Veteran Nolllywood actor, Yemi Adeyemi popularly known as Suara in a new interview has recounted how far he has come in the Nigerian movie industry and his relationship with his father. The 70 year old screen star disclosed that his father opposed his acting career at first, but pulled back after he got his first car and apartment.
Here are excerpts from the interview with Suara below;
We learnt that some herbalists came to pray for you during the week. Don’t you think that it would contradict the fact that you are a Christian?
It would not contradict anything. There is a difference between religion and culture; in the same way, there is a difference between ambition and intention. I do not have problems but I have faced challenges in life.
What are some of the challenges you faced?
One of them is that I never had the intention of marrying more than one wife even though I have never kept more than one wife in my house. However, I have three women who have children for me.
When I was younger, an old CAC pastor who is from Ilesha, Osun State, told my father that I was going to marry more than one wife and I would be a ladies’ man. I did not want to have more than one woman in my life; neither did I capitalise on what the pastor said but every other thing the man said came to pass. When things were very tough for me, there was a pastor I went to meet and he told me that the answer to my problem was in the roof of my father’s house. I went there and saw my father’s oracle and it had been there for decades.
How come you fell in love with acting when you were as young as six years old at a time when there were barely television sets in Nigeria and only travelling theatre groups entertained the public?
My father wanted me to be a policeman because of their daily routine but I loved drumming. We used to have a teacher who taught us home lesson and the only reason I always attended the home lesson was because of entertainment. If we had a drama in December, we would have begun rehearsals since January. When I had my first stage performance, I did so well that people told me I was a genius on stage. They all appreciated me but my father was very angry with me. His maternal grandfather was the Aromolaran of Ilesha. My father vowed that none of his children would become a beggar as that was what he called entertainers. He knew that I loved drumming but he refused to allow me to follow my passion. The ironic thing is that he was the one that made me fall in love with drumming because every Sunday, drummers would come to our house to beat the drums for him and he would interpret what the talking drums said to me. Later, he said he did not want me to become a drummer.
Did he ever give you his blessings as regards your career?
Shortly after I finished from the University of Ile Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, and began to work at NTA, I was given a car. I went to my father’s house and he was the first person to enter my car. He asked where I got the vehicle from and I told him that it was from doing drama. I made him sit at the back of my car and he was almost prostrating to me, asking me to forgive him. I explained to him that it was a very lucrative career especially if one went to the university to study it. I made him realise that as I left the university, I was on level 8 step 2 and I was given a car. I took him to my apartment as well at GRA Agodi, Ibadan. When he saw the way the apartment was furnished, he was overwhelmed. He was very happy. When he saw my picture with Wole Soyinka, he shouted and asked me about my relationship with the professor, then I told him that Soyinka was our head of department. He asked again if acting was very lucrative and I answered affirmatively. From that day, he became my friend. My father would come to pay me a visit on a Friday and would not leave my house until Sunday. All the other siblings were envious but I did not mind.
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There was a year I participated in a drama, Omo Odo. In the play, they beat me a lot. Although most of the beatings were scripted, my father was concerned for me after watching the play and he said that they could kill me. After a long while, anytime my father and I discussed about how he opposed my career path, we always laughed.