Born to the prominent Ifa priest, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon, Oyinkansola Elebuibon is a television presenter, red carpet host, actress and a producer. In this interview with DOYIN ADEOYE, she talks about her style, career and passion. Excerpts:
Description of self and greatest asset
I am a free and caring individual. I let things go rather than to remain angry. I cherish that a lot about me. I love my dimple, my nose, eyes and my gap tooth. There are a lot of things I love about myself and I wouldn’t want to go there (laughs).
Opinion on toning
We should be proud of our God-given skin colour. Most of the toning creams have adverse effects on the skin in the long run, and moreover, there is no way you could bleach to the extent that you would become white. Black is rich and beautiful. Though I’m not really black, I don’t want to be white either.
Growing up with an influential father
Growing up was fun. I grew up in a big extended household, with my siblings and cousins. I had no idea of our affluence when I was young and all I could remember was that people used to give us preferential treatment and in fact, they still do. Anywhere we went, people would greet us and they usually had this look on our face when they whispered to one another about us.
Also, my friends in school loved coming to our house, so that they could get to meet my father. But as an adult, I’ve come to realise how blessed we are. I am honoured to be born to my father.
Foray into acting
I started acting at the age of five and my first experience was a soap opera I featured in back then, which was aired on Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC). Also, my father used to feature us in his movies, documentaries, music, stage performances and everything he did. Besides that, I could recollect that as a child, I always played the lead role in my school plays because of my background. So, performing as an actress or dancer comes naturally to me. Moreover, my parents are artistes, so it runs in my blood.
Life as a presenter
It has been fun. I was the first Yoruba TV presenter at Oodua Amounmaworan and we started with a 30-minutes programme on local TV channels, but now, it has become a full channel on Star Times cable. So, I can say that it has been a great experience.
Being a red carpet host
As a Yoruba TV presenter, it is a privilege to see a Yoruba presenter host a red carpet event but I had the opportunity to do this for both the Yoruba and English and it’s been a wonderful experience. My top red carpet events were the Glo Evergreen Dinner for Commander Ebenezer Obey and Star Night Award by metronewsonline and Idan Irawo for Funke Akindele, Ambrose Shomide and Sir Shina Peters. It was quite fun.
Life as a traditionalist
Life as a traditionalist is beautiful. Although it could be tough sometimes, because it is not socially acceptable and many people have this notion that we are evil. I was born and raised as a traditionalist and I have never been anything else. I love who I am. There is no need to fear the Orisas: they are there to protect.
Coping with advances from male admirers
I handle my male fans well. I see them as my fans and I try to be nice and cool with them. I don’t shun anyone because you never know who may help you anytime and moreso, I’m against the mentality that all men who approach you want to sleep with you.
What inspires my movies
I try to preach to fellow traditionalists and critics of our religion, showing them that the world of the traditionalist is not evil or dirty as most home videos try to portray it.
My inspiration comes from my personal experiences, religious background and the society as a whole. My first production was Oyawande, a traditional movie about Sango and Oya devotees. I used the movie not only to show people our culture and tradition, but also to preach about how strong taboos could be, using a traditionalist as an example, because charity, they say, begins at home.
So, I want to change lives with my movies, I want my movies to promote Yoruba culture and tradition and to correct the misconceptions about traditionalists and also to remind people of who we really are. We are Africans and we should be proud of that. Other productions would be out soon, but I’m taking my time so as to get a good interpretation and production.
On whether I once dated an actor
Well, as you have said, it was just a rumour. People will always assume and cook up stories just because they feel a need to say something. I don’t pay attention to such again, I’m too busy for that. Moreover, if no one talks about you, then, you probably don’t exist.
I love several colours, but I see white as a very special colour to me. I also like orange, purple and pink. Those, I could say are my best colours. Although I don’t really have a specific reason for loving white colour, but I think it is a colour that signifies peace, and even my room has more of white in it. Also, my mother wears white a lot because she is an Obatala priestess and so also does my father. He prefers white attires to other colours, so I guess I just love the colour naturally.
I love wearing retro and couture.
Definition of style
My style is modest, strong, bold and loving.
I love hanging out and playing all day with my siblings.
I don’t really have a favourite designer, but I love anything beautiful, unique and classic.
Accessories I can’t do without
That would be my beads, because they are always on me. Though not too much, but the sese efun, ile Ifa and ide osun on my wrists go everywhere with me.
Most expensive item in my wardrobe
My gold chains.
Likes and dislikes
I don’t like cheat and liars, they don’t sit well with me. But I love honesty and people who are truthful.
Favourite holiday spot
I would say South Africa, because there are so many natural African and beautiful sights to see. There is a nice atmosphere and environment where you could walk around freely and you would still feel at home, unlike other countries where you could hardly see 10 black people in a mall, but South Africa is like being in your zone, but in a more beautiful way.
Acting nude, for me, is a no no. I will never take off my clothes on the screen. Total nudity is something I wouldn’t dare at all.
What I can’t do without
I can’t do without my phone. It’s more or less like my office, because that is the only means people could reach me fast enough, so I can’t do without it. I could leave my purse, tab or laptop behind, but if anything would be left at home, it wouldn’t be my phone.
I would never forget March 25, 2013. It was a really hectic and terrible day. My mechanic was with my car when he had an accident and that same day, my friend that we had been running around together to clear the mess also had another accident, with both happening before 7.00 p.m. and both cars were write-off.
I was moving from one hospital to the other till the next morning because we were being transferred from one hospital to the other. At a point, we even moved out of town with an ambulance and all that. So, it was a very heavy day for me, but glory be to God, it was eventually sorted out.
My next plan
I hope to start my own TV show anytime soon, which will focus on educating people on our cultural inheritance.
What educational backgrounds have you?
I started from Dapson Nursery and Primary School, Osogbo, before I proceeded to Baptist Girls High School and Academy of Success, Osogbo, for my secondary school education. I graduated from the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), where I bagged a degree in Animal Production and Health.
Philosophy of life
Do what makes you happy. Love, respect and always remember your creator.