October 9 2021
With over three decades of experience as an actor, Adekunle Olalekan Afod doesn’t seem to be slowing down as he keeps churning out films year in year out. Afod, a household name in the Nigerian movie industry, speaks on his recent movie, marriage, social media bullying among other issues in this interview with The Nation’s ADENIYI ADEWOYIN.
Tell us about your new movie, Oruko
Oruko is a comedy movie that stars notable comedians. The storyline is based on the effect our name, surname or family name may have on us. Due to the nature of the environment we found ourselves in, it is bound to occur from a different perspective of African personnel and what I am saying in essence is that Oruko (name) have a lot to do with individuals. Sometimes, your name can lift you high and sometimes it can be destructive to you. What legacy are you lying for your generation? Like the Yorubas will say; Oruko rere osan ju wura ati fadaka lo (a good name is better than silver and gold). So it’s just about a couple and their different kinds of jobs but most of these jobs are dirty jobs such as fraud but at the end of the day it was a different ball game when they got exposed.
What message exactly are you trying to pass across in the new movie?
The message I’m trying to pass is that in whatever you do now, make sure you do it right and leave a good legacy for those that will inherit that name from you so that your name will open doors and not shut door, so that you and will be something people will like to be recognised with and not run away and whatever we do we should always remember that we still have tomorrow as today is not the end of the world.
How has the acceptance been by fans?
People are enjoying it gradually although it was a bit slow when it first dropped online. Sometimes you wonder when you see other movie having millions of views and you do a good job and the job is still dragging to reach hundred thousand views but nevertheless, I am not saying Oruko is hundred thousand views, what I am saying is that at times, people don’t watch the good and intelligent movies or the movie that they will see one or two things to take home. People are after fictions, effect and so much noise but it is also teaching us that we should not relent that the industry is large and we should keep learning day in day out and what will sell online today might not be what will sell online tomorrow so you just have to keep your feet moving and make sure you do the best. So far, so good, I’m getting good responses, the comments are fine and gradually, more people are viewing the movie so I appreciate that.
Kindly share your journey into acting with us
Well, I’ve been acting right from childhood in church because my mom was the daughter of a pastor and I grew up in the church environment so whenever we have any festival coming up for Christians, we normally have drama we present. When I entered Command secondary school, Jos, I remember vividly that I was one of the cast in the play we acted for Plateau state which was NTA Jos. I was one of the cast members in the production in 1986. Coming into Nollywood was when I left secondary school and I went to join Awada Kerikeri organization led by Adebayo Salami (Oga Bello), Sunday Omobolanle (Aluwe) and Lanre Hassan (Iya Awero). Actually before joining them, I was with Ben Tomoloju, the late Jide Ogungbade and I learnt so much from them. So, combining the stage and tv makes it easier for me to do duels. Featuring on screen for the first time was in 1986.
Have you always wanted to be an actor?
Kind of! I remember vividly when I was in primary school when they asked what do you want to become, I didn’t answer them, I just told them God will lead my path and I thank God that I found myself where my heart desires because the most important thing is finding yourself where you are always happy. I am happy doing what I do. So, ever since as a child, acting in church, staying with my uncle who was a craft artist gave me a lot of experience to join the industry.
This Instagram skit you are talking about I could remember vividly like eight years ago I was one of the few that even started skit on Instagram. I can send some skits I made then; I posted them on my former YouTube page that I forgot the password. A4OD House of Entertainment was the name of the page on YouTube. It was the era of 15- 30 seconds for Instagram before becoming 1 minute. I have been doing skits from way back but now a whole lot of people have hijacked the game but I still do it to do what I love to do. Skit is part of our job so why can’t we do it. I did so many skits last year explaining to people at large the effect of Covid19 and how we should protect ourselves and follow the guideline.
Do you think social media skit makers can comfortably compete with trained actors?
That is a very strong one but even if they are not trained, they are cashing out and when you cash out the trained ones will even want to come and join them. They are competing strongly with us because they are getting more advert and more recognition through the corporate world and it is because this generation are very impatient, they cannot sit down to even watch an hour or two hours movie again everybody is coming to watch four minutes video and they are done and they get the message so they are competing big time. Now it is left to the trained actors to also join the train.
Do you think social media has done more damage than good to celebrities?
Yes, social media has really damaged so many celebrities, most especially the elderly ones. Some of them do not even know how to operate Whatsapp not to talk of Instagram, TikTok and all these new applications and that is why the younger ones are getting it because it came in their own era. Most of these actors and celebrities are losing it day in day out because even if you do a movie now, somebody like me always have more older generation actors on my set than the younger ones, I am like a bridge between the old and new generation of actors but if you have more of the older ones who are not conversant with social media in your movies the movie won’t sell as fast as you expect because those that will push your movie are not in the movie so definitely it is affecting the older celebrities.
What is your take on social media regulation?
I don’t know what to even say because I’m of mixed feelings. This is because social media is a platform that has been feeding half of the population of this country and if you want to regulate it, you may be bringing people back to a level of poverty but secondly we have some social media bullies, some social media crucifiers. If anything can be done to curb a little but I don’t know, the regulation is going to affect so much. Make dem leave everything, everybody go get their bearing later.
You’ve had your fair share of social media bullying mostly about your marriage, how do you handle such situations?
I am used to social media wahala. I have been in the game for quite some time and I am used to it and thank God my wife and children understand it. Most times they are all fake news but thank God for the news. If you are not relevant, they will not talk about you. At least they are still saying one thing or the other about me, I have so many colleagues that they don’t talk about them and sometimes I feel so surprised.
There was a recent rumour about you having a child outside wedlock, would you kindly address the rumour?
Thank God you said it is a rumour. I would have told you to just call my wife and ask her that question. For your information, my first child is a female and lives in America. Most people don’t know about her. Oyinkansola is her name and she’s not from my wife and there was a reason behind I and her mom going our separate ways. There was no issue between us, no fight but apart from that, my four boys then you can ask my wife about having any other child.
Will you consider featuring some Instagram skit makers in your skit someday?
I have a series coming up soon which I featured some of them already and I am still going further to feature them. Don’t forget that most of them were people that even had a share of us promoting them when they were struggling to make names on social media like three or four years ago.