The Nigerian Artist Wale Adebayo Speaks about Himself - FOW 24 NEWS

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The Nigerian Artist Wale Adebayo Speaks about Himself

The towering thespian who relocated to the US some years ago, spews fire like a besieged dragon as he recounts how death plucked his beloved mother off the face of the earth via a fiendish driver in a most devastating fashion akin to crushing a rose flower in its mellow bloom. He also slams Nigeria’s health care system as “inadequate”.

Why did you decide to relocate to the US?

Well, relocating to the states was more of a family decision than my own desire (not that being in America has not been good for me though).

It was alleged that you dumped your wife and kids to stay with another woman, how do you react to that?

(Laughs) It was my wife that actually saw the stories on blogs online and forwarded them to me, we had a good laugh about it. You can’t stop bloggers from doing what they do; you can only pray that they are more professional about it.

Do you have nostalgic feelings about home?

My brother, East or West, home is the best. In America you begin again to try to get a semblance of the kind of life you were used to back home.

What is the Sango brand all about?

Well, it started just as a feature length movie to bring awareness to the rich cultural heritage of the Yoruba race; it did that and more. As you know 20 years ago when the movie was shot, the Nigerian film industry was just getting its bearing so a lot of what we did was novel. 

The Sango brand did not set in until three years later when people could actually not see me as Wale Adebayo the actor, but more as Sango the actor called Wale Adebayo. Did I tap into the brand as much as I should? I guess that’s a story for another time.

As a multi-talented person, how do you juggle acting, directing and producing?

Well, basically when you love what you do and I really do love all these stuffs: acting, directing and producing; it makes it easier for you to be able to do well in all. 

I remember when I used to direct for Wale Adenuga Productions (WAP gave me my first full directorial debut). I also acted in some of the series and for me it was both a thrilling and educative experience.

It’s been a while since you acted, why the hiatus?

I have remained in the US fully this past year and I am not really one to find out what movies are being shot by Africans who are here even though I know loads are shot each year.

Hopefully we should be going on set here in Maryland on a collaborative effort with Bayo Alawiye, Joseph Benjamin, David Osei (A Ghanaian actor and model here), Segun Oshiyoye, Ola Lafamedia and a host of others; just keep your fingers crossed and expect something unique from the team.

What are you into currently?

Taking care of my family is a major priority and then the movie I said is coming soon. Loads of other stuff in the works, so you would need to stay glued to my page.

How would you rate the Nigerian movie industry at present?

Oh my brother, it’s beautiful. The rate of development seen in the last five years has been outstanding to say the least. What we need to do now is start fighting to get into mainstream film making festival and awards in the world.

Nollywood and Hollywood, your thoughts?

Unfair comparison actually; Nollywood is working tirelessly though to get to that point. It might take some time though as I said earlier, we need to start finding out how to get our movies out there to film festivals that can really make an impact within the industry.

You cut your acting teeth in the epic 1997 movie Sango, how did you manage the fame that came with it?

Will I say I managed it? Let’s just say it did not change my person but I also moved with the flow of being a celebrity all of a sudden and that leaves a long lasting impression on you. I thank God for the last 21 years (Sango was actually shot 21 years ago this year).

Why do you think we should not have christened our movie industry Nollywood?

It’s a creative industry, meaning the people who coined out Hollywood are from the region where the American film industry is located. We should have also creatively found a name for the Nigerian film industry that will reflect our creative side. 

The British film makers, Australians and Italians all have a film industry that’s also thriving. They did not have to put “wood” just to reflect that they also have a movie industry. The name has caught on now so there is really nothing we can do about it.

As a graduate of Law, have you ever entertained the thought of practising as a lawyer?

(Laughs) Of course I entertain it all the time. It’s not easy to have gone through the pressure of studying to be a lawyer and end up just abandoning it for something else. I am hoping someday soon I will do something tangible with my Law degree.

You lost your mum in 2007, could you share her last moments?

(Sighs) As with every well brought up young Yoruba boy, my mum was my greatest supporter. She was a rock behind all her kids, but with me it was something special. 

The week preceding her death, she had actually paid me a surprise visit. Eventually, she decided to pass the night and return home in the morning so I had to behave myself. 

Then in the morning, she said we should go together for morning mass (We are devout Catholics). I had not been to church in a while and I knew there was no saying no to my mum. 

We attended the Catholic church in Maryland since I resided in Mende, Maryland then. She left for Satellite Town where I grew up and was still there prior to her death. 

I lost my mum to a careless driver and an inadequate health care system. Anyway I know she is in a good place and I miss her everyday.

Is that the saddest day of your life?

Yeah; one of the most painful period in my life.

Do you see yourself taking a shot at politics perhaps if you return to the country?

I believe we need serious shift in the paradigm of power in Nigeria. Will I be part of that shift? Time will tell.

If the epic flick Sango were to be repackaged and reacted, what difference will it make to the 1997 version?

A whole lot. There are better effects modules now and then probably mix in the narrative a bit; it will have a better chance of making it to more film festivals as an historical piece.

In sum, a stunning box office hit?

That’s the word. Funny enough my registered company is called Box Office Entertainment.

Finally, one wonders how technology affects the actor creatively, career-wise and from a business perspective?

It’s not affecting, rather it’s more of a challenge to be prepared to be part of the future. For the business of film making it’s an advantage, movies made with technological advancement have raked in more at the box office than any other genre. 

So I think it’s a good time for filmmaking and filmmakers. Take those young guys in Komotion Studios with what they did with the Sango animation—purely outstanding if I must say.

The Nigerian Artist Wale Adebayo Speaks about Himself Reviewed by FOW 24 News on June 30, 2018 Rating: 5 The towering thespian who relocated to the US some years ago, spews fire like a besieged dragon as he recounts how death plucked his belov...

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