- Category: CELEBRITY NEWS
- Published on Monday, 30 May 2011 11:03
- Written by Elizabeth Obisanya
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On Thursday 26th May 2011, citizen reporter, Elizabeth Obisanya, met with Oga Bello a.k.a Adebayo Salami during his rest period in London, as I expected he was charming and very polite man. I interviewed him for elombah.com
Here are excerpts of the interview:
1.ELIZABETH: What are you doing in London?
Oga BELLO: Am here for a short rest. I have being working nonstop for the past two years without a holiday so I decided to come for 2 weeks.
2.ELIZABETH :I have likened YOU and your family to the Hollywood DOUGLAS family , with you being our Michael Douglas? Do you agree with that if not who do you think you are like in Hollywood?
OGA BELLO: yes actually I agree the majority of my family is now in the industry.
3.ELIZABETH: Now let us look at your history in the arts & Nollywood. When did your career start?
OGA BELLO: 1964, I actually started in 1964, acting on stage which led into the film industry, in 1974 I started in the film industry, my first film was called” COUNTDOWN at..., then I did Ogundes “JAIYE SIMI”,. I produced my first film 1985 on film ( celluloid) called “OGUN JAIYE” in 1987 made a film called “Omon Orukon”, in 1990” Eri Okon” ( Conscience).
4. ELIZABETH: Did your family object to your wanting to go into the arts?
OGA BELLO: Yes of course there were many objections, coming from a Muslim home it was contrary to Muslim law . I was sent packing there was a big family upset because of it. I first pleaded with them then my uncle pleaded with my family and actually just suggested that they should just leave me to it, if it is his ( my ) destiny then it will be if not then that would be the end of it.;.but if destiny then we can’t stand in God’s way’
B.ELIZABETH : How would you advice any budding star or anyone for that matter of fact who wants to embark on a path less trodden?
OGA BELLO: ‘If you are called into something , GOD will provide for you all the things that you need.. no matter what field it is ..and you will make it .Hurdles will come and are inevitable , if you look at Jesus , Mohammed they all had obstacles and they passed it. Destiny means overcoming obstacles.
5.ELIZABETH:What is your own favourite film that you have either produced –directed or acted in?
OGA BELLO: I don’t really like to mention my favourite, but the 1987 movie that I produced –“OMON ORUKON” ( Orphan) had great challenges , post production was done in New York there were many disappointments from almost EVERYONE, Editors, sponsors backed out , actors quit, I had to borrow money from friends to complete..YET IT IS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL of all my movies ever made. True.
(b) ELIZABETH : WOW so do you think that it was like a rebirth ?
OGA BELLO: Yes it was like that actually it was like being birthed again into the industry the contractions were great and the labour hard..
6. ELIZABETH what projects are you doing next or have just completed?
OGA BELLO: I have just completed one film that is in post production- “IYA TA LE”, & “IRO N ILA” ( big Lie ) which I wrote and produced and was directed by my son Femi Adebayo..and a film with a Christian producer..(laughing) Then it is my big 60 th birthday next year .
7. ELIZABETH: WOW ..WHO is your favourite Hollywood actor ?
OGA BELLO: EDDIE MURPHY, and I also like AMTA VARSHAL of BOLLYWOOD films.
8. ELIZABETH : Really ? You like BOLLYWOOD too? I don’t like them much they are kinda like some of the Nolly wood stuff at least when I used to watch them..it was always about Indian Juju etc I don’t like movies on juju.
OGA BELLO: It is true that many Nollywood films have juju in the story line as 70% of people in Nigeria believe that juju can solve their problems and 20 % believe that the church or alfa can solve it for them.
B, ELIZABETH: ISNT Nollywood perpetrating this myth that Juju solves their problems I mean when people see it on t.v wont they go to the juju man rather than God to solve their problems for them?
OGA BELLO: Yes it is true , in my last film the issues was resolved via an Alufa . It is true it is God that answers prayers.
9. ELIZABETH : what about your private life.. what are your feelings towards women? I read somewhere that you said that ..
OGA BELLO: ...I love women.
ELIZABETH : Yes that you love women. Well?
OGA BELLO: Yes it is true I love women so much..the Koran says that a man must love and respect a woman.
ELIZABETH: wow so does the bible..men must not be bitter towards women
OGA BELLO: I believe that women know more than men generally ,when ever I want to get wisdom I sit around women to catch what they are saying, to gain experience. I recall when I worked with OGUNDE he once asked me – which one was the best situation to have the husband or wife go(die) first ? I said I didn’t know he said it is better for the man to go first as a woman owns the house and family, men are to love their wives in that manner .
ELIZABETH: Wow I didn’t know OGUNDE was a Christian? Those are Christ Teachings and indeed the content of the next movie with God’s Grace you are going to star in for our production company SWORD OF THE SPIRIT .TV called FUNKE NI..
OGA BELLO: Yes actually that is true.
ELIZABETH: Do you have any regrets?
OGA BELLO: No not really only that I did not manage my personal affairs well at the height of my fame. Stardom and youth are very dangerous things . I have women who have had children for me, I LOVE MY CHILDREN, 14 Graduates and I am grate ful to God for His Kindness towards me. I would have liked to have managed it differently without any people being upset if you know what I mean.
ELIABETH: How many wives do you actually have then?
OGA BELLO: I actually only have 2 wives as you know this is allowed under Islamic traditions and customs. I married my first wife in 1975 at aged 23 under Islamic “NIKA” marriage customs, and then in 1978 I married my second wife , my first wife said it was too early.
ELIZABETH : WOW it is ..only 3 years she had you to herself. I would protest too.
OGA BELLO: (laughs)
ELIZABETH : You know women are very sensitive and don’t like to share their love with anyone.
10: ELIZABETH: You have seen it all I guess in the Nolly Film Industry working with the patriarchs and matriarchs etc and must have seen alot of changes ..would you say that the changes have been good?
OGA BELLO: Yes I have seen many changes not just in Nollywood but in Nigeria as a whole, as a nation, and No NOT all of the changes have been good .
ELIZABETH: Really ? like what?
OGA BELLO: well the lack of discipline nowadays from the cast , they don’t keep to time on the set and this causes a problem when filming, they often act as if they have already made it ..Then the government has released FILM FUNDING for NOLLYWOOD..that is a good thing if it is used very well..you know no tribalism or discrimination of any kind .
ELIZABETH : did you vote for Jonathan?
OGA BELLO: yes I did , I voted for him.
11. ELIZABETH lastly I read somewhere that one of your “iyawos” stated in the Nigerian press that you are fencing her off from your circle of actors and acting work. Do you have anything to say to the lady in mind?
OGA BELLO: Actually I am not fencing her off, she is one of the mothers of my children why would I do that it would backfire..how will the children be taken care of? What actually happened was that when we split there was a natural reaction of people who knew us together not knowing how to react now?..but No I am NOT telling my friends NOT to help out or to blank her- its is true. IT is God that makes a way for all of us..what we do to others He will see and do to us.
ELIZABETH: Very wise man. Thank you very much for this interview. Bye.
Interviewed in South Norwood London England. May 26th 2011