My first experience on stage was in school — Tosin Adeyemi

Tosin Adeyemi, who was only recently on the set of Bolanle Austen-Peters’ Motherland the Musical for the Easter weekend 2023, is an epitome of beauty and brains. 

For over a decade, she has maintained consistency in the course of balancing acting for TV, film and digital media alongside theatre work. Thus, she entertains her audience with prodigious talent as an all-round actor whose popularity has come to stay in  Nigeria’s arts and entertainment. 

In this interview, Adeyemi makes interesting revelations about her career path, including the inevitable unforgettable ups and downs that constitute what shapes her vision. She gives a rare insight into her journey so far and looks ahead to more rewarding and eventful years.

Reflecting on her decade of work as an actor she said that she feels  blessed. 

“One of the few that have been blessed with this gift to be able to tell stories, and you know, stories change lives. So, yeah, I feel blessed. 

“I’m grateful for the privilege to have been a part of tonnes of productions across theatre, TV and film. Having my foundation performing on stage, I have over the years evolved and lent my talents on TV as well as the big screen,” she said. 

The thespian, who acknowledges that she may be a long way from where she is headed, said that looking back she can give herself a bit of a pat on the back for how far she has come.  

“I can say that my journey has been wonderful. God has really been faithful, because I work, I actually do great work, and theatre, thankfully is becoming more recognised in Nigeria,” she said

No doubt one of those who worked tooth and nail to bring this recognition to fruition, Adeyemi said she has contributed her quota to the building of the industry in the country “From the time of partaking in productions that do not have any monetary benefits to doing shows that you get paid for, to doing shows that are for the culture, that’s art for art’s sake”.

Recalling her first experience on the stage, the actress, who said she is doing her part now diligently so that more (young people) will reap greater rewards (in future), said she actually studied theatre arts. 

“I have a degree in theatre from the University of Lagos and a Certificate in Acting from LA CINÉFABRIQUE film school in Lyon, France. So, you see, I’ve been doing this for a bit.

“I think I did see a long career path in this. I actually wanted to study music at first, but when I got into university, I decided that, oh, I liked acting and dancing and singing, so why don’t I just do everything, and that’s why I decided to go for theatre. So, my first experience on stage was in school. 

“Almost everyone and all the lecturers knew me then. From year one I would, you know, perform with 400 and 300 level students. It was something that I loved to do. I still love to do! And that is something you can’t buy in the market. When you love something, you give it your all and you actually cannot give what you don’t have. So like I said, my first experience on stage was in school theatre and my first professional out-of-school performance that I did on the big stage was Kakadu the Musical and it was in 2013. We performed in Lagos and Port Harcourt. It was an experience!”

She counts her 2014 performance where she played the role of queen of the night at the Lagos Theatre Festival (LTF) as one of her most outstanding appearances in the last 10 years. 

That particular performance directed by Wole Oguntokun, she said, presented so many other opportunities. 

“So, yeah, queen of the night, beautiful character and I enjoyed every minute of playing her. The second would be Moremi in Queen Moremi the Musical, directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters. The reason would be that I played a historical character and it was an awesome experience embodying the character, especially bearing in mind all she’d accomplished and what she has come to represent,” Adeyemi recalled.

Interestingly, she does not regret playing any particular role in her career. This is largely because she thinks through every project she takes on. 

“I wouldn’t like to not identify with the project that I’m on; so, I try not to take anything that I know I will be ashamed of. So far there’s been none and I don’t think there will ever be,” she said..

The very busy thespian who has a lot of projects lined up she can’t talk about yet just finished shoot on the set of “Tokunbo, a Ramsey Nouah film, produced by Chris Odeh where she plays Lisa’s character. 

“That one I’m so excited about, and I can’t wait for you to see it, when it’s released. I’m currently showing in an Afmag series titled Ricordi, it shows on Showmax and Ch151 on DSTV, and it’s been amazing seeing the reviews so far,” she enthused.
For young people looking to get into acting she said: “Don’t be Idle! In this industry sometimes you have your on-days where you’ve got work lined up and then you have days where you have no work. These days you can record a self-tape/monologue in the comfort of your home and just post online. Directors, casting directors, producers are looking for talents every time. Another thing would be to engage yourself by practising/training between work. Attend a class or course (there’re tonnes of them); all of these will help hone your skill and keep you sharp.
There… my two cents. Don’t Be Idle!”


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