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By Omoye Uzamere

omoye uzamereThis Friday, we’re marking the 100th episode of Ajoche!!!

So I attended this audition in November for a telenovela and from the gist swinging among actors, the show was “an epic, so they were looking for (girls) who were fine without makeup and who have natural hair”.

I was invited to audition in November and got sides for three different characters: Oofuni, Obeyi, Agbenu. I remember the executive producer saying to me after my scene, “Watching you, I just felt like I was watching my show”. That gave me hope, but I still didn’t think that I had bagged a role until I got the call saying, “We would like to offer you a part in our project…” I got that call in January and started filming later that month.

I ended up playing Obeyi, the sweet and naïve friend to the antagonist. Obeyi is faithful, loyal and honest (sounds familiar?) even when she might suffer for it. When the show started, I wasn’t sure where the character would go, considering her friendship with the conniving, ever scheming Oofuni who would use anyone, sacrifice anything – even herself – to achieve an objective.

Obeyi starts out as the longsuffering, patient friend who would sacrifice herself as well, for her friend and for anyone she loved, even if they were undeserving of such sacrifice. For example, the way she’s stood solidly by her husband, even after finding out that he married her through diabolical means and had been dishonest with her – and it’s not because he’s been a particularly good husband. In fact, their marriage has been trailed by physical abuse and unfaithfulness on his part. But Obeyi is an “aboko ku”.

Obeyi has finally turned around the bend and broken free of Oofuni in the episodes leading to the 100th (which airs tomorrow). I saw it coming, but couldn’t predict how. Now, I have to discover, along with the audience how these relationships evolve and grow with the character, post Episode 100.

Ajoche is an epic epic telenovela as in, it is groundbreaking work and this genre comes with its own liberties and constraints.

First of all, the fact that I don’t have to wear makeup is soooo cool! There’s literally no competition to look beautiful or sexy, unless you’re counting the styles of wrappers – the royal family generally looks more colourful and elaborate, while ordinary folk look like cardboard paper. Lol! I remember one of my costume changes from wearing the short wrapper in skirt and boob tube style to full-length wrapper, as my character grew from being a maiden to becoming a grown woman. I was so excited that I had “graduated”.

The flexibility of hairdo is a double-edged sword – I have not been able to do anything stylish with my hair for up to a week and my hair is plaited almost every day – goodbye edges!

Ajoche omoye uzams

The crewmembers are all so cordial and professional. There’s a sense in the industry that it’s them against us (actors), but I have never seen it. Everyone is so eager to help when there’s a problem, whether crew or cast.

Now, it’s not always roses and camaraderie. Sometimes it’s a spanking at the hands of Mother Nature – snakes are a common thing; one or a few are discovered every few days, alligators, monkeys and all sorts of “undiscovered” species of worms and insects and if you know me, you’ll know that this is my fiery furnace. In fact, today I shot in the mud, black and squishy and though it’s uncomfortable for Omoye, it is Obeyi’s natural environment, so I have to get all in.

We’re always in the outdoors shooting in the rain or sunshine and our bodies have borne the brunt of the harshest weather conditions.

But we do it all with joy because we all believe in the vision and we’re all proud to be associated with the show.

In 100 episodes and counting, #AMAjoche has trended every day on twitter and usually at number 1, some careers have taken off in a remarkable way and great relationships have been formed. Because there’s always something to learn on every project, I will talk about 5 lessons I’ve learned from Ajoche.

Tune in to Africa Magic Showcase at 8:30pm everyday to watch Ajoche.

Read also: #ActingOutLife: Let’s Go To Taruwa

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