast about being super-duper successful, I would say I never thought acting was going to be my meal ticket. Acting was supposed to be my hobby. I started acting on stage while I was still studying for my first degree in the university. It just kind of happened. All in all I am just grateful to be where I am today.

How did you feel when you found out you were nominated for an AMVCA?

Let me tell you a funny story. I was actually at home watching the AMVCA last year and I just told myself I will be nominated in 2016. So you can imagine my surprise when my movie, Shadow, got nominated. It was unbelievable and very overwhelming. That moment was simply indescribable.

What do you think your chances of winning are?

You know I mentioned that I told myself I was going to be nominated. That nomination alone is an achievement for me.  Once I get nominated or my movie has nominations, I am fulfilled because I know I am making an impact in the industry and I am being noticed. That alone to me is my trophy. So, whether I actually get the award or not is not the main thing. To me I feel everyone who gets an award nomination is a winner.

You read law at the university, why did you decide to pursue a career in acting instead?

When I was in my final year in school, we were told to pursue a course in any vocational training in order to encourage graduates to be vocationally empowered and not wait for government intervention in job searching. Thinking about it then, I just thought why don’t I go into theatre arts; it should be fun and is still under arts. That thought brought me to where I am today.

After spending years in school reading law, did your parents not feel furious at your decision to go into acting?

I’ll be lying if I said my parents were over the moon with my decision. Let’s be sincere; it is not that easy. My mom actually is not comfortable with my decision and I understand that because she is a mother and all. However, I think she has partially come to terms with it and she respects my decision regardless.  I think as a mother she just wants what is best for me.

Do you ever regret your decision not to practice law?

In everything in life, there are pros and cons and there are ups and downs, but all things being equal, I do not regret my decision. I am an actress and I love it. To God be the glory, I am being recognised for my work so that is a good feeling.

What major challenges have you faced since you started acting?

Lots and lots and lots of challenges; I can’t even begin to start mentioning them.  But I thank God for all the challenges and obstacles because they made me who I am now and have also sharpened me to be what I want to be in future.

How did training at the J-15 school of theatre impact your career?

J-15 empowered me to be knowledgeable about all the spheres of theatre. When I go for auditions and they ask if I can dance or sing, I gallantly say yes because I passed through rigorous training in J-15 including dance, drama, singing, composition, scriptwriting and chants. All these things made me a better actress.

You trained under Femi Adebayo; what kind of boss will you say he is?

Femi Adebayo is a natural born leader. He assumes the role of leadership naturally which makes all his students love and respect him a lot. He stands by his students physically, financially and morally. I will want to come into the industry via him a million times.

Describe your ideal man

My ideal man should be handsome so my children can be cute. At least that is what my friend’s mum believes.  He must also be a footballer in the international league so that he can take care of his kids very well.

Are you crushing on any footballer in particular?

You want me to divulge all my secrets? No!