The actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde has discussed the profound effects her father’s passing had on her.
She detailed the life-changing experience in an exclusive interview with media personality Chude Jideonwo, where she opened up on effects of losing her father at age 12. Because she was sent to Kaduna at a young age, she claimed, they never had the chance to develop a close relationship like a father and daughter should. She claimed that, before his death, she barely even knew him.
In her words, “I just started to see a crowd when I got to my street and I knew, definitely there’s been a death. So going through the crowd, the mental process till I got to my compound, and my compound was very big. And all these people, it was like a movie. I had to walk through their midst. And as you’re walking, everyone is turning to look at you, some wailing. Some looking in slow motion, I still remember the feeling. And I kept thinking, who’s going to greet me first? Who am I going to strike off the list? Then I saw my younger brothers. Then, I walked up the stairs and saw my mom. Then I froze because it now dawned on me that it was my dad. And so, I didn’t know how to react. I didn’t know if it was the guilt of me thinking it shouldn’t be him. I was too young to process it. Or the fact that I have truly missed him, and now that he’s dead; I won’t see him again? Or that I’m angry I didn’t get to spend enough time with him. He didn’t spend enough time with me because I was shipped to Kaduna. So, I didn’t know how I was feeling. And so, I was just there, numb. I was really numb.”
Having to face such reality at such a young age, according to the mother of four, “nearly broke” her because she became confident; she attributes her fearlessness and confidence to the “life-changing” occurrence.
She added, “And now that I’m older, I think I understand it but then, I didn’t. So I just became emotionless and it has affected me till this day. There’s hardly anything you say that can move me. I am so confident of who I am that….’You no reach’. I mean, I’ve said it to presidents before who have invited me. ‘No, I don’t respect you’ because I don’t fear anybody.”
Jalade-Ekeinde revealed that she nearly turned to prostitution to ensure that no one was able to succeed in tearing her brothers apart from one another because she anticipated the necessity of caring for her brothers and protecting them from people who would seek to separate them.
“I think I probably would have become a prostitute today because I was that desperate. I got to a point and I said to myself, ‘I’d rather sell my body than for anyone to take my younger brothers apart,” she said.
She recalled that they approached her in class right before their JSS3 and senior secondary exams, telling her she had to leave home for Lagos.