Sola Sobowale (born on December 26, 1965) is a 56 year-old Nigerian actress, producer, scriptwriter, and director best known for her sterling performance in the hit 2018 movie King of Boys.
Beautiful, poised, gracious, and classy, Toyin Tomato, as she is fondly called by Nigerian movie lovers, is one of the country’s favorite actresses. The gorgeous actress accomplished a near-impossible feat after she left the industry for nearly 15 years and made one of the most glorious comebacks ever recorded in Nollywood. Here is all you need to know about Sola and her career.
What is Sola Sobowale’s Age Now?
Sola Sobowale is 56 years old at the moment. The brilliant screen goddess was born in Ondo State, Nigeria, on December 26, 1965.
If there is anyone to be inspired by in Nollywood, it would be Ms. Toyin Tomato, whose accomplishments have left us all gaping in awe. With blockbuster movies like The Wedding Party and King of Boys under her belt, Sola’s filmography leaves those of her fellow Nollywood actresses in the dust.
In 2001 at the age of 36, Sola Sobowale was introduced to us as ‘Toyin Tomato’ when she appeared in the widely popular drama ‘Super Story’ series, a drama that held the entire country in a chokehold at the time. She was featured in ‘Super Story: Oh Father, Oh Daughter’ and captured hearts across the country with her electric performance as Toyin Tomato in the family drama. This marked the beginning of a long and blissful journey into Nollywood for Sola.
Almost 10 years after her big break, Sola made her production and directorial debut in the industry in 2010. The actress was 45 years old at the time. She notably wrote and directed the movie ‘Ohun Oko Somida,’ and the film featured popular Yorùbá movie star Adebayo Salami.
Her biggest milestone to date is perhaps getting recognized for her impressive portrayal of Oba in King of Boys. In 2019, Sola was awarded the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) for Best Actress in a Leading Role for the 2018 movie. Now 56 years old, Sola is easily one of the most profitable actresses of her age in Nollywood. She deserves all the accolades for thriving in an industry that isn’t generally fair to older actresses.
Sola Sobowale’s Parents were Educators
Sola Sobowale was born in the Nigerian South Western State of Ondo to parents Joseph and Esther Olagookun. Both parents were educational instructors, with her father rising to the pinnacle of his teaching career as a secondary school principal.
Her mother also had a similar career path as a primary school headmistress. Together, they inculcated in Sola the spirit of discipline and hard work that is so evident in her life today. The talented actress attended an unknown primary and secondary school before going further to get a National Certificate in Education at a College of Education.
Sola had planned to become a teacher like her parents. However, her brother-in-law Tunji Oyelana paved a different path for her when he helped her gain admission to the University of Ibadan. She initially applied to study Music but later switched to Theater Arts after convincing her parents that acting wasn’t going to make her “wayward.”
Sola Sobowale’s Acting Career Has Stood Strong For Over 3 Decades
Sola Sobowale professionally began acting in 1992 as a member of the Awada Kerikeri Group. Awada Kerikeri was an acting group led by veteran Yorùbá actor Adebayo Salami. Under his expert tutelage, Sola featured in several classic productions like The Village Headmaster, Mirror in the Sun, Asewo To Re Mecca, and stage productions like Femi Osofisan’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again.
Her big break came in 2001 in the television drama Super Story. Her performance as Toyin Tomato pushed her into the mainstream Nollywood industry, and her career skyrocketed from there. In 2004, Sola Sobowale appeared in the Tade Ogidan-written films Dangerous Twins and Family on Fire. She also featured in the hit comedy film Ohun Oko Somida.
More recently, her filmography evolved to include million-naira-budget films like The Wedding Party 1 & 2, Wives on Strike, and King of Boys. As of 2022, Sola Sobowale is worth nearly $600 thousand. In Naira, she is already a multimillionaire. It is said that Sola earns nothing less than a million naira for any movie appearance she makes. Considering that the movies she made with Kemi Adetiba are some of the highest-grossing on the list of her filmography, there is no doubt that they contributed handsomely to her income.
Why Sola Sobowale Went on a Hiatus for 16 Years
Shortly after her blow-up in Nollywood, fans expected to see more of Sola Sobowale in their favorite dramas. But the actress unexpectedly stopped making movie appearances and even relocated out of Nigeria to the United Kingdom. When asked what fueled her decision to suddenly quit, the elegant actress gave a reason that many of us couldn’t have anticipated. “Oba” opened up and revealed that she left Nollywood because of her children.
The actress is currently married to Oludotun Sobowale and together, they have 5 kids, including a set of twin daughters. She went further to reveal that although they lived in the UK with their father, they weren’t getting enough motherly attention, and that bothered her. So sometime in the early 2000s, Sola decided to stop making movies.
She moved to the UK and began doing odd jobs just to see her children through school. Her efforts have paid off, and her kids are college graduates, all working in various academic fields.
Now she’s back and killing it in the industry. It’s like Toyin Tomato never left. It’s a blessing to have a mother that would sacrifice fame and money all for her children’s well-being. But Sola Sobowale has always shown that she is not just gracious and strong onscreen; she is all that and more in real life.
What Are Sola Sobowale’s Best Movies?
Sola Sobowale’s best movie is King of Boys. It isn’t often in Nollywood that an actor’s later movies turn out to be better than their earlier ones. But if there is anything that makes Sola Sobowale stand out from among her peers, it’s that she makes her own rules.
She came back to the screens featuring in what is often referred to as one of the best Nigerian movies of the decade. In 2016, Sola marked her return to Nollywood with the box office hit The Wedding Party (2016) and its sequel, The Wedding Party 2 (2018).
She then went on to bag the most prominent role of her entire career as Oba in the 2018 classic King of Boys, a critically acclaimed movie, and the follow-up series titled The Return of the King, released on Netflix in 2021. Sola played the role of a feared gang leader and political mastermind, Oba, who controlled Lagos State. She won Best Actress at the 2019 African Movie Academy Awards for this singular role. Her appearance in the 2018 movie is specifically regarded as her best interpretation of any given role.
Sola Sobowale Endorsement Deals
Since her return to acting and considering how big her last few movies were, it is not surprising that Sobowale is currently in good demand for brand ambassador deals. She has worked with no fewer than 10 brands within the last 7 years, promoting different brands for products, services, and even humanitarian purposes. Here are some of the more recent brands she endorses.
- BSTAN Homes
- Mouka Form
- Unity Bank
- Labule Farms
- Natnudo Foods
- Middle Chase Real Estate
- Omalicha by Middle Chase
Sola Sobowale Recently Landed a Role in a Bollywood Movie
Since King of Boys: The Series, Sobowale’s fans are eager for more of her works, but as she has often said, it is not every script she receives that she actually agrees to play. However, in July 2022, she announced that she had just landed her very first role in a Bollywood movie to be directed by Nigerian-Indian actress and director Hamisha Daryani Ahuja.
Ahuja is famous for directing and starring in the 2020 Netflix original movie, Namaste Wahala, which was a big hit. If the success of her directorial debut is anything to go by, it is only expected that this upcoming movie is also going to add another feather to Sola’s already full cap.
Even though they have not said much about the storyline of the movie or even its title, its spectacular lineup of A-list actors like Nancy Isime, Richard Mofe Damijo, Rahama Sadau, comedian Broda Shaggi, and more has convinced fans to keep an eye out for it.