Our Vision Is To Become Icons in the Film Industry –Taiwo & Kehinde Alli Balogun
In a chat with the twin brothers; Taiwo & Kehinde Alli Balogun, by Wale Adegbuyi, the duo bare their minds on some of the challenges they encountered during their formative stage in the industry.
They revealed that it was their commitment and determination that made both of them attained success.
According to them, gaining acceptance is not an easy task in the film industry, you must be prepared to go hungry, have sleepless nights and sometimes suffer humiliation from directors or producers, but the moment you become prominent, the producer that humiliated you yesterday, will be ready to pay you a high fee, when you are invited to a location. It was a revealing interview session.
Taiwo & Kehinde Alli Balogun began their academic career at Ladi Lak Primary School, Bariga & Howells Memorial Grammar School in Bariga. Thereafter, they were both admitted to Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, where they both obtained Ordinary National Diploma in Mass Communication.
The determined young twin brothers are still single and they from a family of seven, where they are next to the last child of the family. They both grew up together as twins and do things the same way and attended the same school and have the same qualifications.
Motivation into the Industry:
These duo were motivated into acting career after watching “Omolade” a film produced by a seasoned actor, Prince Jide Kosoko, where Yomi Fash-Lanso played the lead role. They both felt that they could do the same thing better if they join the film industry.
This did not stop at wishful thinking, it was backed up by action when the twin brothers were introduced to another seasoned actor, Sesan Adio aka “Ojoge” in the year 2000 by City Queen, a lady actor who is also active in the industry.
The twin brothers said that Yomi Fash-Lanso is a mentor of note in their career. They have both successfully had 18 years in the film industry and still counting. Their first appearance was in a movie titled; “Arijagba” produced by Prince Jide Kosoko and marketed by Bayowa Films International, where Taiwo was a criminal alongside Yomi Fash-Lanso, their mentor. On his part, Kehinde was a member of a family that was pleading for his release in court. So far, they have featured in seven different movies such as “Oba Omo”, “Obiri”, “Elede”, “Adeshoro”, “Sunbo Sungbalaja”, “Iwe Agbara.”, and “Mirror.” Taiwo & Kehinde have since produced a film titled; “Obiri” and co-produced three other films; “Adeshoro”, “Oba Omo”, and “Elede”.
The twin brothers admitted that they fidgeted and were scared in their first appearance in a movie, where they had to face a camera because they were afraid of making mistakes. They added that when they saw Prince Jide Kosoko shouting at his wife on set, and correcting her mistakes in a particular scene, they felt that if they made a similar mistake they ahould exepect such an action. They however, said that they had overcome that now, because over the years they had made mistakes and had succeeded in upgrading their acting prowess.
The industry has taught the twin brothers some lessons of life during their formative age in the industry. They stated that “no one was ready to assist you, going to location, you will have to raise your transport, arrange your accommodation and sometimes take care of your feeding, and where the food served is not your favourite.” They said that it was really a burden but that they were able to scale through because they both believed in their passion.
“But now, we don’t go to location uninvited because we are already stakeholders. We have produced and we have co-produced and that has helped us to have some form of stability in the industry and we have also gained some recognitions amongst other stakeholders,” they said.
“Our first encounter producing a film wasn’t easy as such because we were experiencing for the first time. So, it gave us some stress but now we have pass that.
“Though, we recovered our investment, but this did not come at an agreed time. That somehow reduced the value of the money due to the level of inflation in the country. But, we got the amount we made money, though late,” they added.
The duo also admitted that they regretted not producing more films, when they had the necessary funds and they regretted not joining the league of upcoming producers at the time also had a negative impact as they stated that this would have motivated them to produce more and that by now they would have had more films to their records. But they both agreed that God knows better.
The duo recounted the recognition given to them during the time of Hakeem Alimi popularly known as “Ajala Jalingo” when he was the Governor of Lagos state chapter of the professional association, where they were both presented as performers to other members at a state function. They stated that they were both elated and determined to do more to remain relevant.
They also use this medium to request for the support of the government in terms of infrastructure and training for the stakeholders in the film industry so at to make the industry competitive not only in terms of quantity but in terms of quality with other nations.
The dream of the duo is to be remembered as icons of the film industry and they wish to work with other intellectuals to grow the industry and make it better with better quality productions.
Advice for upcoming artistes:
“Upcoming or intending actors should be focused and not make money their first choice, but skill which will sell them to prospective producers, this will in turn make their lives better,” they said.