Adunni Ade, model and actress, tells ‘NONYE BEN-NWANKWO about her fashion and style
You were a part of Bovi’s latest movie, It’s Her Day, how was the experience shooting the movie?
It was an amazing experience being part of the cast and crew. Bovi is a fantastic person to work with. I have a good relationship with him in terms of friendship. He is a very caring person and he always wants to make sure you are comfortable. Everybody was amazing during the shoot. Being a part of the movie was worth my while at the end of the day. I am just happy and proud to be part of it.
Did Bovi reach out to you for the movie or you auditioned for it?
He reached out to me. I knew for a while that he wanted to produce a movie. When he felt it was time for the movie, he contacted me.
You are a model and an actor, which one are you more passionate about?
Oh yes I am an actress and a model. But I started off my career many years ago as a model in the United States. But right now, I am a full-time actress; that is what I do. I do a little bit of modelling here and there because I just don’t tie myself to just one thing. I fix myself in other parts of entertainment.
Don’t you think you would have been bigger if you had stayed back in the US?
Not necessarily. I wanted a change in my life; I wanted to kind of run away from the whole modelling thing. I had a big talk with Uncle Ramsey Noah who advised me and told me if I wanted to make a name in the movie industry, I would not need to stay in the States. He said I would need to come home and work hard and see the growth. That was another push that I needed to come home and so I came back to Nigeria to face the movie industry.
Did his advice work?
Oh yes it did. But then, they were things I already knew. I love working hard. I love being known for the kind of person who works hard. Back in the States, people know me for being a hard worker. I kept two jobs almost all the time, I hardly had one job. I love working, I love spending my own money on myself and my kids. Though I have not reached where I want to be, I thank God for where I am now. I know only better things can come forward. The beginning is always tough. There is nothing good that you don’t find challenges here and there. It has been good so far. I have experienced life in a different way. I have learnt how to deal with situations and being in the movie industry comes with its disadvantages. Because of life and what I have learnt from life itself, I don’t see certain things as a problem or challenge; I just see it as part of life. I really don’t have any complaint. This is not where I want to be, I want to be bigger and higher than this.
Has the colour of your skin affected the kind of roles you get?
It has. I even love the fact that you asked if it has affected the roles I get. People always feel my skin is an advantage but that has never been the case. There are times I get contacted for a role and as I am reading, I envision that the role is not for me because of my colour. I have lost a lot of roles because of my complexion.
So how do you deal with it?
Sometimes it hurts especially if the production is big. But then, it is not everything that is meant for you. You have to keep doing what you can, do your best and things would come that would suit your complexion.
So many people with your skin colour would even prefer to behave like oyinbo…
The thing is that I was born here. My mother is white. She is an American but she is part German and Irish. I grew up here and I learnt about life the Nigerian way. Though I know the lifestyle in the States, I choose to continue living my life on what I have learnt in Nigeria. Nigeria has a very good culture and a good way of bringing up children and teaching you ways of life. I appreciate my father for keeping me here. Then it felt like he was wicked but I am enjoying the benefits and rewards now. But the thing is that I can blend anywhere. I can blend in the Nigerian system and I can blend in the American lifestyle. I have thoroughly enjoyed what I have learnt being a Nigerian.
Are there some things you cannot wear?
I love fashion! I would say I can be daring when it comes to fashion. I had to tone down a little bit because I felt not everything that works in the States would work here. I had to learn that things I would normally do and would even seem so normal over there would not fly here. So I had to tone my fashion down.
How would you describe your style?
My style is edgy, chic and tomboyish. My style could be anything.
Is there an accessory you must wear all the time?
I can never take off my bracelet. I have had it on for a long time and I can’t take it off. I am a big freak for bracelet. This particular one I am wearing, I do wear it to sleep, shower and virtually all the time. I don’t take it off.
You obviously love tattoos given the fact that you have one or two here and there…
I love tattoos and I have had them for a pretty long time. Each of them represents something or a history that has happened in my life.
How long does it take you to dress up?
It doesn’t take me long at all. I am that kind of person that can give you 15 minutes to get dressed. I don’t like taking time. If a professional make-up artiste has to do my face, I tell the person to give me just 10 minutes make-over.
Have you gone for an event and you felt under dressed?
I just wear what I am comfortable with. There are some things I might wear that are just out of the ordinary and would ask myself if people would even understand my outfit. But then, once I wear it, there is no turning back.
What of your hair?
This is my natural hair. It is very long and full. I don’t wear weaves and hair extension. I always put my hair up in a ponytail because of the heat. My hair is naturally curly but I try to keep it straight as much as I could. I do braid my hair once in a while. I could wear weaves probably once a year. I can’t waste money on weaves and hair extensions when I have good hair. If I am tired of the volume of the hair, I put it on a ponytail.
Do you wear traditional attire?
Oh yes! I love Ankara and I love prints. I don’t really like aso oke because it is heavy. But at times, I don’t have a choice because I have to wear it especially when I go for these owambe parties. I love using Ankara to make simple pants and jumpsuits.
Are your days of modelling over?
Never say never. I don’t think they are. As long as I have breath in me, I will keep trying out anything legitimate.