I’M WORKING HARD TO BECOME A HOLLYWOOD STAR – BIGVAI JOKOTOYE
A tete a tete with Bigvai Oreoluwa Jokotoye, who hail from Ajaawa in Ogo Oluwa Local Government area of Oyo state, Southwest, Nigeria. The young man in his 30’s bares his mind on the film industry and his interest in politics. He was categorical about his view of Nigerian politics and why he never pray to be a politician. Excerpt
Good afternoon Mr. Jokotoye, can we go a little into your background?
I’m Bigvai Oreoluwa Jokotoye, I’m in my late 30s. I’m from Ajaawa via Ogbomosho, Oyo state. My father was a pastor when he was alive, my mum is alive and stay with me in United States. I have three (3) sisters and two (2) brothers. I started my primary education at St. Martyrs Primary School, Erin Ile, where I only did primary one and proceeded to St. James Primary School, Bacita all in Kwara state and went further to Ilofa Grammar School, Kwara state and completed my secondary education at Christ Apostolic Church Grammar School, Akure. I was admitted to Former University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD) now Ekiti State University to study Banking and Finance but dropped out of school in my second year and at present going back to school in still pending with the hope of returning to school in future, when the time is ripe.
Kindly tell us what motivated you into acting since you are a son of a pastor and I’m sure your home will be more biblical with little room for social life?
You are very right! I grew and lived in the mission house for 20 years which prepared me for life challenges that was ahead. I started acting from the church at age five (5) when the church drama group started using me as a kid actor and I started professionally after I dropped out of school in 2002.
When you switched into the secular film acting from the gospel, what was your parent’s reactions and how did you manage the heat at the time?
My dad went against my decision before he passed on in 2001 but my mum had no choice when I made my decision, because mothers will always see things differently.
As a professional actor in Nollywood, have you at any time produce any film? If yes! Can you rate it as a success in term of market value?
I did one in 2012 titled “Epe Ana”, but the return on investment was poor as a result of poor marketing and promotion, and I was unable to recover my investment not to even mention profit. I just shoot another one with some crew from Hollywood in Indianapolis, directed by Bayo Alawiye.
Looking at the industry today, Multichoice has really exposed so many artworks of most producers as well as the online television and some of the local television, can you say this technological advancement has added any value to the film industry in Nigeria? If yes! How? And if No! What do you consider as shortcomings and what can we do better?
Well, it has taken movies to the grassroots, and producers now smiles to the bank now, from the online marketers and promoters.
Can we then conclude that it has added value from reaching out to viewers as well as a financial success in term of return on investment, but has that stopped the piracy of intellectual properties?
From the two films you have produced so far, which one would you categorize as your favourite?
The latest one, MR ROLAND
We learnt you have relocated your family to United States, can we say it is as a result of the economy or it’s just a temporary stay to make things work again?
I was never married in Nigeria, it was after I moved to United States that I got married and now have my family here.
That is a good news! What is your next agenda as regards the film industry, do we expect to see you feature in Hollywood film anytime soon?
If GOD says yes, I featured in a series already here in United States but it is a Nigeria story titled “LAGOS 2 CALI”
That is a good start! But are you working towards becoming a Hollywood star?
Yes, if GOD says yes
Now as an experienced actor cum film producer, what advice would you give to the younger generation and the intending actors?
They should fear GOD and discover their talent and work hard to get to the top.
How would you rate your experience in United States compared to when you were in Nigeria, what would you want our government to address to make this place better?
Well, our leaders are treating us like slaves in our country. They can do better if they want.
Most seasoned artiste are crossing over to politics, do we expect to see you flagging off your campaign anytime soon?
I’m not interested, just want to do my best for myself with GOD on my side. Politics in Nigeria is a deadly game.
What is your opinion about Movietainment Magazine and what do you think we need to do better?
You guys are doing great already, expand your coast more.