Say Hello To The ICON, Yanmife Arogundade

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It’s not everyday you see a multi talented young lady, confident and true to her essence. An actor, song writer, a poet, a storyteller and more. Yanmife wears all these hats, uniquely, but beyond the beauty that escorts the brilliance of her works as a creative is the impact she commands in all the little big ways. She remains an aweinspiring creative ready to share true stories where more African women can be heard and seen.

Here’s our Exclusive Interview with Yanmife as she beautifully shares her truth on her journey as a Creative.

Enjoy and Stay Inspired:

Please can we meet Yanmife Arogundade?

Hi sure, Yanmife Arogundade is a writer, poet and actor. I like to call myself a storyteller, I am always searching for ways to tell a story.

What does Art mean to you?

It is an expression, expression of life, of hope, of dreams or even nightmares. Art is a lifeline on my difficult days. Art is the color of life.

Acting definitely requires some level of boldness, authenticity and originality to command the attention of an audience and you effortlessly possess all these qualities.

Have you ever held back your gifts at some point, perhaps through self doubt? Have you ever felt it ‘boxed’ by someone else or an experience? How did you manage times like this and how do you best face challenges?

Thank you. Yes I have, more times than I’ll even like to admit. Some days I question myself and my artistic journey. Some days other people help me question my artistic journey, but my response to that self doubt is to always still do it, afraid, because the only other option is to sit still and do nothing. My way of facing challenges is to face them. Of course after having the usual back and forth in my mind.


We see you’re also a writer. How would you best describe your style of writing?

Yes I am. I’ll say my style of writing is poetic. Words on my page always seem to be poetic even when I’m writing a script or a birthday shout out. It’s also deeply personal, some say I have a flare for the dramatic, I agree with them. But I mostly love writing women stories, African women stories, I love writing for and about women, exalting them with my words. It’s truly one of my favorite things.

What would you consider most fulfilling thus far in your journey as an actress and what feats do you hope to achieve with this dream/passion?

Having my first show in December, “Cheer!” has been the highlight of my artistic career. It was the first time I told a story with my own words, in my own way on a stage, in front of people. It felt exactly how it should, just right and getting positive feedback from people affected by my work was the sweetest icing on the cake. I hope to tell stories everywhere with every tool necessary and at my disposal- books, stage, film, podcasts. I hope to tell important and beautiful stories , that resonate with my audience.

Balancing work time and rest time is a struggle for many Creatives out there. Can you share few tips on how you try to balance work time, rest time and family time?

You can say that again. The way I see it, I’m always creating. I just have to try not to be actively doing it all the time. I always have a note book or my phone on me just incase I am inspired to write something when I’m spending time with friends and family. My people are very important to me so, I actively make time for them and I’m also grateful that when work gets really immersive, they always understand

How was growing up like?

Growing up was fun. I was a very expressive child, I wanted to try everything. I was scared of nothing or no one. My parents provided a safe space for me and my siblings to be whatever we wanted. I started drama classes at age 8, it was the best gift my childhood could have given me . My twin sister was and still is my best friend. We literally grew up side by side. She is my favorite person. My older brother was a genius to me, still is! My parents provided a beautiful childhood for us. We played in the garden, went to Church, visited family, made friends. It was everything a normal childhood should be. It was everything a great childhood should be.

Do you feel Creatives in developed countries are at advantage than those in developing countries?

Depends on how you look at it. To me, a creative is a creative, no matter what. Whether they make an income off it or not. Whether they admit it to themselves or not. I can see why someone will say that creatives in developed countries are at an advantage, because of the systems in place, because of the more diverse opportunities, but creativity is creativity and it will always find expression despite everything. And besides, the world is a global village now, Nigerian creatives can be world creatives right from their houses in Surulere or Ikoyi.


Who are your ‘ICONS’ in the movie industry?

I have a few in Media but since you said movie industry I will say, Bolanle Austen-Peters, she’s done stage, film and both so excellently . She’s a woman shaping narratives in art and real life. A real ICON.

What does success mean to you?

Success to me is reaching where I can exhale and look back at my work, all I’ve done, all my decisions and mistakes and be proud of myself. A place where I can be at rest and peace, with not just my work but all areas of my life. Success to me is being able to have affected lives , children lives, women lives especially, with my work and deeds. Success to me is having money to live a good life and provide a good life for my loved ones as well.

Let’s go a little poetic: If poetry is a rainbow and you have a choice of one color in that pallette, what would that be and why?

This question reminds of something I’ve written in the past. If poetry is a rainbow, then I can’t pick one color, I pick the whole rainbow I’m sorry! I pick the mess of it, I pick the unity of it, I pick all the colors of it. I pick the beauty of it . I have always been a person that’s open to other forms of expression. I pick them. I pick it all. I pick the rainbow.


If you could do a collab as an actress with any other artist, what Art would that be?

I love music. I love live music. It does something to my mind, shifts my thoughts. I would love to collaborate with a band, poetry and live music I would love that very much.

Please briefly tell us something we do not know about Yanmife Arogundade.

Yanmife Arogundade is a human boom box. I can come up with a song immediately for almost every word thrown at me. I like to think it’s my super power, I do it in my head when I’m bored or when I want to keep calm in stressful situations.

Massive love Yanmife!


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