Veteran actor, Adebayo Salami who is popular in the ‘Yoruba’ movie industry has revealed that he regrets marrying several wives.
He made the revelation among others in a recent interview where he told it all. Below are some excerpts from the interview:
What stirred your interest in the movie industry?
From a very young age, I had always been interested in anything that had to do with arts and culture. I grew up in Lagos Island and there were a lot of activities that went on there in those days.
Were there theatre practitioners you looked up to in those days?
Of course. There were people like Hubert Ogunde, Ojo Ladipo, aka Baba Mero, Oyin Adejobi, Ayinla Olumegbon, among others.
What were the steps you took before joining the theatre industry back then?
I used to watch a TV series, Village Doctor, produced by Hubert Ogunde, and that was what inspired me. I also used to watch Ayinla Olumegbon’s plays because where they used to have their rehearsals was not far from our house.
Also, at the back of my school, I used to hear drumming and I was very curious as to where it was coming from. One day, I decided to go and watch them, and I later joined them. Their name was the Young Stars Concert Party.
The criteria for joining them was that one had to pay a huge sum of money, which was one pound, one shilling. I had to source for the money, and when it was complete, I joined them.
Which was the first home video you appeared in?
I didn’t start doing home videos on time because we were producing on celluloid then. I remember that I shot my first cinema movie in 1985 and it was titled, Ogun Ajaiye, followed by Omo O’rukan in 1987. In 1989, I shot Eri Okan. However, I started shooting home videos in 1993, and my first movie was Asewo to re Mecca.
Asewo to re Mecca was a very successful movie, how were you able to put it all together?
The process starts from writing the story. I just wanted to teach a lesson on the covenant that people have with God. It was about two prostitutes who went to Mecca and they vowed that they wouldn’t return to their dirty pasts.
However, one of them reneged, while the other kept her promise; and they both got the appropriate rewards for their actions. It was the same experience we used to shoot cinema movies that I applied in making that film. I felt that the home videos that were made in those days could be improved upon, and eventually Asewo to re Mecca became a classic.
What were the things you considered before choosing the lead actresses for the movie?
For the lead roles, the physiques of Sola Sobowale and Toyin Adegbola were exactly what I was looking for. And they are also talented because we carried out auditions, and they passed. I didn’t really face any challenge while shooting the movie because there was money, and marketing was also good in those days.
What was the biggest thing you gained from the movie?
I made profits and it boosted my profile. It also changed the face of home videos that were being made then.
How many movies have you produced thus far?
I have produced 17 movies.
Have you ever undergone any training as an actor?
Yes, I did. When it comes to training, practical experience is the most important. All those times we used to go for rehearsals, we were training. At a time, I joined the British Council where I was also trained. I later attended a school that was affiliated with the University of Lagos. Meanwhile, I also read books on stage production and attended lots of seminars and workshops.
Do you often involve your children in your movie productions?
I didn’t involve them when they were younger because they were still in school. But I had a group called Awada Kerikeri, and whenever my children were on holiday, they usually followed me to our rehearsals. However, now that some of them have joined the industry, we work together.
What was your initial reaction when your children expressed interest in joining the movie industry?
I didn’t feel bad. I only mandate
that they should all complete their education, and whatever they wanted to do after that was entirely up to them. I don’t force them to do anything.
What advice did you give them when they wanted to join the industry?
I advised them based on my experience, and they have been following it. Even till date, whenever there is anything that they are confused about, they come to meet me and I guide them. I tutor them on how to behave, how to relate with their fans, among others. I cannot have this much experience and I wouldn’t pass it on to my children who are in the same field with me.
Has there ever been a time that you went out with Femi and more fans swarmed around him than you?
There is no father that wouldn’t be happy at such a thing because it is a thing of pride. But it’s never like that because just as fans come around him, that’s the same way they come around me.
How do you feel whenever you hear or read negative reports about your children?
Whenever I hear anything like that, the first thing I do is to find out whether it is true or not. Not everything that is written is actually true. If I find out that what they did is wrong, I have ways by which I correct them. And if they are being lied against, I would feel bad and fight against it because such things can damage their reputations.
Considering that you have a large family, how were you able to ensure that they grew up in unity and love?
It is simply the grace of God, and not by my own doing. I am happy that there is unity and love in my house; and all my children are progressing.
With the benefit of hindsight, is there anything you wish you had done differently?
One thing I may have termed a mistake, but which I consider to be destiny is raising a large family.