At first meeting, nothing on earth would make you believe that gospel artiste cum actress Gloria Doyle, is already in her 30’s, let alone being a mother of three bouncing kids. But she would proudly and happily tell you without mincing words that: “I’m in my early 30’s and a mother of three kids; two boys and a girl.” Courtesy of her transient wedlock, which lasted for only seven years.
And without waiting for you to ponder on the bombshell she just unleashed, the sexpot from Ekpoma, in Ishan local government area of Edo State, would quickly add that she is a single mother who was once married. “My first marriage produced my three lovely kids before it collapsed. I got married at an early age of 19… And since the marriage broke down, I’ve not re-married, she fires.”
And as a single, pretty and very attractive lady in the kleighlight, one expects Doyle, whose debut effort titled Folakemi, to be rollicking and having the best of times with a lucky guy. But on the contrary, the busty crooner told AZUH AMATUS, that her love life is empty: “Nigerian men woo me on a daily basis, but I usually turn them down. I’m single but not desperately searching…” she maintains.
This daughter of a pastor mother, who read International Relations at Ambrose Ali University, Edo State, also, shared some of her best-kept secrets with yours sincerely.
Enjoy the interaction!
Aside being in the showbiz world, what else do you do?
Hmmm! I think my works revolves around showbiz and entertainment 100%. Aside singing and acting, like I told you earlier I’m also into events and shows packaging. And unknown to many people, I’ve been doing this since 1999. Most of my shows are exclusive. But I pray to do something with NBL, Guinness and other multinational companies. I have done exclusive shows with Dr. Alban, Stephen Keshi and so many of them.
Your sojourn in the Nigerian showbiz world, how did it start?
Well, I started from my days in secondary school and later to my undergraduate days in the University. I came onto the scene on my own but my break came when I worked with Showbiz Africana-owned by Osaro Onaiwu.
What has been happening to you in recent times?
I’m fine and have been trying to put a lot of things together, work, in fact, my career generally. As you are already aware, my debut work as an actress cum gospel artiste is already out. It is titled Folakemi, recently released on Hit man Music; it is doing very well, an eight tracker. I’m currently working on the VCDS, it will enter the markets very soon, and we are also planning to launch it in a special way.
The Gloria Doyle of past used to be everywhere, but you are somehow quiet these days, any special reasons?
The truth is that if you want to come out very, very big, you have to lie low and cook the stuff very well. So, right now, I’m cooking something for the showbiz world and when it comes out, it will be a bang. So now, I’m on ground doing my groundwork and making sure that everything comes out fine and wonderful.
We will come back to the stuffs you are cooking for the showbiz world, but tell us more about Folakemi?
Folakemi like I told you is an eight-tracker album with two of the tracks being rendered in Yoruba. You know I started as an events packager before delving into music professionally. But before then, I used to sing in our church and also preach the word of God. In fact, I started this right from my secondary school. I think I have even backslide in mounting the pulpit, but I will be coming back again stronger and better.
Why did it take you this long to come out with an album?
My album was officially released on April 10, 2005. When it comes to coming out as a first timer, it takes time because a lot of people don’t believe in you or even in what you have or what you are doing. Also, most times, the needed funds are very hard to come by. Running around to raise funds and support yourself really takes time. All these were the reasons I really took my time in order to be able to come out very, very good. I had a very good show some couple of weeks ago. But the truth is that I won’t say it was too successful, but the turnout was massive. It was tagged Gospel Mania Charity Show. The intention was basically to bring gospel artistes together to support Charity homes. Atorise, Wadada, Hope Davies, many others and I performed. It was a wonderful and soul-lifting experience.
People also alleged that you and Osaro dated while you were working for him?
(Laughs). Osaro was and is still my godfather in the entertainment world. We never dated; besides, he has kids that are my age mates. The truth is that he actually gave me a break, which has also seen me get to where I am today.
Then, the story in town was about you being wild and controversial, have you changed or do people still have that impression about you?
You see that is why I have my a.k.a., which is simply Rugged and Righteous. Agreed, people call me the controversial gospel artiste, controversial, especially in the way I dress. They feel it is very unlike a gospel artiste. But I always try to make people, especially my fans to understand that it is not the way you dress that really matters or makes you a child of God. Not even the way you look but what comes out of your heart. I try to make people understand that you can look good and sexy and still be a child of God. A lot of people usually mistake my looking good to mean that I’m wild and controversial. I’m not, Gloria Doyle, is just herself; simply rugged and righteous. They also say I party a lot. I don’t party a lot; I only make parties to happen. Unknown to many people, I’m a born again. I don’t like those who keep pretending to be holy. Even Jesus Christ partied with sinners.
As pretty, sexy and popular artistes how do you cope with Nigerian men and their overtures?
Nigerian men? Hmmh! They come and toast me on a daily basis. But I always try to by myself by not allowing them to distract me.
Since they run after you on a daily basis, what have they told you they find very attractive and irresistible in your body?
They say I look good, sexy and friendly. Don’t I look good? I see myself as an endowment from God. They also say I’m attractive.
And why did you dump your skimpy attires, which were more like your trademark some years ago?
For Christ sake, I’ve always been wearing real clothes. But you don’t expect me to wear such clothes to awards and showbiz events. Mind you, looking good is a big business and that is what I do. And whenever I go the extra miles to look good, people would call it skimpy attires. The truth is that I dress to suit any event I’m going.
Did anybody inspire your coming into music?
The truth is that I started singing in the church as a little girl; I think that was where the inspiration started. I later moved over to schools. But as a professional musician, I write my songs. I have been doing that for a very long time. I also write scripts. I also learnt on the job through experience and as the days went by I was able to know the right thing to do at the right time.
What is your love life like, are you married?
