DANG: Tell me the similarities between Bimbo Craig and your character, Tiwa in ‘skinny girl in transit’
Bimbo Craig: There are a lot of similarities between Tiwa and Bimbo. But the only difference is the fact that Bimbo doesn’t have anybody hitting on her. You see, Tiwa with all these fine looking men. Bimbo doesn’t even have OKAY looking men. To be honest, that’s just the biggest difference. But the journey is the same journey. For pretty much all my life, I’ve always been overweight. My mum was always on my case about it but the truth is that I realize that when people are ready for something, they are ready. Nobody can force you into something. It’s a decision you have to come to for yourself and when you realize it, then you make the necessary steps to make the changes. So my mum was always on my case about my weight. But it took me having a brain surgery, -in 2014, I had a tumor in my brain- for me to realize that there is so much out there to live for. If I could live a healthier life, I could try. If it doesn’t happen, and I don’t reach whatever size it is, that’s fine. But I want to constantly be on this journey of healthiness.
So I encourage a lot of women, be healthy. You are big, that’s fine. But just live a healthy lifestyle. Don’t just be big and sit down in one place. I keep telling them that. Which is why when certain people reach out to me in relation to plus size like “come and talk about this, come and talk about that”, I’m like, I don’t really know what to tell you.
I feel like people are losing the undertone message of what the movement should be about. For example, there a lot of plus size women who are into modeling. If you follow these women judiciously, you will find out that they exercise. Life needs to be balanced and that’s what we are lacking. You live, you eat, you sleep but you need to exercise. There needs to be some form of activity. You need something that will get your heart pumping.
DANG: How difficult or easy has the weight loss journey being?
Bimbo Craig: There is always that constant struggle to try to eat right. The constant struggle to try to work out. I was telling my friend one day, “I’m tired”. Sometimes, I cry. I cried last week because I’m tired of the fact that before I go to bed at night, I’m thinking of what to eat the next day. When I wake up in the morning, I’m thinking. And it’s not necessarily because there is no food available. It’s just making sure I make the right decisions.
Look, I’m not trying to be a size 12. I want to be thick but I want to be fit. Thick-fit, that’s what I want. I want to be able to see muscles and ribs in my body. I want to be like Serena. It’s not easy but the truth is, we really make time for things that are important to us.
DANG: I also read that ‘Skinny girl in transit’ fell on your lap. So even though you didn’t plan for it, how has the past 3 years been? How has the show impacted your life personally?
Bimbo Craig: First of all, the attention is crazy. I really don’t like attention. It makes me very uncomfortable. The three years have been crazy but I’m appreciative because I’m not only the actress in the show, I’m the producer. The ultimate joy is to see people appreciate the show. I never thought it would be this engaging which is why every time I sit down and I come up with the synopsis, I try to make the situations as realistic as possible. There are certain elements to the show that if you sit down and reflect about it, you will see that it’s either you know someone it has happened to, or it has happened to you before. Which is why I feel people find it so relatable. So, it’s been crazy.
Also, it’s put a lot of pressure on me. Like I mentioned, you feel like you have to live up to a certain standard and for me, I like the pressure which is the fact that before I never used to want to check myself. I just say what I want and then keep moving. But it’s put a lot of pressure on me about the fact that I need to understand that people are watching. So what I put out there is very important, it’s made me a better person because now I feel like I’m accountable. There are people that I owe things to so I need to always check myself. I need to know what I’m saying, who I’m hanging with.
DANG: What does spirituality really mean to you?
Bimbo Craig: Spirituality to me is everything. Spirituality is not going to church but it’s within. Spirituality is a personal journey. I try telling people that there is nothing that I am right now without God. Because I have seen Him work in my life. After I had my brain surgery, (surgery was successful by the way) I was ill for like10 days. I couldn’t eat, I lost 10 pounds. One of the things doctors told me was to not bend my head when I vomit. I would vomit every day and every time I vomited, I would feel like my head was on fire.
Four years prior to that, my dad had passed from cancer. And when I found out that I had a tumor, I wept. I was uncertain as to what this tumor meant. So for me to have come out of that, unscratched, mentally intact, nobody can tell me that it is me. It is crazy and unfathomable and I believe it can’t be anybody else.
My mother calls me a miracle child. When I go for my yearly MRI checkup, she is like, “Bimbo, how do you go in and out of this MRI every year smiling and laughing?” I am tumor free, this is what would normally kill people but here I am, walking into MRI smiling in and laughing out. I can’t explain it, and for me, things that I can’t explain, I only attribute it to one thing and that is God!
Spirituality is where I find my strength. I do believe there is God. I’ve felt it so I know that He exists.
DANG: Where does your career go from here?
Bimbo Craig: In the past couple of months now, it’s something I have been reflecting on. I don’t know. The reason why I said I don’t know is that there are times in the past when I felt like I had structures and I knew where I was going and then the big guy up there just comes and surprises me. How far I thought skinny girl would go till now has not been up to me, God made this path possible. So I feel I will be ungrateful not to explore it. So, therefore, there are certain things I really love to achieve which is the fact I really love being behind the camera. I’m good at taking instructions and delegating. I like organizing. I like seeing things come together. I like coming out with ideas and seeing it to the end. So, I know that being behind the camera is something I love to do. But I’m also open to acting. Because I never thought I would get this far with it.
DANG: What has been your Naija girl experience? Being a single female in Nigeria specifically.
Bimbo Craig: I personally want to get married. I have said it before and I’m saying it again, it isn’t my main purpose in life, one of my purposes, I believe, is to be a mother. And because of the morals that I have, I know that I cannot have a child, I choose not to, and by the grace of God, because it’s willpower, I will not have a child out of wedlock. I know I need to be married in order for me to be able to give birth to a child. So for me, marriage is important. Now, I have never once set a standard as to when it is going to happen, but I do have a standard as to when I hope it does not happen. And the reason I said when I hope is, I don’t want to be married in my 50’s. By the time I’m 50, I hope to have achieved and enjoyed. And I believe that it would be more enjoyable and pleasant if there was someone by my side, but then I don’t have a time limit for God.
There are some people that don’t want to get married. I’m like that’s fine, but within my bones, I feel like every woman was created to be able to nurture and give love.
DANG: Do you feel pressured to get married?
Bimbo Craig: I don’t. But recently, I’ve been putting pressure on myself. And the reason why is this; I am a check and balance kind of person. And two/three years ago, I didn’t care that much. But with life comes changes and I started developing myself better. So I feel like I’m trying to live a better life. Trying to lose weight, trying to feel better within, trying to speak good about people constantly, trying to be a better person. I’m at a point whereby I’m ready to show other people that as well; that I’m a good person. And when I mean people, I don’t mean just men and women alone. I believe you are what you attract. So I’m now like, “okay Bimbo, start to give good energy so that you can get good energy back. And hopefully, with that good energy brings the right person
So based on that, the pressure is from me but it’s not heavy. NO pressure from the society and definitely not from my mother. It’s just awareness of it. It’s an aspiration.