Abimbola Craig who we recognize as ‘Tiwalade’ in the Ndani show, Skinny girl in Transit took herself and the world by surprise when she accidentally became a star. The Lagosian’s journey to stardom was unplanned, as she had initially started off as a practicing lawyer and producer on the show.
Here’s a few experts from what she had to say to Guardian Life.
While Tiwa’s social life is quite busy Abimbola explains that her real life is not as extraordinary as Tiwa’s when it comes to dating. She says, “I want whatever soap Tiwa is using, I want the same soap too… My social life and Tiwa’s social life are miles apart, Tiwa is busy.”
Abimbola speaks passionately about the idea of the show being relatable to everybody “whether you are skinny or not.” To mothers waiting for the daughters to get married, people going through various dating encounters or workers having to deal with drama with colleagues at the office. She also speaks ardently about delving deeper into societal issues with regards to a recent episode, which opens up the notion of married men dating young girls. Most importantly, Abimbola stresses the idea of self-love when she explains, “you need to learn to love yourself. You cannot give out what you do not have within, so if you don’t love yourself and whatever insecurities you have. Be it fat, be it skinny, there is no way you can be a better person to who ever it is that is coming into your life.”
How would you describe yourself in three words? Where you were born and where you studied
Weird, energetic and goofy, I was born in warri, funny thing. I studied law but I grew up In Lagos. My dad is from Ogun state and my mum is Itshekiri, Delta state. My Dad is late now, he used to be an Engineer and my mum is a lawyer, she still practices… 35 years and going. I studied Law and I practiced for 7 years.
How did you initially get into acting? What inspired you to go towards this path?
Jesus made it happen. I was working for Ndani tv as a producer, so I was meant to produce skinny girl in transit. And I was goofing around while people came to audition for skinny girl in transit and my footage was seen, my Ogas on top where like “Bimbo you can do this thing, let’s try it… give it a shot.” And I said okay let’s try it. I keep telling people it just fell in on the way; acting was never part of my life plan. I mean I did do it when I was in primary school and church.
What are the similarities and differences between you and the character you play?
A lot of people who know me and watch the show automatically believe, Bimbo is just being herself. We are similar in relation to the fact that I am trying to loose weight, my mum is not like my mum on the show. She’s not as dramatic. I always really wanted to be an online personality; I really want to get into radio. I don’t get guys… I want whatever soap Tiwa is using, I want the same soap too.
Skinny girl in transit opens up room for a lot of societal matters in Nigeria, what memorable message would you want your viewers to take?
Dami Edebe who is the writer and my very good friend, Every time we come up with story lines, we try to make sure we come up with stories that are addressing everyone’s life…I really wanted people to take out was the married men situation. It has happened before, it will constantly keep happening. We need to stop being ignorant and letting girls think it’s okay.
Telling girls what they want to believe and they are so naïve. I was watching a show I think it was moments in Ghana and a lady was talking a bit how she dated a married man for up to 8 years. Now she was aware but he kept on saying he was going to leave his wife and she had a kid by him. So every once in a while we try to touch al these basic issues but one thing I want everyone to take from it is regardless of any size you are you need to learn to love yourself. You cannot give out what you do not have within, so if you don’t love yourself and whatever insecurities you have be it fat, be it skinny, there is no way you can be a better person to who ever it is that is coming into your life.
Do you think you are being judged as the character even in real life?
People see me at palms and call Tiwa and I’m like you do know my name is Abimbola right? I have been on this journey for about a year, I am okay with my body and the progress I have made so far. Every once in while if I want to have a gelato I will go to Hans and Renee, I will get down cannot die. I think I also love the fact that people are so involved in the show, it is hard to tell the difference, and it has its pros and cons.
What have been some highs and low for you as an actress
2016 AMVCA nomination, that killed me! I do not know where that came from because I know people who have been in the game for 10 years and not even a nomination. Based on that I am humbled and grateful, because it has been barley 1 year. The down side to it has been privacy even though I am an open book and have nothing to hide, I am not really a people person I like my space. So every once in a while I have random people coming up to me and before I can say hi they are bringing out cameras! Snap chat! It is all love but I tolerate it because it is amazing and I am grateful for it.