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Entertainment of Friday, 29 July 2022


'My father lost his mum at 6 months and dad at age 6' - Linda Osifo on starting NGO after dad grew up an orphan

Popular Nigerian actress, Linda Osifo Popular Nigerian actress, Linda Osifo

Popular Nigerian actress, Linda Osifo, is one celebrity who has many interesting sides to her and she recently touched on them in an interview with

The dark-skinned beauty is not only known for acting, but she is also a philanthropist who runs a charity organisation.

While speaking with’s Sanusi Sola, Linda mentioned what her motivating factor was and how it has been with trolls who slam celebs for being charitable on social media.

Linda noted that giving back to people in the society is an achievement and that even though people may not physically see it, it is nice to know one is investing in something that will create a bigger impact.

She said: “The achievement is the feeling of knowing you're giving back to society.

I believe that itself is priceless and that is the one that you may not see physically but it's an impact, it's an encouragement, and of course when you know you are investing in something that will definitely create a bigger and more expansion in the future, that itself is a priceless achievement.”

However, a number of celebrities, especially those who post their charitable donations, have been slammed on social media by trolls who accuse them of chasing clout.

While speaking on this Linda noted that she has never been a victim of such.

She noted that she started her charity organisation, the LAO Foundation for the right reasons. According to her, she was just 18 when she started and has always believed in community work.

Linda said: “I started at the age of 18, I believed in doing community work. It’s called community service and it’s naturally in you in every society and places you go to, you will always internally do it unknowingly. It’s just a lesson to be who I am, to be in the public eye and see it.

I launched my NGO, the LAO foundation in 2018 and when I launched it, I had no support, it was my father, my mother, my family members and myself who went into an orphanage and with the little that we had.

"We went into the orphanage and said that we would start, so it wasn't for the public, it was for self impact and self encouragement to know that despite the location, we should still remember who we are and at the end of the day, the society, depending on who you are or whatever you do, there’s only one thing you can give back which is impact to your community.

There’s nothing that’s physical, there’s nothing else that becomes more valuable apart from the impact that you leave behind for the human race.”

Also during the interview, Osifo spoke on what gave her the encouragement to start her foundation.

According to her, her dad grew up as an orphan after he lost both parents at a tender age but he was still able to do great things. She said: “My dad is an orphan and he always told me the story of how growing up was, how much of a struggle life was seeing different kids and their families and he never had that.

In the light of knowing that you had no other option but to push and achieve the success of life, he wasn't in the homes as an orphanage but he was in homes that weren't his. In strangers, in family members and the little bit that he was able to share, it really impacted me.

And I see that if an individual of such can achieve what he has achieved today without the support that every child needs, that itself is the most encouraging impact that I can have.”

Linda spoke on how her dad lost his mother when he was just 6 months old and his father when he was six.

“My father was an orphan, he lost his mother at the age of 6 months so he definitely did not know his mother and he became a full orphan at the age of 6. He gave birth to me so I think that in itself is enough greatness.”

Linda Osifo is a relatively new name in the Nollywood industry and she spoke on how she has coped with fitting in after growing up and schooling abroad and coming back to Nigeria.

She said: “It’s a process and I don’t believe in trying to fit in. I believe in trying to stand out and trying to make a mark. However, fitting into the culture itself was a process and I'm still in the fitting stage.

It’s been 9 years now and I’m still trying to fit in because there are some things I will do and they’ll say ‘madam e no enter’.

"Culture-wise, it was a journey and the few years I had in Nigeria, which was seven years in my childhood growing up in Benin City I definitely will say has been such a great foundation that I did not know would be such help today and i'm very grateful for what my family had done because that makes me know that I do want my children to also spend few years in Nigeria because it leaves something in you that you can't explain. I know my strength comes from the rugged lifestyle I had in Benin, if not…”

Linda no doubt has African parents and some sort of pushback is usually expected when it comes to their kids joining the entertainment industry. Linda spoke on how her folks handled it.

She said: “They thought I had psychological problems. Over there we have different kinds of mental issues, schizophrenic issues and they thought ‘okay our pikin don mad o’ because they didn't understand why you will leave abroad and go there when that is a country we were taking you out from.

Now, it becomes more of a message to them and a message to other parents who see my parents as motivations.

1. Learn your child because you will know who they are. There was a time I asked my mother what she sees me doing and she boldly told me ‘I see you being out there, I see you being in the public eye’.

She was comfortable to say that because I was a child who had emulated such activities growing up. I was very involved physically in church, I was involved in the entertainment industry in Canada such as beauty pageants and still in school at the same time.

I was involved in community service, so they had seen the personality and the characteristics of leadership so it was easy for them to trust. My parents trusted me and they knew I was a child who knew what she wanted. All I needed was their prayers and support.”

Linda Osifo opened up on how she returned to Nigeria at the age of 22 because she knew it was time to explore.

According to her, she already had a degree, she is a Canadian citizen and her family lives abroad so if things had not gone well, she always had the option of going back. In her words: “I came in here, I had just turned 22 and that was when I started exploring.

You need to figure out your journey, what your steps are and I had an opportunity to come to Nigeria for a job. I had an opportunity to host a show here, however, the show never happened and I thought to myself, this is the time for me to explore. I remember telling myself I had nothing to lose.

I got myself a degree which is the most important thing so that’s my backup. I am a Canadian citizen and I can go back home and luckily I still have a family house back home so I won’t be homeless.

I weighed my options but I did not see myself living here, commiting here, donating my whole life and my whole career and about 10 years of my youth into this.”