Dayo Amusa has been around for a while but she’s fast becoming the next big thing especially after strings of ‘out-of-the-box’ movies and moves. Dayo who studied Food Technology is a goal getter, who with strong support from her mum and strong business sense is the new poster girl for the wealthy, young and successful. In this interview with The Entertainer, she spoke about her new movie with Desmond Elliot and Mike Ezunronye, her love life, the many rumors of drugs, lesbianism, K1 and the likes. D-one as she’s fondly called denied them all but was frank enough to admit she once cheated on her boyfriend.
Let’s start with your new movie, Unforgiveable. I noticed you used actors not used to doing Yoruba movies-Desmond Elliot, Mike Ezunronye and the likes. You did the same in your movie, Dewunmi Iberu three years ago when you featured Uche Jombo and Justus Esiri. Why?
I’m a goal-getter and a pace-setter. Considering the level the entertainment industry is heading, one just has to do it right. You have to do something you will be remembered for. Getting them was a little difficult , because of their work schedules but don’t forget that we are all actors. It costs more money,but like I said, I like doing something different and as a producer we must learn to take risks.
Is it worth it?
It’s 110% worth it for me. Featuring Uche Jombo and Justus Esiri on Dewunmi Iberu added to the value of the movie. Now, having Mike and Desmond in Unforgivable is blissful. Very few people know that Mike speaks Yoruba.
Why did you choose Desmond to direct, a lot of people feel he cannot direct?
Whoever said Desmond cannot direct doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I saw Holding Hope and Bursting Out, and I was impressed with his job. I met him and sent the story to him. He got back to me and said it’s a project he would love to do.
How much did he charge?
You know I won’t tell you but he charged like ‘hell’ compared to where I’m coming from.
Is it true the writer of Figurine wrote this?
Yes, he did. Kunle Afolayan is a role model. I watched Figurine and I was impressed . Kunle should watch his back, we are right behind. I had the story of Unforgivable but needed a writer to bring it to life. I met him and he gave me a bill that struck me like thunderbolt. He said he wouldn’t go below a certain figure. I struggled to get it and had to relax for a while after the script was ready.
Some people think you are an ‘area girl’ Why do they have that impression about you ?
A lot of people believe that people who come from the Yoruba genre belong to a certain cadre of life, a lower one at that. When I got into the industry, a lot of producers gave me bad girl roles, a gangster and the likes. I was crying to do something totally different. That was the reason I played a different role in Unforgivable. People should also know that we are not what we play in movies. I am not razz and I’m not a thug or area girl.
Tell me about your family?
I’m the first child in a family of five. My mum is from Ogun state and dad is from Lagos. In my father’s family , if you are not an efico (very brilliant in school) you are nothing. I wanted to do the arts but no one would hear of it. I attended Mayflower Secondary School and did my ND in Food Technology at Moshood Abiola Polythecnic. I didn’t go for my HND, because I started business early and I didn’t want to over-burden my mum then who had responsibilities of sending my four siblings to school.
Is it true that you dated Wemimo?
That is very funny because Uncle Wemmy (Paul) never asked me out. I will say something I’ve never said to anybody to you today. My first movie ever was Wemimo’s film, Aiye Jobele. I acted seven scenes and went back to school to tell my friends to watch out for me. I went with pictures I took with some of the stars including Saidi Balogun, Baba Wande and others. To my greatest shock when the movie came out, I didn’t see any of my scenes. My roommates gathered to watch looking for me in the movie. They asked if it was true I was in the movie. I cried and went to a business center and called Wemimo. He asked why couldn’t I go and meet the DOP I was friendly with on set. What happened was, I think he had something in mind but he never asked me out. I was closer to a man behind the scenes who asked me out then. I didn’t even date him; we just struck a good friendship. He’s an elderly man and his name is Uncle Sunday Ogunyemi. Wemimo said since I saw the man as the alpha and omega, I should go and meet him. I cried that day and told him that he will still spend a fortune to beg me to act for him. I believe it’s still going to happen.
How did you get into the industry?
It was after watching Ale Ariwo. Uncle Wemmy was a major stakeholder in the industry then. I called him and he told me to come. I went to his office at Ibadan and registered. That was how I got into the industry. The people I met on set then told me to come to Lagos and work with them. That was the beginning of the journey. I did Itakun and from there got several referrals.
Did you get paid for Itakun?
I was paid my transport fare (general laughter).
Which movie gave you prominence?
That was the first movie I produced, Aje Egbodo. It was an all-female cast movie. It was about lesbianism.
Was that how the rumour that you are a lesbian started?
Don’t mind them. How can I be a lesbian and write a story to preach against it? They said I’m a lesbian while another blogger said I’m a serial lover. Which one should we believe? (general laughter).
