Popular actress, Liz Anjorin was recently a guest on TVC’s Breakfast Show ‘Your Views’ which was monitored by E24-7 Magazine. She spoke on marriage, men, her upbringing and many other interesting issues. Excerpts…
My philosophy is that in the next 10 years, ladies will be paying guys’ dowry, because men don’t want to work and if they don’t work, they won’t have quality life.
To me there is a spirit associated with hawking, if you hawk you won’t go poor, because Jesus and prophet Muhammed suffered too. You can’t compare the generations of 70s and 80s with what we have now. Everybody wants to be rich without working for it. Some people call me saying they want to be like me, and I say, you can’t be Liz Anjorin, because I was an only child, and my mother had already reached the age of menopause when she gave birth to me.
My father is from Badagry; in Badagry, and most other places in Africa, people don’t focus on the female child and that has been our own challenge. When you are being neglected, you just have to buckle up and move on. Though I was the only child to my father too, but he believes since I’m not a man, there’s a limit to what I can do. He used to tell me that its fish that we sell there, and my mum would say to me that if I want to sell fish, it’s in my hands. And if I don’t want to sell fish, it’s also in my hands as well. I started hawking at the age of four with my mum, and I’m still hawking till date despite the fact that I’m a celebrity. In fact, the only time I see myself as a celebrity is when I’m on the red carpet. My shop is at Ogba and I also have other things I’m doing as well.
I love my mother so much, though she is late because she taught me many things. These days, the men out there don’t want to work, but they don’t have any choice but to work.
The same thing also happens in the movie industry of today. It’s only the ladies that produce and premiere movies, and one would be tempted to ask: what’s happening to the men?
They believe that the women have something to sell, but they don’t know that as men, they have more chances than us. They just accept defeat that they cannot make it.
HOW DO WOMEN COPE WITH THE ISSUE OF PIRACY?
For now, I have produced eight movies, and I just want to hold on to that eight. As a young lady, you may have money, and a couple of people that help you, when you still have the strength, but you may just wake up one morning and realise that you’ve clocked 80 without having a house of your own in this industry. If government can prosecute people for dugs, they should be able to do so for film piracy as well. And if they refuse to do that, then the youth will lose out of the employment opportunities that the industry provides; that’s why people are going into prostitution, armed robbery, and other social vices. If the government is not doing what it ought to, then that industry will die.
IS IT TRUE THAT YOU USE WHAT YOU HAVE TO GET WHAT YOU WANT?
As a business woman, I am disciplined. If you mess up with your customer, you are done with that business. If I was an ordinary actress, I could date anybody, but being a business woman makes me more disciplined. My mother taught me that I dare not mess up with my customers. It’s only the poor that sleep; the rich don’t sleep. If you call me at any time to deliver goods, I will leave whatever I’m doing at that moment, because if I don’t work, I will be poor and if I’m poor, I will go into dirty things. And like I always say, I’m afraid of poverty. My mother single-handedly raised me. My father had many wives, so my mum will say this only one that I have, nothing must happen to her.
WERE YOU SPOILT AS A CHILD?
As a matter of fact, I ran away from home about four times because of the strict way my mother raised me. I once told my mum’s younger brother to take me to an orphanage home where he worked, but he said with time I’d understand. My mother used to tell me that she was training me for the future, and on the day she died, I realised the truth in all she had being telling me because people won’t help you. Nobody wishes for someone else to be better than their own child.
DO YOU BLAME POOR PARENTING FOR THE ISSUES WE ARE HAVING IN THE SOCIETY THESE DAYS?
That is something I want to clear the air on. I don’t know about your background, but in those days, we weren’t hundred percent satisfied with the quality of life of our parents, but we looked at them and determined not to live our lives like theirs. I never blame any parent. You live your life the way you want because when they are no more, there will be no one there for you; you will be left all alone with your life. When I was growing up, I looked at my old mother as she hawked, and I said to myself that I don’t want to struggle like her, and even if I must struggle to that extent then, I must be rich.
ON GOVERNMENT’S SUPPORT OF THE INDUSTRY?
On the issue of production, government is not helping. If they want us to continue producing quality movies, they should invest in movie making, so we can produce more. I spent millions of naira on “Kofo The Firstlady” and till date, I have not made One thousand Naira on it. If I want to produce another movie, as a business-minded person, I may not spend so much anymore.
WILL YOU BE ABLE TO CONTINUE WORKING LATE WHEN YOU GET MARRIED?
That is why I’m doing this now, so that when I’m married it won’t be as choked-up as it is.
DO YOU PLAN TO GET MARRIED AGAIN?
Of course, but I’m not desperate about it. If God says yes, I will. I just want to live a good and quality life.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH NEGATIVE REPORTS?
A lot of people say actresses are prostitutes, and that statement has caged us from differentiating between the real ones and the bad ones.
WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THE QUALITY OF STORIES IN YORUBA MOVIES?
What really helps me is that I watch lots of foreign movies. I go to cinemas a lot; I don’t drink and smoke, neither do I go to parties. When you watch foreign movies, you find out that they have the same stories, but different characters and different directors.
IS THERE TRULY A CASE OF SENIORITY IN THE YORUBA FILM INDUSTRY?
Not just in Yoruba film industry; it is our culture so it happens everywhere in the country. In the Yoruba setting, you have to respect everyone. My mother taught me to be humble and respectful. Being an orphan, respect is what really helped me.
IS IT TRUE YOU CONVERTED TO ISLAM BECAUSE OF A MAN?
No, I’m a muslim. Islam has always been my religion; my daughter’s name is Rufaidat. The year I travelled for Hajj was the year my mother died, so I travelled to pray for her because she died when she was supposed to be enjoying the fruits of her hard labour. I’m a private person; I don’t display my life on social media because I don’t want anyone to know anything about me.
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO PRESENTLY?
I’m currently into hip-hop, and I have some singles out already. They are titled ”Oronbo mi,” and “Hold me Down.” Right now, the video of “Oronbo Mi” is out, and I have some more songs on the way.