Take 10 With Folake Olowofoyeku
Take 10 with Folake Olowofoyeku
Actor, 36, Los Angeles
1. Shortly after the coronavirus was declared a pandemic, you experienced symptoms of COVID-19. You feel better now, but do you think you got the virus?
There is no way to know for sure because I couldn’t pass a test. I didn’t think about it the first day, but the next day I started to feel pressure on my chest and it was really hard to breathe. As I walked from the bedroom to the bathroom, I was out of breath. It alarmed me, so I called the doctor and she quarantined me.
2. You recently started working with ONE, a global movement to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030. What inspired you?
Their thought process is consistent with mine. Their motto is that, especially with COVID-19, we are not safe until we are all safe. They work with vulnerable people all over the world, which is important to me, being from Nigeria. They have a team in Nigeria and I look forward to working closely with them.
3. On the CBS Bob Hearts series Abishola, your character, Abishola, is a nurse. How did you prepare for the role?
I called two of my doctors to see if I could monitor their nurses and their facilities, but it was a matter of confidentiality. I spoke to my friend who is a nurse in Atlanta. We also have an excellent doctor on the set who advises us. I was able to get enough information to explain what to do as an actor, which isn’t much compared to what real nurses do, especially now.
4. You have been in the United States since 2001. Do people approach health care differently here than in Nigeria?
The health care system in America is much more advanced. You have more opportunities to see doctors. The facilities, depending on where you are located, are state of the art. We’re starting to see a few of these pop up, in Lagos in particular, but it’s not as big as it is here. Many people still have to leave Nigeria to receive proper medical care.
5. You recently discovered that you have endometriosis. Did that surprise you?
I was diagnosed with an illness recently, but coming back to the health system in Nigeria it wasn’t that great, obviously I have had it since I was 13, since the first time I had my rules. It was atrocious. Growing up, I used to gain 5 pounds every time I got my period. It was just something I was living with. I didn’t know what endometriosis was.
6. How do you stay healthy and fit while filming?
I do not! It is the longest job I have ever had. Before that, my longest job was maybe about a month. I was trying to figure it out. I was also commuting a little over two hours a day, so the last thing I could do was work out or cook meals. Being in quarantine has helped me get back on track. I eat small portions every two hours and try not to eat after 6-7 hours.
7. What is your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate. I love Quality Street. It’s that British chocolate, an assortment of chocolates from Nestlé.
8. Do you have a favorite workout?
I love to play basketball, but I have really bad shin splints. I’ll find a way to rehabilitate this, but at the moment I’m just doing bike rides in my neighborhood.
9. How do you relax?
I really take care of myself. Before my forties, I received massages at home sometimes twice a week. I go to spas. I started transcendental meditation. At work, I listen to music. When I’m in a sweet mood I listen to Enya or Jonathan Goldman Healing sounds.
10. Is the best part of your life behind you or in front of you?
I think I’m there right now.
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