I HAVE A ROOM FOR SHOES ONLY –BIMBO AKINTOLA Your face has been scarce for a while. What have you been working on?

I have been working on a movie called Antique. The movie is about how Nigerians trivialise things that are important to our history especially the way we sell our antiques. If you do not have a history, you cannot have a future. If you say that the Benin Empire used to do certain things in the olden days, then you have to back such statements up with proof and evidence. If we sell all our antiques, we have no proof to back up our story. It would just be hearsay. We had so many arts from the Benin Empire but most of them have been stolen or sold.

But you hardly feature in epic movies

I have never acted in an epic movie. But I chose to be a part of this movie because of the person that called me, Oliver. He is a very good friend of mine. He was in the University of Ife when I was at the University of Ibadan. When he called me to be a part of his movie, I agreed.

Why don’t you feature in epic movies?

I don’t act epic movies because I find the costumes annoying. I really don’t like exposing my body anymore. Before, I was into that kind of fashion but not anymore. I also feel that they do not do historical movies very well in Nigeria. If I must partake in any, the costume has to be right, the buildings have to be in line with the movie, and everything has to be right. In most movies, they just fabricate everything and that is not proper.

Why did you stop wearing revealing clothes?

I indulged in that when I was much younger. Now that I am older, I have decided to tone everything down. Nobody tells you to stop some things you do; you just do them.

Why do you always dress in black outfits?

It is because black is my most favourite colour. I have always loved black even though my mother had a huge problem with it. She threw away my clothes at a time because they were all black. I did not have any other colour but black in my wardrobe, so I did not wear any other colour. She normally told me that I was not mourning, so I should stop wearing black clothes. I am glad black is no longer the colour for mourning, it is now white. My mother did not understand that black is beautiful. I think it is the most beautiful colour on earth.

Does your busty nature hinder you from wearing certain clothes?

It has never been a problem for me because I am not as busty as a lot of ladies. I believe I am still moderate. It is just that my top size is bigger than my bottom because of my chest.

It is often said that men prefer ladies that are busty, how true is the claim?

It is not true. It was the case before but now, everybody wants to have big buttocks. It is all about the behind and that is what is in vogue now.

Since that is the in thing now, are you doing anything to make your buttocks bigger?

God forbid! I am okay with the way God created me. I believe I am perfect the way I am. I cannot do anything to my buttocks. I like the way it is.

But what if you have the opportunity to go under the surgeon’s knife for free, wouldn’t you want to alter any part of your body?

I doubt there is anything that I would want to change in my body. I love my body the way it is.

What can’t you be caught dead wearing?

When I was younger, I was a tomboy, so I was always wearing trousers. You would never catch me in a dress except I was working. At that point in my life, I did not have any dress. Eventually I got to a stage where I sewed short dresses, I tried them on and I fell in love with them. Now, I think the only dresses I cannot wear are the vulgar and tacky ones.

So you cannot wear short skirts?

I still wear short skirts but not as much as before and they are mostly casual dresses. The new fashion trend in the world now is nudity, people are going naked and that is something I would not do. I would not wear clothes that would seem as if I am naked.

But some celebrities feel comfortable enough in their skin to pose nude

I am comfortable in my skin but I cannot pose nude. I do not want to share my skin with everybody else. I would not do that.

At what point did you stop being a tomboy?

I don’t think there was anything that influenced me. I had a lot of energy while growing up and I used to climb trees and fences a lot. When I discovered short dresses, I ditched being a tomboy. I was about 19 years old.

You must have had lots of scars to show for being a tomboy?

If I show you my legs, you will see the scars there. I have scars all over. Anytime I had an injury and my mother was treating me, she normally used to say I would not be able to wear mini-skirts because of my wounds but I never bothered about it. Whenever she said that, I always told myself that it didn’t matter because I was not interested in wearing mini-skirts. I never cared about the scars because I did not think it was a big deal.

What fashion item would you not leave home without?

I cannot leave home without my lip balm; not lipstick, lip balm.

How often do you patronize Nigerian designers?

I use them as often as I can. I have bags, slippers and belts that are made from adire fabric. It was a Nigerian designer that made them for me. I think Nigerian fashion is amazing.

What is your most expensive fashion item?

It has to be my hair. I love hair a lot. Some of my shoes also cost a lot. I cannot say the amount I spend on my hair because I do not want people to beat me up. I used to visit the salon every ten days but now I go weekly. Most times, I wash my hair and braid it.

You don’t seem to fancy applying make-up on your face?

It is too stressful. It is so bad I cannot draw my eyebrows myself. It is really bad.

Has your career influenced your style in any way?

Yes, it has because if not for acting, I would not be this glamorous. I am very comfortable in tights and T-shirts. I used to love jeans till I stumbled on tights. We live in a hot country where the weather is hot and tights and T-shirt are stuffs I could wear every day.

What is your fashion weakness?

My fashion weakness is shoes. I don’t know how many pairs of shoes I have but I have a room filled with shoes. The room is dedicated to my shoes alone.

What fashion item do you admire in a man?

I would say the way clothes look on the person and not the clothes themselves. I like to see a man that looks good in whatever he is wearing.

What fashion mistakes have you made in the past?

I have made all sorts of fashion mistakes. I cannot remember any one right now because I don’t take them seriously. I remember there was a time I went to a movie premiere in casual clothes. I did not feel odd at all. It was later that people told me that I should have dressed appropriately and I asked them why. I felt what I wore was okay, because left to me, I would wear tights and T-shirts to movie premieres. Fashion means being comfortable for me.

How come you do not have any tattoos on your body?

I cannot do that because I am very lazy. I cannot allow someone use needles on me because I am very skittish. It is painful and I cannot stand it. I like to see people wear them but I cannot.

Do you bleach your skin?

No, I don’t and I have never. I think there is a lot of focus on bleaching and it has not changed anything. I think we should focus on the reason people bleach their skin. People say women bleach but I have seen a lot of men that bleach their skin in Nigeria. The number of men bleaching their skin in Nigeria is very high. They do so because they do not believe that their natural complexion is good enough. They do not believe that black is beautiful and amazing. I think it is inferiority complex when you think that being white is better than what you are.

Copyright PUNCH.


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