Have you ever been approached by a lesbian?
Yes, I was after the movie came out. When they made their passes , I made them understand that I’m not into lesbianism. Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa lesbians made passes at me. They usually started by being friendly. You will get the message when they do odd things and would come out clearly when they know you are already suspicious or aware.
But seriously, what’s the big deal about giving in once to one of these ladies. It won’t kill you, will it?
I’m not interested. I’m so-so straight. I’m very finicky, I can’t do that.
What’s the big deal about a girl fondling your boobs, she’s a girl. It’s safe, isn’t it?
It’s a big deal. It’s not safe. It’s demonic. How can a girl be fondling my boobs? No way. They’re for the opposite sex.
Who says they’re for the opposite sex?
That’s what the Bible says. I’m a Christian.
Are you happy?
Is there something you would like to change?
It will be the way people judge me without knowing me.
Is it true you are rich because you are a drug courier?
I’ve never seen it before, except the powder and cassava flour we use in movies.
Have you ever dated a drug baron?
I don’t know. I’m saying that because you know men can hide a lot of things but none has ever come out to say he’s into narcotics.
Have you ever sniffed drugs?
Never. I don’t even understand why people say that. I don’t have two cars, I’m still a tenant, I don’t have diamonds. I wonder how people come up with these stories. I’ve been doing business as far back as 1998, don’t you think the business would have grown since then?. Those who know where I come from won’t be surprised at my progress? I still do buying and selling and I have a crèche, Paydab in Surulere. I run a business with my mum. She sells toys.
Has anybody ever broken your heart?
I’ve never been heart broken but I always find myself breaking hearts.
What do you look for in a guy?
A guy that can be real. I don’t want someone who says he is what he is not.
Is it true you are a serial lover?
The writer is dumb. You call me a serial lover and you mention one or two names. Serial means many. He should roll out more names.
How many men have you dated?
Sam! How can I tell you that? I started late though. I didn’t have a boyfriend until I got into higher institution.
Have you dated someone in the industry?
Yes, one person.
Who’s the person?
He’s behind the camera.
Why didn’t it work?
It wasn’t as if we were heading anywhere. We liked ourselves and appreciated our works.
Have you ever cheated on your boyfriend?
When I realized he wasn’t real and not what he said he was. In my mind, I moved on even without telling him. I move on in my mind before telling the person I’m dating. If I make up my mind, that’s it.
Did he catch you?
No, just like you don’t get caught (general laughter)
Has your boyfriend ever cheated on you?
Which guy does not cheat? Guys are born to cheat.
Did you feel bad?
Yes, most definitely. I won’t leave my man because he cheated. I won’t. That’s the way men are. They can tell you, you are the only sugar in their tea. Don’t mind them. There’s honey they are mixing with it… (general laughter). I don’t want to see it. You know some guys are so irresponsible that they splash it in your face.
God make me this lucky o (General laughter). The most dangerous women are women who don’t appear bothered because you don’t know what I’m thinking in my head. That is far better than shouting and raking.
Who are you dating now?
Nobody. I need a break.
Have you ever dated K1 or any of his friends?
I have never dated K1 or any of his friends. I don’t know any of his friends. I got to know him when a friend suggested him as an artiste for my premiere. I went to him and he agreed. He even assisted me by calling his friends to attend and support me. A number of them came and supported us. He’s like a father figure.
If K1 asks you out, will you oblige him?
No, I won’t and I believe he won’t. He’s like a father. He won’t spoil the relationship with such advances. He has never introduced me to his friends. That would belittle him.
I read somewhere you said you would like to have a child for him?
Never. I don’t know where that is coming from.
Where did you grow up?
Lagos and with my mum.
What of your dad?
They are separated.
Do you talk?
Yes, we do.
Does your dad feel bad that you are closer to your mum than him?
He’ll be the one to answer that. He’s proud his daughter is an actress.
Did you feel bad that you didn’t grow up with your dad?
Terribly bad. I feel bad. I miss the fact that I didn’t have that fatherly care. Maybe there were things I could have done differently.
When are you getting married?
I don’t know. At the moment, I’m not dating any man. Most men out there don’t love you for who you are. Some men will come to you and start dating. After a while, they will come around and say, you have to stop acting. Didn’t you know I was an actress when you came around before? But I’m not in a hurry, and I don’t see myself ending up with a married man. I have single guys asking me out, it’s just that some of them are playboys.
Between a married man and single guy, who is better?
A single guy is better. He has the time for you. A married man will first of all cater for his family. I can’t marry a married man.
What kind of person is your mum?
She’s the best in the world. I have colleagues who go to my mum and just spend time with her. She is that kind of a person. She’s a real mother.