Arts & Entertainments

FEMI ADEBAYO: Being nominated in same award category with my dad was big deal

Nollywood actor, Femi Adebayo is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after actors in the country having paid his dues so well. The lawyer, director and producer has featured in over 100 movies that cut across both the English and Yoruba genres. Femi has equally joined the growing list of Nigerian entertainers who are getting involved in governance. In this interview with MUTIAT LAWORE, Femi spoke about youths’ involvement in politics, cinema culture and the journey thus far. Excerpts…

What are your assessments of the cinema culture among Nigerian youths?

For me, it is growing although there is still room for improvement; gone are the days when all we did was go to cinemas and watch foreign movies but the reverse is the case now as more prominence is given to Nigerian movies in cinemas as our productivity level has increased. For me, I believe we are already knocking out Hollywood in cinemas if not sending them packing.

How would describe your creative process?

It’s improving because something actually stimulates the creativity in me, what I see around me, unlike when I started. But now more exposure has further helped in shaping my creativity process.

There was a time you and your father got nominated in the same award category; how did that make you feel?

The good thing is that I was extremely happy that I was sharing the same category with my father; I was nominated based on my movie ‘Etiko Onigedu’ while my father was nominated based on his own production ‘Adaba’. For me being nominated is an acknowledgement of your hard work. It was actually a big deal for me in this category alongside my father but I was pretty sure my father would love that I won in the category because that would be more fun for him; like the Yorubas will say ‘ A fe Ki Omo wa seju wa lo’ (We want our children to do more than us) and at the end of the day, I emerged winner in that category.

How much did your father influence your career?

Working closely with my father gave me a picture and maybe I got the passion from him since he is an actor. I used to take acting as a hobby before it turned to a profession. I wanted to be a lawyer and I went to school to study it. But I later realised that I was having more fun and getting comfortable in showbiz. That was why I settled for acting.

What are the lessons you’ve learnt from your father?

I have learnt so much from my father and I am still learning. I am using this opportunity to say thank you to him and if I am coming to this world again I wish to come through him. He is an extremely humble man and we learnt that from him. Apart from the fact that he is a talented actor, he is a born leader and we got that attribute from him too. I have been using so many of his principles in my daily activities and it is really working for me. I give it to him and I see him as a major factor behind my success.

Do we still see you practicing law?

In as much as I am a qualified barrister, I can appear before the law court. But it is important to mention that the professional ethics of law won’t permit you to be a practicing law if you are into any other business. As a lawyer you should have enough time to prepare your case if you’re to represent your client in the law court; you shouldn’t misrepresent the court. So if I am not doing any other thing again, I can decide to go into full-time practice.

When did you decide to dump law for acting?

Sincerely it was even after my call to bar. I was called to the Nigerian bar in 2003 and I decided to turn my passion into profession in 2005.

How do you manage ladies, your admirers?

I am not a ladies’ man like most people think. My female fans appreciate my work and I appreciate them as well. I have not experienced a case where a female fan does things out of place to me. They are cool.

When was the last time you read a book?

Today to be precise; it’s not a book per say but a movie script.

What is your take on youths’ involvement in politics?

Believe me sincerely it is a good idea that youths these days have begun to show keen interest in politics but it is actually sad that when people hear the word’ Politics’ what ordinarily comes to the mind is that they are thieves, they are corrupt and if we continue to think that way nobody will have interest in the politics of the country. The fact remains that we have so many sincere politicians in there but as you know the bad eggs tend to overshadow the good ones. So for me, I will tell the youths that now it is our time to get it right, and happily for us there is the not too young to run bill indicating that a lot of youths can be lawmakers. Let us use this medium to tell those grandfathers to go and sit down; retirement age is 65 in Civil Service, so let those people above 65 give chance to the younger ones to come on board and see what we can do.

A lot of celebrities have been dragged on social media; what is your take on social media trolls?

Luckily for me I have had issues on social media where insults will come in; I take a step at a time and I have tried as much as possible to keep record and stay off scandals. Even when fans give a polite insult on my page, I have been trained not to attack or react and believe me that has really helped me a lot because you don’t have to respond to all insults on social media.

Who is Femi Adebayo away from the limelight?

You can give me the opportunity to describe myself and I won’t say sweet things. I am an easy going person, straight forward and I am totally different from the person you see on screen. But when it comes to work I interpret my roles well and I can go to any extent to achieve it. I do researches very well.

Would you act nude for a price?

Like I said Yoruba movies are meant to promote culture and it is not part of our culture to appear nude. So I would never do that for any amount. What is money?




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