Nollywood actress and director, Toyin Aimakhu is undeniably stunning as she covers Guardian Life Magazine!
The 32-year-old actress who changed her name from Toyin Aimakhu to Toyin Abraham told Guardian Life.
changing my name signified a fresh start.” Initially, it was a family
decision to change the name but Abraham resisted because of her brand.
With the controversial events associated with her in the recent past,
she finally made the decision to go with the family change. What’s
different now? “Toyin Abraham is a different and better brand and I’m
here to stay and break new grounds,” she says.Abraham’s journey to
stardom started in 2003 when Bukky Wright scouted her in Ibadan, while
she was helping out on set, and she eventually had to fill in for a
missing actress. In her own words, “I was not there to act, I just went
there to help out but I acted well and I was paid.” Since her
introduction to the movie industry, she has grown from an actress to a
producer. Describing her motivation to stay in the industry, she says,
“I love the fact that for every role or character I play, I get to be
another person and that is so exciting. I also get to make people
Although she had no formal or informal training in the field before
her first break, she describes one of the unique factors that aided her
career thus far to be her life experiences. “I didn’t have a privileged
childhood, so, growing up, I had to do different things to make ends
meet and all these experiences have helped to shape me into who I am.
The experience of my past helps a lot in many of the roles I play.”
Laughter they say is music to the soul and Abraham has been dishing
it throughout her career. The third movie in her comedy series, Alakada
Reloaded, reportedly grossed twenty-five million naira in three days.
Abraham credits her environment for the idea: “The story idea was also
inspired by our environment, the whole fake life that a lot of people
seem to be living now; lying and living a lie. So, I just decided to
tell a story of a girl that represents these set of people.” With
premieres in Odeon Cinema Greenwich in London and Filmhouse Cinemas in
Surulere Lagos, Abraham credits the growth of the franchise to God and
adds, “Sincerely, I am overwhelmed by the franchise and how far it has
gone. It honestly went beyond my expectations. It’s bigger than me now
and I thank God.”
Speaking of the mixed reviews which Alakada Reloaded got, she says,
“My fans are the best in the world, but we can’t all agree all the time.
So, the mixed reactions are normal and honestly expected and this is
because we can’t all see something the same way.”
Abraham is one of the very few actresses who feature and act quite
convincingly in both the English and Yoruba genres of Nollywood. And
more and more English Nollywood movies premiere in the cinemas week in,
week out these months. The life of an actress is hardly boring as she
reveals, arriving our cover shoot from one production set while working
on her coming movie titled, M.M. Admitting to leading a very busy life,
Abraham responds to the popular work-life balance question saying, “I
create time, and so my work and personal life do not clash.” Adding,
“The kind of work I do as an actor, I decide what to do and what not to
do, what job to take on or not, so my schedule is in my hands. But for
now, I have decided to channel all my positive energy to my work and it
has been working for me.”
Drugs and depression
Being in the limelight, we assume, can never be easy. In a recent
interview, Abraham spoke of her battle with depression and drugs, and
what landed her there. Here, she sheds more light: “Depression came as a
result of the negativities around me at the time. Like I said in that
interview, I didn’t plan for a broken marriage and after the marriage
ended, I was down and I didn’t give myself enough time to heal before
jumping into another relationship. I lost touch with things that used to
work for me, things were just spiralling out of control, it felt like I
was no longer in control of my life and so when a friend introduced me
to drugs, I embraced it and tried to find solace with it.”
Abraham didn’t wallow in self-pity for long and rather quickly
snatched back her life. “It was like an awakening. I realised I deserve
more and that I needed to keep looking at the bigger picture. So, I
sought for help, I changed my team and the people around me. I changed
some of my friends too and here I am today. All in all, I thank God for
the grace and for a new me.”
For the love of acting
Working hard in the industry as a producer and actress, when asked to
choose between acting and producing, she picks acting saying, “I will
pick acting because acting gives me this rare opportunity of playing
different people. I get to be a different person for each role and that
is both exciting and fulfilling for me.”
acting hadn’t come calling, this Ibadan-raised Polytechnic graduate
would have chosen Marketing for a career. “I like to think my mouth is
sugarcoated enough to sell. Again, I am a very friendly person who likes
to meet new people and marketing will give me that opportunity.”
Trivia with Toyin
If you were a musician what will be your stage name?
Oh! My stage name will definitely be Toyintitans
Which is your best physical feature?
What did you want to be when you were much younger?
A physiotherapist; I just really loved it then. Well, the interesting
part of being an actor is that any day now, I could be playing the role
of a physiotherapist.
What is your greatest achievement?
The fact that other people look up to me as a role model and I make
people laugh, those are the greatest things I have achieved. It’s very
humbling knowing that a lot of young people look up to you and want to
be like you.
Would you say you have a hidden talent?
Yes, I do. I can sing.
If you were a flower, which one will you be?
I will be a hibiscus flower. Hibiscus flowers, though come in
different colours and sizes, have a delicate beauty that draws you in.
That flower just fascinates me and I think it best describes me.
“I realised I deserve more and thatI needed to keep lookingat the bigger picture.”
Credit: The Guardian