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LETS CHAT: My Jumpsuit Got Ripped-off At The Airport- Odogbili

Darlene Odogbili is a Nigerian actress, movie producer and entrepreneur from Delta state. She holds a B.sc in Botany, B.sc in Sociology and M.sc in Human Resources Management from University of Sunderland, United Kingdom. In this interview with ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM, she speaks on her career, movie productions and other issues.

Tell us everything about yourself and how you started-off in the industry?
My Acting career started-off officially in 2015. Thanks to the guidance of my acting coach and director, Okey Zubelu Okoh, I had the opportunity of featuring in a couple of movies like Living With A Stranger, The Goddess, Wife To Be and other amazing. In all I have featured in over 50 movies. In 2016, my own production company called Lod Houz Films produced our very first movie with two short films  titled June and Butt Dial which was by directed by Ike Nnaebue in 2016. We held a private screening for the short films and the success of the premier gave us more confidence to produce our first feature movie in 2017 titled Kambili which I co-wrote with my director, Okey Zubelu Okoh and co produced as well. Lod Houz Films has gone to produce additional five movies to its credit, namelya A Mother’s Promise, A Date with my Husband, When Love dies, The Tramped and Dera. 
Filmmaking is a passion for me. As a creative, I believe that our stories needs to be told in a way that reflects who we are as Nigerians. There is nothing else I would rather do with my life. Also, 2020 began on a high note as I featured in some good movies like Odds, Beneath My Smile and The Target which are yet to be released. Also yet to be released is my latest project titled Dera  and The Tramped. 2020 came with high hopes and lots of plans, however,  we are in a time where we have to stay encouraged and be in positive spirit. If there is one thing I would say to anyone is be mindful and take good care of yourself, at this moment our mental health should be important to us all. By all means engage in activities that keeps you safe and happy. Your mental well being lies in your hands. Associate with people that brings love and light to you.
How does your passion for the craft started-off?
My passion for the craft started-off right from childhood. I’ve always been drawn to acting. My acting career almost started-off in 2004/05, but it didn’t workout. So I decided to focus on my education and gain experiences. I told myself, if it’s truly my passion, I’ll go back to it and that eventually happened and it became my life ever since 2015
What are the challenges you encountered during this period?
Initially, the pressure to always prove myself that I am a good actress was one of the challenges I encountered,  but overtime, I overcame that and I have focused on bringing every character I get to play to look as realistic as possible. Continuous learning has helped ease the tension too
What was the reaction of you parent when you wanted to take this as a career?
Oh...initially, it was a taboo to say I was going to take acting as a full time career. But as time went on, they all came on board. Sorry, not all of them came on board, but I'm sure in due time they would all be in support
Are you married?
No I am not married, however I pray that when I do,God would bless me with a man that supports my acting career
What if your man ask you to drop acting?
A man that loves me won’t ask that of me...he would understand what my job means to me and won’t act selfish. Love is not selfish
What other things do you do?
I run a side hair/wig business called Luchiz Beauty. I enjoy making every woman feel beautiful
What's your dream?
To be one of the top 5 actresses /female filmmaker in Nollywood by God’s Grace. Also to build my film empire to a world class standard. And Hopefully have a family and just live the simple busy life
What are the qualities you want in a man?
1.God fearing 2.Ambitious 3.Good sense of humour/ Generous 4.Presentable with good sense of style/ not fat too (Laughs)
Tell me are you a good cook?
Yes... though I don’t like to cook (laughs)
Why don't you like cooking?
Well... even if I have chefs, I would like to make his food personally for my oga
Have you ever been embarrassed ?
My jumpsuit got ripped-off at the airport, Nnamdi Azikwe airport in Abuja to be precise. It was a lady who offered me her scarf to cover myself. I won't forget that day.
What is your greatest regret ?
Not having my father here to watch me live my dream. I was blessed with 2 Daddies, my biological Dad and my uncle who is a Dad to us. We don’t call him uncle but Daddy too. He saw me through school and my mum did her part too

What's your message to your fellow creative?
As a creative, I know most of us depend on daily projects for survival before the lockdown, it’s a difficult time however it’s only the person that is alive that worries about what to eat. Let us all hang in there and do our part, ask for help if need be. Let us all remember our safety is our responsibility. And to my fellow creative and wanna be creative, Be patient with yourself, be consistent in your works, don’t chase fame because it will come in due time through your hard work and God’s timing.
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