Interview With FOLAKE OLOWOFOYEKU | Mastering My Own Fate
Any path we take in life will be filled with contrasting experiences. By facing things that challenge us, we expand and discover what we desire in the process. To live a joyful life, we must enjoy every aspect of the journey – even when we are in circumstances we do not desire. If we focus on the negative, we will continue to manifest negativity. If we complain about our jobs, our relationships, or ourselves, those things will continue to trouble us. Instead, we have to align with our desire to enjoy life and see each experience we have as valuable and essential to our continual expansion and happiness.
Actress and musician Folake Olowofoyeku describes herself as a “spark of the universe.” Folake stars in the sitcom BOB♡ ABISHOLA and is truly a positive force. She has embraced the power of joy in her career to make the process as wonderful as her creative expression. She says: “Joy is such an important ingredient to this work, this art. It’s infectious.”
In this inspiring interview, learn how Folake manifests the life she desires and enjoys each step along the way.
- Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Folake Olowofoyeku?
I am a spark of the universe. I am Nigerian and moved to America when I was 18 to pursue the arts. I am an actress and I am starring in BOB♡ ABISHOLA, and I’m very excited about it.
- Your parents wanted you to study Law and Politics, but you secretly enrolled in drama classes. What inspired you to make the decision to follow your passion, even if it meant opposing your parents’ wishes for you?
Intuitively, I just knew that that was the direction I needed to go. I didn’t have an affinity for the law, while I appreciated politics and the discussion of law, for me I thought my involvement in those aspects of the world and my happiness had to come from a different avenue.
- The entertainment industry has evolved to tell stories that are more relatable to a greater number of people. How do you think the industry has evolved and what do you desire to see in the future?
I feel like we are definitely going towards the right direction, I think things are improving. I think the emergence of multiple platforms has allowed for more diverse imagery and content and what that has allowed is for the majority of the industry to realize that people are hungry for new stories, for authentic stories, for diverse imagery and our show reiterates that and is a blend of the immigrant story and the American story in a way we’ve never seen before and I think it speaks to the fact that people want more authentic stories told.
- The entertainment industry involves a great amount of focus and sometimes rejection before actors can land roles. How do you maintain your self-confidence and what have you learned about yourself during the process?
Rejection – that’s a great point to make. I think that’s one of the things you need to prepare yourself for in the business. Some people hit it off really quick and some people not, but at some point, you are going to deal with wanting to be involved with a project and you are unable to for whatever reason. That quickly became part of the game. It becomes second nature, you find a way to deal with that either if it’s by going on auditions, putting everything you have in it and then leaving everything in the room and forgetting about it as you move forward and if you hear back, great. I think enjoying the process is another thing that helps. Finding joy in getting a script and just focusing on creating a character, finding the joy there and moving forward. It’s also important to have a lot of self-care, whether it be through reading or meditation, whatever that means to you. And being tenacious as well. It’s a long game – so just being patient and working on yourself, I find, is perhaps one of the best things you can do while pursuing work in this business.
- On CBS’s BOB♡ ABISHOLA, a sitcom which premiers on September 23, 2019, you play Abishola, a Nigerian immigrant and cardiac nurse. How would you describe Abishola and what elements of her character did you most resonate with?
Abishola, like I am, is Nigerian; we are both of the Yoruba tribe. We both came to America seeking a better life. She is a tenacious and disciplined, focused mother who has envisioned a goal for her son and is working meticulously towards that goal. I wouldn’t say I’m as disciplined as she is, and probably not as structured to reach my goals. I would say I am a bit less rigid than Abishola, but I think our sense of humor is similar and I think people who watch the show might get to understand me a bit more, my American friends might understand me a little bit more, my mannerisms and so on and so forth.
- After experiencing a heart attack, Bob falls for Abishola while she is his nurse and is set on winning her over despite her disinterest. How would you describe the relationship between Abishola and Bob?
Bob and Abishola are going to find that they have a lot more in common than they don’t. They find solace in one another. I think what we’re going to see is a friendship blossom first and then perhaps more. I think they both find the other intriguing. I think Abishola finds Bob intriguing and begins to warm up to him because he’s providing some sense of comfort that she hasn’t experienced in a while and it’s the same for him.
- CBS’s BOB♡ ABISHOLA features the first Nigerian family on national television. How does it feel to be part of this groundbreaking project?
It feels great. It feels like I’m doing something worthwhile. It feels like I’m involved with something bigger than myself. I understand Chuck’s vision. I feel proud – this is a work that I’m very proud of. The whole team, the producers, the writers, invested in creating an authentic depiction of immigrant life, of this Nigerian character, it’s grounded and realistic. And I’m proud to be part of an authentic movement.
- What aspect of the story behind BOB♡ ABISHOLA do you expect the audience to be most excited about?
It’s such an intricate show. We touch on so many sensitive topics, but in a comedic way. We don’t shy away from issues that are occurring in our everyday life. We also speak fluent Yoruba, a West African language, on primetime television. I’m not quite sure that’s ever been done before. You get to see an authentic depiction of a Nigerian family transplanted to the US. You get to experience our food, you get to see what it’s like when both cultures cross paths, the American culture and the Nigerian culture, in a way that’s never been seen before and in a lovely, wholesome, and feel-good comedic setting.
- Outside of your acting career, you are also a musician. Are you currently working on any music?
I’m working on some music. I’m constantly working on music and I might be releasing something very soon. I also have some old stuff, some singles I released a while back. It’s available on all platforms. The name I went by back then was TheFolake! and I have new music coming out and it’s geared around Afro-Pop, Afro-Beat. And I worked with my producer in Nigeria on creating the beats.
- What do you consider your greatest success to date?
I think I’d say it’s been a couple of friends I’ve been able to accumulate. I think that would be my greatest success. And the family members that I’m close to, the relationships I’ve worked on. I would say that. The people in my life are my greatest success.
- What are you currently dreaming of now and how do you envision your future?
All my focus is on our show, BOB♡ ABISHOLA, I want it to be the best sitcom ever and then take it from there. So that’s my main focus.
- Are you involved in any charity organization or humanitarian cause you would like to mention?
I’m working on some. I would love to do some work with the Black Jaguar White Tiger Foundation over in Mexico and perhaps also do some work back home.
- The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is The Essence of Joyful Living. How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?
Joy is such an important ingredient to this work, this art. It’s infectious. No matter how big the role, no matter how small the role, if joy exists in the creative process, it translates even better I believe. I am constantly looking for ways to get into the vortex, if you will, the vortex of joy. Because that makes you more fun to be around and, second of all, it’s better for the final product.
- When you hear: “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words from Abraham-Hicks teachings, what is your take on such a statement?
Just that! I think it’s exactly that. You can be whatever you want, you can manifest whatever you want. We are all masters of our own fate.