Tayo Sobola is one of the hottest Yoruba actress in town and has premiered her Several self-produced movie. She’s is popularly called Sotayo. She already doing popular films and has worked with some of the best in the industry. She premiered her third self-produced movie on Sunday 28th December, 2014! Bella as she is also called is one of the brightest new act to watch out for and she is poised to take the industry by storm.
Sotayo is from a polygamous home and was born on December 28, 1985 . Her mother was a muslim while her father was a christian. Sobola attended Olabisi Onabanjo University where she got a degree in Public Administration and a diploma in Law from Lagos State University.
She started as a model then as a video vixen in musical videos and presenting. She started acting in English movies before Yoruba movies but now she joggles both. She owns a multi-million naira production studio in Lagos.
She has featured in some movies like, Idakeji Ife, Egan, Corper Jide, Bella, Arewa Onijogbon among others.
She is currently engaged.
Awards & Nominations
In 2015, she won City People’s Entertainment Awards for Best New Yoruba Actress Of The Year and was nominated in another category for Most Promising Actress Of The Year.
She was once rumoured to be romantically involved with MC Oluomo, Senator Ganiu Olanrewaju Solomon and Olamide. She debunked these rumours.
The Delectable actress/producer, Tayo Sobola popularly known as Sotayo created a huge buzz in 2011 when she released her first self-produced, Arewa Onijogbon. The graduate of Public Administration from Olabisi Onabanjo University has just finished the premiere of her second movie entitled ‘Corper Jide’.
In this interview, the fair skinned actress opened up on why she quit acting English movies, men’s view on actresses and other sundry issues…
Why did you choose to be a Yoruba actress?
It is not like I stood up one day and said I want to be a Yoruba actress. I am still an active member of AGN. I did a couple of English in the past but I didn’t get to play lead roles because I had a lot I was doing at the same time. I was shooting music videos, playing roles in one or two movies, dancing and singing at the same time. I was into modeling, writing for some magazine and organising events.
The stress was becoming much in the sense that today you get a role for some job and the next day, you are called to bring back the script for some flimsy reasons. There was a time I left Lagos, when I changed my school. So I just made up my mind that I wasn’t going to do the movie thing again. One day, somebody walked up to me and said there was a movie casting and that they wanted a new face for the lead role.
Though I wasn’t interested, I went and I was given the script to read. After that, I was told that we will be starting the next day. I was like, how can you call me today and ask me to start tomorrow? So I went all the way to see the Producer, Mr. Yinka Sam Aina. I did the movie and that was it. Before then, I had done some minor roles too in Yoruba movies but I was not taking it seriously. After the Oloko Longe, which I played alongside Yemi Blaq and Aunty Ayo Adesanya, I left and said I wasn’t doing it again. But someone said to me that I could do it, that I was capable. That was how I started.
Is the movie Corper Jide, like every normal movie that the title tells the story?
I just sat down and thought I needed to try if I could do something different, so I got a pen and paper, wrote the story and the name came along the line. I guess people would expect to see corps members in the movie, but you won’t get to see any trace of them; unlike my other movie, Arewa Onijogbo, that portrays a lady who is troublesome.
This is different because people would expect to see a story that has to do with NYSC. They won’t get to see that until the end of the movie. I shouldn’t even be saying this but you cannot get to understand until you see the movie. This new project is to try and see what I am capable of and to try and stress myself, by doing two things at a time because I played double roles in the flick.
How easy was it for you to start producing movies?
Despite the fact that I was not constant in the movie world, I still watch and study how it is being done. Several times, I can remember meeting some marketers and actors. I told them I wanted to act but nobody took me serious then. In 2005, I walked up to a marketer and he said I should go and learn, that there is a way they do it. Anytime I talked to somebody about it, it was the same thing, so I just forgot about the whole thing.
But here I am today; this same marketer came to me to complain that I didn’t give him my film to sell and that if I had come to him with the movie too, it would have been the same thing. Now he can see other marketers trying to sell my movie. Everybody has a story to tell. I might look new to some people, but this is my tenth year in the entertainment industry.
How do you combine being an actress, writer, dancer, singer, and the others?
(Laughs)…I just think if you have a flair for something, it will remain in you. Everybody has got talent. I was in a musical group and Tee A was the one pushing it. I did other performances on stage and all that; The Nescafe Vibes Waves and the Lagbaje. All of a sudden my mom was not cool with it so I had to stop. She said she couldn’t walk on the street without somebody stopping her to say they saw her daughter on TV.
So I started doing modeling, going for casting and photo shoot. I am not a runway model but the photographer model. As for entertainment, if you are a dancer, they will use you for video shoot. I didn’t learn that from anywhere. I just found myself doing it. It has not been easy. Writing is also just flair and I went for a Diploma in Law at Lagos State University before changing to University of Ibadan.
