Published 5/10/2008 3:59:00 AM
I wouldn’t have minded a man with 10 or 15 wives–Nike Peller
As a daughter of the late magician, Professor Abiola Peller, Nike Peller, no doubt is a very popular actress especially in the Yoruba genre. However, in an industry where marriages are often the subject of headlines, the light complexioned actress has opted for a quiet marriage.
“If I should marry a socialite, I suspect it might not work because I know the kind of person I am. You know, being a popular artiste is another kettle of fish entirely. You know too that my father used to be very popular while he was alive. It had really bothered me for a long time but I thank God for answering my prayers with the kind of man he gave me. He is so easygoing, does not want noise and allows me to focus on my job without distraction.”
She said her beau never knew she was an actress before he approached her.
“I must tell you that we just met in a normal way. Funnily enough, he did not know anything about me when we met. Even though I had been very popular on the screen before he met me, he was not aware of anyone called Nike Peller. In fact, when I told him that I was Nike Abiola, he asked which of the Abiolas. Incidentally, he said he was a classmate of my brother, Kayode Abiola Peller. It was later that I told him that I was an actress and he didn’t care. I must tell you that getting someone like that on a neutral level suits my kind of life; it gives me the confidence that he got hooked to me as I am, not because of what I am. You know there are some men out there whose target is to date actresses they watch on the screen and dump them afterwards. They take delight in counting their conquests among the popular artistes around.”
But before she got hooked to her man, Peller told Spectacles that she had about two relationships, which did not work out.
She said, “I would say I had two relationships, one in England and one in Nigeria here. I believe that, perhaps, God did not want them to work. One of the reasons for the break ups was hearsay. You know we are always on locations and when you cannot trust the person you are going out with, the relationship is meaningless. If a man tells you that he is at Oyingbo, believe him if you don’t want to give yourselves unnecessary stress. That was what happened with the guy in England then. For the guy in Nigeria, I think it was more of his family background. He is a Christian while I am a Muslim, maybe his family didn’t want him to get married to a Muslim. But that does not really matter, whether you are a Muslim or a Christian does not really matter, what I want is where I can get happiness. My present man is a Christian but he understands everything about me. We relate like a brother and sister, I am always happy around him. The guy trusts me and I trust him.”
Peller does not mind getting married to a polygamous man so far she is happy.
“As a Muslim, I can get married to someone who has 10, 15 wives so far I am happy with him, it is between him and me. That is no big deal.”
As an actress, Peller does not see any reason why everyone should see women who act as a wayward bunch.
According to her, “I don’t allow this actress thing or stardom to get into my head. Let me tell you something, there are some things I cannot do as an actress because of my name. After my job, the next thing is my home. No matter what, a wife should be submissive to her husband even if she is a millionaire. You know, I am a Muslim and in Islam, you have to submit yourself to your man even if you are the richest woman on earth.”
Sometimes back, his brother who is now a bishop of Fingers of God Ministry, Kayode Abiola Peller dismissed as fake the magic their late father was famous for. He said what his father was doing and which he also practised, was nothing but deception. But Nike would hear none of that.
She said, “He cannot say that because it worked. I would say that my father was only entertaining the crowd in his own way. I am not surprised that you said my brother called my father’s magic fake. He is now a pastor and believes that the old things have gone away. My brother then was involved in it, in fact he was then known as Young Peller. We used to travel together to perform magic everywhere, but now that he is born again, no problem. All what I know is that my father was the greatest man in his lifetime. He was known all over the world because of his wonderful magic. He handled it professionally together with his family.”
After the demise of the late magician, none of his numerous children continued in his line of trade despite the fact that they were all involved in the business while the patriarch was alive. Nike Peller told Spectacles the reason.
“You cannot practise magic all alone. When Professor Peller was alive, most of the children were much younger and it was easy for him to involve us in his trade. It was a family thing. But now, we have grown and are scattered all over the world. That is why it is not easy for any of us to continue. If by tomorrow someone says he wants to start, he will have to recruit either his family, train them or get people around. It is a very serious business. All the instruments are still intact; nobody has touched them. But what I think has happened is that people have moved on, they no longer believe in the stunts. But while the man was alive, he did his best entertaining his fans.”
With her brother, Kayode, the actress told Spectacles that they explored the world of magic before something ugly happened: Their magic failed them and the young Peller got involved in drugs until he got born again. But the actress recalled that it was much fun while the party lasted. She described her father as the best father who made sure that his children enjoyed fatherly love despite being a polygamous man with many children.
“Even if you were not his child, you were treated same way. That is why then, there were so many people, Igbo, Hausa, name it, that my father catered for. He was kind-hearted and generous to a fault. We lived in a very big environment. There was peace in the family. The role Otunba Toyin is playing now is what he inherited from our father; he will call up everyone to find out what is happening to everyone. Otunba Toyin is our first born, he lives in Ibadan. If he is coming now, you will think it is our father that is coming, he so much looks like him,” she said.
Peller has been described as one of the actresses that bleached their skin. But she told Spectacles that those who wrote that did not know her family.
She said, “Thank God you know my brother, the pastor. We are all light skinned in our house. How can anyone say I bleached my skin? I am naturally light in complexion. Those who say I bleached don’t know us. Look at me very well. Do I look like someone who bleached? I don’t know whether you have met someone who bleached, you will see some patches here and there which I don’t have. If they have said I tone my skin, yes, what is wrong in that? It is normal for a light complexioned person to tone her skin a little, which I do.”
Even though she admitted that entertainment flows naturally in every Peller child, Peller told Spectacles that she was taught how to act.
“I started acting while in the primary school. The man that taught me how to sing, dance and act is still alive. He is Mr Dokun Awolere, a newscaster at LTV8, Ikeja. He used to be my teacher in the primary school and I am very proud of him. But coming to acting in the real sense of it, I was in school, Institute of Technology, in Akure in 1987 when a friend of mine asked me to come for auditioning. I told them that I had lectures unless they wanted to shift it for me till weekend. I remember very well that I was paid three thousand naira then because I played the lead role. The film was Aye Lu. I appeared in Mosebolatan by Baba Sala but I was among the crowd. I remember that Baba used to perform magic with Baba Sala then in Ibadan.”
Peller told Spectacles that she worked hard to be in the reckoning of producers, her background notwithstanding. She recalled her journey into the acting world when she met the likes of Alade Aromire, Yinka Quadri and the like.
She said, “I tell people that I was invited to the industry, not that I lobbied or did something nasty to get roles, no. I did not date anyone in the industry. Before I became one of them, I had been close to most of those in charge then. The likes of Oga Bello, who was my in law. Some people did not know that I was not the one married to him, it was my sister, Idiat Peller, though she is late now.”
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