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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Presenting little known Nollywood actress Maureen DaSilva

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Queen Nwokoye - Nollywood Actress

How would you describe awards events being done in Nigeria?

I think awards events in Nigeria are beautiful, because we have put a lot of hard work and they are ways to recognize our hard in the industry.

Do they really reward merit?

Umm, yes, I think so.

What is your definition of fashion?

Fashion is just you; it is what makes you very comfortable and what you are comfortable in. It is what makes you feel special when you are
in the midst of people. That is what fashion means to mean.

What informs what you wear?

Umm, well, I have always grown up feeling like a princess, that has in a way, shaped my fashion sense. Like I am now, looking like a princess (she makes a slow and steady spin).

But they can’t see you (laughs)?

That is for your eyes only (laughs).

What is your favourite food?

Oh, I love breadfruit, it is my best food.


Because it is not common, and also, the time spent in making it, anything you take your time to do, always come out good.

Where is your favourite hang-out?

I rarely hang-out (laughs).

What do you do with your leisure time?

I listen to good music, and I watch movies at home. I do sometimes unwind with friends, but that is not what I do with most of my leisure time.

How does it feel winning Fresh and Scandal Free actress award at the Best of Nollywood Awards?

(Laughs) I don’t know, honestly, I even think it is even putting me into a lot of troubles, because a lot people are having high expectations from me, which I don’t like. But I feel very happy and joyful, but I hope they would continue to allow me to stay fresh and scandal free (laughs).

What was your reaction when you first heard that you were nominated in that category?

I was like what! I have never heard of it before (laughs), I thought I was hearing the wrong thing. But I just took it that way, especially when the industry has been tagged a scandal-filled industry. So, I thought that if they feel like honouring those who have managed to stay scandal free in a scandalous industry, like they try to portray us, which we are not, then I should be glad that some people feel there are still some good people in the industry.

And when you were announced the winner, what was running through your mind?

I wasn’t really expecting it, I had a lot of my friends in that category, it wasn’t like a competition to me, but honestly, I was shocked. Well, I still thank God and I feel happy.

Now that you have won this award, what are your expectations?

Well, I will continue to live my life the way I have been doing. Like I said, it has never been a big problem living the quiet life I have been living before now; I just hope the press will let me be (laughs). But I really want to thank the press for not reporting things I didn’t do. I think they actually helped me get this award. For some reasons, I think my lifestyle appeals to them. Even before I received the nomination, I started seeing it in the media (online and print), I started asking myself where it was coming from. To my expectation, I will continue to be who I am and setting good example to young ladies out there. All eyes will be on me now, if I bring out my right foot, they will write that I brought out my left one, which is now my fear (laughs). Well, we are in the world, things come, things go, whatever that comes, I will take.

Now, how will you manage it, when bad stories about you start coming?

I will not do anything because obviously, it comes with the job. Now I know it might come. But oh God, help me, I know when that bridge comes, I am going to cross it. But I will still live my normal life, unless they are going to start making up stories about me, but if that doesn’t happen, I don’t think I always live a clean, plain and quiet life. If they write anything thing negative about me, just know that it is false or just writing script about me (laughs).

What is the secret being you being a scandal free actress?

Honestly, I don’t know, sometimes, I think it is because of my upbringing, maybe the way I am. I don’t just know, I just leave my life. I grew up as with a vice principal as my mother, you know what being in that kind of house would do to you. My grandparents were village headmasters. Maybe along the line, I took one or two things from the. All in all, I have always lived a normal life, even while in school.

What is that thing you can never be caught with?

Hmm, to a great extent, lying, I don’t like telling lies. I don’t think I can ever be caught lying. I always believe that when you say the truth, in 10 years time, you don’t have to think before saying what you said 10 years ago, when asked same thing again. My mum used to tell me then that, “it is better for you to be anything else other than a liar, because a liar can do anything.” She made us to believe that we won’t get punished for saying the truth, instead, we would get corrected if we did something the wrong way. So, I grew up with that. .

Any words to your fans?

My fans, I have the best fans in the whole world, I am telling you the truth. I love them, and everything I have ever done and achieved is for them. I want to say thank you to all of them. Thank you for standing by me through rough times. I want to tell them that I truly love them with all my heart. This award Fresh and Scandal Free Actress is dedicated to them.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Presenting Nollywood Actress Empress Njamah

We learn you are now a make-up artiste. How did you find yourself in this field?

I've been doing this for a long time. I don't have an office yet because I do a lot of things, so I really want to be sure of what I want to open an office for. The bridal make-up comes up almost every weekend. From one job, I get another job and I get another job from that one. Bridal make-up has been very okay.

You are into interior décor as well,

I do that as well. I just finished working on a hotel in Calabar. It took me almost three months to complete the job.

But how did you come into this line? We thought acting was your love?

I don't like being idle; I'm always up and doing. I like to venture into a lot of things. I like to do new things. Acting is obviously in me. Acting is beautiful; it pays. But I just like to venture into a lot of things. But I love everything I do.

But don't you feel bad that you are no longer acting in movies like most of your contemporaries?

I really don't have a problem with that. Acting is not what you can retire from. Acting is always there for any good actor. I just finished a job, which would be premiered in the US and Canada. I would rather be into one beautiful big project, where you can demonstrate your talent. I don't want to continue doing this home video thing; I want to do movies. I'm not a square peg in a round hole. Most people who know me also know I'm good, I'm okay. I've three scripts right now. Each time I get scripts, my brothers and I talk about them.

Some people might say you went off the screen because the scripts weren't coming any longer.

Not at all! It is not true. I was in Germany for about five months. I was also in the UK for some period of time doing some things I don't want to talk about right now. I've been okay with what I've been doing. I shot a movie late last year. I was in Owerri. Mike Ezuruonye was also in the movie. I did the movie because it was so challenging. We rehearsed with real guns in the movie. It is not the usual kind of movie we are used to everyday.

Tell us what it is like being in a family of actors.

It is just like asking me how it is being in a family of doctors. There is nothing wrong with acting or engineering. It is fun and interesting. It is something we can all sit down and talk about. It helps to have a brother who does the same thing that you do. We learn from each other.

Timaya said one of his greatest regrets was having you as his girlfriend. Did you hurt him that much for him to have said that?

Ah! Empress! Seriously, I told myself that I wasn't going to talk about this in the papers because I've learnt a lot. I've learnt that being good is not really a good thing in this country. Trying to help people is not a good thing too. Whatever you do, people will try to criticise you. I've always been a good person. Apart from the fact that people are not blind, apart from the fact that people are not dumb to know the truth, I don't have to go to the papers to justify what happened in that relationship. But I've been in the spotlight before he ever thought of getting there. People have always known me for being nice. I hate proud people; so, I will not boast about things I did for people. It is so glaring who should really go to the papers and say the relationship was a mistake. I don't want to criticise anybody. I don't want to talk about it. I still give God the glory. Without events, there won't be history. It has made me not to trust people or live my life for them.

We learnt you wanted to sue him.

We had a case recently and people said I sued Timaya for an X amount of money. Obviously, money is not my problem. I started making money long before Timaya ever thought of seeing millions. I just did what I had to do. Let me give you a hint. We had some issues and I basically avoided this same person for close to two years. I had my reasons. He was somebody I was close to for a period of time and I know what he can or can't do. So, I avoided him. I will just say that Timaya was obsessed with me. He saw me driving at a particular time, he overtook me, stopped in front of me, pulled me off my car and beat me up. I did what I had to do. I had to go to the police and report the case with the pictures of my face swollen and all of that. I took the case very far. I had two lawyers. But for the love of Christ, I had to let the case go. I've been in this business for a long time. If I go to the papers, people might say Empress wants attention. How can I crave attention when I've had it for so long? He went to the papers and he got talking and talking and I was reading and laughing. I didn't say a word all through that period. The fear of God and maturity had to come in. Many journalists called me to get my comments. I always told them I didn't want to comment on the issue.

But would you, like him, say you regret the relationship?

It is obvious. I would have used that period of time to better other people's lives or concentrate on my job or my family. But I was living my life for people who didn't deserve it. If I had listened to one of his new tracks before I dropped that case, I don't think I would have dropped the case. I may preach about Christ and love, but I'm human. There are things that you should just let go. Can you imagine the arrogance? Music is not meant for you to come out and brag about what you don't have. I respect Tuface a lot. He sings songs that make meaning. He is not bragging about what he is not and you can learn through his music. His music is inspiring. If you have a problem with someone, face the problem. Do you have to sing about it? Why not do something that people can embrace, something that can go farther than this country? Why would you waste your time and go to the studio only to come out singing about an actress? Empress was something he regretted yet he sang with my name. Empress was somebody you regretted, yet you used my brothers' names in your song. E dey pepper you for bodi so much. It is because I'm or I was so important in his life. You regret Empress yet you gave me a ring? Please! It is high time we stopped talking trash. I might have said I don't want to talk about this but right now, I don't think I would mind having one on one debate with him. But then, I'm too much for such. It is obvious who should regret the relationship. It is obvious who should be thankful. In life, when you achieve something you never believed you will achieve, it is like a blow to them.

How did you feel when he beat you up?

How else would a battered woman feel? You will feel angry and frustrated. At that point, a lot of things will go through your mind. This is not what I want to talk about in the papers. It is not a good thing for any female. I'm going to do a movie on people who hit women. It is not something I want to rush into. I want to do it right.

How come your brothers kept quiet if you said he beat you up?

My brothers didn't keep quiet. They were not brought up to be brutal. A lot of friends wanted to fight for me. A lot of musicians were on my side. One of my brothers wanted to be confrontational. But I told them that two people can't be mad at the same time. The way we were trained is obviously different from the way some other people were trained. My brothers will always respect my feelings. John is a triple black belter. He doesn't even need to fight. He will just hit you one place and you will die. He is one of the best in karate and you know these people are trained not to get angry. He is calm.

Would you have married Timaya?

I would have made my mother the saddest woman on the face of this earth if I'd married Timaya. I would have sent my mother to an early grave. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She is my happiness. My mother has never advised me wrongly and she has never advised me to be involved in anything evil. If I had moved out of my family house, I would have been wayward. But when you are under the umbrella of a good parent, you will hardly go astray. If I try to go astray, my mum will put me on the right track since I'm still living under her roof. If I had wanted to rent my own flat, I would have rented over 100 flats.

But we thought you moved into Timaya's house?

I didn't move into that house, I got that house. Please, I don't want to talk about it. Let's just leave that side. When I said I lived my life for some people, you should understand what I'm saying. I never moved into any man's house. I've never done that and I will never do that.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Presenting Yoruba Nollywood Actor - Yinka Quadri

HOW did you begin your acting career?
I can’t actually say how the whole thing started but the story of my life has been so interesting. I have been through a lot in life because the journey has been rough and smooth, so to say. I was born in the early 60’s. I attended St. Catholic School, Idumagbo for my primary education and proceeded to Christ High School, Ebute Elefun. When I got to class three, I dropped out of school but this has got nothing to do with poverty. It was not connected with money because my dad was a very influential man, and when I say influential, you can imagine what that means those days. I opted out of school to learn business so that I could take over my dad’s business

YOU are often addressed as Kura or Fagbamila by your fans. How did you come about these names?
Fagbamila came before Kura. In those days, if you didn't partake in traditional theatre performances, you were not a force to be reckoned with in the Yoruba theatre industry.

How long have you been acting?
I recall that I started in 1977 under the umbrella of theate Taiwo Olayinka, a.k.a Agbodorogun. Back then, only artistes who starred in theatre performances were recognized; so, that was when I chose Fagbamila as my stage name. As time went by, I became the leader of a travelling theatre known as Adetutu and I wrote a play titled Olaniyonu for the  Lagos Television,  the known LTV 8, Ikeja, Lagos.

What year was that?
That was in 1985 and I played the role of Fagbamila, meaning a herbalist who helps people in need. I remember that there was also a character called Ifadare who was always using his powers to carry out evil acts. After Olaniyonu, I produced so many other serials for LTV8. These productions were a huge success and that was how the name stuck.
In 1989, I was called again to come and present a special programme for the festive season and at that time, an artiste lived solely on productions, stage performances and radio programmes. There were a couple of films then, but nothing like home videos and productions were done on celluloid, which was very expensive. These special productions were aired in series on television for about two hours during such festivities.
This particular story was a crime story and towards that time, my father; a native of Igbomina Owomeje in Kwara State and a member of a club that brought about development in the community. Usually, during a meeting at any member's house, there must be some form of entertainment (food and drinks).
I recall that about six of them were eating and someone had already eaten two pieces of meat out of five. He was on the verge of taking a third one when my father said,' No way, Kura ni wo yi o.’

Obviously, that meant the person was a thief?
(Interjects) Oh, no! That was not what the statement meant. Thereafter, I asked my mother for a translation and she said that it was a Hyena that the Yoruba call Kura. She said the animal is such a wild one and the Yoruba often call it 'Ajekujeran'. It’s so powerful and loves eating meat. I felt that it could be a metaphor for someone that's tough, not necessarily wicked.
This was at a time when I was writing a crime script and I adopted the name Kura, and it was a widely accepted production as well. The movie was titled Kutupu and I played the character, Kura. In 1992, I wrote another story which I titled Kura and that was how the name stuck till date.

You started out in 1977 as an actor and that is over 35 years ago. Would you mind taking about some of the challenges you have faced in the past years?
There have been challenges here and there, but I thank God that I have been able to overcome them. In anything you want to do in life, challenges abound, but the most important thing is that God has helped me to pull through.
The greatest challenge is that as an artiste, you cannot be your real self. For instance, I was born on Lagos Island and relocated to the mainland in the ‘80s. Sometimes, I desire to pay a visit to the Island to see things that have changed, but I'm scared of the crowd that my presence will attract. It pains me that I have lost that kind of privacy.
At times, I just feel like going sight- seeing just like any normal person, but the thought that one may be mobbed creeps into my mind and I can't go. I could be coming back from a location and feel like going to the market to pick up some items but, you suddenly discover that even the traders would almost scare you (chuckles). Sometimes, this is uncalled for, but what can you do? Apart from that in this industry, you have to be respectful, loyal and dedicated, despite all the limitations I mentioned earlier. Sometimes, people misinterpret your good intentions. There are hypocrites, talented people, God-fearing people and devil-incarnate in this industry, so while you are trying to be a good person, some people will hate you for not dancing to their tune. The Englishman would say, 'If you cannot beat them, join them', but it’s not possible to join bad people. These are all challenges in the industry.

Was your decision to act a spontaneous thing or were you influenced by some events that had happened in the past?
It all happened on the morning of July 16, 1977. At that time, I was with one of my bosses, an architect whom I worked with when I dropped out of school in class three and my dad asked me to undergo apprenticeship.

Why did you drop out of school?
(Pauses) It's a long story! A cousin of mine was working with my dad, who was a very established trader on Lagos Island. He worked with him for 16 years. In my town, it’s just like someone who goes to school, so he or she would be expected to graduate someday. Consequently, his parents wanted him to leave. But he was very loyal to my father who wondered was bothered about who would look after his business for him.

It became a serious issue that dragged on for over four years. It got so bad that people murmured in some quarters that my father was 'using his destiny, as the Yoruba would say. And I wasn’t happy about it. At that point, I told my Dad to allow him to leave and I voluntarily dropped out of school to take over his business. It was a difficult decision and my father reluctantly accepted. My cousin thought me the basics of running the business for about three months before he left.

Didn't you nurse the idea of going back to school after you had established yourself?
In truth, I ought to have gone back, but acting has become a passion for me.
I had already started out from school, but I joined my Dad's business in 1978. My Dad felt that rather than drop out of school just like that, I should go to Alhaji Lawal who's an architect to learn some form of handwork, which was an addition to acting. It was during this that I met one of my friends, Fatai Alabi.
We joined forces because we liked the Theatre as we were inspired by the late Ade Love, Hubert Ogunde and Kola Ogunmola. Glover Hall was the only hall on Lagos Island then and our Uncles used to take us along to watch stage shows. We had a meeting at Moshalashi Street in Obalende and we took off from there.

That means you started off with stage performances?
It's funny because we went to buy drums and we called a few friends to join us on July 16, 1977. We went on for about a year and after wards, somebody introduced the late Taiwo Olayinka to us because he noticed that we were interested in acting.  But he didn't go about it the right way. This man (Olayinka) used to be under Sir James who was a Floor Manager with The Nigerian Television Authority and also doubles as an artiste. He's still very much alive.

Where is he now?
I can not say precisely, but I know he later moved to LTV8.Taiwo Olayinka was a printer and he accepted to be our leader so as to give us a sense of direction.

In other words, you were like a moving theatre?
Yes, a travelling theatre.

Did you give your group a name?
We used to be known as Afopina before Olayinka came and he changed the name to Isale Oro. This further put us in the limelight for another two years. He trained us well. Thanks to him, we knew how to commercialize theatre, how to book a hall, sell tickets for stage productions, how to dance and other things. In January, 1981,Taiwo Olayinka decided to form his own group and had to leave ours. He said he wanted to be his own boss. It was at that point that we also decided to change the name of our group to Adetutu Theatre Organisation.

What was the first stage play from your stable?
The title is so long such that I may not be able to repeat it here. In those days, if your title wasn't strongly worded and laced with Yoruba idioms, you were not recognized as a theatre practitioner. That's why till now, most people think I studied Yoruba due to my rich interpretation in movies, but I often tell people that if you are very passionate about what you do, you'll be improving as the days go by. My first television series was Agbodorogun followed by Egberin Ote, which was an adaptation of a book that secondary school students used for Yoruba Language in the O’Level examinations in 1984.

