Naija Star Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde Fails To Impress on a Shoot For Charity

Gorgeous Nigerian film star and one of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People of  2013 Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, was in South Africa recently to star in a music video for One Africa #PovertyIsSexiest campaign. I was invited on set to meet the stars involved in the shoot and was not impressed by Ms Ekeinde's aloofness. 

The music video shoot, which took place in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, was a big affair with just under a 100 people in production. The big chunk of the numbers on set were the women who were invited/hired to be extras. 

African female music stars Victoria Kimani (Kenya), Judith Sephuma (South Africa), Vanessa Mdee (Tanzania), Waje (Nigeria), Arielle T (Gabon), Gabriela (Mozambique) and Selmor Mtukudzi (Zimbabwe), who recorded the song for the campaign, were also part of the shoot. While the other celebrity ladies seemed to enjoy their participation on the shoot and interacted with the extras and invited guests, Miss Ekeinde seemed like she couldn't even bothered.

Ekeinde made no effort to interact with anyone except her entourage and selected members of the crew. To add salt to the wound of disappoint to those of us who knew who she is, the actress caused a bit of upset with the media by keeping us waiting while she disappeared for long period of times to supposedly change her makeup before interviews.

Luckily some interviewers were able to quickly grab her after shooting a scene right off the set but for those who couldn't, a long wait followed as Ms Ekeinde just disappeared into her dressing room. The wait was so long that some of us just gave up and left.

Understandably not a lot of people [with the exception of the some members of the crew and media] knew who she was, so perhaps because she was not getting the same attention she enjoys elsewhere she may have felt it unnecessary to be warm and sociable. I don't know...

However, in contrast, the other celebrity ladies on set such as Victoria Kimani (Kenya), Judith Sephuma (South Africa), Vanessa Mdee (Tanzania), Arielle T (Gabon), Gabriela (Mozambique) and Selmor Mtukudzi (Zimbabwe) seemed very happy to be on the shoot. The ladies talked to people and took pictures with some of the extras who asked for them. Even Gabonese star Aerielle T, {sweet lady} who can not speak English, made an effort.

This was a shoot for a campaign about empowering women. It is so disappointing that Ms Ekeinde could not try and be part of the joyous celebration of being together and being part of something meaningful. She snubbed the very women she is supposedly meant to speak-out for. All the extras on the shoot were female — whether she was tired, bored or simply disinterested, for the sake of the campaign she should have tried to be more sociable and approachable. 

Omotola is a beautiful and clearly talented woman, someone a lot of young women on the continent should look up to. Let us hope that she was just having a bad day because beauty without grace and humility is not impressive.

I was so looking forward to meeting her, as I indicated on my Facebook and Twitter. I thought of her as an inspiration and was ready to celebrate and introduce her to you guys but was so disappointed.

Still, this does not diminish what her involvement with One.Org Africa has done for the #PorvertyIsSexist campaign. Her star power elsewhere will bring a lot of attention to the campaign and hopefully bring about legislative change on the continent to deal with the problem of women disenfranchisement and dealing with poverty. 


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