January 6, 2016



Last year we published the first part of the interview with OgaBello .  Here we publish the final part of the almost an hour thrilling encounter with one of the oldest actors in the country later accompanied towards the end  with  the presence of Actor  Omidina popularly  known as Baba Suwe and another unsung actor who visited for a meeting  .Enjoy the reading
Q-if you are comparing the industry then and now ?
A-Yes , you see the different ,like I said we are now suffering of piracy .Another thing like that is discipline  has ,a little bit of lack in the industry .Then,there is respect for call time ,there is respect for location ,there is respect for shooting the video .Now those young ones that are coming up now (he spoke in Yoruba ‘’won o fenira funrawonsa’’ meaning they don’t want discomfort for themselves ]
Q-You once said ,you were fined 10 shillings at a time for coming late ?
A-That’s part of the discipline you are taking a role ,if you late to any venue of production , you have to pay the gate fee as a  fine you pay you buy ticket to come in and perform. That’s sort of discipline .
Q-That means if you were fined 10 shillings ,how much then were you paid that time that you were  fined 10shillings and you did pay?
A-Yes,I did pay
Q-How much were you paid that time ?
A-Not paid anything
Q-freethat time ?
Q-And you still pay ?
A-Of course ,is the passion you have for it ,is the passion you have for it and is discipline (reporter was shocked to the bone marrow  ‘’waow-there’s so much love for it’’]inject into the profession
Q-Even as at that time ,you also work in the civil service ,the ministry …..
A-(cuts in ]..ofland ,works and housing ..
Q-how do you compare the service then and now
A-Oh quite different the profession now  is time consuming , civil service  is like  come so,so time ,don’t come so so date  ,the industry ,the profession is not like that  ,it takes time you may be there weekend ,you may be there during the festival   anytime .
Q-How many English movies have you done ?
A-Few heyyyy…….(he screamed mildly ]
Q-Why is Yoruba veterans like you keep saying they are few movies is it a question of tribalism or what ?
A-Well,I cannot speak for those people that did not invite me ,they have their personal  reasons and I don’t want to go into it so much ,but am sure if am invited as we are conversing now ,I can express myself and  i can interprete role .Why they should not call me,is left to them .
Q-But I saw  JideKosoko in a film by Rita Dominic ‘’Damage’’ and several other English films ?
A-Yea , JideKosokodo normally participated in English movies and  I must confess to you if you come to me and you want to pay 1 million naira for a film and I have another script of  Yoruba movie  that want to pay me 200,000 naira ,I prefer to go for Yoruba film.(reporter chanting and he said’’You understand’’] that is my culture ,that is my language and that’s what ,I want to promote most .
Q-But Sir ,you understand Yoruba very well ,I don’t know but because and I don’t think ,they have started yet in this industry with the way ,the value of Yoruba culture all over the world.I was telling my friend I don’t have many friend but I have few of them and we talk about entertainment industry  and people like you .I now said how are the Yoruba people marketing their movies ? If they don’t want to go with Nollywood,why cant they form Yollywood .Now everywhere in the world ,Yoruba have culture that they can sell .In Cuba , we have 1million Yoruba people,in Brazil ,five million Yorubas live there .Sango alone all over the world , is worshiped by 100million people ,how many films have they produced so that if they export that film all over the world and market them so that they would be able to sideline piracy here in Nigeria?What plan do you have for that kind of thing ?We have popular culture in Latin America that we can sell what plans do you have  to key into that market ?
A—Well,we tried it sometime ,unfortunately ,technology is not on our side,technology has spoilt so many thing ,now in the past if we releaseour movie here , we normally sell to the U.K.we distribute and they  gave us  2,000 pounds …Just sell the master copy to them so that they can dub . We are trying to start on that, we received  , 2,000 pounds then ,you know is money ,multiplied by naira ………….
Q—Which year is that?
