We recently had an interesting conversation with Ada Afoluwake Ogunkeye aka Folu Storms about her careers; as a media personality and actor. Folu Storms who is a certified Barrister, went on to become a broadcaster and competed in the MTV base Africa VJ search and made it to top 3. She is currently working as a Radio and television Host, Voice Over Artist, Actor and Producer.
We know you by the characters you’ve played. But who is Folu Storms?
Folu Storms is a Media Persona, Ada Afoluwake Ogunkeye is the person behind the persona.
Folu (as I prefer to be called) is a constantly evolving being, fully immersed in the act of living. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
You’re actually a lawyer who has made quite an impact as a Radio and television Host, Voice Over Artist, Actor and Producer. Tell us about the journey so far… and why you decided to stick with media.
It quickly became apparent to me that Media was the most effective way to impact the way generations think about themselves and the world. As a young Nigerian who grew up in the Era of Military rule and riots leading up to independence, I didn’t see much that made me proud to be Nigerian at the time. But getting older I quickly learned that my people are a reason to be proud, and the more we show and tell the beautiful stories of the millions of beautiful people who share the same Nigerian and African heritage as us, we could create the world we want to live in. So I’m in media to create and share stories that tell truths about who we are as a people and hopefully remind us that governments aside, we have millions of reasons to be proud of us.
What’s it like being Kamsi on Africa Magic Unmarried?
Kamsi is one of the more interesting characters I have had the privilege of playing and she has been a challenge and an education all at once! So many aspects of her life decisions I don’t personally agree with but understanding the motivations behind why people make such life choices has been eye opening and I will forever be grateful for the lessons this character has brought my way
How would you describe your acting style?
Haha I’m not sure I have a way of describing that or that I have an acting style per say. The goal is to be truthful and do things the character would do in a truthful way. The end. The more natural and the less “ acting” you see, the better.
In the Nigerian Entertainment world today. Who would you say inspires you to become more in terms of Acting?
My inspiration isn’t who but a purpose. The goal is to tell stories truthfully. That’s also the inspiration.
As an Actor, What has been your favorite role so far? And what role would you love to play that you haven’t yet?
I’ve enjoyed every role to be honest… I’m not sure I can pick a favorite, but Kamsi has allowed me to dig into a vulnerability on screen that other characters have not, while playing Inspector Harriet on the series Inspector K; it allowed me to play around more with my goofy tendencies and a lot of BTS laughing!
What is the strangest thing you’ve being required to do as an actor?
Chai strangest thing…filming a shoot out scene at midnight by some strange river on the outskirts of Lagos! Haha yeah we do some wild things as Actors.
Ever been bullied on social media? What are your views on Cyber bullying?
I don’t think I’ve been bullied, but occasionally nasty comments find their way to me. I remember these people are dealing with some real bitterness in their own lives and misery loves company. If there’s a teaching moment in there for others I respond, otherwise, block and delete because I don’t tolerate that level to toxicity around me in person or online. Cyber bullying is a serious problem and to anyone who’s leaving horrible comments, take a moment and assess what you’re actually doing… all for likes and retweets. It’s toxic and damaging to you too. stop. Pay attention and stop. Violence of all sorts, begets violence and that’s not what anyone wants in their life at the end of the day.
What is the one thing, people will be surprised to know about you?
That I’m a complete goofball and a terrific dancer.
What was the most hurtful comment about you you’ve ever read?
Oh I don’t keep such memories. Toxic. You shouldn’t either. Revisiting them serves no purpose but to put yourself emotionally through the same trauma you felt when you first read the comment. It’s a weird thing the human brain does. Pay attention when you catch yourself in a negative loop, consider why your brain is bringing up negative things and refocus on the present: you are well, you can eat, read and clearly have access to the internet to read this, so there are things in the present more positive and enriching to focus on. Do that.
What should we expect from you in 2021? Any underground projects?
A few things in the pipeline so just pay attention to my handles, I will be showing and telling a little more regularly about my projects and the many ways I’m involved in this story telling work both in front of and behind the camera!
What has been your biggest career moment so far?
There’s no one thing, but the acknowledgement that over the past few year I have worked with incredible brands from MTV to BET and Nickelodeon, done Voice campaign work for google and Human Rights Watch, and operate in an advisory capacity on a number of boards involved in media, music and entertainment as well as Lead roles in a number of Acting projects that have garnered critical acclaim! Sometimes we don’t pay attention to what we’ve accomplished because we are busy working, but the past year I’ve been taking the time to count my blessings and I’ve been floored! Very thankful, grateful and Humbled to live a life doing what I love
How do you try to improve on your acting skills? – Give us a few tips on how to be a successful actor.
Honestly just be willing to do the work. I learn from actors I’m on set with all the time. I’m big on education and have a couple of books on acting techniques that I reference whenever I have a new project, also any opportunities for acting workshops are always welcome! It can be hard as a working professional to make the time, but to level up in the craft, that is key!
Describe your life in a hashtag
3 things you always have in your bag.
Phone, cards, keys
How long have you been acting?
Honestly my whole life. I grew up performing for my parents and grandparents, I’ve always been in school plays and stage plays all through primary school right up to my masters degree. But acting for screen professionally it’s been about 11 years (my first official screen credit was 2009 for a short called Slumber)
Treat food as medicine. Eat living food as much as possible, that means green veg and fruit and lots of water. Also rest. Beauty sleep is a real thing especially the older we get. People will try and convince you and themselves they don’t need it, but that’s the time your body needs to do it’s maintenance and repair work. If you don’t stop for your body… your body will one day stop you. Facts. So I work hard to get in min 8 hours sleep. It means being quite disciplined which is tough, but it’s part of the work .
What is the best/worst purchase you’ve ever made?
Best purchase till date I think are solar panels. I don’t own a generator and am quite pleased to know I live a relatively green/eco friendly life. It’s not without it’s challenges but that’s life and I love it. The idea of constantly burning fuel and polluting the atmosphere, not to talk of burning a hole in my pocket is stressful.
Worst purchase… I can’t think of that right now.
Is there a particular role that got away? – A role you really wanted, but wasn’t cast in?
Yes, as an Actor there are always roles you want to try out but for whatever reason don’t work out, one was to play a lawyer, another a boxer. I thought both would have been challenging and intriguing but casting chose to go in another direction and that is life!
You’ve been part of interesting series – and you wear each character so well. Any plans of being more on the big screen?
I’m always open to opportunities to improve my craft and as always the story comes first so yes, I do have plans of big screen (I’m translating that to mean cinema) roles as well.
What Actors would you like to work with in the future?
I would love to work with Nse Ikpe-Etim. I have always thought her to be brilliant Actor. Internationally If I could be in a room with Tilda Swinton I would be over the moon. Career goals. done. Or Regina King. Whoosh! Don’t even get me started. Talent is plenty but skill… to work with such skilled Actors would be an honor.
What’s the weirdest question you’ve been asked?
“How was your night” hahaha! Till tomorrow that phrasing makes me chuckle. The night was dark and long and I was asleep.
Jason Mamoa, Bruce Willis, Michael B Jordan. Issa wrap if by mistake I see any of these fellows in public. Home training, out the window. guaranteed.
Aside acting, what other talents have you explored?
I’m pleased to say I’m continuously exploring my gifts, I’m a brilliant dancer, excellence communicator and public speaker, I can hold a tune (sing) pretty well and I’m very handy: fixing things, making jewelry, cosmetics and hair. I’m blessed with a mind that absorbs lessons and I’ve always been encouraged to learn. I love learning things.
Are you a fan? Keep up with Folu Storms and her craft. Follow on Instagram @folustorms