Popular Yoruba actress, Yetunde Bakare, tells Ademola Olonilua about her style
Have you always aspired to be an actress?
For me, acting started as fun because I joined a drama group in church before I gained admission into the university. Shortly after, we started acting stage plays and before we knew it, we were invited to perform in other churches. I’ve always loved acting as a child and I have a huge passion for it.
What were some of the challenges you faced while building your career?
I faced a lot of challenges most especially in an industry where there are lots of competitors. If one is not principled, one may be tempted to do some horrible things if care is not taken just because you want people to accept you. To succeed in this industry, one has to be focused and determined to let people know you are good at your chosen career. I faced a lot of challenges and the major one I still face is that different people keep coming to ask me out and promise me a movie role but I’ve always believed that whatever is meant to be will surely be, so I refused to be distracted.
Were you ever sexually harassed in the industry?
There’s nothing like being sexually harassed because it is normal for a guy to ask a girl out. But the girl reserves the right to either accept or decline the advances. Nobody will rape or force you against your wish. Yes, I have had a lot of advances from men but I was never sexually harassed.
To you, is there a difference between fashion and style?
I believe that fashion and style is the same thing because the more you create a new style the more it becomes a fashion statement. It is a way you present your outward appearance just to look good and stand out.
Has your career influenced your style?
Of course! My career has really influenced my style. For example, I must apply make-up when going for an occasion. I did not use to do that before I became an actress. Also, I rock my natural look any day, anytime even on special occasions but that has changed.
What was your growing up like?
Growing up was not fun because I was born into a Muslim family but my mum is a Christian. She made sure we worshipped at the mosque regularly so that my dad wouldn’t get angry because he’s a very principled, disciplined and strict man. We were either in the mosque or studding but he later relaxed a bit when he converted and became a Christian.
Were you fashionable as a kid?
Yes, I was a very fashionable kid. I’ve always known what I wanted to look like as a kid. I loved wearing matching colours and I always wanted to look good even with the little I had.
Have you ever wished you were a fair lady?
Yes, I once thought of it and it was due to the pressure in the industry. Nobody will recognise you if you’re not light-skinned and flashy. Getting jobs will be a bit difficult because, according to the audience watching movies, most of them prefer fair ladies but it didn’t bother me because I’m good at what I do. Being fair without talents is a total waste.
Can you bleach your skin?
Bleaching is not a good idea at all. I’m sure most people do it because they feel intimidated. I will never think of bleaching my skin because I know the repercussion will be very severe.
If given the opportunity to alter any part of your body, making it bigger or smaller, which part would it be?
I have moderate boobs already so I’ll prefer a big booty and more hips just like a Jamaican’s curvy shape. I don’t like anything in excess because it will affect my shape.
When it comes to your body, what do you see as assets?
My thick sexy laps, gap teeth and lovely cleavage.
What is the most embarrassing fashion mistake you have made?
I didn’t use make-up to an award ceremony and people were staring at me in a horrible manner as if I’m not looking sophisticated enough. I felt really bad because my face became really oily at a point and I was uncomfortable. I’ll never make such a mistake again, in fact I’ve got a make-up artist.
What kind of clothes do you feel very comfortable wearing?
I feel comfortable in any clothe but sometimes I get tired of jeans and opt for lovely curvy dress at least to have some fresh air.
What is that fashion item you admire in a man?
A nice perfume because a man must always smell good.
What’s your favourite hairstyle?
I don’t have a favourite hair style because I get tired of a particular hairstyle easily. I like trying new and different things. If it doesn’t suit me I’ll change it. I fix anything that makes me look pretty and comfortable because of heat.
Do you have tattoos and what is your opinion about them?
I don’t have tattoos but I’m not against it because I’m not in a position to criticise anybody. The only thing I don’t like is that some people don’t realise tattoos are not meant for them, they just decide to do it due to peer pressure and they end up having horrible tattoos in odd places.
To you, is fashion about dressing alone or much more?
Fashion is more than just dressing to impress, it has to do with looking good, being presentable and inspiring others positively. You must be beautiful inside out and pass a good message with your fashion statement.
Do you prefer looking natural or you feel incomplete without make-up on?
Honestly I prefer my natural look a lot and the only time I apply make-up is when I’m on set or going for meetings and events.
How often do you patronise Nigerian designers?
I patronise Nigerian designers all the time because they’re very good at what they do especially native attires and especially when there is a party to attend.
What influences your style?
I love looking unique, outstanding and different. I like trying something new to see how it turns out. When it comes to fashion I think outside the box and I’m always coming up with odd and great ideas. I get lucky because it turns out being remarkable.
Is there any fashion item you can’t leave home without?
I’m obsessed with perfumes, I go everywhere with it and I have a closet just for my perfumes. It is always under lock and key because I love my perfumes. Honestly, I can’t explain how it all started but right from my childhood, I get easily irritated once I perceive any horrible odour. I’m so addicted to a good scent. My fashion weakness is perfume and I have a whole lot of it.
What is your take on women who wear skimpy and revealing clothes?
We all have our own reason for dressing the way we do despite the fact that our culture is against some of these things. But a lot of things have changed due to high level of exposure. Some jobs required that you dress sexy, hot and corporate, for instance, models, TV presenters, artists, journalists and in some cases men even advise their wives to look sexy and hot always. But there should be a level of decency in everything we do, you can dress sexy without revealing your body.
When stepping out for an event, what are the things you consider?
What comes to my mind is that I’m a known face and I never can tell who will recognise me so I try to look very simple but elegant. I make sure I wear a good smile and I try to tolerate and accommodate whoever comes my way. I make sure I go with excess cash as well because I might end up spending more than I budgeted to spend. It has happened to me before and I had to take a cab to the ATM.
What project are you currently working on?
I have two new movies in the post production stage which are Sister Caro and Atunbotan Ire. They’re wonderful and inspiring stories.