It’s All Pranks, I’m Not Married – Shalewa Ashafa Tells Fans


Actress Shalewa Ashafa, speaks with Gboyega Alaka, on her foray into acting, her admiration for Nse Ikpe-Etim and how her COVID-19 marriage prank on Instagram is creating a wrong impression about her marital status.
Can you recall your first film? What the experience like?

I acted my first stage play when I was 9. After that, I did a bunch of voice acting and cameos in stage plays. This lasted only a year, as my mum and siblings considered it distracting to my school work but I stuck to the craft by joining the drama club in my church and school. I was not getting paid or compensated in any way or form but I honestly did not mind, considering that I was doing something I enjoyed.

What are the films you have featured in or produced?

I have been in quite a number of films but some of my prominent works are Ajoche where I played the lead role ‘Elakeche.’ I had my first cinema debut last year in the movie, ‘The Razz Guy,’ which featured the likes of Broda Shaggi, Lasisi Elenu and Nancy Isime. I have also featured in a couple of YouTube series such as Ndani TV’s ‘Phases’ Season 2 and ‘Life as it is’ which got an Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award nod.

Who are your role models in the industry?
I will not say I have specific role models in the industry but there are people whose work ethics I respect and learn from. I am fascinated by how flawless they execute every role given to them. Do I have people that I really want to work with someday? Yes. One person that stands out for me always is Nse Ikpe-Etim. I’m in awe every single time I watch her in any movie. I look forward to working with her someday.

Have you won awards or nominations yet?
Not yet. Hopefully, very soon. So far, I have been nominated once for the category, ‘Best Actress in a television series’ for my role as ‘Elakeche’ in Ajoche.

As an actress, what is your selling point?
Should there be anything else except my talent? (laughs) I’m a fantastic actress, even if I do say so myself. I pride myself on being dedicated to perfecting my craft for every new role I take; and that is what has gotten me recognised in the industry.

Many actresses flaunt their endowments on social media. Where should one draw the lines when flaunting the body?

I’m a strong believer in being as free as you want to be, as long as it does not hurt the next person. To each, their own.

What does being sexy mean to you?

Being sexy to me is being confident in who you are and your craft. Being able to stand out in any gathering you find yourself. Humility and willingness to always learn regardless of how good you are at whatever you do is another thing I find attractive.

Your relationship status on Google states that you’re married, how true is this?

This thing has taunted me and I am so glad I finally get to address it. I pulled a silly marriage prank during the COVID lockdown out of boredom on my Instagram. I did a wedding photo shoot for a magazine with my colleague Udoka Oyeka and I decided to prank people that we got married when posting the pictures. Before I knew it, all the blogs had put up the story. So, I am setting the records straight now, NO! I AM NOT MARRIED to anyone at the moment.

What sacrifices have you made in pursuing acting?

My education. My education suffered a lot. I spent more time on set than I did in school. Some people are good at joggling multiple things at a time; sadly, I am not one of them. So my career, in a way, affected my education. But at the end of the day, it was worth it. So, I have no regrets.

Does acting pay your bills or something else does?

To be honest, in this economy, no profession or job can solely take care of all your bills. I have other things that I do to supplement acting. I run a small business called The Next Door Bakery. I plan opening more businesses soon.

Tell us a bit more about yourself
My name is Omoshalewa Ashafa. My friends mostly call me by my social media name ‘ShalewaStar’ or ‘ShallyStar.’ I was born on the 12th of July, 1995 in Lagos. I’m Yoruba and I’m from Ogun State, Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area. I attended Christ the Cornerstone International Primary school, Lagos. I attended four different secondary schools in Benin, Lagos and Osun States as I had to move around a lot due to the nature of my mother’s business. I however, finished my secondary school education at Iloko Model College in Osun state. I did my undergraduate programme at the University of Lagos where I studied Advertising.

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