Damilola Banire, popularly known as Iya Afin Miliki is a household name for lovers of ‘Miliki Express’ showing on Orisun TV. This beautiful lady has become one of the most sought after On Air Personality on radio and television. Aside being a TV Presenter, she is also a budding actress. In this interview with ABIOLA ALABA PETERS, she lays bare all that relates with her life and passion
What’s happening with you at the moment?
I’m currently running a radio show. I had always wanted to do radio, so I took a break from TV and after a year, I put camp together and went into radio broadcast.
How did broadcasting start for you and why TV?
Broadcasting started for me in 2012 officially after I played the lead role in Bimbo Ogunsanya’s ‘Sababi’ in 2011; that was after I resigned from a 30-day pay job. TV wasn’t really my intention because I knew nothing since I was a 9-5 working babe. After I resigned in 2011 January, I met Bimbo Ogunsanya on Queen Ayo Balogun’s music video. He approached me with the ‘Sababi’ script after he saw my plenty carefree gesticulations talking to a friend over the phone. We shot ‘Sababi’ which aired on Orisun TV and at that time Mr. Femi Aderibigbe (kwame) had just floated Orisun TV and wanted young, vibrant presenters. We were called in for audition but I remember that when I was much younger, I always watched Aunty Shola Adedeji on ‘Komaroll’ on LTV every Sunday; I will say I stole Aunty Shola’s style and that got me the job on Orisun TV.
How do you combine broadcasting and acting together?
It’s all about entertainment. When you have plenty adrenaline of entertainment in your blood, it feels like play. I think early in life I have been able to understand the logic of making your hobby your profession, I remember back in secondary school and beyond, I had always been at the fore front of talking, drama etc. So being a jolly extrovert, I guess it all worked for good. In life we are all actors, we act daily; we entertain daily, so I guess my daily life only appears on my job.
Which part of your body do you consider your selling point and why?
That will be my mouth and brain. Those are my tools; they sell me any day, anytime.
What’s the craziest thing you have ever done for a man in the name of love?
First, I’m a believer of interest, love is overrated. So I wouldn’t say I haven’t done any extraordinary for a man in particular; maybe you should ask the craziest thing I’ve done for the love of my job.
Let us into your love life?
Love life!!! What I don’t have, I can’t give. As I said earlier, I’m an ardent believer of interest just like my father. I believe we do not practice love, even as the first commandment, we still don’t love each other as Christ commanded, so I will say I’m more of a workaholic than a lovey dovey. Each time I try to love a man; it comes back at my face, so I’ve learnt to embrace the love of Christ. I love all my neighbours. That’s the love I really want to know!
Does that mean you have been heartbroken severally and currently single?
A few times, so I kept my heart, it’s with God. I’m single, very single and I’m not one of those considering marriage for any reason, live and let’s live happiness is key. If I die, God will not ask of the husband I refused to marry or the child I refused to bear; I’m solely accountable for my deeds.
Do you also advice same for females out there, especially those looking up to you?
Nobody should please in God’s name look up to me. I have my flaws, several of them, am not perfect and I do not hide behind a finger. I’m very blunt and I call a spade a spade and not a garden fork. Any female who aspires to do well in broadcasting should love herself first, know your job, know who you are, nobody does anything these days, only your potentials can speak for you; invest more in seeking knowledge and self-empowerment. I have seen places where the skirt is firstly harnessed before the brain, choose your path and that will define you.
How is your acting career going, are the jobs coming?
My acting career is rested for now because there is a lot of nepotism. In this movie industry, a director had told me point blank that ‘no pant, no job for you, Dammy’. In fact, about three of them had even been on my show on Orisun TV for personality interview, that’s why I said no one does anything because of God or your abilities and potentials these days. If you are not carrying their bags for the women or warming their beds for the men, it’s very difficult to clinch a role. That I find quite different in the broadcasting industry, so I pitch my tent where my brain can be harnessed. And at the end of the day, there is no difference in the faces we see. Though quite a new number of actors have come in through personal production and have been able to force themselves down the throat of the decision makers. Very recently I had the opportunity of acting but I chose to be behind the camera as I’ve started putting my nose into Directing. The opportunity came through Dotun Taylor who tutored me in that line, so I had to put other actors in front of the camera and run by them what I envisioned of the story I was directing.
So that’s to say, you have been harassed sexually in the movie industry?
In fact, we ladies are harassed each day and the men also suffer the same a lot. Even when I was with Skye Bank, I had a boss who will come into my cubicle with full erection. Life is funny; the mathematics and chemistry between a man and a woman cannot be measured. It’s up to anybody to define what he or she wants.
What’s your favourite food?
Rice with fried peppered stew any day, anytime.
What’s your favourite designer perfume and jewelleries?
Any nice smell, I perceive and like, I buy it. I’m also not a flowery perfume person, I wear for men. And for Jewellery, I wear mainly a small gold necklace and I’m comfortable with that.
Describe your fashion sense?
It’s simple, smart, beautiful and electrifying. I believe in ‘easy does it’. I started doing 9-5pm when I was in my finals, you can’t do such jobs with extreme extravagance; they teach simplicity. I don’t party; every party is work for me as an event anchor, so I just left a fashion statement of me in the mind of my guest. One or two people will always approach me for my designers’ number. That’s fashion for me.