IT’S BEING LONGTIME EMAGES AUDIENCES AND READERS RECOGNIZE YORUBA ACTORS, ACTRESS AND FILM MAKER REBECCAH ADEBUKONLA ABIODUN RAJI-AMBODE POPULARLY KNOWN AS BUKKY RAJI. JUST MONTHS AFTER THE SAFE DELIVERY OF HER SON, EMAGES ENGAGED THE YORUBA ACTRESS, FILM MAKER, SCRIPT WRITER, DANCER, TV PRESENTER BUKKY RAJI IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW AS SHE REVIEWS AS A PROLIFIC ICON TO RECKON WITH IN THE MOVIE INDUSTRY. IN RECENT TIMES, BUKKY RAJI HAS BEEN ABLE TO SELF-PRODUCED WORKS INCLUDE BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, OMIJE OPO, OLUGBALA, FOLAHANMI, KILEREMI, MAFI SERE, IRUJU AND MANY MORE…
he Nollywood actor and prolific movie producer, Bukky Raji Ambode team up with the bighorns in the movie industry, for the production of SA KO PE (COMPLETE DOSAGE) in 2018.
EMAGE Movie reviewer who saw that movie said, “They hardly expected Bukky Raji to steal the movie by playing this role with such charisma and joviality.” SA KO PE (COMPLETE DOSAGE) tells the story of Malomo, an illiterate who exits her training as an auxiliary nurse at a local hospital, because of high handedness. To make ends meet, she ventures into drug hawking and enjoys the liberty of pretending to be a professional nurse to customers until a shocking event threatens her. Similarly, a different EMAGE Movie reviewer who saw Bukky Raji’s performance in TRAILER YORUBA MOVIE wrote, on our social media platform “Bukky Raji is a joy as a sharp-witted movie celebrity: she is one of the few characters who speak frankly with Emages, and her candor is very welcome.” Given the praise that her performances have received over the years, from some of our best fans and well-wishers, it became clear that we needed to make Bukky Raji the subject of our next 18-question interview.
Bukky Raji after years of stardom in Nollywood, she has seen the movie industry’s dark side close up – from its misogyny to its treatment of young actor like herself. Her new movie, SA KO PE (COMPLETE DOSAGE) trailer Yoruba movie 2018 starring Bukky Raji and Femi Adebayo Salami, is brutally honest, she says.
EMAGES: Can we meet you? Your family background, childhood, and everything about you.
ADEBUKOLA: My name is Ambode Adebukola Oladunbo Raji, I am from Ondo, I am the last born of seven, five girls, two boys plus my dad and mum, and my mother is from Ogun state, Ijebu to be precise. I went to Majolate Primary school from there to Ilupeju College and eventually to Olabisi Onabanjo University, where I graduated with B.Sc. in Mass Communication.
EMAGES: How was your growing up like?
ADEBUKOLA: My childhood was rough having grown up in the Mushin part of Lagos.
EMAGES: What attracted you to begin your career as an actor?
ADEBUKOLA: Well, I don’t know, but in an interview, I do always say I love to reach out to people in many ways, maybe through preaching the gospel, newscasting, acting, motivational speaking, and dancing, doctors also reach out to people cause they affect life’s in one way or the other that has to be my joy with going for Mass Communication, I realize I have this natural gift for dancing and acting. I started with church play, singing and in university, I borrowed performing Act in OOU when I was in my (100) hundred level we have the opportunity to borrow from other departments instead of going to philosophy, I borrowed some of their courses and they enlighten me more before I gained Admission, I joined a group called OGUNJALU Theatre group from there I learned how to do more of stage things, am always happy and joyful whenever am doing my job.
EMAGES: What inspires your acting style?
ADEBUKOLA: Just realize naturally when I hear songs or drums that are meaningful, it attracts me and sometimes when am in a gathering where a situation is going on, am always lie this thing can make a good story, some people dream but I don’t dream cause am not a prophet, it gets from thinking, gathering, meditating that where I get my inspiration from.
EMAGES: Describe your acting style?
ADEBUKOLA: My acting style can be describe as a freestyle, you know why? Is not to be stereotype, what I mean by stereotype is bang known for a role that is not good for an artist, as an actor is always good to be flexible, you should interpret role well so people will say WOW!, that is, you killed THE ROLE
EMAGES: Tell us about what you are working on currently?
ADEBUKOLA: We are always working, there are stories on ground, I have 2 or 3 jobs “OMIJE OPO” presently showing, just released, I have “OLUGBALA” and there is one I can never forget and people will see me in a very different style like I earlier said, I freestyle, I have not done a comedy story before and when I was doing it I was like how can this be Bukky, I can’t even imagine myself in that role not until I started interpreting the script, the writer said Bukky you have to give me what I want and said I will give it to you when I gave it to the director. AFEEZ OWO directed it, the title of the story is SAKOPE, and I have a story OHUNTIMOFE.
EMAGES: You have worked with a diverse group of people in the industry, moreover, how was it like?
ADEBUKOLA: In the Yoruba movies industry, I love Bukky Wright and also her acting style when you see Bukky acting ARUGBO, I love Fathia Balogun, she is my mum, I love Toyin Amaiku very much though am not close to her acting but, she is talented, Joke, Singing, I love her roles, I love all of them.
EMAGES: What would you like people to remember you for?
ADEBUKOLA: I want people to remember Bukky Raji and say yeah that girl is very nice; I want people to see the positive things about me and learn positive things through me.
EMAGES: What is the weirdest thing a fan has ever done to you?
ADEBUKOLA: Omo Iyawusa produced by me in that story, the character snatch the sister husband and she wasn’t remorse about it, she was like and so people do that, some fan take it personally, even when you are watching this movie with them, the way and manner they swear for the character, you will be like, being in trouble to see how they curse you (me) on to think of someone who does not even know you moreover do not even know anything about you. But I can say, am an easy going person, I do not know how to form, maybe because I lived in the ghetto, as I was going people were using abusive words on me e.g. Ode oshi, she snatched her sister husband and didn’t feel any form of remorse and I was like, I’m not the one in that movie and they said it was you, Bukky Raji we know you snatch your sister husband and have the gut to get pregnant it turned to another thing but it’s just about the profession so no heart feelings.
EMAGES: As a married actor, what challenges do you face between acting and family and how do you manage both?
ADEBUKOLA: We all know that they will always do like daddy but I bless God for my husband he is very understanding, he does not behave like my husband because we are best of friends, my manager, wardrobe, makeup artist, he knows when am in the mood and when I need to do my job, he doesn’t bring his daddy role there, I do my duties as a wife and as a mother and a daughter, sometimes it clashes but God has been helping us in managing it well.
EMAGES: Do you get used to being a celebrity and how do you manage life as a celebrity?
ADEBUKOLA: Thank God when you came in, I told you when I am inside this place am not the celebrity, when am here am just Bukky Raji. Being a celebrity, I don’t allow it to get into my head, I manage it well with the help of God cause I can’t do it alone without God, I don’t joke with God cause I love humanity, the bible says “being proud is not good for any human being so I try as much as possible to keep the humanity in me on check, however, I try to humble myself in all that I do, I don’t allow the celebrity and acting part get into my head. I mix up with people, I see people as the same, and God creates us. Whether you are using Lexus or not, levels differ but we are the same. Managing a life of a celebrity has been good cause I don’t see myself as a celebrity, I see myself as someone that is practicing the roles that God as given the opportunity to be known for, so when people criticize us, it’s because people do not understand us and most importantly, they do not know what we go through, maybe you are having an issue with your husband, family issues or probably financial issues but for me, so far so good I don’t think anybody complains, am always open to suggestions, I welcome ideas, opinions and scolding especially scolding me in law and not when you are been sarcastic.
EMAGES: What is your weakness?
ADEBUKOLA: My son can be a weakness because he is crying and distracted.
EMAGES: What is your strength?
ADEBUKOLA: God is my strength and my husband says Bukky, you fucked up, being truthful but we bless God.
EMAGES: How many films have you done so far?
ADEBUKOLA: Two, three, four Ijebu Scene that I have done, the director realized that am not playing the character and I told him, boss am trying but he said we re-shoot the scene because he is not okay with what I did, though being familiar with the script, read it, gone through it and I felt am prepared is not just enough the directors knows how to bring out the best in you, if you mention a good director, I will give it to OWO because, he will make sure you (we) bring out the best in you when I was about doing it again, he called me and said Bukky, this I want you to do, it is what you have to add to the act, remove and bring into the act and I was like, your trouble is too much but when I walked in, I was like Yeah, I did it so SOKOPE was challenging for me, it a comedy story.
EMAGES: How have you being able to manage challenges as an actor?
ADEBUKOLA: The slogan my boss will say is that the show must go on, it happens to him one time, we were on a set (stage) working and they called my boss that his first son is in the hospital and he is on the verge of dying, the boy died, will finish our show that’s how I was trained, although it’s not because am a woman and my boss is an different person, to believe he can fake it but I didn’t pray anything bad should happen, I have experienced it too, when I was in 300 level I came for one job (Oja-Abiamo) directed by Ajala Jamiu. My friend and roommate was sick and she said she has headache, I gave her paracetamol when I got to Lagos, they started calling and I told them to take her to hospital because I was working, the next day they called that she is dead, a story for another day, but thank God I came through the director who tries to understand me and console me because I was just crying but I have to finish the job.
EMAGES: What is your best food?
ADEBUKOLA: I like to take Garri a lot, I can drink garri for Nigeria, if I enter a Garri competition, I will win especially when there is cold water, no need of sugar just groundnut that’s all, am good to go, however, I can’t drink cold water anymore, I told my husband am missing garri, I love Garri Ijebu especially.
EMAGES: How have you been able to reach out to people through your acting?
ADEBUKOLA: As I told you, I love reaching out to people, I love impacting the lives of people, I am not a preacher but am very active in church, I love reaching out to people positively, telling people how to do things in the Lord ways, how I wish everybody can have a positive mind-set toward each other at all time, I speak motivational words, I love learning new things that will be affect life positively in one way or the other, for me, mass communication is about asking a question and knowing everything, people that engage in the kind of work am doing, they know its obligations, the natural me is a free and friendly individual. Therefore, I can say that am a funny type of person, I mingle with people a lot with my freestyle nature.
EMAGES: What is one message you will give to our fans
ADEBUKOLA: My people, I love you all, without you, there is no me that is the truth, without you people there is no BUKKY RAJI as I do my job, please go out there and get yours, am open to suggestions, you can scold me, you can reach out to me on all my social media handle, and my advice to the younger ones, that is aspiring to get to where I am, please seek God first when you put God first in everything you do, you find it very easy and always be humble in everything you do and God will lift you.