Tuesday, 7 January 2014

'Acting In Yoruba Is Very Difficult Than English' Iyabo Ojo

She has made a name for herself in the yoruba movie industry.Iyabo Ojo is one of the ladies who brought glamour to yoruba movies.The 35 year old mother of two,through Bimbo Akintola and Keppy Ekpeyoung was able to join Nollywood in 1998 and since then she hasn't looked back.She has risen to the peak of her career going on to become a movie writer and a producer.

Do you agree with those who say English Nollywood is superior to Yoruba Nollywood?
No. Never.
But people seem to prefer English Nollywood.
Yes, the English sector might be preferred because we do Yoruba and they do English that cuts across every other language, Hausa, Ibo, Efik. But we are promoting our own dialect.
And I assure you it’s more difficult to act in Yoruba because English is a general language that you can speak easily while it’s not easy to speak Yoruba because it is deep, broad and wide. So I don’t believe they are superior to us because we’re also comfortable. Not everybody is doing well here but not everybody is doing well over there too. Yoruba movies have stepped up. We shoot with a lot of glamour now.
The only difference is the language. Different people, Ibo, Hausa, Calabar even tell me that they appreciate watching Yoruba movies because it’s our own thing.
Have you achieved the goals you set yourself as an actress?
When I joined Actors Guild of Nigeria in 1998 through Bimbo Akintola who actually brought me into the industry, my goal then was to become a very big actress, a popular figure, go round, cut across, go foreign, every actress wants to grow big and win an Oscar.
But later, when I left acting and came back in 2001, I just wanted to be a producer. So I joined Odunfa Caucus in order to become a Yoruba movie producer. But along the line, people were like, Iyabo, you can act now.
But I said I just wanted to be a producer. And they said it goes both ways. Then, my Yoruba was not that good, and I was wondering how I could cope with speaking Yoruba.
Why was your Yoruba not good when you’re a Yoruba girl?
I grew up with my grandmother who is Ibo. Though I don’t speak Ibo, I understand bits and pieces of it. My upbringing was basically speaking in English. I only learnt Yoruba in secondary school. So I didn’t understand Yoruba deeply. But when God says something will be yours, it certainly will be.
Because when I came back into the industry, those I knew in Actors Guild of Nigeria were all in the East, movies were being shot in Enugu, and I didn’t know many people before I left, so it was difficult for me to get roles.
I would go to auditions and get no role or just get a waka-pass that I knew I was bigger than. I couldn’t have the patience and I decided, let me go to where I can learn to produce my own movies, because then I had my salon and a boutique, a video club and other things fetching me money. I was travelling to Dubai to buy goods so I had money to do my own movie but I didn’t want to do just any movie.
How did you get the capital to start your businesses?
My father died and left me some capital that I invested. So Odunfa Caucus used me in one or two movies. Then I met Muka Ray and told him I wanted to be a producer and he also told me to get the fame from acting first. So he started using me in most of his movies.
Did he pay you, because we hear that most of you act free, especially when you are just coming up?
Yes he did, but not as much as we’re getting paid now. Finally, I started producing my own movies in 2004.
So you’ve achieved your goals?
I haven’t really achieved them. I still have a dream that is bigger than me and I hope to achieve it in time. I’m very patient about it. Our market is not that good, piracy is really killing us. We spend a lot of money to produce movies that we don’t make money from because piracy doesn’t allow the marketers to buy them like they are supposed to. When you produce a movie with N2m, you’re supposed to make like double that money, but at the end of the day, you don’t make up to one-third of it. So that’s the only problem I’m having.
Why is there always juju in Nigerian movies?
Juju is part of our culture. It’s something that exists and people should not run away from it because it’s real.
If you were a man and your wife is on location for five weeks, how would you feel?
No. No. We don’t do five weeks. You cannot do five weeks without coming home.
Okay. Two weeks? Three weeks?
Maybe I’m different. I don’t know about other people, but for me, acting is not a door- die affair. And I’m not too carried away by it. And I don’t believe I have to be in every job. I take time out. If I go on location, I spend a week, come back home, and I won’t take another job for another week or two. That’s how I do it. I’ve never been out of my house for two weeks. It’s never happened.

1 comment:

  1. I used to like d innocence in her eyes back then likewise Opeyemi Aiyeola....I still admire her anyway... I agree with her but a very good Yoruba movie with a brained producer and director behind it and not just any Yoruba movie with ordinary skull behind it..