Bayo Bankole, (Boy Alinco the first) is one actor who needs no introduction. He is an expert who delivers his roles and lines with pristine perfection regardless of the role. He is an actor that has not been stuck in the toga of a stereotypical actor. He has been seen all over Nollywood and he has not failed in any performance he has been seen in even on stage. He had these much to tell us about himself:
Q:Â Â Â Â Â Can you tell us about yourself in details? Your background, growing up and all; when, where? Educational Background too.
I was born at Ebute-Metta Lagos about 45 years ago. I attended African Church Bethel from 1974 to 1980, after that, I got admission to ST TIMOTHYS COLLEGEÂ Onike Iwaya, Yaba Lagos from 1980 to 1985 and from 1987 to 1990 I attended NIGERIAN RAILWAY TECHNICAL SCHOOL LOCO, Yaba Lagos.Â I then worked briefly with FEDERAL RADIO CORPORATION OF NIGERIA IKOYI and in 1994 I got admission to studyÂ DRAMATIC ARTS at OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY ILE IFE NIGERIA. I lived with my parents so growing up was fun with the type of place Ebute Metta was then. Ebute Metta created a lot of opportunities for several youths there were several recreation centres and places for youth development. For great sport men like AKEEM OLAJUWON, ROWE PARK played a great role EVANS SQUARE produced several players for the national teams and the Churches, LISABI HALL and NATIONAL THEATRE created a lot of us Theatre practitioners. I was a gentle, quiet, unassuming and obedient boy and that is why my exploits in acting is surprising to those who knew me while growing up.Â
My environment played a big role in my becoming an actor. My house was not far from EVANS SQUARE so I grew up seeing people like Haruna Ilerika play and I used to appreciate how they were adored but could not play football well and I was at ROWE PARK when Akeem Olajunwon returned to Nigeria after signing for HOUSTON ROCKETS all this built my interest in wanting to be famous. Hence, I joined the drama group in my church, AFRICAN CHURCH YOUTH ORGANISATION (ACYO) of SALEM AFRICAN CHURCH Ebute Metta where I started my acting career as a green horn before becoming a professional in 1989 at the NATIONAL THEARTRE where I took part in my first major play KING EMENE by late professor Zulu Sofola which was directed by Frank VAUGHN and paraded cast members like Toun Oni, Sam Loco Efe and several great names in the industry.
Q:Â Â Â Â Â Have you always known that you would be an actor/actress?
Yes, in a way. I went for the one I knew I could be best.
Q:Â Â Â Â Â What were the things in your background that prepared you for the present?
My home training basically. I mean your upbringing has a lot to do in being successful in this industry. Respect for the business and for the elders very paramount.
Also, in my church I was a member of ACYO like I stated earlier on, I remember that I was asked to write a drama sketch for a society during their anniversary and I also directed and played the lead. After the performance the special guest reserved his food for me and offered it in appreciation of my well executed role. For me that was the motivation and after that I just got a major confidence boost and I started to attend auditions at the theatre and it was on and on from then.
I was challenged, I challenged myself because before the confidence boost, I was timid and I had inferiority complex and I could not perform to the maximum. I failed continuously, I forgot my lines, I messed up a lot but after that performance, I said to myself, I must excel in this and thank God it has been wonderful thereafter.
Q:Â Â Â Â Â How did you get into the industry? What were the motivations, inspirations and circumstances in which you got into the industry?
I just started going for auditions and since I was at the National Theatre, it was easier to get roles.
Q: Â Â Â Â What was your debut performance and how was the experience like; did you get encouraged or discouraged?
My first day on stage was just what I explained above.
Q: Â Â Â Â What has been your most challenging performance? In what way did that constitute a challenge?
All of them have their different challenges which must be overcome from one to the other.
Q: Â Â Â Â What has been your best performance? What did you consider in deciding it was your best performance?
I do not have one yet. I am still going and hoping that each performance beats the last one.
Q: Â Â Â Â How many movies have you starred in?
I cannot remember all but the following are great ones I can never forget. 1. OWOBLOW directed by Tade Ogidan 2. IBINU ELEWON by OgogoÂ 3Â OWO O MO AGO by Dejo tufuluÂ 4 OMO IYA METTAÂ 5Â DAZZLING MIRAGE by Tunde KilaniÂ 6 ASO GBO DILU by Tunde KilaniÂ 7Â OLOJA ERE which I produced it and also played one of the leads and several other movies I cannot remember. For STAGE, 1.Â KING EMENE, 2.Â CRUCIBLE,Â 3. WHO IS AFRAID OF SOLARIN, 4.Â THE CHAIRS by Eugene IonescoÂ , 5. THE ENGAGEMENT by Femi Osofisan, directed by Prof. Segun Ojewuyi and was performed before an all white audience in over 300 full to capacity theatre in Tel-Aviv in Israel. These and several stage plays I took part inÂ onÂ RADIO like GANDU STREET and several other radio drama seriesÂ and for TELEVISIONÂ 1. CHECKMATEÂ , 2.Â MAGNATE,Â 3. PAPA AJASCO AND COMPANY in which I played the part of ALINCO for 9yrs and I am happy to be part of the success that made it no 1 comedy series on African Television andÂ TINSEL, an Mnet daily TV soap. I spent a season on the programme and also took part in Mnet Tele-Movie series like BUFFON, JONZIN and several others.
