Producers have different ideologies and that’s what we express with our works. – Khoemizona Babalola
Khoemizona Babalola in a chat with Wale Adegbuyi, expresses a deep concern about his love for arts from childhood and her mother’s role which also contributed to his success in the industry.
He also mentioned his attachment to African culture and how much he cares for his mother’s tongue despite his affiliation with many parts of the country.
He also opens up on some of the challenges he had encountered growing his career and how he was able to surmount them and his hope in the film industry.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is KHOEMIZONA BABALOLA, Man of different scholastic background, I am a filmmaker (director, producer, script writer, and also an actor), musician,
Art is inborn me. I took it from my parents, particularly my mum, though, she was a professional. She encouraged my art from the cradle she bought me my first talking drummer at the age of three
What motivated into the film industry and which year?
So since I’m a versatile artiste, they all grew until film making the larger part of my art stage. So if I say nature and desire to make impression motivate me into the industry, one wouldn’t be wrong.
“I stand with African culture. So what I write and produce are guided with that in mind. However, we can’t do without doing stuff about clubbing, robbery and at times prostitution because they are part of us even before Jesus was born”
Having spent some notable years in the industry, what are your observations and how do you think those observation could be made manifest?
Hmmm, ok, I’ve observed professionalism is relative to individual if you ask me. Some just want to make money and consider every other details unimportant. I’m happy some take quality serious and are doing all to keep at it.
Can you mention some of the works you have directed and your experience?
My experience have been wonderful and of course it keeps growing on daily basis. Some of my directorial efforts are “The Confessors”, “Troubled Water”, “Forgive and Forget”, “Leo” (French Short Film) “Aye Alaye”, “Orija”, “Cancer” (Uganda). Just left etc
How many have you produced and how did it fair in the market?
I don’t have much producing credit so far, I did “Forgive and Forget Series” not on air at the moment but we are on the final stage again for it to hit the screen. It did well while on air, I produced “Giants”, “Sweeper”, “National Madness” and “Gbanaje”. None did badly, Money is key to execute good idea in productions, since I’m not in Hollywood, I’ve learnt to shoot what my available capital can carry not forgetting I’m an African first
As a producer and some of the challenges you encountered in the course of production?
Every production has its “sweetness” I think of all I’ve produced, FORGIVE AND FORGET remains “Modupetemi” peculiar of all, perhaps because of the nature of how it came, the nature of my crew and the concept itself. People discouraged me from taking such directing because it wasn’t what people were doing at the point we started it. Even, I remember a particular actor refused to come on board with us then, but I’ve learnt to believe in my efforts and ideas against all odds after I’ve checked, it’s worth the pains. We eventually got good bargain from a TV station afterwards and I was getting feedback via email of an average of 10 per week. That was a big boost for me afterwards anyway
“What I see as wrongful may not be same with you. Like I said, I stick to the African values, cultures and all I was brought up with, Producers have different ideologies and that’s what we express with our works.”
In your opinion, do you think DSTv and other online TV has added any value to our film industry? If yes! How? If No! Tell us your view
Capital YES and it’s evident, they have helped our productions to become competitive, and producers have avenue to push their jobs. Thus making more coins you know, and on the return getting some measure of financial encouragement which is important to remain in business
In the past every member of the family are glued to their TVs including children but in the recent time most parent only allow their wards to watch specific film and in some cases none at all, do you think our content still add values to the life of our children and how, with most film promoting prostitution clubbing and robbery as well as scam?
Not all, of course our productions still add values to life and all, but life itself has lost values. Some parents have issues let’s face it. I’m not justifying that we don’t have what the moralist see as bad movies but some domestic movies that are on tape done in the house are worse than we me make. As for me, I stand with African culture. So what I write and produce are guided with that in mind. However, we can’t do without doing stuff about clubbing, robbery and at times prostitution because they are part of us even before Jesus was born. Of course I agree but the truth is even those who make the rules break them the most. Have we not heard that a governor who made people cut others hands for stealing was at some point tagged the most corrupt of all? I no mention person name o. Values are relative.
So share with us for others to learn from it
What I see as wrongful may not be same with you. Like I said, I stick to the African values, cultures and all I was brought up with, Producers have different ideologies and that’s what we express with our works.
How do you think we can educate our people in other to preserve our heritage and our precious language?
It started way back; people somewhat still remain stuck to colonialism. They see themselves as inferior and it reflects in almost every area of their life, language inclusive. Imagine meeting a man with heave”Abaja” (a tribal mark of people of Yoruba descent), and you greet him “Ekaaro sir” and he responds “how may I help you?” And won’t respond in YORUBA no matter how hard you try relating with him in the language, you can’t give what you don’t have. Even a lot parents that are expected to help that have lost belief in anything that’s ours.
“Every production has its sweetness”
We see our own heritage as local, but for me and my household, I remain attached to my local sense o, my culture, my language and all. One can’t conclude with saying that some parts of our culture have bastardized and some absurd permit to use that, But against all odds, e pay me pass Oyinbo own jare. For example. When I write scripts for clients I use 95% Nigerian names but some complains and I simply tell them feel free to change it
If life has lost its value, as teachers don’t you think we need to explore and safe situation with our contents instead of playing along?
My own medium is art via movies, TV series and music and those are my preservative measures
You mentioned your attachment to African culture, what is your view as regards the loss of our cultural heritage and most importantly our language
In every of my productions be it movie, music, or literary I make sure I do the needful in that line Unless when I can’t help it, na my language I dey speak. “Abinibi ni koko” Whoever I have encountered will tell you how much I love my mother tongue, I’m of a very wonderful background, I’ll m a typical Nigerian who can’t attack any tribe, It’s my name, very my name. And of course as original NAIJA pikin I have other names
Which state are you from?
Okay, what would you want to be remembered for?
I would love to be remembered arts that indeed, once loved a proud Nigeria against all odds
What advice would you give the upcoming artiste?
Be sure it’s what you want to do, then, you will see the challenges not as problem or anti success. Don’t venture into it because you feel its money-spinning; reality will take is course no matter what
What is your opinion about Movietainment Magazine, and what do you think we need to do to make it better?
It’s a progressive idea in the right direction. Whatever medium that show people to others is light and light is good to man. I’m of the opinion that Movietainment magazine should link with others for awareness too. I believe in iron sharpening iron. I strongly believe that will help in expanding its reach and thus bringing in more coins that enhance encouragement to remain in business