All roads led to Stella Maris College in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, as Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde kicked-off celebrations, marking her 20 years in the Nigerian movie industry, otherwise called Nollywood.
The famous Nollywood star also used the event to flag off her tour of 20 cities in the world, as part of the programmes outlined for the celebration, which commenced at the weekend.
To Omosexy, as she is popularly called, the event was an opportunity to encourage younger generations to believe in themselves for a better nation.
“That was my motivation,” said the Nollywood star, “to meet with young children”.
She also used the occasion to launch her pet project ‘I gat value’ and also motivated the young pupils by sharing her experience while growing up to stardom.
According to Omotola, “what is lacking most among us in Nigeria is value. We don’t feel valued. I wonder if our government care about us. What is the value of a Nigerian child? How many people died in France and the whole world was in France? Even our President is sending commiserating messages to them and his not acknowledging all the things happening here in northern Nigeria. Are northerners not part of Nigerians anymore?” She asked.
However, the thespian emphasised the need for Nigerians to value themselves, irrespective of whether the government cared about its citizens or otherwise.
“Starting a career as a young girl of 16, all I wanted was to help my widowed mother provide for our young family. I stumbled on the opportunity to model freely, and by fate, I was invited to a movie casting. Who knew as frightened and vulnerable as I was then, that I was starting the journey of my destiny?” she narrated, while introducing her plight to the management of the school, adding that, “20 years later, not only did I provide for my now late widowed mother, I also helped train two younger ones and earned myself a career in Nollywood, an industry that I helped start with practically nothing, but which has gone on to become the second largest English producing and third largest movie industry in the world.”
Fascinated by her story, the students described Omotola as a living legend and a role model to many of them. They celebrated her as a humble wife and great mother who has kept her marriage intact unlike her contemporaries and urged her to share her secret of success so they could grow to be like her.
Omotola, who is also a United Nations Peace Ambassador, is married to Captain Matthew Ekeinde and they have four children.
Representative of the students, Isigwe Chiamaka, in her opening remarks, celebrated the actress’ achievements and thanked her for choosing their school as a flag-off point for her world city tour.
Popular Motivational Speaker, Linus Okorie, told the students that to become a leader was a personal choice they must make. He advised them to own a dream book which could be used to write their ideas and embark on research
“Identifying your purpose and locating your talent is what makes you better and greater than your contemporaries,” said Okorie, who has been a Leadership Coach for 20 years. “Set goals to be great and focus on your goals.”
He said the actress’ visit to the school showed that the school has potentials, capable of repositioning the country.