Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Kissing on set: I’m always afraid of bad breaths – Habibat Jinad

Habibat Jinat Jinad
Habibat Jinad needs no introduction in the entertainment industry. Many people who know her would remember her for her refreshing show ‘Miliki Express’ which airs from 1pm to 2pm on Startimes Channel Orisun TV.
But her profile does not stop there. She has also made her mark as a prolific Yoruba actress who is defining the landscape. Some of her movies include “Omo K’omo”, “Iku L’okunrin”, and “Irin Ajo Eda Laye,” to name a few. She recently won an award for Fastest Rising TV Presenter of the Year organized by Azaria 360. In this engaging interview, she talks about her career, life and more:

How has life been so far in Nollywood?
It’s been cool. It’s been fantastic even with the ups and downs; we thank God.
What movie are you working now?
I don’t have a personal project on hand right now but I am on set of a movie produced by Biola Adebayo. In the script I have to take on a character of a prostitute. I think it should be interesting.
Who else is in the movie?
I’m working with Femi Adebayo, Tope Osoba, big Val Jokotoye and some other people.
Do you do other stuff apart from acting?
Yeah, my friends call me a Jack of all trades because I do a whole lot of things at the same time. I’m an actor, a movie producer, TV presenter and On-Air-Personality. I’m also an artiste manager.
How did you feel winning TV Presenter of the Year?
I felt great, it was very cool with me. I love it because winning that award is another privilege for me and it makes me to want to work harder.
How did you get into presenting?
It’s a very interesting story. I can remember the name of the guy, Lateef Adedimeji aka Kabiyesi. He called me as a guest on his show and I went there and his producer Bimbo Ogunsanya asked me if I could present a show and I said no. He said he had a feeling I could it and insisted I should give it a try. I wasn’t convinced because I didn’t have any formal training but he stood his ground and offered to train me. There and then he took me to Kwame, CEO of Nigezie and Orisun. When I got there Kwame asked me to present and I did. But to me everything I said was pure balderdash but to Kwame it wasn’t. He told me that out of the four qualities he was looking for I had three. He said the only thing he wanted me to work on was my confidence. At the end of the day I ended up working with him for many years and before I stopped working with him, I won an award.
What do you do on your show?
Miliki Express is on every Thursday. I talk fashion, lifestyle and other stuffs.
Is it only Yoruba movies you do?
I haven’t had the privilege to do English movies because the opportunities have not come. I would have featured in Married but Living Single with Funke Akindele, Joseph Benjamin and Joke Silva but things didn’t work out as planned.
There was a picture you took wearing a bra and you captioned it ‘Tired of being a good girl, let me try the bad part.’
(Laughing) Seriously, I just don’t know what really happened that day. That day I was in my room, all alone and I told myself I should try something new, something different from the usual. I said to myself : “I’m tired of being a good girl, let me try the bad girl part anyway” So I snapped the picture of myself (selfie) with just my bra and a jacket. Funny enough, some people reacted saying it was nice. Others were simply aghast with it, saying Habibat you shouldn’t have done that. It was only a bra and a jacket for God sake. What if I had put on a bikini. Really, there wasn’t anything to it, I just wanted to do what came to my mind at that time.
How bad can you be in a movie?
I am a very gentle girl but I can smoke in a movie. I can drink, I can be saucy and I can be nasty too but not to the extent of wearing a bikini. I can wear a bra and tights but wearing only pant and bra, I will never do that. If you see me wearing pant and bra, you’ll definitely see a net on, I’ll wear net on it.
You can wear pant and bra but you can’t wear a bikini?
I can’t wear bikini.
Can you kiss in a movie?
I’m always afraid of bad breath. If you have bad breaths I’ll tell you I’m sorry, please I can’t kiss you.
What if someone has good breath?
Then we can kiss as many times as possible.
What do you think is missing in the Yoruba movie industry?
A lot of things are missing. A lot of people really want to invest in the industry but piracy is killing it.
How do you think government can stop this piracy thing?
Government can do so many things; it is not until they arrest people. They can just call them and educate them on the harms it brings to the industry. They need to understand that they are feeding off the sweat of some people. If you arrest them, some other people will come up with another thing, so the only thing you can do is just to gather them together, talk to them, encourage them and let them know that this is not good for the economy.
As a pretty actress, has anyone ever asked to date you for a role?
I won’t lie to you, it has happened. Once you say “Habibat, before I can give you this role, you have to date me or sleep with me,” I would be on my knees begging you. Before you know it I will start crying but that was then, when I was still coming up. It’s only once that it happened to me but now that person can’t really tell me that kind of thing again.
Who do you like working with on set?
I’ve worked with so many people; Yomi Fash Lanso, Odunlade Adekola, Murphy Afolabi, Femi Adebayo, Funke Akindele, Bukky Wright, Mercy Aigbe, so many people. In English movies, I’m looking forward to working with Majid Michel and Joke Silva. I’m also looking forward to working with Omotola Jalade, one of my role models.
Who inspired you to become an actress?
To me, I would say acting is something that came from within me. Nobody can train you; you can only have people that will guide you. When we are talking about acting, it’s something that has to come from within you
What has been the high point of your career?
I would say presenting. You know when you do something you couldn’t believe you could do, you start looking at it in a different way. It is really amazing, doing something you never thought you could and what more, people accepting you. My big ‘thank you’ goes to Bimbo Ogunsanya who trained me well.
You’re a single mother, right?
Yeah, I’m proud to be a mother.
How is life as a single mother?
It’s not been easy but I thank God for everything. God has been faithful to me, so is my family, and even my son who has been a fantastic boy. He’s in boarding school now and he’s been very supportive.
How old is he now?
He will be 9 years by April 27.
Were you ever married?
I was engaged, we did normal introduction and all that but we never did any marriage. I’m just Habibat Jinad for now.
Are you still planning to get married?
I’m planning to get married if the right guy comes along.
What else do you want to say?
I want to say a big thank you to my boss Afeez Owo and my mom, my family and to someone special, I’ll keep saying it, Bimbo Ogunsanya. I appreciate so many people that have been there for me and have been encouraging me and I’m also very thankful to my fans.

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