Sunday 2 October 2011

INTERVIEW: Funke Akindele Discusses Her Share Of False Journalism

In a recent interview, Actress Funke Akindele shares the downside of being a celebrity. She discusses this based on her personal experience
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“These are painful and unforgettable incidents which could have thrown me off balance,” she laments. According to Funke, who is the second in a family of four children, the media, which has celebrated her over the years, also contributed to some of her hurts.

“I was shocked to read an article that I was arrested at Heathrow for a drug related offence! Me? Drugs! Never! I was in my room in Lagos and had never travelled to London. Even whenever I did, my route was not Heathrow. I called my publicist, called everyone I knew and started telling them I was not arrested. It was not a funny experience at all,” she recalls.

She got different doses of such write-ups — alleged dates with different men and lots more. “There were moments I stayed in my room and cried. When you are in show business and you have reached a certain pedestal, you lose confidence of opening up to people on your challenges. If you do, you are the gist on every lips and journalists feast on it. So, I end up telling my hurts to God and nobody.”

That brings you to her world of being tagged a celebrity. Her story of fame would not tire you as she says: “It robs you of privacy — everyone wants to know what is happening to you, your dates, they want to have you at their parties, they want you to smile 24-7 even if you are in foul moods, they want you to be perfect and everyone believes you are not just human!

“I was at the airport sometime back and a woman came to say hello. Of course, I greeted her politely. Again, she came and I did same thing. Again, she came and I was still my smiling self. This went on like 20 times and she brought many people to see me! When it was time to board the plane, I was on a queue and suddenly had a slap on my back! It was the woman and she said, ‘Abebelube’ (Yoruba word for a more-than-smart person) and laughed. Was I hurt? I just grinned and said ‘thank you ma.’ The normal Funke Akindele would have reacted but I just reminded myself of the status. But I am human! I remember having fever, went to the clinic, was asked to run a test and as my doctor attended to me, another doctor passed by and said in everyone’s hearing that, ‘Funke Akindele came for a pregnancy test!’ Though he was joking, what if those people picked it up and the rumour spread? Even if I came for a pregnancy test, am I not entitled to my privacy? It is not too enviable a world.”

Born of parents she describes as ‘very strict’, her growing up years would not have been better. She reminisces: “I was always getting into trouble and my mother, a gynaecologist, was very strict. I was more of a tomboy and never saw myself as a girl. My father, an educationist, would not suffer fools gladly. I was like any other girl next door. It was fun and I would have remained in the comfort of my home instead of the public eye.”

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Culled From PunchNewspaper via Niyitabiti

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