12th February, 2020
Popular Yoruba actor, Yemi Solade has revealed why some of his colleagues do not like him in the industry.
The ace actor who recently celebrated his 60th birthday opens up about his experience in the industry in an interview with City People.
According to him, many people in the industry hated him for saying the truth to their faces that “lack of education, professional training, formal training is the problem of that sector.”
“I can remember when Mama Rainbow met me on the set of “Oju Inu”. She said “Doctor, if I invite you will you work for me? I played the role of Medical Doctor in the movie back then and everything was well structured. I began to point out certain things that I felt were missing such as calling someone Mrs. Tayo in a Corporate environment. Once you use the prefix, the surname has to follow.
“So they began to frown at my ideas, that Baba Ogunde already said it that some English people will come and hijack this theatre work. But despite everything I was focused because I already made up my mind to come and make impact. And don’t forget this is what I was trained to do. It is my job. It’s my life and I was not doing it for money. I was so excited that the Marketers who saw the flicks were interested in my job.
“I began to be their bride at that point. Many major roles were coming to me, and I was enjoying myself. I had clashes with a few of them who were not ready to embrace my style, and I was telling them I wasn’t shifting grounds.
“But I give it to them, they are a bunch of raw talents, that no one can take from them. If you see their crafts, you will fall in love with their skills, but the technical know-how and power of articulation we don’t have,” he added.
Speaking on how he adapted to the existing tradition in the Yoruba movie industry, Solade said; “I have had to adjust a bit. I met a lot of traditional ways they do their thing when I joined.
“There is this particular practice in the Yoruba movie industry, it is called: I do for you, you do for me. It works for some people but not for me because I didn’t run a clique. They will invite stars to location, and end up giving them money just for fuel, and end up running around society men and women for the bigger survival.
“So, I chose to remain the consummate actor that I am. Just be different, to do my craft and collect good fees and live a normal life.”
Solade also revealed that Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka influenced him into studying Theatre and becoming a drama student in his department at the University of Ife.
He said, “If you ask me who trained me, I will just tell you, Wole Soyinka. He was a lecturer in the University of Ife, a Civil Servant that was paid. He did not employ or write any Jamb for me. He only influenced my studying Theatre and becoming a drama student in his department.
“But in the Yoruba arm, you must have an Oga. They have master and apprenticeship schemes. Somebody must train you and you cannot erode that, it has come to stay. Here I was, coming from Wole Soyinka’s line, where things like that were not applicable.
I could give him all the respect that he taught me, but not to the extent of being subservient to him. That was the structure I met, and I was doing my thing differently and I had issues because they saw me like someone that was arrogant and doing something they were not used to. They concluded I was just one guy that just came to have a feel of the industry.
The actor disclosed that he was warned about voodoo in the industry. He said. “Also, the fear of Voodoo but I didn’t see all of that, I was cautioned to be extremely careful, but here I am today. I have contributed in my own little way and I’m still doing that now. And I think, we have more understanding now because those critics thought I was out to destroy the structure.”