Omoni Oboli Sophie
Omoni Oboli Sophie, the second of two girls was born in the historic city of Benin-City, Nigeria on the 22nd of April 1978. She is from Mosogar, a quiet and peaceful town in Delta State. Her primary education was at the Delta Steel Company Primary School 3, Ovwian-Aladja. Between 1989 and 1994, she attended the prestigious Delta Steel Company Technical High School (DSC THS) where had a chequered secondary education.
A charismatic, natural leader, at various times, she held the positions of Head Girl (’94 set DSC THS), President
Literary & Debating Society, Editor, Press Club & President, French Club all in her secondary school. Between 1995 and 1999, Omoni studied Foreign Languages (majoring in French) at the University of Benin, Nigeria.
MARRIAGE AND MOTHERHOOD
Omoni had a whirlwind romance with her beau, Nnamdi Oboli. They got married in 2000 and now have 3 adorable boys – Tobe (6years), Gozi (5 years) and Chizi (3 years).
Omoni began her formal movie career in 1996. She is a gifted writer, with several intriguing screenplays to her credit. She also brings – dignity, poise, class, smooth delivery, and extreme professionalism to the varied roles she’s played.
In June 2007, the Rivals, a movie she co-produced with her friend, an acclaimed model, Blessing Effiom won the coveted prize for Best International Drama at the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival. It was the first Nigerian film to be premiered since the festival’s inception in 2003. Passionate about the need to pursue excellence in all spheres of her life, Omoni is consistently raising the bar and breaking barriers in Nollywood.
How did you get into acting?
I have always loved acting. It is my passion. I started acting as a child at the age of 3 years. My first role (lol) was that of a church goer in the biblical story of the beggar at the Beautiful gate. My first line was, ‘the Bible says that, he who does not work should not eat’. I also acted in both English & French plays during my secondary school days. However, I got into Nollywood in the mid-90s when a couple of my friends came into Lagos where they met Keppy Ekpenyong and Uche Macaulay. My friends kept talking about me. A little while later I was in Lagos for an audition.
What was your first movie and what role did you play?
My first movie was ‘Bitter Encounter’ in 1995, where I played a secretary. My next was ‘Shame’ where I played Liz Benson’s house help.
What was the first movie you produced?
I co-produced the Rivals in 2007.
What has been your major career highlights?
Unarguably, it’s been the award won by The Rivals.
What do you like best about your career?
The fact that I can get to be so many different characters in a lifetime and the recognition it brings (lol).
What has been your greatest career challenge and how did you overcome it?
Breaking into Nollywood after a lull of 10 years was my biggest challenge. It was so difficult to get a role. I was fortunate to meet with Emem Isong who auditioned me. I wrote a script, met with Lancelot Oduwa Imaseun. Then came one movie and then another. That was it.
I have learnt that, there is no problem that cannot be solved as long as there is life
What don’t you like about your career?
The fact that eventually I will lose my privacy.
What are the challenges facing Nollywood?
Poor distribution channels leading to a loss of revenue remains one of the greatest challenges.
You were recently in Hollywood. Are there lessons Nollywood can learn from Hollywood?
Oh yes! Hollywood is an epitome of professionalism, good marketing distribution and branding. Having said that, I strongly believe that Nollywood actors and actresses are better. For instance, in Nollywood, a movie can be shot in 10 days. Sometimes, you see your script for the first time when you are on set. There may be no time to internalize the script. If we had all the conditions of service like Hollywood has, Nollywood would certainly be better.
What professional association(s) do you belong to?
Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN)
Which movie professional do you admire the most?
Emem Isong (her dedication to work, passion and the fact that she’s still turning out good movies despite the odds).
Who are those who have been most instrumental to your success in career?
Emem Isong, Lancelot Oduwa Imaseun, Desmond Elliot and of course Nnamdi (her hubby).
Your dream cast?
Desmond Elliot, Yemi Blaq, Ramsey Nouah, Rita Dominic, Mercy Johnson, Kate Henshaw-Nutall, Joke Silva, Justus Esiri, Kunle Afolayan, Stella Damasus-Aboderin, Olu Jacobs, Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD), Uche Jumbo, Ini Edo and of course my humble self (lol).