A—Am talking 1995,1996 ,1997, 1998 ,that was then,but now you cannot even sell it anymore , because there is no  more market for it .The moment they go to Youtube ,they would see the movie,they will just watch it free of charge and download
Q—Sir ,how did A.Y. market his film?I heard Ben Bruce saying  ‘’Avenger’’American blockbuster Hollywood film within a month , it sold 115million  when converted to naira ….
A—(cuts in..}Don’t compare American film …..
Q—Sir ,I ve not finished ,I want to land ,he now said 30 Days in Atlanta by A.Y.instead within a month sold 132 million when converted to naira overtook  Avenger .Before they started pirating it here in Nigeria,the guy had made so much money .I wonder what kind of magic he performed ….maybe   he launched it there ?
A—Are you talking of America or Nigeria ?
Q—Yes ,he launched it there ?
A—That’s what am saying you don’t compare American market with Nigerian market
Q—Why cant you be launching it there like that ?
A—No,wait ,this is the idea ,if you want to release the movie ,they have Cinema culture there ,we don’t have .Take for instance this Ikorodu we may have about 13 cinemas there say  Lagos in Kosofe local Government you understand or any other local government .They have Cinema houses  and the so called movies will be released and be showing there simultaneously .So,they have several copies to be shown and people would  love to go to  cinema houses .They have cinema culture ,we had it in the past , we lost it ,you understand .So,that is it ,so they recoup their money immediately .That is the different .There are about  three ways of making  their money-by Cinema ,by taking it to Television houses ,by selling it to video clubs for people to rent ,watch and return but that culture  is no more .
Q—Maybe that ‘s what A.Y. observed and went there to launch it
Q—I think that if you people are doing something like that …
A—(cuts in]We tried it,you know Nigeria .
Q—You went there and tried it like that ,it didn’t work out in their place to launch it there
Q—You mean in overseas
Q—Yea,in their place
A—No,they did not watch our production there like that .They don’t watch it
Q—What about Brazil and Cuba that have large Yoruba population ?
A—Let ‘s shoot and go there .Go there and launch it .Let me tell you,when you go there ,it depends on the platform ,how you are shooting , bringing in Yoruba culture does’nt mean ,who are the people there? Is like you don’t get me right .To go there is not the problem to promote it there …and Cuba or something  like , we have documentary ,people  are conversant can  show documentary there  to lecture there ,seminar ,it depends  
Q—I heard about cultural ambassador of Alaafin of Oyo ,one Portuguese Woman ,Paula Gomes who was talking about the influence of Yoruba culture in  America and that was why  they launched World Sango Day Festival .They are doing it every year now .What plans do you have to promote your film  to key into that to promote Yoruba Culture or market through the festival , any film relating to Sango or something like that ?
A—That Is if we produce any film related to Sango .
Q—People hardly do that kind of thing now
A—They hardly do it , is because of costly implications,how much you are going to spend on it ,how  do you recoup back the money ?You are definitely going to go and borrow the money to produce
Q—I have different feelings now  because what I was thinking before
A—What were you thinking ?
Q—I was thinking like 100million worshippers worldwide and our people are not keying into that kind of massive market !
A--…It depends on what you put ,you cannot just  give anything to them , those who are worshipping Sango ,they have passion for it ,they have interest in it ,they want to see what is about Sango .So,if you give them anything they will not be interested ,you have to spend to give them quality .
Q—I get it now.It seems that all your children haven taken after you
A—Not all of them
Q—How many now ?
A—5 of them
Q—You don’t like to talk about your wives how many and your children how many now ?
A—Don’t worry about that .All I know as many as they are ,they are all graduates
Q—Out of all your films which one do you  thinkactually made you popular?
A—Not movies made me popular,is not movie .I started with stage productions ,Television production made mepopular.So ,movies added to the popularity.
Q—There is this saying that film industry started with Living In Bondage and you have been  saying  that history is not correct?
A—because Is a lie ,is a lie (repeated twice]
Q—And that ‘s what virtually everybody is believing.You say that history is not correct ?
A—Is not correct .
