I’m Proud to Be a Village Boy – Kola Obadimu
It was interesting chatting with Kola Obadimu, a self-trained creative writer and playwright, who was trained by his grandmother in the village.
Obadimu opens up to Wale Adegbuyi on some of the challenges he encountered in the course of building his career in film and radio production that made him what he is today.
Can you tell us briefly what inspired you into film making business?
It was a divine call, 100% inspiration from God, I am a born playwright. I started right from secondary school about 35 years ago
What has been the challenges since you started?
I didn’t go to any school of art, my first drama titled “Evil for Evil” came through a dream.
“I was a spoilt brat, I grew up in the village. I was brought up by my grandmother of blessed memory”
So how did it begin?
Actually, I had several challenges, which was principally on funding. But, I am a rugged human being by nature. I don’t accept ‘no’ for an answer and I believe that with God everything is possible. I did what I called experimental productions, while in secondary schools. I would write a play and take it to the school and I will teach the students and thereafter present it to the whole school free of charge, it was real fun then.
How did you come about the name “Morountodun”?
Africa Magic requested for a Yoruba content and I produced “MOROUNTODUN.” It was an inspiration. The first radio adaptation was produced for UNFPA on Gender Violence and Other Related Issues.
Having stayed long and facing the challenges in the industry, can you rate yourself as a successful producer and did you at any time desire to acquire more knowledge and skill in the sector?
Yes, I want to acquire more, knowledge is unlimited. I will be leaving the country any moment from now to acquire more skills most importantly on animation so that I can tell African stories with animated characters.
“I had several challenges, which was principally on funding. But, I am a rugged human being by nature. I don’t accept ‘no’ for an answer and I believe that with God everything is possible.”
Can you mention some of the jobs you have done since you came into the industry?
Some of my productions include “I Go Die,” “Radio Drama,” “Pendulum”, “Children’s Court”, “Morountodun”, “Nationhood”, “Osise Ijoba”, “The Chamber”, “Atupa Elepo” and most recently, “The Schools Debate” amongst others.
Since you seem to be more inclined with our indigenous content and acts, how do you think we can make our language count since most parents don’t want their children to speak their mother tongues?
Sincerely, I feel so bad when I see some parents telling their children not to their indigenous languages. My submission is that such parents have low self-esteem and neo-colonialism intense. We must not forget our roots, I am proud to be a black man and a Yoruba man in particular.
Where do you see your creative works in the next decade?
I am working for posterity and with God I hope to see it at a greater height.
Scripts were more educative in the past, but in recent times, many parents are afraid of allowing their wards to watch some of our movies, what do you think is wrong?
So many things are wrong, the story line, the costume and the language. But, some are fantastic. With workshop and seminars, there would be an improvement. Don’t forget that only God is perfect.
” I am indeed very proud to be a village boy. It has really enhanced my creative prowess”.
What’s your philosophy of life?
Be kind to people, most especially children, they are the holders of the future, I want to leave my footprints in the sand of time.
What is your advice to the young people, who are aspiring to join the entertainment industry?
Enjoy life as it comes, they should come in with a deep creative mindset, and money should be secondary. Make a name and money will run after you.
What has been your guiding principles all these while?
Creativity mixed with objectivity and positivity.
“Sincerely, I feel so bad when I see some parents telling their children not to their indigenous languages. My submission is that such parents have low self-esteem and neo-colonialism intense”
What would you like to be remembered for as a professional in the creative industry?
That I came, I saw, and I contributed my little quota to human capacity development.
Can you tell us a little about your childhood and some of the pranks you played?
I was a spoilt brat, I grew up in the village. I was brought up by my grandmother of blessed memory (Madam Florence Olawunmi Shopeju). I played so many pranks as a village boy, but they told me that I was creatively intelligent. I am indeed very proud to be a village boy. It has really enhanced my creative prowess.
Do you think DSTV and online TV have improved the industry and reduced piracy in anyway?
Well, piracy is a deadly cancer, you can only manage it, and there is no total eradication. But, sincerely, DSTV and online TV have contributed a lot to the creative business.
Have you visited www.movietainmentmagazine.com and what is your opinion about it, and what area do you think we need to do to serve the industry better?
Believe in yourself and believe in your country, just be more creative, you are really doing great, I am proud of you.