Who is Fausat Balogun a.k.a Madam Saje?
My name is Mrs. Fausat Balogun, a.k.a Madam Saje, who does not fear anybody except God.
Where do you hail from?
I am from Oke-Ode in Kwara State.
What of your parents?
They are from same place.
What's your educational background?
I had my primary school education at Ansar-u-deen Primary School, Oke-Ode, Kwara State. I did not further my education after that.
How did you come about the name Madame Saje?
The name Madam Saje is from a television series called 'Erin Kee Kee' by Baba Suwe back then in 1990.
Who gave you the name Madam Saje?
It was Baba Suwe in the TV-series called Erin Kee Kee.
Has there been any embarrassment since you came into the industry?
In the industry, as a famous person, there's bound to be embarrassment sometimes. As for my own case, there's been none so far.
What about joy?
A lot. At times, you go somewhere and being that you are famous, people tend to honour you as such. You get real expressive carpet-treatment. There is nothing you ask for that you will be obliged.
So, how have you been managing fame?
It is not easy to manage fame, but just as any elderly person, I have since learnt how to manage my fame to my advantage.
Even embarrassing ones?
There has been none so far.
When I mean embarrassment, like some people when they see you and are just overjoyed to the extent of doing anything?
That is not embarrassment really; it is just some people's way of expressing their feelings. This, I know. Hence I take it as that of obviously excited fans who just saw their idol face to face unexpectedly.
Did you get married before or after becoming a star?
I met my husband in the industry. He happened to be my boss. His name is Rafiu Balogun, a script writer, producer, director and actor. In fact, he is a consummate theatre practitioner. He is an icon in his own right.
How were you both able to raise children because both of you are virtually outside 24/7?
Before the home movies started, the children were born and already also grown up but when they were much younger during the days of stage, at times we do take them along, leaving them at the back stage. There, they patiently waited for us till we finished.
Is any of your children into acting?
Yes, my first son, Balogun Azeez is in the industry. He is a producer and an aspiring movie director. My last child, Bintu Balogun is also in the industry. She is an actress.
Was your husband agitated over your being a star, thinking of losing you to Nollywood hawkers who may do anything to have you?
Not really because he is also into the business and knows how it's being done. He has been my manager and also behind my success; he's been wonderful, very understanding.
Has big time marketers, producers or directors made passes to you as a pretty woman?
Back then, when we started, it was on stage. My husband was already an icon in the industry, so there wasn't any room for such being the wife of an icon. Oh yes! The stake- holders know him and me as husband and wife. So, there was no room to embarrass me for this reason.
Perhaps as a mark of respect to him?
How have you been able to remain in the industry for long without serving some powerful male cliques?
Like I said earlier, I have a husband who is an icon in the industry. So, with God's grace and him, I have been able to manage successfully till date.
How have you been combining being a mother and the demands of acting?
My family as a whole does understand the industry and this has made it a lot easier for me to combine both demands of being a mother and an actress together.
Which of your family, your immediate or your husband's people?
My children and husband have been really wonderful in this aspect.
How do you spend quality time with hubby when you are off-set?
Well, he has been very understanding. When we are on set, we know we are on set and off-set, we spend our quality time very well.
At such times, what do you do exactly?
Let that be our secret because this is supposed to be a very private matter. It should not be for public knowledge. Haba! We too, na human beings!!
Your fans would love to know what you do at such times!
We hang out sometimes, visit our families or go to parties.
At parties, it is believed that Madam Saje would be all over the place; how have you been managing that?
Nothing special, when I get to parties, people welcome me and I am happy. They really appreciate my presence there. I thank God for making it so.
When you get to parties, do you beg to stay at the back so as to avoid possible harassment from people like area boys?
Yes the area boys around are only there to collect money and at such parties, there's need for security to be put in place.
Is that one of your conditions for attending parties or you probably put it out subtly that there should be security put in place?
Not really, it is not every party I attend. I make this a condition. However, I expect my host to provide good security which should be on the stand-by in case of any embarrassment.
Does this make you selective concerning the kind of parties that you attend?
Yes. As a famous person you need to be selective as to the kind of parties that you attend. This is because it is not possible to attend all parties.
Has your husband confessed to you what physical quality he saw in you that swept him off his feet when he met you and does that quality make him crazy till now?
Of course! Everything about me, my beauty, my skin, my stature and they have since remained the same. In fact, none has actually changed over the years.
Do you engage in any form of physical exercise to maintain your stature?
Yes. In the morning, I just do some jogging on a regular basis.
You have a gym you go to?
Not really a gym, it is in my house.
What of your eating or do you starve yourself because you do not want to become fat?
I don't starve myself O! I eat whatever I want to eat. I mean everything I want to or love to eat.
I noticed you are not the cosmetic crazy type. Why?
May be due to my natural beauty, which I am convinced of. I don't really like cosmetics except when we are on set. I allow make-up because it is inevitable for our kind of business.
When you saw your husband at first, what swept you-off your feet?
(Laughter) It was due to the kind of his job.
Was he a producer, an actor or director?
He is a producer, actor, director and script writer. He knows everything concerning this job. This was the real factor that swept me off my feet when I first met him years back.
Would you say your childhood days were interesting or challenging?
Yes, very challenging because in this life in whatever you want to do, there are always challenges. My childhood was very challenging but I thank God for everything. I hawked.
What did you hawk?
I hawked fruits and sold cigarettes to people. That was what my mum sold.
What is one of your childhood experiences that you cannot forget?
That was when I started this job. My parents really wanted me to go to school, but after my primary school education, I fell in love with the job. I do go for practice but my parents would come especially my father would beat the hell out of me and even strip me naked. He did not want me to go into the acting business. May be then, they thought people who were into it were wayward and irresponsible. But now, I thank God that people are encouraging their children to go into the business. It is really interesting. I so much love my job to the extent that I had to encourage my children to come into the industry.
What about your father?
He is dead now.
May his soul rest in peace?
What of Mama?
Mama too is dead.
But mama did not worry you?
Yes, it's so unfortunate that my dad did not live to see what his little girl he discouraged from being an actress has become. It is really saddening.
How much of your childhood experience contributed to what you are doing and how?
My childhood experience? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Have you been opportune to act English play?
If I am called to, why not.
Do you have any personal opinion concerning English plays?
No, no, no
Do you have negative opinion about English movies?
Not quite. The fact still remains that I am more of a Yoruba actress, but if I am called to do English movies, I would do it very well.
What do you want to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered as a good role model having tried my best to contribute my quota to the industry and the society at large. I would also like to be remembered as a role model.
Madam Saje and Fausat Balogun are seen to be two different persons but the traits you see in Fausat Balogun are also in Madam Saje. Why is it so?
I think they are two different characters.
There must be some small traces.
Because acting must have helped you in doing some things in life, that is rubbing off on your real life personality. Can you itemize some of these?
If you watch two of my films 'Odo-Aiku' and 'Igbodudu', you see a different Madam Saje. I act any character given to me very well.
What final word do you have for the upcoming actors and actresses?
My message to the upcoming ones is that they should keep their heads cool and having known this is what they wanted, they should pursue it with all determination.