OUR FEMALE ACTORS ARE NOT PROSTITUTES – Adeleye Fabusoro
Adeleye Fabusoro is the brain behind the Ajireebi a morning programme on paid television station (DSTV) every morning. A man who has been in the profession of entertainment for many years having started right from his youth service days in Abuja, Even when he was in banking sector his love for entertainment did not dwindle as he finally staged a comeback to the industry that has not only given him fame but has also take good care of his needs “ I thank God for his mercy I am comfortable with my life” he will tell you.
In this no hold bared interview with AJIBADE ALABI, the handsome youthful producer spoke about many issues on Nigeria film industry and about his programme
Let get to meet you
My name is Adeleye Fabusoro, I live in Ibadan. I studied Theater Arts in UI after which I proceeded to OAU for a Master’s degree in business administration earning an MBA and specializing in strategy and marketing. Not satisfied I went to New York film school for more knowledge in marketing
How long have you been in the industry?
Well in addition to having been in practiced since graduation, if I add the years I spent in the university I would say about 20 years now. While carrying out the NYSC mandatory service I was the director of drama. One of the highpoints of the service year was winning two trophies in drama and dance at the national youth festival in Abuja where I served. It was an historical moment because for the first time a single contingent from the same place won two trophies. Since then the feat has not been repeated and that made my prediction come true as I had told my colleagues then that if we are committed to the course we will make history and Abuja will be a reference point at subsequent festivals. After service, I was doing full theatre specifically, I was doing a play that had a single character titled “PRIME MINISTER’S SON” written by Greg but my parents were not satisfied with my career choice even though I was making money. They were really worried that I was wasting my time and they began calling friends to get me a job. Those friends will call me but I would assure them that I was not job hunting and they couldn’t understand the contradiction. Until Alhaji Ali the Chairman of Wemco at the time asked me what job do I want and I told him I want to work with MTN or GLO, my calculation was that while working in any of the communication outfit I will be free to carry on acting and doing my shows. On the long run I ended up in the Banking Sector.
Like how many years did you work as a banker?
I worked as a banker for almost 8 years but interestingly, I was also acting by the side. While in the banking industry, I had started producing some of my shows.
So entertainment is inborn for you?
For me I will say entertainment is a calling. Just like medicine or law because our job is social work, beyond providing a service and getting paid there is fulfillment. And that is the most important thing for an artiste as nobody can actually measure talent in terms of money. So if it’s not inbred and or a passion, it could be difficult.
Do you have any movie produced from your stable so far?
We have done couple of TV shows. I am part of the crew that produced Arambara which was anchored by Tunde Oladimeji. At the time, the productions also included Faaji Extra where I was both supervising and Executive producer. The show was anchored by Doris Simeon
Then what happen to the programme I mean faaji extra?
Nothing happened to it. It came and went and we moved on to other things. In addition, because it was not purely an entertainment show but more of a talk show where we had different personalities to speak on many issues from Yoruba culture to politics, it was expensive and we needed to balance cost with income.
What is the difference between your programe Aajirebi and Ajirebi?
Well Yoruba language is very rich in interpretation based on intended meaning or literal meaning. Both could mean the same thing on the surface of it, but Ajirebi more interpretively means a glutton and we needed to make a case for clarity of meaning. So while Aajirebi means “a call of greeting to ask if we had a good night” Ajirebi would mean “one who is a glutton”. So one is a question the other is an emphatic statement. Yoruba is a beautiful language.
Let’s talk about the Nigerian film industry
The first thing I will say about this is that we must give kudos to Nigerian film makers, when they tell you movie is magic I think the Nigerian film maker is the biggest magician, before I attended film school I used to be one of those who will criticize the film productions for their flaws. However, upon attending film school, I was able to appreciate the efforts that is required to make the so called no good enough movies. But as a practitioner having seen the hostile environment in terms of resources and funding, I think we should comment their efforts for been so tenacious. Furthermore, things are looking up in every aspect. Our films are now being screened at International festivals. This year alone, our films have been on the big screens in France, Toronto and so many other big festivals all over the world. A reminiscence of the early days of Ogunde and the other pioneers. I hope the government can do more to make the industry grow in a more organic manner by providing critical support and, regulations, laws and enabling platforms. We need funds and good policies to curb piracy and intellectual theft. Banks like the Bank of Industry should do more to enable us while the related agencies should protect our trade. The Nigerian film industry contribute 1.4 percent of GDP to the economy more than even the big Bollywood which contributes only 0.5 to India’s GDP. In terms of production volume, even Hollywood is trailing us. The industry is growing well, producers and actors are no longer paupers because of the many opportunities. Dstv is also doing a lot in terms of their contribution to growth of industry as per content purchase and promotions.
But there is general believe that your female counterparts are doing very well that the male counterparts?
One thing you must realize is that way back the female had been contributing strategically to the growth of Nigeria economy in all spheres. A lot of our female often do other side business and that ensures they have a higher disposable income. Also, the male have more expenses than the female that may be responsible for that.
Cut in (either with their bodies or otherwise?
No, not with their bodies. If you remember when we were growing up, a lot of women were teachers. And several others traders who had small provision stalls. Our ladies in the industry are combining other sources of income as entrepreneurs for instance, Iyabo Ojo just opened a restaurant popularly called “Buka” where she sells indigenous food. She also has a beauty Spa and clothes shop. So you see women have many traditional sources of income than men. So it is not all about selling their bodies. It’s wrong to generalize all women in the industry as prostitutes, No! It’s wrong. A large proportion are hardworking and decent women. I am not telling you that everybody is holy but marginally the bad ones are few. Besides people are always quick to label successful women and everybody have their own skeletons regardless of what they do.