Once you are in that kind of line, the next thing is writing or sketching something. That is why the ability to balance five or six things at the same time has not been easy for me. But there are times in life when you have to sit down and draw your board to pick out the one working out for you. But now I will say it is the consistency that I have put in the Yoruba movie that has made me a new face. With a little push, I know I am there.
Now that you have changed profession, what is your mom’s view?
She is cool with what I am doing now. She calls every day to pray for me, since this is what I have decided to do.
What other things are you into aside entertainment?
I have a shop where I sell goods. I don’t go there though, only once in a while. But I know I have things that I do day in, day out.
What is your relationship with Bovi the comedian?
The truth about it; he is more like a brother to me. We didn’t come out from the same womb but he is somebody I have known for some time. He gives me advice on where I can do well. There is nothing that one cannot achieve if you have someone that can look straight into you and feel that you have something that needs to be pushed out. That is what I appreciate about Bovi.
He looked at me and believed in me and said we could actually work together and that is what came out of all the things you have seen. I have not disappointed him in any way and he wasn’t disappointed in using me to do anything he did. It is nothing more than a working relationship. He is just a very good friend and I see him as a brother. I have met some people before him that are actually doing what he is doing but they never said anything about working together.
How did you get A-list actors like Ayo Adesanya, Dele Odule and others to star in your movie?
This is not the first time we are acting together. Like the Oloko Ologe movie, I played the lead roles with her. Since then, she has been more like an aunty. We talk on regular basis. I ask her advice concerning some things I want to do. But for my own movie, probably she just felt there is more to this Tayo girl that is different.
She asked for the script, checked it and it was okay with her. I feel she was okay with the role she is playing and knows I won’t disappoint. Sometimes, people look at us and say we look alike. It took me time, to decide who I really wanted to use for the role and it worked out fine.
How were you able to raise the funds for the movie?
I just feel that if you want to do a movie, you should have an idea and a budget. That is the money you are working with. I exceeded my budget, but I did not regret it in any form. That is all I can say. And I was able to pay all my cast. I do not owe anybody.
Unlike it is done with Yoruba movies, why did you decide to screen yours before the actual release?
The truth about it is, for you to be able to achieve things; you can’t work with yourself alone. I believe nobody achieved destiny with too many friends. When you follow the crowd, you miss the crown. It is not something I decided to do on my own. With the help of a very good friend, brother, I have been able to push far. Like I said earlier, everybody has got a story to tell, we all started from somewhere.
Most people just do movies and hit the shelves and people start complaining. The ability to see your movie from a different perspective is what one should aim for. If I am seeing my movie, I don’t know if some other persons like it or not. I am not doing it for myself or my family to watch, but for the audience. In a situation you have hundreds of people watching, you can actually listen to what they have to say. The last movie I produced was more like a teaser for me. I believe I have been able to learn from that with the help from my brother, Caston Dada. He was able to tell me how to do things, how to listen to people, ask questions and all that.
It is a general belief that the more established acts try to frustrate the growth of rising actors and actresses. How do you plan to scale that hurdle?
In that perspective, I would say it is normal when you are doing something right for anybody to envy you no matter the job you are doing. Envy is a normal thing, and to me I see it as a sign of witchcraft. So many people are possessed; they have that witch thing in them. It is not when you kill someone that you are a witch.
If you envy your colleague, then you have something in you. If you are happy for someone else’ success today, definitely something good will come to you. The ability to talk freely and mingle with people opens doors for you. That is what most people do not know. I am just myself. I am not looking at other people’s time to run my race. I go on my own, laugh with people I am supposed to laugh with and play with those I am supposed to play with.
I am not too close to anybody and I am not against anybody. I don’t belong to any caucus. In as much as they don’t come to my face, I am cool with it. For you to confront someone to her face, then you must have something in you. For me if you are envious of me, it should be within you. If I start smelling it, then you have your own problem to deal with.
How many tattoos do you have?
I have got three, one on my right leg, one behind my right shoulder and the other on my arm. I just like it and there is nothing more to it. I am happy that the spots I have them can be covered because not everybody is cool with it. Some people can’t even stand the sight of it. There are some environments you have to step into; they don’t want to see them.
Some people see them and have a different opinion about you. But the fact that you have them does not mean that you are wild. So if I am wearing a shirt on a jean, nobody knows I have it on. When you do things at times, you have to think twice.
How comfortable is your guy with your numerous engagements?
Well, I would say so many guys look at girls and say ladies in entertainment have actually slept with their colleagues because they believe we don’t have confidence to hold ourselves and not let lose. Everybody has got focus. As for me, I am just myself.