December 12, 2015


    Adebayo Salami ,one of the oldest thespians in the Nigerian movie industry popularly known as Oga Bello ,in an interview with the Ibikunle Laniyan the blogger unveils his checkered antecedence in an incandescent career that spans over 50 years .His concerns and challenges in the tortuous journey of  shaping and reshaping the destiny of the industry are hereby unleashed below.Enjoy the reading.                                                             
Q—Who is  Oga Bello-world acclaimed world famous Oga Bello?

A---Oga Bello is a character .Oga Bello is quite different from Adebayo Salami .If you are asking people who is Adebayo Salami is quite different from asking for who is OgaBello.Oga Bello is somebody who is interpreting the role of a particular character ,in the script.Depend on the script ,depend on the character ,they want Oga Bello to wear.
Q—Tell me about your background ?
A—My name is Adebayo Salami and I was born in Lagos State here and I hailed from Kwara State in Ilorin to be precise.I was born 64 years ago come May ,2015 …… .I was born  in the year ,1952 ,I have all my education here in Lagos ,Sandwichcourses (‘’that time’’reporter chipped in;’’Yea’’he echoed],…London,Paris…….
Q—And they are all on film productions..?
A—Yea, all on stage and film productions.
Q—Available information says that you are 50years a thespian ,how do you feel ?
A—Well,there is no any feeling that….i thank.I have to thank God for making me ,for giving the grace (reporter thumped and mildly  screamed’’half a century! Ah….’’he replied in a soft tone ‘’Yea’’.].I thank God in every aspect come to raising of my family ,come to excell……….in my chosen career ,I thank God ……..for recognition and up till now am still reckoned with .
Q—Can you  mention five men like that who have spanked hal f a century ?
A—There are many people like that .In the entertainment industry or movie industry?
Q—No,in the movie industry
A—Somebody like Tunde kilani, somebody like Baba Wande ,Jimoh Aliu ,JideKosoko….
Q—Maybe is special because you start very early
Q—Since you started ,how many films have you done and produced ?
A—(he paused drawling making a phone call and then retraced momentum after it was asked again]Well,the issue of acting is a two way thing .The one I produced ,I can count ,is 22 films ,but the one I acted ,I have lost count.
Q—What informed the formation of Young Star concert party ?
A—Well,they are young people that have talent ,gather together to display their talent ,hoping to be a star in the future.That is why ,we called it ,’’Young Star Concert’’.
Q—There is a story that says it was the Young Star Concert that metarmorphosed into…..*(cuts in]
A—Yes,…….into Ojo Ladipo theatre group .It was OjoLadipo ,that was leading it before ,there was a lot of misunderstanding ,some fracas .Some people left the Young Star Concert Party ,some of us went with Ojo Ladipo himself.
Q—Who are your mentors in the industry ?
A—One is Chief Hubert Ogunde ,Alhaji Aina Olumegbon both of them late ….and the third is Ade Love ..
Q—What can you say about these mentors and their influence on your career ?
A—Well ,let me start from Hubert Ogunde.Hubert  Ogunde inspired me  you understand ,to be an actor because I watched his program on television titled ‘’Village Doctor’’ and I want to be somebody like him Talking about Olumegbon ……..i remember ,I usually go to his rehearsals  and whenever , I get home I imitate him ,from there ,I respect him so much and he knows me before he died and mentored me .Papa Ogunde ,I have the opportunity of meeting him ,despite the fact ,he inspired me far ,far away but I eventually came close to him.  Yea I was close to him and he taught me many things ,so many things ,advice …
Q—They say is occultic ?
A—Is a God fearing person ,is a christian (laughing to debunk my unfounded fear].So,religion is quite different form culture .So,is a two different thing  …………So,coming down to Ade Love  now ,I learn a lot from him practically .
Q—Taxi Driver Fame
A—Yea,I was his production manager ,Taxi Driver Fame part one,part two ,Iyani  wura , Ija  Orogun ….and we were very  close as well.
Q—Who actually started the Nigerian film industry some people linked it to Alade Aromire ?
A—No,no,no,…… cannot throw away Celluloid .We have two formats in the film industry  –the one we were shooting then and celluloid because at that we could not even get anything locally here ,you want to do production ,you have to go America ,you want to do post production ,you go to U.K.I shot my first  film on celluloid in 1985 .At the time ,we were shooting there was no local equipment except you get them overseas .
Q—Which other technology at that time do you think was in vogue  apart from celluloid?
A—If they  want to do television production ,they  use Umatic
Q—What do they mean by 35 mm?
A—That is celluloid .We have 65mm,35 mm,55min, 16mm .Ade love shot on 16mm.
Q—Why depends on 16 mm?
A-–It depends on the cost ,So Alade,Aromire started by experiment , experimental.He did an experiment on home video on VHS .At that time ,when the economy started crushing,none of us  could afford to afford to sponsor celluloid anymore .And if you raise funds  by loan or by anything to fund this movie,how do you recoup your money ?
Q—There was piracy at that time too?
A-–No Piracy
Q—You mean’’no piracy!’’
A—Yes  ,no piracy then .If there is piracy ,it was minute ,not common ,not known talking of 80s
Q—Even this 80s?
A-–uhmm….So,at that time ,it was Aromire that started home video  by experimenting ……….because we did not have  money to shoot on celluloid anymore   .  We didn’t believe home video would be popular
Q—Which technology were they using in advanced  countries that time ?
Q—So,as you were moving away from Celluloid ,they were also leaving Celluloid  at that time?
To be contd.

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