I’m not married at present, but a single mother of three wonderful kids, two boys and a girl. I was once married.
Why are you out of marriage?
You see I got married at a very early age of 19. I was in my first year in the university when I got married while reading International Relations. At the end of the day I could not cope with the marriage because we later found out we were incompatible. And we just had to pack it up and move on with our individual lives. We are still best of pals and the kids are also doing wonderfully well. We were married for seven years.
And why have you not re-married?
I’m not in a hurry to remarry. I want to build my career and take it to the highest height before thinking or talking about marriage again. I have plans to remarry but not now because the gospel truth is that I’m not yet ready.
So in essence, your love life is vacant?
Very, very vacant.
What are the rare qualities that attract you to a guy?
I love a very, very gentle guy. If you are gentle, you can sweep me off my feet. I love an understanding and God-fearing guy. These three qualities my real man must possess. He must also be honest.
And since your marriage failed, no man with these qualities has come your way?
Well, I’m just taking my time and a little bit afraid about jumping into any serious relationship or marriage with anybody. If you are my friend and I find out you don’t have those qualities, I will put an end to the friendship. I’m single but not desperately searching for a guy to fill the vacuum or space. I want to have good male pals around me but not desperate for marriage. I want friends that I can always lean on their shoulders in low moments.
So, you are very romantic?
Yes, I am! You want to give me a trial? (General laughter)
Based on experiences, what are the things you hate about Nigerian men?
Pride, ego, arrogance and unromantic. These qualities get me angry with Nigerian men. They are also unfaithful.
Are you saying there is nothing you like about them?
(Chuckles). I just spoke my mind by sincerely telling you things I don’t like about them.
Are you also saying that nothing for Nigerian men if you are to re-marry?
Till I see a Nigerian man that is very, very humble, not a fool or very timid man. I mean somebody that can voice out without being too hard, rude, aggressive or pompous. I want somebody who can correct me in love and gentility.
Do you still believe in marriage and love?
Yeah! I believe in marriage, besides I’m still in my early thirties. I believe in marriage, love and companionship. I will be married again as soon as God sends me the bone of my bone.
Back to Nollywood, how come you are not regular in movies?
Who told you? I’ve done some movies, but they are mostly Yoruba movies. I’m gradually penetrating the English, sector of Nollywood. Right now, I want to get a production house where I can do more of movies, an in house kind of stuffs. But my music has been taking most of my time. From Yoruba movies, I have been able to cross over to the English sector. My biggest dream is to be producing my own movies and soon I will give 70% of my creative time to movie making next year.
How soon are you releasing a follow up to Folakemi, your debut album?
If not that same next year, then 2007, by God’s grace.
In your own views what would you say is the biggest problem hampering up and coming gospel artistes like you?
Whether anybody believes it or not, in the entertainment world there is sex abuse. If you are a female, you are in problem, you rather play along or don’t get anywhere with your career. And saying no means you have to fall back on your own finances, which is very difficult to put together.
Invariably, are you saying that you have been constantly harassed for sex in the music industry?
Yes! I’ve had label owners constantly harassing me for sex, but I can’t give you their names. With the exception of my label owner, Hit man Records, who is my very good friend and brother, I’ve had lots of record label owners harassing me for sex. And I usually back out and move on with my life. Maybe that was another reason I came out late with my debut album.
How do you fell when people tell you that you look beautiful and sexy?
I feel happy and great. It also makes me feel young. (Laughs heartily)
What has kept you really going all these years?
First, is God’s love and power. Then his will and my determination never to relent, I really want to be up there and be recognized as an international entertainer.
Tell us more about yourself and family background
Well, I’m Gloria Doyle, Odianotshe, Enitan, Ehijator from Ile in Ekpoma, Ishan LGA of Edo State. My mum is from Agbor and dad was an ex Controller of Prisons. Mum was once a beautician but now the founder of a thriving church, Christ Aflame Ministry in Lagos here. We are from a polygamous home, but I’m the first child of my mum, we are just seven, three girls and four boys. I was born in Lagos but grew up throughout the federation, because as children of a civil servant, dad was going on transfer every four years.
And how does your pastor mum feel about your life in the showbiz?
In fact, she wants me to abandon what I’m currently doing to come and join her in God’s work. She has even told me my calling is in the ministry and I know it is the truth. So, right now, she is looking at me as the prodigal child who would come home one day. But the truth is that she also likes what I’m doing and very proud of me.
What are your future goals?
First is that I want to be a world acclaimed preacher because I know I have the word and calling. Aside making a success outside entertainment, I also want to lead people to Christ. I hate seeing people sad, crying or helpless… If given the chance, I want to help bring smiles to peoples’ faces. I want to work for humanity.
As a pretty lady, which part of your body do you consider the sexiest?
I see my legs as the sexiest part of my body and that is why I cover them all the time from the roving eyes of men.
Do you have some regrets in life today?
Look, as long as we are alive, we all have regrets, but I can’t pin down one thing as my regret because sometimes you feel down and at such moments you want to regret one or two things. All the same, life goes on.
Your failed marriage, does it bother you at-all?
It doesn’t bother me, father of my kids and I are best of pals. We speak almost every day. If you give him the chance, he would want me back as a wife, but we can’t…
As a born again gospel artiste cum actress, can you play deep romantic scenes or semi nude roles in a movie?
As long as it is called acting, I can do it but I can’t reveal my breast in the name of acting. I can kiss deeply on set. But there is no big deal in baring–it-all. Remember naked we come and naked we shall go, though I can’t do it.
Let me also say it here that despite being single that I have a very good and intimate friend. He is Kunle Agboola, the C.E.O. of my record label- Hitman Records. We are very close and he has also been of immense support to my career as a gospel artiste. Another of my dream is to continue to be creative and have a good name that will outlive me.
First published, September 2005.