Yes. We staged it throughout Lagos State in schools. I sought permission from the author of the book as well as The Ministry of Education and we were given the go-ahead to stage it. It was later adapted as a television series too. Araba, Olaniyonu and a host of others followed suite.
As the world keeps evolving, the theatre industry was also growing. It was around 1988 that home video came about and as such, there was no time for a moving theatre any more. You could become an independent producer and call people to partake in your production.

How were you able to transit from a stage performer to acting in movies. Was the transition a difficult one?
The transition was quite an easy one because it showed that there's an improvement in the industry. It's not easy to perform on stage because you need to keep moving with costumes and other props. But in the case of movies, it goes round the world and gives you less trouble in terms of production.

What was your first home video?
That would be Ekun and it was released in 1989. It was the late Alade Aromire's movie. I must state that I was the second person to bring out a home video in Nigeria. That was even before Kenneth Nnebue released the popular Igbo movie, Living in Bondage.

Not many people know this.
Well, I am telling you now. Before Nnebue brought out Living in Bondage, I was one of his pioneer actors because he started out with Yoruba movies. You can go and ask him. Not many people know this, but I really don't think it’s necessary to blow my trumpet. Fatai Adetayo( Lalude) and I used to work for Nnebue. Out of the 27 Yoruba movies he released, I can humbly say that I featured in 23. It was after the release of these movies that he did Living in Bondage. With that release, the Igbo part of Nollywood claim that they pioneered home videos in Nigeria, which is not true. I can categorically tell you that it's not true.

Most of the characters you portray in movies depict the rich proverbs and culture of the Yoruba'. Apart from the fact that you dropped out of school, how do you handle these roles so well?
I can only give thanks to God. You know, in anything you do, you need to put God first and that's just what I do.

There seems to be some sort of discrimination among actors in the English home movie sector and their Yoruba counterparts in terms of crossover roles.  What is your take on this?
I am sorry to say this, but most of these actors in the English home movie sector are terrible. For instance, English as a medium of expression, is nobody's language, every one just speaks it. It is not our father's language anyway,  but Yoruba is. The fact that there may be so many English movies around does not mean that they are better than their Yoruba counterparts.
This was seen as a challenge in the past and that was the reason why most Yoruba artistes began to do cross-over roles. But the twist is that when you get to the market, the Igbo marketers sell English movies and Yoruba marketers sell ours. These marketers refused to sell our movies and we decided to promote our own films worldwide in our own way. We feel that this is even a plus for us as artistes. This is because we would be selling our culture to the rest of the world.
If you look back, you will notice that Nollywood started off with Igbo films before English films. Most developed countries like America, China and India turn out films in their indigenous languages and we felt the need to do the same with our Yoruba movies. That is why we try to make the standard of our productions very high.  From our research, we found out that it is even the indigenous language that viewers abroad enjoy. I think our indigenous films carry more weight than English movies.
The truth's that Yoruba productions can equally match up with the English ones. There has been a decrease in the sale of English movies now. Ghanaians have taken over in the continent and they have made it clear that any artiste that wants to come from Nigeria to shoot a movie in Ghana must pay some sort of fee. This is because they now have a well- established movie industry as well.
There was a certain Chinese movie that won an Oscar Award. How did this happen? It was simply because the entire movie was done in Chinese Language and it was subtitled. If they can achieve that feat, what stops a Yoruba film from doing the same? I am not making negative comments about Nollywood, but when we go abroad, some of our fans make us understand that if not for our indigenous movies, their children wouldn't have been able to learn the language. That alone motivates us to do better.

Does that mean you do not intend to do any form of cross-over production?
(Cuts in) I do not discriminate and I can say the same for most of my colleagues. You will have noticed that during the making of some Yoruba movies, we do invite our colleagues, either an Igbo or Hausa speaking person, for certain roles. But what I frown at is bringing in a neutral person who does not understand the language to partake in a movie; but we don't discriminate. We invite cross-over artistes when the need arises.

Do you have any English production to your credit?
Of course, I have. If you cast your mind back to the rested soap opera, Palace, I was part of the cast, but I didn't do a movie.