Q—They say  film industry started in 1992 with living in Bondage
A— 19..what ? What was the year ?
Q—They would mention 1992 that ‘s what they used to say
A—I that am sitting here in front of you  am saying that I shot my film on Celluloid ,the first one  in 1985 ,the second one in 1987.
Q— English movies?
A—Don’t say that , movie is movie ,what do you mean by English movie ? Nigerian movie is Nigerian movie .We own Nollywood together(repeated twice]you understand .If they want to mention Nollywood all over the country  ,they would say Nigerian movies.Forget about the medium of expression whether Hausa ,whether Ibo ,whether Yoruba ,whether English ,you understand.They know the right history  ,they know it.Wole Soyinka shot Kongi Harvest in 1970.Bisi Daughter of the River  is there .Abiola’s film, you understand .Dinner With The Devil is there .How can they say film industry started in 199…….no,no,no
Q—I think they have psychological problem
A—No,no, it is  their style,I call them , their production people ,I told them .If they invite Yoruba actor ,to take part in their movie ,they would say the accent of the people is like Yoruba .What is their own accent their own accent in the movie sounds  like Ibo ones  .What is their problem?
A—Very good.
Q—What kind of music ,do you like to listen to?
A—I like traditional music
Q—You still do it now ?
A—Apala,OdulayeAremu ,Ponyon ,Tanta law .
Q—People no longer listen to that kind of music anymore
A—That is them..,
Q—Or you still listen to  music like Agidigbo …
A—Of course ,Bola Titi.I gather message there  .If you listen to them ,you ‘ll be a wise person and do a lot for yourself .You would see the different  and  learn from them and I don’t sing and go round the street boozing or drinking ,am an indoor person(speaks  Yoruba]What is the meaning of ‘’Ori e fonkasibe  ‘’(your head  is scattered there]?
Q—Now when you were President of ANTP ,you recorded laudable achievements….
A—Thank God
Q—Can you recount once again ,some of them ?
A—Well, I think ,I have mentioned  so many in the past.In most of my interviews ,I ve done that  .First and foremost ,I gave ANTP  a good recognition ,I gave them recognition ,people recognize us local and international .I make sure we partner with most of the Governors …..Yes , I took my ANTP team to Baba Obasanjo.
Q—What did Baba now do for you ?He responded?
A—He responded ,we went to him  ,he tried his best for us and I wont say more than that.(he prepared to take some cup of coffee with the help of office attendant and one of his film editors,who first welcomed me  ,in the waiting room  before he arrived at after 12 am or close t0 1pm]I inject discipline .At that time We formed a committee called JACO-joint action committee and I formed  that committee to make sure those video club rentals pay their royalties which is working.We agreed and I partner with marketers then to make sure ,all movies to be released should not be more than 10 .
Q—Are they still keeping it ?
A—They are no more keeping it .They now release more than 30 or 40 per month.
Q—Yoruba alone?
A—Yes ,at that time we are selling more than 200,000 copies per film.
Q—So ,Yoruba movies alone is producing 40 every month ?
A—It depends ,but I don’t know now
Q—I read about one of laudable achievements ,the promotion of film village ,how far have they gone about that ?
A—I  cant say anything about it
Q—So,that one ,they have abandoned it also
A—Yes ,I cant say anything about it anymore .
Q—Why do institutions have this  problemof policy summersaults? What do you think can be done  to solve this problem?
A—I don’t know ,is the culture of Nigeria.
Q—Now if you  are not an actor ,a producer , and a director ,what would you have become ?
A—Well,I love to become a lawyer
Q—Maybe that’s why ,your boy became a lawyer
A—No,I didn’t sit him down and say it,he loved to study law .My godfather is a lawyer ………………
Postscript : It is interesting to note that the film village project was discontinued like some of his  laudable achievements including capping and ceiling of film production ,he pointed out above .Oga Bello is a funny person in real life ,not egocentric ,a good listener and am impressed by that  good gesture .

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