Welcome to Metro.co.uk‘s The Big Questions, where we ask, well, the big questions (and the smaller ones too), and this week, we’re diving deep with Ovie Soko.
Having captured hearts on the 2019 series of Love Island, where he appeared alongside the likes of Molly Mae Hague and Maura Higgins, Ovie is smashing it in all aspects of his career.
He’s since appeared on major TV shows including Celebrity Bake Off, and helped show the dark side of reality TV with BBC Three documentary Life After Reality.
And amid all the glamorous TV appearances, Ovie has remained dedicated to his passion for sports, enjoying a successful British Basketball league and EuroCup career.
Not to mention a major modeling campaign through collaborations with the likes of Hugo Boss – and, as he reveals to Metro.co.uk, a breakthrough into acting.
You’ve been on TV, you’re an athlete, you’re a model – is there something on your bucket list you’d like to achieve in the future?
To be fair, I recently played my first – and very, very small – acting role. I can’t tell you what it is, but it was absolutely fun. It was a great experience just being on set with all the people.
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That’s something that has definitely awoken something in me, and who knows what the future may hold? Yeah, life is good! That was cool.
Do you get recognised on the street more from your TV appearances or sports career?
It’s weird, it’s like a combination of things. I feel like people randomly recognise me from different things.
I do still get Love Island from time to time, but it’s weird – people are just like “Oh, it’s Ovie!” It’s always cool, and people are generally really pleasant.
Having been on Love Island yourself, what do you think of there now being two seasons a year?
I think it’s just giving more people opportunity, it’s cool.
Maybe you could see it in two different ways, there’s two sides to that coin, But I think anyone who’s has the privilege to be able to go on that show and experience it and enjoy it and hopefully meet someone, I think it’s really cool.
Two seasons means two sets of people get a pretty cool opportunity.
Have you heard the news they’re doing a Love Island for middle-aged people? Do you have anyone in your life you’d like to see on it?
Middle-aged?! I’ll tell you right now, when that comes around, that is going to absolutely smash it.
Middle-aged people are the ones that make up a heavy portion of active society. You don’t really get to hear their story.
It’s so relatable, that middle-aged dating scene – it’s something a lot of people go through. It will be cool to watch how they interact, I definitely don’t think there will be as much confrontation – but you never know!
It’ll be interesting to see.
My cousin would be good on it, 100% my cousin. I’m not going to name him, but he’s my big cousin. And he’ll know exactly who I mean. I feel like he would give gold.
During your own time on the show, was there a particular standout moment you really enjoyed?
I mean, it was a while ago now. But from my memory it was really a smooth experience.
It was fun, the weather was great, there were beautiful women all around, the guys were pretty cool. It was just a really laid-back holiday. It really seemed like that.
And a lot of food – a lot of food.
I wouldn’t say I wish anything was any different. I don’t think I have any regrets.
Did you have an ‘I made it’ moment in your career?
I feel like, the way I am as a person, I try and stay in the moment.
I don’t think I stayed in the moment as much a couple of years ago, but again we’re all forever works in progress.
I think that’s something I’ve also learned more as the years go on, just to be in the moment. I think every single moment that I have an opportunity, cool people to work with, it’s always special and cool.
I won’t say one thing, it’s just been a bunch of things.
Having been in the spotlight for a while, have you ever heard a crazy rumour about yourself?
Sometimes you come across rumours and it’s funny because you genuinely wonder about it, even if it’s not true. It shows just how much, even as we grow up to be adults, we really don’t behave too differently from secondary school.
Genuinely, if you think about how everyone behaved ins secondary school you probably know people like that today. We’re just not very different!
You speak a lot about gratitude and positivity. Is that an outlook you’ve always had or something you’ve picked up with experience?
The thing about growing up, I see a lot of things differently, as we naturally do. I think gratitude is something that’s growing in me.
It’s like a work in progress. It’s not like every day I wake up and always see the best in every situation, it’s very, very hard to do.
I think that’s something that we have to train ourselves in, to try and do the best we can, even if it’s not possible to do it all the time. But yeah, that’s something I’ve grown and learned.
For me it’s the best way to move around and operate and navigate in the wildlife. Gratitude makes every single day. As long as you focus on the right stuff, but it’s up to you to focus on the right stuff.
You quit social media for a while but you’re back now, do you feel you’ve found a healthier way of using it?
Yeah, social media is that tricky thing. Obviously it sounds like a wonderful tool. It is a wonderful resource to be able to use and for us to be able to access. It connects all of us which is amazing.
But I’m trying to use it in the most transparent way possible. That’s been the way I’ve maybe built a better relationship with it.
You still need breaks from time to time so you don’t overload. But try and use it in a way that’s transparent so you don’t feel like you’re trying to keep up with anyone or getting carried away.
It’s something that’s supposed to be fun for all of us, something to enjoy.
What does Ovie Soko’s weekend look like?
What does a typical Saturday look like for you?
If I’ve got a match on Saturday it’s obviously a full day thing.
So I’ll get up and I’ll go to a morning session where we’ll all be briefed. We’ll go through a very short training session just to prep us for the match in the evening. And then I’ll go home and rest, and just be back for the match in the evening.
If I don’t have a match, it’s most likely training and maybe catch Arsenal if they’re playing on the weekend. Maybe watch a little bit of football, maybe go and see my family, you know, kind of average stuff – I feel like it’s pretty standard weekend activity behaviour!
How have your weekends evolved over the years?
I think as you grow into an adult responsibility kicks your arse, doesn’t it? You all of a sudden now have things that you’re responsible for.
I think the main way it’s evolved is I’ve had to make sure I stay on top of everything. To do lists, make sure everything’s been knocked out of the park.
Weekends are a good opportunity, in my book, to just reset. The week’s been long, the boss has been on you a little bit, it might not have gone exactly to plan. Or it might have been great – but you still need to hit the reset to refocus.
I think that’s probably the evolution, I just don’t allow the weekend to go to waste.
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