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Entertainment of Saturday, 30 July 2022


Why I left Nollywood for 15 years, took up menial jobs in UK - Sola Sobowale

Sola Sobowale Sola Sobowale

The famous Nollywood actress, Sola Sobowale, made a startling revelation about her decision to relocate to the UK temporarily 11 years ago.

The 56-year-old actress broke her 15-year acting hiatus in 2016.

Quiet fortunate, she landed a role in the record-breaking movie ‘The Wedding Party’ upon her return.

The actress opened up about the circumstances that led to her quitting acting for the first time on a recent episode of #WithChude, with the Co-founder of Joy, Inc., Chude Jideonwo.

‘WithChude’ is a unique series of targeted multimedia conversations and investigations focused on narratives that enable and strengthen the mind, heart, and spirit.

The mother-of-five, whose parents were in academia, recalled how, desiring to give her kids the best education, she took them to the UK and left them alone.

During the interview, she said that every parent must cater for their kids.

She said: “Children did not ask to be born. When you decide to have children, you must be ready to take full responsibility for those children.

“They are beautiful creatures. You don’t bring them to this world to suffer. You don’t bring them to this world for anybody to take care of them. You brought them. Then stay with them and do the work.”

Leaving Nigeria

During her next visit a month later, she recounts, she noticed that things were different with them.

“They weren’t the kids that I took. That motherly touch was not there. So I said ‘to your tent o Israel’. I’m here with my children. So I left stardom.

“The reason I left Nigeria was to guide my children, to make them somebody in life, to give them the legacy I could give and to nurture and take care of them.

“So that was why I left. And to God be the glory, they are successful now,” she said.

Dignity in labour

Giving context to the sacrifice she made, the actress said that before leaving Nigeria, she starred in many movies and made good money.

Going down memory lane, she recalls that she shot a movie, ‘Christ in Me’ in Enugu, which opened doors for many other projects.

“I was earning (N)800,000 back in the year 2000. So when I came back to Lagos, I came back with about N5 million. And I left that for 7.50 pounds per hour job in England.

“And I’m proud. And there is nothing this woman cannot do because I know what is called dignity in labour.

“I will sweep from here to Kenya or Ghana as long as it puts food on my table and put clothes on my children and shelter on my head,” she said.

She recalls how she did menial jobs like cooking, sweeping and cleaning offices in London.

“My life is colourful. On the train or the bus, I wear my uniform with the company’s name.

“Then I hear Nigerians talking, asking if I’m the one. When I say yes, they ask what I’m doing here. I then ask them, you, what are you doing here? I’m glad. I’m happy. Now it’s history,” she added.


As an actress, Ms Sobowale’s acting career spans over four decades.

She opted out of a College of Education to follow her dream by going to Ibadan, then the hub of entertainment in Nigeria. She initially enrolled as a secretary in training at Sight & Sound, Ibadan.

However, Tunji Oyelana (Sura De Tailor), who married her older sister, Kikelomo, enrolled her in the University of Ibadan’s Department of Music. But she would later switch to Theatre Arts.

Before the limelight, Ms Sobowale had roles in classic series like ‘The Village Headmaster’ and ‘Mirror in the Sun’ and a couple of stage productions, including Femi Osofisan’s ‘Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again’.

“I was lucky to work with Adebayo Salami, and we shot ‘Asewo To Re Mecca’,” she said.

Her first shot at stardom was from playing the now iconic role of Toyin Tomato in Wale Adenuga’s ‘Super Story’ series titled ‘Oh Father! Oh, Daughter’.

Upon her return to the industry in 2016, she starred in Nollywood’s box office hit, ‘The Wedding Party’ and its sequel.

She also played the lead role in the acclaimed movie ‘King of Boys’ and its follow-up series, ‘The Return of the King’.

In July 2022 she landed her first Bollywood role in director Hamisha Daryani Ahuja’s forthcoming film.