Q: Â Â Â Â What awards have you gotten and how many in all?
I have been nominated severally. In 1998, I was nominated BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR NIGERIA MOVIE AWARDS, I was nominated as BEST COMEDIAN ON TELEVISION AT MAIDEN EDITION OF NIGERIA COMEDY AWARDSÂ and I have received several awards from organisations and societies AWARD OF PROFESSIONALISM from the ROTARACT CLUB KWARA POLY, IFE THEATRE LEGACY, DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS AWARDS 2005, CCC PRO CATHEDRAL TEJUOSO PARISH AWARD FOR CONTRIBUTION TO ENTAINMENT IN NIGERIA 2004, THE WAVES, THE POLYTECHNIC IBADAN ERUWA CAMPUS MOST DYNAMIC ACTOR 2006, CERTIFICATE OF HONOUR and so on.
â€ª Q: Â Â Â What makes you and your style stand out? What makes you different from the others? What do you do differently?
I donâ€™t know. I just keep doing it the way I know best. I guess the fact that I give all of the performances my best as much as I can.
Q: Â Â Â Â Who are your models in the industry?
Mr. Taiwo Ajai Lycet, Olu Jacobs, Chuck Mike, in fact core professionals are my models.
Q: Â Â Â Â What has the industry been like for you?
The industry for me is not close to my expectation but I know itâ€™s getting better.
Q: Â Â Â Â Would you want your child to pick up acting?
My duty as a father is to show the right path and my children will follow whatever they decide to do. In fact I have one that is towing the part of a comedienne.
Q: Â Â Â Â What other businesses or profession do you have outside this?
I am into PR, ADVERTISING, EVENT PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT.
Q: Â Â Â Â Who are your friends and where are you most likely to be found when not acting?
My friends are my kids and my wife since I share every moment and all I have with them. I also have friends like Wale Adebayo, Morounke Noel, Abiodun Aluko.Â If I am not working, I am reading my PUNCH NEWSPAPER or I am surfing the net and in the evening I go somewhere to take my daily dosage of two bottles of GULDER or TROPHY.
Q: Â Â Â Â What religion are you into?
I am a CHRISTIAN and KABBALIST.
Q: Â Â Â Â People think actors and actresses donâ€™t have successful marital lives. Do you think this is so? What has been your own experience?
Marriage hmmm, what I will say is you get what you want. People think what they want of us because we are close to the people. There are several others out there not having it good especially in other profession not just acting. For me God has been good for giving me a good woman and also giving knowledge and wisdom to run the home. I have been married for ten years and our relationship seems like we are just starting.
Q: Â Â Â Â What is your social life like? Do u club or belong to associations?
My social life is fantastic. I rock and I mix up nicely. I do night clubbing; I do LAGBOLAGBO, which is Tungba. I blend with all classes, I drink responsibly and I donâ€™t smoke cigarettes.
Q: Â Â Â Â Do you play games or sports? What game or sports do you play?
Yes, I love to play LAWN TENNIS, BASKETBALL, TABLE TENNIS, BADMINTON and FOOTBALL.
Q: Â Â Â Â What is the difference between the real you and you on set or stage?
I am totally different from the characters I play. Acting is taking from life to life and giving back to life. There is no way I would love to be another man.
Q: Â Â Â Â What do you think of Nollywood?
Nollywood. What can I say about an industry that is beclouded with so many plagues and needs help? NOLLYWOOD will survive soon and very soon Nollywood will take its right full position among the greater HOODS.
Q: Â Â Â Â In what ways have you contributed to the growth of the industry through your art?
I have always been looking for the opportunity, I always make sure that whenever situation arises I say it the way it is without doing unessary PR and presently I am the Director of RESEACH and DEVELOPMENT for TMA, The Movie Ambassador and I have the privilege to prepare the blue print for the industry.
Q: Â Â Â Â Are you thinking of retirement soon?
RETIRE ke? No way. I am in the business till death.
Q: Â Â Â Â What roles can you not play? What can you not do in your art?
Drama is to teach and to educate. Any piece that does not do these two things, I will not do.