Oshikokhai Tolulope Dolapo, aka TD Balsam (Instagram), does not need to go through the ritual of self introduction when you meet her. If you haven’t heard her voice on radio, then you would have watched her on TV, or met her at a red carpet event, where she was the host. She’s like your next door neighbor. She is a model, actress, a radio presenter, voice over artiste, red-carpet host and a health personnel.
I am Oshikokhai Tolulope Dolapo, from Edo State and based in Lagos. I am 5feet 9inches. I am beautiful, light skinned and I am sapiosexual. I am the only daughter in my family; I have two older brothers and one younger brother.
How was your growing up and how was your relationship with your parents
I had a very wonderful relationship with my parents, especially my dad. I’m a replica of him, more like we were interested in the same kind of things. Growing up for me was fun, I had the basic things every child needed for support. I had mental, emotion, financial and psychological support. So growing up for me was super fun with the best parents. I had a beautiful relationship with my siblings.
Tell us how you started your journey to the top in the industry
How I started my journey into the industry is a funny story. Whenever am all alone I tend to get really bored so I started listening to radio. I got acquainted with the radio lifestyle and from there I started writing scripts and other stories. I became creative. So at some point I started visiting the radio station where I was learning basic things about the media and all sorts. And I just woke up one day and said, you know what, I really want to do this.
I got my first job at a radio station and it started from there. I started TV presentation, content creation, modeling, blogging then I did advertising and voice over jobs. Then I moved into acting, red carpet hosting and others. Then ambassadorship deals came in. You know, it was just fun and it kept on coming. Then I realized my strength and my comfort zone. Yeah. So that’s how it all started. And it was smooth although it brought challenges. I had to do lots of research and study. I got lots of rejections as well, I had my ups and down. But I’m glad about where I am right now.
What is the best movie you have featured in
Best movie I have featured in is Best Click. It’s a movie centered around me. A young girl, Annabel, who has a very lavish lifestyle and got caught up in between life. It is a long story, I’d like people to go out there to see it. It’s going to be out any time soon, it’s a must watch. So, yeah, that’s the best movie I’ve featured in.
What is your most challenging experience
So far, my most challenging experience is the fact that I was auditioning for a job and I was super qualified for it but I wasn’t given the job because I didn’t look big enough for them. They wanted someone who was born with money, with big physique, big butts and all that. So I didn’t fit in because I was super slim then, so I didn’t get the job. That was like the most challenging experience for me. You know, when you are good at what you do and you just get kicked out because you don’t fit in physically. So, yeah, I think that’s the most challenging part so far in my career.
How easy is it to get to the top in the industry
I used to say hard work and consistency will always get you to the top in the industry. If you are hard working and you are not consistent, you don’t get the best attention. But when you’re consistent with what you do and you’re hard working, then you will normally be called for jobs and opportunities will come your way. And again, you should be open to learning new things. You know, you have to evolve with the world.
Would you say there is still sexual harassment in the industry
I think it’s always going to be present not only in the entertainment industry but in other industries as well, in the banking industry, educational sector, media world, everywhere. There’s always going to be sexual harassment everywhere. A lot of people tend to ask you to sleep with them to get roles, ask you for sexual advantages. So it just depends on how you can handle it.
Is the Entertainment industry profitable in your opinion
I’ll say yes, if you know the right things to do, if you are willing to invest or get right investors for a good script and a good movie. If you’re creative enough to come up with new ideas and pull the traffic, it’s definitely profitable. The producers and directors are the richest in the industry because, you know, they tend to bring everyone together, bring people together, bring equipment together, and they have the highest share of the gain. So, yes, its profitable.
What do you have to say about celebrities calling themselves out on social media
About celebrities calling themselves out on social media, I think it’s just them, it’s personal, you know, Some do it for clout chasing. So it does become a cliche. Some don’t have self-restraint and self control. Some are just intimidated, some are doing it because they are deeply pained. So calling people out on social media is really not a big deal.
Would you say there’s gender bias in the industry (amount paid to males compared to females)
I strongly disagree with that. In the industry, the amount you pay a major act is different from what you pay a supporting role. That doesn’t have to do with the gender of the actor. I know females that charge higher than males. I think it just depends on your level and achievement in the industry and how you present yourself and how you package yourself.
Many celebrities are rich, would you say the entertainment industry is that lucrative or do they have side hustles
I think they have side hustle, and I would say some people are normally rich, you know, but I don’t think it has to do with the industry. I think they have other jobs. They have investments, ambassadorship deals, and others like that. Some have businesses online, some have shops, some have rich spouses and fans that support them.
Do you run any other business
No, I don’t run any other business, I’m not a business oriented person, I’m more of a career oriented person. So no, I don’t have any other business. Yeah.
What is your greatest fear in life
Everybody knows that it is fear itself and fear of failure is the greatest fear in life. To an extent, I’m scared that I might not get married. Yeah, I’m scared I might not get married not because I don’t want to get married, but because I feel like my career is more important and my fiancée really wants us to settle down and I don’t want to lose him. And I feel like I want him to wait for me till I’m ready and I feel am selfish too. So my fear is losing him.
I don’t dwell on regrets. I just find a reason in my head to move on and I move on. So no regrets in my life.
What do you do when not on set
What I do when I’m not on stage is to sleep and watch TV. So I can gain my strength back. I’m a big fan of Telemundo for years. I watch a lot of Telemundo and yeah, basically I watch all sort of Telemundo and I eat lot of junks.
What’s your plan for the next 5 years
The next five years I should be the topic of discussion in my field and I should be married with kids already. I mean, come on, I’ll be an adult. So next 5 years I should be in my husband’s house. Yeah. I just want to impact the world the best way I can, make people smile as much as I want them to smile.
As a public figure, What is your opinion about homosexuality. Should it be legal in Nigeria
I’m not homophobic. I am open minded, I don’t have issues with the community. I think people are entitled to their sexuality. If anyone wants to be gay let them be gay, I don’t have any issue with that. About legalizing same sex marriage, I’m indifferent about that.
What advice do you have for people that look up to you as a role model
I tell people that they should just keep being themselves, be open minded, be ready to learn, be good and just be happy. Whatever you do, do it right.
On what do you spend the most: clothes, hair, perfumes, phones or anything else?
I spend more on hair and I love perfumes. Am not really a clothe person, and I like bags to an extent. But I spend a fortune on my hair and a little less on others.
When do you plan to retire from Nollywood
Ok, I think I’m more of a TV personality than an actor, so I don’t think I’d be staying too long in Nollywood. I’m more of a TV and radio presenter generally.
Are you in any relationship right now
Yes, I am in a relationship with someone very, very special. I love him with all my heart but I don’t like to discuss my relationship publicly. But yes, I’m in a relationship with someone very special to me.
How can your fans contact you(instagram, facebook, twitter)
Yeah, I’m on Instagram at official_tdbalsam, on Facebook Oshikokhai Tolulope and on Twitter @td_balsam.
Tell us about the brands you represent
Presently, I am the face of Mediana hair and I am the brand ambassador for Pearls Comely skincare. I represent a lot of other brands and there are other deals coming through.