Wale Adebayo is a household name in the Nigerian movie scene having starred as the lead actor in Femi Lasode’s epic flick, Sango, in 1997.
Impressed by the rapid progress made in Nollywood, Adebayo lavished praises on the industry while admitting there is room for improvement.
Hear him: “Nollywood is growing in leaps and bounds. Of course, there are rooms for improvement but considering the hostile environment in which the operators have to work, one can’t help but salute their resilience. The output is massive. Nollywood is reputed to be the third largest movie industry in the world. The story lines and character development are work in progress. The few glitches we still get in our movies are an easy fix but like I said, it is work in progress. After all said and done, the largest room in the world is the room for improvement. Even Hollywood and Bollywood strive for perfection on a daily basis.”
Speaking further, the imposing thespian noted that he left the shores of the country for more challenges having conquered the Nigerian movie world. While recalling his exploits in the epic, Sango, Adebayo said: “I have been involved in lots of stage plays and movies, but it was the movie, Sango that brought me fame, if not fortune. Sango revolutionized the Nigerian home video industry. It was a groundbreaking movie that opened doors for me in the sense that directors and producers practically wanted me on their movie sets. Apart from Sango, I was also part of the early cast of arguably most popular soap opera, Superstory (One Bad Apple). As at the time I left Nigeria, I was an actor on Oloibiri set, I had worked with Femi Lasode as Head of Operations for his movie project that same 2014. I simply made a personal resolution to cast my net wide and explore broader horizon because I felt I had conquered the Nigerian film space, having played a lead role in the most outstanding movie of that era and it is a decision I have no regret over.”
On the quality of movies churned out in Nollywood, the multi-talented actor believes rich content is being offered while urging movie professionals to make sure rich cultural heritage that portrays the country positively is exhibited.
His words: “Movies are a true reflections of our cultures and values. Indian films depict lots of singing, dancing and merry making. Hollywood showcases their technologies and ways of life. It follows naturally that Nigerian movies must also reflect our rich social and cultural heritage. I don’t think we need to apologise for being who we are. The only improvement is to ensure we showcase aspects of our cultures that project us positively. It is your best clothes you spread by the roadside. We cannot and should not de-market ourselves by ourselves.”
On his plans and current projects for the New Year 2020, Adebayo noted that he has a truckload of them and hinted that he will explore everything to the letter.
“2020 is the beginning of another decade and I have my plans well defined. I sought and got the approval of the United States government to register my company, Box Office Entertainments here. It has become a fully registered company in the US whose mandate includes but not limited to film production, media activation, documentary, public relations management, tourism, and also serve as a multi-purpose general investment firm. We are in discussion presently with both private and public establishment for some joint venture. As a matter of fact, we are already exploring a partnership agreement between some US state government and some state governments in Nigeria especially in our areas of comparative advantage like tourism, oil and gas, Nollywood, and agriculture. Works are also in the pipeline to engage in advocacy and public awareness with some agencies in Nigeria like NOA, ICPC, EFCC, NAPTIP, in order to contribute our quota in reshaping our image in the US and other foreign countries. The truth of the matter is that no one can tell your stories better than you and we want to be a banner to make that story of how positive we are go viral,” he asserted.
Adebayo further hinted that some of his movies, especially the Diaspora series, would soon be released and be streamed on the popular Netflix as well as other online streaming channels.
The actor added: “We will also premiere some in cinemas all over the major entertainment hubs globally. We are also making inroads into the Indian and Caribbean entertainment circles. It is going to be a huge year for us at Box Office Entertainments.”