What does it take to stand out in an overcrowded entertainment
marketplace? Some would say it takes more than just talent to be noticed.
Multi-talented Toni Tones is not just being noticed. She is being
Born Gbemi Anthonia Adefuye, Toni Tones is a triple-threat force to be
reckoned with: She is an actress, singer, and award-winning photographer
whose influence in the Nigerian entertainment industry has become
Her role in the box office hit ‘King Of boys’ directed by Kemi Adetiba
brought Toni Tones critical acclaim. Her electrifying performances in top
productions have positioned her as one of the most sought after A-list
actors in Nollywood today.
On the road to success, Toni Tones has faced and overcome challenges. In
an in-depth interview with The Nation’s Flair Magazine, she speaks about
this, and more.
See excerpts from the interview below:
What was it like at the beginning?
I started my career as a photographer and because of that, it was quite a
challenge getting people to take me seriously as an artist and as an
actor, at first. At some point, I began to wish I had never started with
photography at all, because then I wouldn’t have to fight the tough battle
of gaining acceptance, I would just have been able to go straight to
building a fan base. Some OAPs simply wouldn’t play my music because they
didn’t take me seriously. It took a lot of hard work, persistence and
determination before I was finally accepted in the industry. There were
times that I wanted to give up but I am exceedingly happy I didn’t.
What are some of the challenges you have encountered?
It was tough being accepted as an actor because people knew me as a
photographer and after then, a musician. Hearing that I was an actor as
well, I think it was hard for them to take me seriously initially. A lot
of people probably assumed I was just playing around as opposed to chasing
my dreams. It seemed like having more than one career was looked upon as a
bit of a crime; people tend to put you in a box. They know you for one
thing and that is what they choose to be comfortable with and when you try
to break out of that box, there’s a lot of opposition. But I am not here
to make anybody comfortable, I am here to achieve every single goal that
my heart desires and achieve I will.
How do you cope with them?
I was determined not to be put in a box. I was determined to excel at
every single passion I had chosen to pursue. Sometimes, I would ask God
why He didn’t just give me one passion so it would have been easier, but I
remember praying one day and hearing a voice within me say, “if God has
given you many skills, it is meant as a blessing, not a curse.” That put
things in perspective for me. I made a vow never to relent, to give
everything I had, to show God I appreciated every skill he had gifted me
and I would honour Him by using them. Successful or not, at least I would
know I tried. Being able to actually do the things I love is already
success to me, because for so long I was afraid to even try. I am glad I
never gave up, otherwise I would not be living such a fulfilled life now.
Read full interview here: