Emmanuel Adejumo, aka BoiSala, is actor, comedian, musician, dancer and choreographer. He is the son of the late veteran actor and filmmaker, Moses Olaiya Adejumo, aka Baba Sala. In this interview with TONY OKUYEME, Boisala, the Osun State-born thespian, who is a member of the National Troupe of Nigeria, talks about his career, challenges, Nollywood, influence of his late father and plans to imortalise him
You are a member of the National Troupe of Nigeria. Tell us how you eventually joined the Troupe…
It wasn’t an easy task then, it was so hectic. You have to pass through your state; do audition from your state to select the best, because if you are not the best you are not fit to be at the National Troupe of Nigeria. I scaled through my state (Osun State) audition and was sent by the then Director of Culture, late Chief Raji with the approval of our state Governor then. Your governor must know you are going to the federal so you must comport yourself there and make your state proud. I came to the troupe and met other colleagues from different states and we now faced another audition and training for another two weeks to check our stamina, health, skills and so on. If you are not fit then they send you back to your state. The training was so rigorous, I almost ran away from camp one day but I told myself if I run, I have let my state down, I have let my Daddy down, I have let my dance coach and master Christopher Emmanuel popularly known as Abdul down. So I summoned the courage and the rest remains history today. Glory be to God.
Any regrets joining the National Troupe?
No regret at all. I was trained at the National Troupe of Nigeria by the best hands in Nigeria, Prof. Ahmed Yerima trained us, Dr. Arnold Udoka too not to talk of our seniors that were there from Late Hubert Ogunde’s time. We were handled by the best hands and this broadened my scope of knowledge and skills. I am still benefiting it till today and what I have learnt at the National Troupe of Nigeria is still useful to me till date. No regret at all.
How has it been, especially in the last two years…?
It’s been so rough, my brother. Things were not the same again. We have new director whose idea is different from his predecessors. He changed the whole pattern, so it’s been so rough.
It is about two years now since your daddy, a renowned actor and filmmaker, Moses Olaiya Adejumo, passed on. What do you missed most about him?
I missed a lot about him. He used to pray a lot and he also trained us same way. He will call me sometimes and he will just pray for me and say goodbye. My dad thought me the act of comedy, and he supported me a lot in my career. He took me to Omitun Dance Group to be trained as a dancer and also show me so many tricks in the profession. I am closed to him so I missed him a lot, his jokes and trivia sometimes; you know he is a lovely person to be with. I see him as the best Dad ever. His name is still opening the doors.
Are there plans to immortalise him?
Yes, many plans are going on in the family to immortalize him. We are planning a museum for him and we are putting many things in places. We plan to do a symposium in his name with a performance of his classic plays every year starting from this year. We pray the Covid-19 pandemic would have come down by then. We also plan to organize a comedy competition among schools and theatre companies to develop the act. We have a remix of one of his classical song ‘Omoge Karile’ which is from the sound track of ‘Orun Mooru’. We are lunching it on the day of the anniversary and we are dedicating a song to the original Karile, that is Late Mrs. Folake Adejumo who played the role of Karile in all my Daddy’s plays. She was the Matron of Alawada Theatre and Movies International. We are also planning a Foundation for him too. So, many things are on the table to celebrate my dad, and by God’s grace it will continue like that every year. We are starting on a low key and we pray it will become big.
Why did you deem it necessary to establish House of Dance?
Dance has been what I like most then right from my childhood because I used to see my mum and other wives with staffs doing the opening glee then. I so much love it and my dad saw this in me that’s why he sent me to dance school in Ibadan then, with all the knowledge acquired from Osun, Ogun states and the National Troupe of Nigeria too I think it’s good to start something, and my father really supported me then, and my boss too. I have to give back to the society, and thank God we are going places. We have been performing in all parts of Nigeria and we had three successful international trips too.
Why have you not gone into filmmaking like your dad?
I’m into it. It’s only that it’s not easy to produce movies like that. We will need sponsors because the new equipment now are expensive. But sooner I’ll be shooting a movie which might be out by next year Easter by God’s grace.
Who is Boisala?
Boisala is a creative person who has not even discovered himself. He is a comedian, musician, dancer and all. Boisala wishes to follow his father’s step too so that the legacy can go on.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you and how are you coping?
We just thank God. It really affected not only me but all practitioners in the entertainment sector. Without crowd we can’t entertain. And we can’t do anything until this Covid-19 is over. It really affected me but we thank God for His faithfulness.
Are you married?
Is your wife also an artiste?
Nope she is into business.
How did you meet?
We met one day and that’s how it all started… (Smile)
Have you been embarrassed?
Yes, many times.
So many times, but I can’t forget the day I was invited to a concert and I tried to crack a joke, a joke I have rehearsed before my standing mirror but alas, it was so dry that day and felt so embarrassed. So I used music to cover up till I left the concert.