Tamilore Martins Ojo is one of the most versatile Nollywood divas who are still making positive changes in the movie industry. Although she has been behind the successes of many movies as a scriptwriter, the negative attitude of some producers has led her to take her destiny into her hands by becoming a producer of note. In this interview with KUNLE BAKARE, she speaks on many issues including her background and acting career. Excerpts:
Kindly let us into your background.
People call me Tammy and I hailed from Igbajo in the present day Osun State. I come from a very strict home as my father was an ex-military officer while my mother was into acting under the late Duro Ladipo group. I attended Niger River Basin Development Authority Staff School for my primary and secondary education. I then proceeded to the Federal College of Education, Oyo, where I studied English, and later to the University of Ibadan to study Communication and Language Arts (CLA).
Can you tell us about your foray into acting?
I joined the industry in 2010 but I went fully into it in the year 2011. However, before that, I worked briefly in the advertisement department of Nigeria Tribune and later to YemKem as a distributor before moving to Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation (OGBC) as a freelance presenter of “Oge Ara”.
What prompted you into the movie industry?
I said earlier that my mother was with the late Duro Ladipo, I think that informed my passion for acting as a career and when I was young I participated in church drama.
How about your experience as a scriptwriter?
I have written many scripts that include KKK, Oyato, Ale Ariwo, Omo Skin, Oju Aye, and Vengeance. But there was no credit to the scriptwriter and I was always not happy with such because one cannot lay claim to the work.
What’s your source of inspiration?
I get inspiration through many ways, sometimes when I am sleeping and I also use what happens around me.
Did your parents support your joining the industry, especially your father?
My father was initially against it, while my mother encouraged me but now my father’s attitude has changed positively.
What’s your take on producers not giving credit to scriptwriters?
It’s a bad idea and not encouraging at all, especially if the movie makes waves in the market. All they will tell you is that they’ve paid for it. In my own case, I don’t know about the importance until later when I started producing my own movies.
Do you still write scripts for others?
No! I write and produce my own movies now because I am gifted in acting too that’s why I don’t give out my scrips again.
How do you raise funds for your production?
It is always through première, gifts from friends, and donations from families. Here I want to say that the government is not assisting us in any form, all they are interested in is to levy taxes on our productions.
Could that be the reason why some producers bypassed the film censors board in order to evade tax payment and then produce low-quality movies?
If you have seen any of my work, you will see the quality to know that we spent so much on them. Even practitioners that I use in my productions are always those on the A- list and I passed through all the appropriate channels before releasing my movies.
It is believed that most female artistes seem to be living above their income. What’s your take on this?
I can’t say much on that because I don’t know their assets but I am aware that some of us combined acting with other businesses. On my part, I have a shop where I sell assorted wines.
When is your most embarrassing moment?
It was an incident that happened when I was new in the industry. A lady just got a car and Murphy requested that I should join her to Ikorodu and the lady looked down on me which made me feel embarrassed. At another time, I went to a market, after my role in Anele where I played the role of a thief, and people were running away that the thief had come (Awon Ole ti de o).
Which faction of the industry did you belong to?
I am a bonafide member of TAMPPAN.
What would you like to change if you become the leader of the association?
I will work on how respect for our elders will be restored. Also, I will ensure re-training of members
Have you ever been sexually harassed in the industry?
Yes, I experienced such and I will never forget that.
I don’t want to mention the name.
How do you manage pressure?
That’s what I appreciate my mother for. Any time such happens, I will call her to seek for her advice and do whatever she asked me to do.
What are you working on presently?
I am working on a yet-to-be-titled movie. You know when we write a script one cannot be sure of the title until it is completed.
What can you say about female artistes who prefer to live alone?
It’s individual differences, that depend on each individual. While some are victims of circumstances, some love it that way, to be independent.
How would you advise such people?
If you know you are not ready for marriage, don’t go into it, because it is not good to regret it later. They should know that marriage has lots of ups and downs, some of our ladies do not want to struggle with any man except the moneybags and that informs their reasons for looking for guys that will shower lots of luxuries on them.