My Father Wanted Me To Become A Shoe-Maker —Actress Rukayat Lawal (Iya Ibadan Sneh)

Rukayat Lawal

Actress, movie producer and writer, Rukayat Soliu Lawal is a familiar face in the Yoruba sector of Nollywood. She is popularly known as ‘Iya Ibadan Sneh’, a nickname she got from a character she played in the movie ‘Okola L’Amerika’ – a movie by Olaniyi Afonja Sanyeri. The Ibadan-born and bred actress in this interview by FEMI OGUNTAYO, talks about her childhood and her journey through the Nigerian movie industry. Excerpts: How has the New Year been for you so far?

Well, the New Year has been great, I haven’t fallen sick, I am strong and I pray and hope to see this year through and more years to come.  

Can you tell us about your plans for the New Year?

Generally, my plans are that I become bigger and better than I am currently. It is everyone’s desire to be better than they entered the New Year and I believe all my plans for this year, Almighty Allah will help make it a reality. This year I have a big project I want to execute and I am currently still on it, still doing my homework and want to make sure I have made solid preparations ahead of the execution of this project.

When you started acting, did you get the support of your members, especially your parents?

My dad was never in support, he said he didn’t want his daughter to be a theatre practitioner – and then, it wasn’t lucrative. He wanted me to go learn a trade – shoemaking in Agbeni. Then I told him I wasn’t going to learn shoemaking, I told him that if he couldn’t help further my education, theatre is what I was going to do. One of my older siblings too was not in support of what I was doing then, I was living with him then. Anytime I went for rehearsals from school, I would come home late and he would discipline me and told me I was too stubborn and adamant on this theatre issue. He is in the United Kingdom today and he is very proud of me. Now, he would call me to ask for my next movie, he doesn’t miss them, and he tells people around him that he has a sister who is a movie star. Unfortunately, my father is late now, but my mother gave me her full support.