By Ruth Omosayin
After 25 years in the industry, veteran Nollywood actress, Omotala Jalade-Ekeinde has revealed her regret in the entertainment hub.
Omotola, in an interview with TheNEWS, said she regretted that she did not develop her music career and allowed it to almost die.
When asked if there was anything she felt she should have done that she did not do in her 25 years in the entertainment industry, Omotola said “the only thing that I look back and I feel I should not have done or should have done more is my music career, to be honest.
“When I look back sometimes, I feel a little bit upset myself that I allowed my music career to die down to the point where it did, that I did not do more with it. Because you know when you are coming from a place in the film career where I was on top of my game.
“I came out with my music and I got a lot of criticism at first. To some extent, I allowed it to get into my head even though it did not rock my call. I kind of allowed myself to just let it go and face other things. And in hindsight, I can’t understand why I allowed it go. You know time just passes.
“When you’re supposed to do something you don’t do it, when you are supposed to take a decision and you don’t take it, and as time just go, you say abeg, time has gone. And now I look back I am very angry with myself because in hindsight I just allowed myself to listen more to the negative voices than to the positive ones.
“If I had listened more to the positive voices and not allowed the negative voices to get into my head at the time, I would have realized that I had a lot of musical fans. So many people loved my music. The numbers actually showed it. My music sold out. And not only did my music sell out, at the time when music was not that big everywhere, my music was signed to Universal.”
According to her, when lots of artistes were not even signed internationally, her music was signed to Bungalow Universal and that she did some international tours to radio stations, adding that these were people who did not know her much as an actor.
“So they don’t have that thing in their head that oh you are an actor. Why are you singing? They listened to my music fresh as an artiste, and they all told me that I was good. That was how I got to be the first Nigerian actor and one of the first artistes ever from Nigeria, maybe except Femi Kuti or so (I’m not sure) that has actually been to the Grammy.
“So I don’t understand why I allowed myself get in my own way. So if there is anything that I look back on and I feel like oh my God and I get angry with myself about, it is the fact that I allowed negative voices becloud my reasoning to the point where I allowed my music career to just stay there while I continued my movies and other things. But now I am back. And one of the biggest blessings that have happened to me is my son.
“And you know, like they say again everything happens for a reason. My son, Captain E, who has been an acclaimed musician, has been inspiring me again. I watch him do what he does and I can hear the spirit in me saying but you were gifted with this and you threw it away. And when I am with people who understand music, and they are all around me, they all say to me like Omotola why are you not doing music?
“Why are you allowing yourself just exist as an actor? People are just listening to my song now. My son just helped me now to upload my songs to all my online platforms. My songs have just been uploaded to Apple, Songify, and every online platform. I’m so grateful that it is happening on my 25th anniversary.
“So people are listening to my music again and I am getting reviews from all over the world. So the only advice I would really give to anybody in my position is don’t listen to people. If you know that this is something you really have a passion for and you know that people are telling you that you are gifted at it, continue at it, don’t stop. God has gifted you with more than one gift, He did that for a reason.
“Don’t doubt yourself, don’t doubt God, just keep going. And listen more to the people who love you and who are telling you that you can do it and you are doing it than to the people who are negative and holding you down and saying things to you. Because at the end of the day, you might think you’re strong – just like what I felt. I thought I was strong.
“I thought oh it would not affect me – the more you keep listening to things like that, psychologically it starts to affect you one way or the other, even without you noticing it. It just creeps in into you. So my advice to you is always cut out unnecessary negative voices. I have grown. I have now come into my own. That’s why today I can tell you categorically it is very hard for any gossips to be going on about me anywhere and I would hear.
“It’s very difficult because I have cut everything out. I don’t go to blogs. I don’t listen to blogs. I surround myself with people that understand that I don’t want to hear it and they don’t even tell me. So you can be gossiping about me anywhere, you can be talking about me, selling me down, saying anything, I don’t even hear it. I don’t know about it. Because I now surround myself with positivity and I surround myself with things that really add to my growth. So that is the only thing I wish that I did better. But I’m back on track. The good thing about it is by God’s grace I still have time. God is giving me a second chance and I’m going to grab it with both hands now,” she said.