You have been in the make-belief world for over 30 years. How fulfilled are you? Have you ever thought at some point to delve into other things?
Looking back now, I really don't think there's any other thing that I can do that would have brought me fame and wealth like acting. I am fulfilled and I always thank God for His mercies.
My parents were very rich, but I if not for the industry, I would have ended up a trader. Even if I was one, would I be able to buy or quantify the honour I get now? Definitely no. Even if we get to the Presidential Villa today as artistes, I am sure President Goodluck Jonathan will surely recognize us because we have come a long way.

Do you have children who have decided to tread your path as an actor?
Well, I have seen one or two indicate interest, but the agreement I have with them is that even if they want to become an actor or actress, education is key and they must study to a reasonable level before doing that. If that is done, I have no problem with them.

Apart from the late Ade Love, do you have other role models?
No. For me, it’s Ade Love and no one else.

What are your future plans?
I desire to become an international actor.

What advice do you have for your colleagues as well as the up and coming ones in the industry?
The future of the industry is really bright and if we improve in terms of production, story-wise, the use of techniques and most importantly, be good actors, the industry will uplift Nigeria as a whole. I would advise all of us to keep up the good work, be dedicated and loyal in this business and above all, be prayerful.

You seem to have reduced the number of acting roles you take, as you are hardly seen in home videos, compared to some years back, why?
I have reached a level in my life where I should not just take any script that comes my way. By the grace of God I have lived a comfortable life till date, I don’t believe in rush-ing to loca-tions to feature in every film because I want to live well. I am comfortable with what I have been able to achieve and I thank God for that. Believe me, I will be acting as special guest on set and transform into a big time producer, because I believe there is no age limit and there is limited stress in being a producer. I just took some time out to relax and pave way for the upcoming ones to grow and learn their lines well.

Sometimes ago, you were alleged to have fueled the dissolution of Saheed Balogun’s marriage to Fathia, what actually went wrong?
I don’t know anything about that; in fact, I am one of those who tried to make sure the marriage did not crash but there was nothing more or less I could do to salvage the situation when it was getting out of hands.

But he accused Odunfa caucus of ruining his marriage and you happen to be the leader of that caucus?
I am hearing this for the first time. How can you say something that has no element of truth in it? I don't know anything about his crashed marriage.

What’s your relationship with your friend, Ogogo like, how have you been able to live without a clash?
He’s my friend and we understand each other very well. I have known him for many years and we have never had any reason to raise our voices against each other. I believe our coming together was the will of God. We are thinking of holding a celebration of our friendship one day and we have had the chance to sit and talk over it. I can tell you that he’s a wonderful friend.

How did you feel when it was argued that his illness was connected to drug trafficking?
Honestly, I was outraged. As far as am concerned, his illness had nothing to do with hard drugs. Let me tell you that even when the going was very tough for him, he never partook in any illicit act, let alone now that God has blessed him. I don’t like the way our people react to issues sometimes. I told him that it is the price you have to pay for being a celebrity.

If you say Ogogo was not involved in drug trafficking, how would you explain Wunmi’s case, it was widely reported that she was caught in the act and these two are members of your caucus?
Wunmi’s case was an unfortunate incident and I felt so bad about it. She was just not contented with what she had and she has regretted her action. If you see her now, you will know that she is now a totally reformed person. We really felt bad about the ugly incident, it was highly disgraceful but it had nothing to do with our caucus.

What is the greatest sacrifice you have ever made to get to this level?
You know that if you are engaged in something for the love of it, there is nothing you won’t do to perfect it. Fortunately for me, when I started, with little gains in the trade, I was able to get money to fund my passion from another source. I remember in 1986, I sold a 504 car to produce a movie, Ojiji with Prince Jide Kosoko.   In 1992, 1 sold a whole house to produce another movie, Oloruka - this was when home video came. But because my family is well to do, I didn’t really feel the economic constraints as such and I thank God, today, I am one of those reaping from the industry.

With what you have been able to achieve in the industry, would you say you are successful?
I am successful as far as this profession is concerned; I am one of the few that have benefitted from this industry. Despite the fact that I am not educated, I have three children studying overseas, I have a fleet of cars and I know it won’t stop there by God’s grace. My prayer to God now is that he should help me so that I can complete my house and move in before the year runs out.

How have you been able to live a scandal-free life?
Staying away from scandal has to do with being cautious with the people you relate with, where you are found and things like that.

Is there something that makes you feel sad each time you remember?
The day my father died. That was a day that has remained indelible in my heart. This is not because he died but because he died when I needed him so much. I don’t even want to talk about it.

Dedicated to the memory of Teslim Olamilekan Suleiman (1992 - 2005) [Click Image to read about him]