Chatting with popular Yoruba actor, Opebe: ‘MY ONLY REGRET’
Yomi King, popularly known as Opebe, blows our minds and cracks our ribs with his acting. From Ogun State, the actor who is always interpreting the role of a deformed fellow chatted with one of our interns, Gloria Oluwadiya, at the LTV Complex, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday, October 14, 2014…
For how long have you been acting?
Not too long. I started acting in 1989.
Can you give an account of the number of movies you have done so far?
I can say the ones I produced myself, because I can’t count everything. I have produced six movies.
Aside acting, what other things are you involved in?
I MC (Master of Ceremonies) at occasions, then I am a worker in my church.
What makes a good actor?
Generally, any good actor should be focused on whatever he/she is doing. A good actor must be focused and believe that he wants to be someone in life.
Which movie brought you to limelight?
It was not a movie that made me popular. By the time I made my name, I was on a TV programme called Erinkeke in 1987, on Channel 8. We did a lot of soap operas before the TV station got burnt. Another TV station was built to replace Channel 8. It was called Channel 7 . So, there was an audition and a lot of comedians were there. They wanted a comedian and traditional actor. I was picked alongside Baba Suwe for the Erinkeke programme.
What’s your relationship with Baba Suwe?
We have a very cordial relationship because we have been together for long. He is my brother, father, everything in the industry.
What inspired you to be an entertainer?
When I was a young guy, I always watched entertainers like Baba Sala, Baba Mero and I really liked them, so I made a decision to be like them. So, I was determined, I prayed to God. Baba Sala is still alive. I am happy I met Baba Mero before he died.
What is the secret that has made you relevant in the entertainment industry?
It is the Lord’s doing; I cannot say it is by my power. It is God’s doing.
What has acting done for you?
Acting has done many things for me. It has made me popular. With my name, I can open a lot of doors that regular people cannot open. I thank God for my life. My children are in school and I am living like a normal man.
What are the challenges you face as a celebrity?
When you are popular, you have to behave yourself to keep your name. You cannot just act like a tout outside like we do in movies. You have to be tolerant. This is Opebe and Opebe is different from Yomi King. We have to interact normally with people.
Do you have any regret so far?
The only regret I have is the fact that I would have preferred to go to school more than I did. Because for now, I’m still a secondary school certificate holder. It is also not too bad, because a lot of people completed their education, but they cannot be where I am. Not that I am proud, no. I am thanking God for my life. It is to the glory of God. What He has done in my life; an ordinary man like me visits governors, commissioners and so many other things.
Which is more stressful: producing or acting?
Both are stressful. As a producer, before you produce any movie, you have to think very well. You need to write a good story. So also before you write a good story, it takes so much time to think and choose the story. It is not easy. You have to put all the scenes in the project together and in care of a director to direct it for you as a producer. While as an actor, it is not easy as well. But I prefer acting to producing because you will just be called upon to deliver the role you are playing very well and go.
How do you choose a good story?
I think very deep and wide before I choose any story. You want to produce a different story that nobody has ever seen.
Which of the stories you produced has inspired you the most?
All the movies I produced.
When did you establish your production company and what name is it called?
I established it in 1997. It is called Opebe Film Production.
Advice to upcoming actors, comedians, etc.
It is very easy. Be very prayerful, determined and you also need someone to guide you in your chosen field and be focused.
NB: First published November 2014
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