Sola Sobowale, famously dubbed Toyin Tomato, is a prominent Nollywood actress who combines professional roles as screenwriter, film actress, producer and director. She is not only rated first-class in Nigerian English-speaking movies but also in Yoruba-speaking movies. She has starred in popular movies including Gold Statue (a 2019 movie) and In Case of Incasity (a 2020 movie). Just like Mr Ibu (John Okafor), she is also a comic actress.
Sola Sobowale has been in Nollywood for more than a score of years and she first appeared in Sura the Tailor, a Nigerian movie. She has also scripted, co-scripted, produced, directed and played a plethora of roles in Nigerian movies.
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Sola Sobowale was born to Nigerian middle-class parents, Joseph Olagokun and Esther Olagokun of Christian background on 26th of December, 1963 (a.57) in Ondo State, south-western part of Nigeria. Her parents worked as teachers before their retirement. Mr Joseph, her father, worked as a school principal before his retirement while her mother, Mrs Olagokun, served as a headmistress before her retirement.
Both of them were, at first, objected to Sola’s choice of acting as a career because they wanted her to either become a teacher or nurse. But following a series of solicitations by Tunji Oyelana, her parents consented and her career as an actress began in earnest.
The veteran Nollywood superstar attained elementary and secondary education in Ondo state, Nigeria. In her secondary school days, she was quite an athlete as a young girl. She often represented Ondo state in interstate sporting events back in those days. After the completion of her secondary school education, she gained admission into the Premiere University, University of Ibadan, to study Music. But due to her valour and drive for acting, she later switched to Theatrical Arts.
Sola got into the Nigerian movie industry through the assistance of her brother-in-law, Tunji Oyelana, who as at that time was versatile, being a Univeristy lecturer, movie actor and singer.
She first featured in a movie titled Sura the Tailor and subsequently, she featured in Village Headmaster, Mirror in the Sun, Our Husband Have Gone Mad Again, etc,. Thereafter, Sola joined Awada Kerikeri Group which was led by a veteran Yoruba actor, Adebayo Salami. She also featured in Asewo To Re Mecca and Eki Okan, etc.
She came to full limelight after starring as Toyin Tomato in Oh Father! Oh Daughter! A Wale Adenuga superstory drama series. For the thespian aura she brought into the series, several people refer to her as Toyin Tomato till date.
As one of the most-sought-after actresses in Nigeria, Sola Sobowale has several endorsement deals. She is an ambassador to Mouka Foams, BSTAN Home. She was endorsed by Globacomm and represents the telecommunication network company alongside Jide Kosoko, Boda Shaggi, Patience Ozokwor, etc. Information Cradle estimated her net worth to be $450,000.
The versatility and popularity of actresses depend largely on the roles and characters they have played perfectly. For some actresses, there are no limits when it comes to picking roles for a movie. As a true African married woman, Sola Sobowale readily rejects going naked in a movie or smooching and cuddling a male partner in a movie.
She also acts, among other roles, as a victim of husband’s maltreatment, or as a businesswoman or a caring mother with a sonorous, mournful and screeching voice.
Sola Sobowale is among the most influential and most sought-after actresses in Nollywood. She is an inspiration and motivation to upcoming actors for her discipline and versatility in the industry. She is also famous for her impeccable seamstress style as she makes all her beautiful dresses herself. Aside winning millions of hearts through her impeccable and flawless acting, her role in a popular TV Drama Series, Super Story: Oh Father Oh Daughter reportedly fixes a matrimonial matter.
Sola Sobowale’s Return
Sola Sobolale’s absence was felt in the film industry as she was not active for some years. She left to give her five children good education in the United Kingdom. She returned fully prepared and has continued to dazzle the viewers in her characteristic style. She was featured in Wedding Party, a 2017 romantic-comic movie where she took the role of Tinuade Coker. The movie was popularly accepted and it featured other notable Nigerian artistes includung AY Makun, Banky W, Adesua Erotimi, Richard Mofe Damijo and a host of others.
In a 2018 political themed film, King of Boys, which she codirected and was produced by Kemi Adetiba, Sola Sobowale featured as Alhaja Eniola Salami, a philanthropist and businesswoman. She starred alongside Jide Kosoko, Toni Tone, Reminisce, Akin Lewis, etc.
In 2019, she received the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her role in Nigerian Film: King of Boys. Some of her other awards are:
- Life Achievement Award, New Vision International Film Festival, 2019
- Actress of the Year, Allure Awards, 2018
- Best Actress in Comedy, African Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards, 2017
- Actress of the Year, New Telegraph Award
- Hall of Fame, Naija FM Comedy Awards
Sola Sobowale is happily married to Oludotun Sobowale who is the former Corporate Executive Director of EKO Hospital. Sola and her hubby are blessed with 5 children, two of whom are twins.
The Enemy I know, 2019
Gold Statue, 2019
Seven And A Half Dates, 2018
King of Boys, 2018
Christmas is Coming, 2017
Wives on Strikes: The Revolution, 2017
The Wedding Party 1 & 2 2017
Family on Fire, 2011
Ohun Oko Somida, 2010
Disoriented Generation, 2009
A Can of Worms, 2008
The Price of Love: Life is Beautiful, 2005
The Last Night, 2005
Opin Irin Ajo, 2005
11:45… Too Late, 2005
Total Disgrace, 2005
Dangerous Twins, 2004
Love From Above, 2004
Hope of Glory, 2004
Jawo Nbe, 2003
Emotional Tears, 2003
The Outsider, 2003
Omo Inu Okun, 2001
Diamond Ring, 1998
Asewo To Re Mecca, 1992
Sola Sobowale has made her mark as one of Nigeria’s most-respected actresses. Besides having won the hearts of many Nollywood viewers, the veteran actress has made substantial wealth from acting.
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