Nollywood movies enthusiasts will remember Opemipo Bamgbopa, aka Maradona, who used to be a very famous kid actress back in the days.
Having featured in a number of productions including Maradona that earned her the nickname, Ope took a break from acting to pursue her education.
Now back on the scene, Opemipo Bamgbopa vowed that her comeback is going to be better and different from the norm. The actress reveals much more in this chat with Damilola Fatunmise
Could you tell us briefly about yourself?
I am from Epe, Lagos State. I am currently studying Transport Management at Lagos State University. I have featured in a number of productions including One Love, Bororo, and Maradona among others.
How would you describe your growing up?
My growing up was fun, most of the time I was on set. So, I was mostly multitasking my brain and doing things that were creative. I was almost too busy to have time to play with my peers, but somehow I did. It’s been an interesting journey.
How did you come into acting?
I came into acting through the influence of my mum. It was not pre-planned because it was one of those days I followed her to auditions, as she has been in the industry before me. So, I was just lucky on one of those days to have been auditioned and interpreted the role well. Alas! I got the big break.
How old were you when you started acting?
I started acting at the tender age of six.
Why were you absent from the screen for a while?
I took a break from acting because I had to do some other things, and also go to school. I started acting really early, and life is a process with different stages one has to unavoidably pass through.
How would you compare the industry then to the one we have now?
Nothing stays forever… some things drastically dropped in terms of morals, but all in all, things have really progressed in the industry. We have improved over time.
Have you produced any movie?
No, I have not. But I hope to do so soon.
It used to be mother and daughter’s game. Why is your mother not acting again?
I am an adult now, and my mum is a civil servant with the Lagos State Government. Though, she still advises me and calls me to order whenever I do wrong. Back then, I was much more younger and so the attention and dedication I got back then was needed.
What were the challenges you faced at the initial stage of your career?
No challenges really. I have a mum who has been in the industry before I became part of it, so it was much easier having her as manager back then. Just that academic-wise I had to double my efforts, reading scripts and attending school. So, it was both challenging and interesting.
Do you have actor crush?
Yes, I do. It’s American-Indian actor, Akshay Kumar.
What kind of man would you settle for?
I will settle for a man who is a complete package! A man perfect in his imperfect ways, because there is no perfect human being. A man with dreams and aspirations; intelligent, hard working, focused and of course God fearing. Wealth is not included because having all these guarantees all one can wish for in life.
Do you have any regret so far?
No regrets, everyone makes mistakes but mistakes make me a better person, not a regretful person.
Are you living the life of your dreams?
Yes, I am. Nothing makes me happier than having to do all I want to do in life. I am a product of grace.
Who is your role model in the industry?
My boss, Abiodun Jimoh, who heads Prodigy and Pens Communications, alongside my big sister and rave of the moment, Jumoke Odetola. He is an outstanding producer, director, screenwriter, actor, and I can go on and on.
His mentorship and unique ways are evident in the industry, and all of us in the team are distinct because of him. The industry has to watch out for this great man.
Has life been treating you well?
Life is not a bed of roses. It has its ups and downs. It doesn’t always give us what we want, but it’s left for us to make the best out of our lives.
Is Opemipo in any relationship at the moment?
I want to make that private for now.
What’s your happiest moment?
My happiest moment is when my mum gave birth to my kid brother. I named him Morenikeji because I was lonely for so long. So, I have just one sibling.
Are you ready for marriage?
Marriage is a whole lot of work! And it takes a lot of maturity regardless of age. I see a lot of marriages crash these days and most times the causes are invisible. When it’s time and I see all the signs that I am ready, I will go ahead with it.
What turns you on?
Bank alerts turn me on. I am a different kind of me.
What should we look out for in you?
My comeback is going to be a different version of Opemipo. It’s going to be something better and different from the norm.