Moyo Lawal Speaks About Her Reason for Breaking into Acting

Moyo Lawal has featured in so many movies and soap operas. But Moyo Lawal hardly grants interviews.

Few days ago, she spoke to a veteran journalist in Nigeria about her life and career.

What have you been up to in the last one year?

It’s been work, work, work. And of course taking care of family. It’s been a good period. For the past 2 years, I have been concentrating on basically movies.

What has kept Moyo going despite all the challenges?

I think it is the fact that acting for me has always been a job first and foremost. It’s sort of stayed that way because at the end of the day it’s still a job. I think I have been really lucky and blessed. I keep on getting new opportunities everyday. I think acting has been good to me.
I started acting 2012, that is when I was out of school, that was when I had done my NYSC and I made up my mind that what I was going to do is to act and whatever else I will like to do will come later.

What was the attraction acting had for you?

I was in class one day. One guy called Ifeanyi walked up to me and said you look really young, could you come and read for a series. I went to read for it. And I got the role of Chioma in Shallow Waters which everybody still seems to remember till today. That was in 2005 when I was in UNILAG.
Working on Tope Idowu’s set was an experience that helped to redefine my life. For me then it was just more like extra pocket money income, apart from the pocket money that my parents were giving me Shallow Waters also gave me an income that I could use to play around with. An episode was like N5,000. It was good pocket money and it thought me how to come out of my shell because by nature I am a really quiet person. Chioma has so many lives and I had to come on set and talk so much. I was in a department that involves so many people coming out of your shell and all of that and I never used to participate and I am earning a living by coming out of my shell. It helped me earn an extra pocket money because then it wasn’t something I thought I could do. I didn’t see myself becoming an actress because I didn’t have any of its qualities. I wasn’t talk, pretty or like any of those people you see on TV. I was just that glasses-wearing, want to read, stay in her room all day kind of person.

What made you continue after your initial attempt?

Because when I meet people on the streets they kept telling me haa Moyo you are so good, this is what you should do. And I am like me act? Noo. It’s not for me. It’s just extra pocket money for me. It’s not something I am going to do for a living.

So what now made you take it up as a profession?

It is very interesting, because I just kept running away from it. I had so many years that I kept running away from it and I kept going back. Like the whole of 2010, 2011. I didn’t film. I just felt like acting for me is a very cool thing but the whole 9 yards that come with acting is what I wouldn’t control or handle. By that I mean the press, exposure, loss of privacy, tension, were a bit too much for me to handle. I was getting so much attention that I do not know how to handle.
I am getting people walking up to me all the time. I just didn’t think it was worth it. I didn’t quite understand why my extra income was bringing me so much grief. So if something happens that I don’t like, I just run and I will tell them I am not acting anymore.

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What course did you study?

Creative Arts. The course just kind of shaped me. By nature, I naturally get along with everybody but I am more of an introvert. I do not like to go out. I am not someone you see at every event. Oh no! I think life just sort of shaped me. I am very cool with acting but I am not cool with other aspects of being an actress, like the exposure it gives you. If I have my way I would only come out to act and run back after that.

Has that aspect of you changed?

No it has not. (Chuckles) I still like my privacy. I still like my private life. Honestly, I am still scared of the whole 9 yards. I am still scared of attention. But I think with time I have sort of grown older and I have been able to learn to sort of manage. It hasn’t gotten easier. I must admit. I think I have learnt that with every profession comes its own downside. So when I made a conscious decision that this was the career I was going to pick in 2012, I decided I was going to just roll with whatever comes with it.

How have you coped with a lot of media attention and the tons and tons of stories written about you?

I read some stories and I shout wao! Who did this? I am like are you serious? Moyo? You did this? But I really appreciate the love the media has for me. It’s not easy to get so much attention. But I think the media need to give me a break.

What has really changed about Moyo since the very first time you started acting?

I don’t think anything has really changed since 2005 or 2012 but I think the difference is that, I am older and I have now made a conscious decision myself, not as a result of people telling me it was fine ooo, but I made a conscious decision myself that this is something that I think I can do. It does not mean it has gotten easier. But that conscious decision just makes it a whole easier for me to deal with a lot of things that comes with acting that I do not necessarily like.

Who is the real Moyo?

Nooo! I am not doing that. The real Moyo is not in any way for public consumption. I think I will still like to keep a few details close to my heart.

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