Africa: I’m not scared of growing old-Omotola
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde is the face of Ghandour Cosmetics, which launched in Nigeria on July 25. In a conversation at the official launch of the range of hair products, the star actress speaks to LANRE ODUKOYA about her endorsement, the 20th anniversary of her wedding and more.
How does it feel to be a brand ambassador for Ghandour Cosmetics?
It’s a pleasant experience because they’re very nice people and wonderful employers.
For how long have you been with them?
The deal has been on for three years. Oh, you hardly see endorsements last up to three years, right? That’s to demonstrate to you how comfortable I am with them.
But it is not common knowledge that you are Ghandour Cosmetics’ brand ambassador…
That’s true because they’ve only been present in Ghana. This is actually their launch in Nigeria, so the first three years I’d been with them was mainly in Ghana.
How much of the hair products from the company do you use?
I use as much as I can. I use the hair spray and I encourage people to use it. It’s my number one and of course, I use the relaxer.
How lucrative is the deal?
For me to be with them for three years, you should know I’m comfortable.
A few weeks back, you celebrated 20th wedding anniversary with your husband. That is quite a feat rarely achieved by people in your industry. How does this feel?
I’m just thankful because I’m married to my friend and destiny supporter. There’s no relationship without its challenges. When people say 20 years, the first thing that comes to the minds of many is ‘Oh, my God, you guys must be really without stress.’ I just want to tell people that if you’re determined to do it in life, you would make it.
You have troubles everywhere in life, you have with your parents, your siblings, friends and so on. So, it’s a normal thing; don’t use any quarrels in your relationship with your spouse to justify the claim that marriage is hard. It’s not any harder than any other relationship you have in life with maybe your business partners, siblings and friends.
I understand there can be abuse in some marriages and in the event of that, I think you should find your way out as quickly as possible. But if there’s no abuse, there’s nothing that you cannot overcome. I’ve had a very wonderful time with my spouse. And that’s what matters- just be friends.
You had a 20-day getaway with your husband, where exactly did you jet out to?
We went to Hawaii
And so are there things on the cards for the future?
If you know me very well you’d realise I don’t talk about future plans because by God’s grace, my life happens very quickly and sometimes I can’t even catch up with myself. So, it doesn’t even make sense to talk about the future. But I guess we all want to be healthy and alive; that I think is the most important thing.
How about your engagement with Ghandour Cosmetics and the company plans?
Ghandour Cosmetics is launching in Nigeria at the moment and its immediate plan is to roll out and let everyone be aware of the fact that they’re now here. They produce for themselves, so I think they would have their factory in Nigeria. That’s something I’m really looking forward to like they have in Ghana so that it can create more job opportunities for people in Nigeria. So, I think that should be their immediate plan.
What’s your definition of beauty and how does it reflect in a woman?
Especially for women, first and foremost, I think beauty is in confidence; if you’re a confident woman and you recognise your self-worth, you’re beautiful. That’s why sometimes you see some girls visually and in your definition of beauty you think they are not that physically appealing or aesthetically beautiful but when the girl enters into a room everybody turns.
And you’re like, ‘why is everybody looking at that girl? She’s not even that fine.’ You need to get it together, she’s a confident woman. So, beauty for a woman is recognising your self-worth and working with what you have. Most women don’t have everything, I don’t even have everything too, but I work with what I have.
How does Ghandour Cosmetics help?
The company is promoting hair wellness obviously and we all know that the hair is the crown of a woman. I think that for a woman to be beautiful; your face is the first thing they see- so your face is your introduction and the hair is the crown of the head. You can now imagine how important Ghandour Cosmetics job is.
You’re growing grey already, does that convey any feelings?
Well, I’m 38 years old and I’m not scared. But even if I was 51, that’s not the point; there are younger people with even more grey hair. The point is that in life, we should accept who we are. And you’d notice that when people feel a sense of sufficience in life, they wouldn’t be afraid of aging.
People are actually afraid of age when they look at where they are in life and feel that they’ve not achieved much. So, they think time is running out and that’s why people are actually afraid of aging. If you really probe it, you’d realise these things.
But if you are content with what you have in life and know that all fingers are not equal and that you’re actually where you are meant to be because you could as well be six feet below, that helps. That you’re alive and well in itself is a reason to celebrate.
Your dress is gorgeous, who designed it?
I don’t know who the designer is but my stylist is Moachi, he’s my stylist and he dresses me. So, if it’s not a Nigerian designer, we’ve made it a point of duty not to be hyping them. We only hype Nigerian designers.
The present economy is tough on everyone including people in Nollywood. What’s your take on the effects on your industry?
I believe the president, Muhammadu Buhari, has a focus and until when he convinces us beyond doubts that he’s not for our interest, for now I choose to believe him and I wish Nigerians believed him too.