Today we are giving we are giving you the concluding part of our interview with Hafeez Oyetoro aka Saka. Please Enjoy
M: Do you see a future in your choice of career?
HO: I don’t see myself doing anything else.
M: Would you want your child to pick up this profession?
HO: My children are very young and I will not take the decision for them. If any of them wants to go into my field, I’ll be very happy and if none of them wants to, I’ll be very happy, that is their calling.
M: What other businesses or profession do you have outside this?
HO: Nothing, I just perform.
M: Who are your friends and where are you most likely to be found aside of acting?
HO: At home, playing with my children or watching a movie.
M: Are you a Christian or a Muslim?
HO: I’m a Muslim.
M: Are you single or married?
M: How is your married life?
HO: I will say ‘Alhamdulillah’. I don’t have a wife. The woman in my house is my mother, my sister, my friend, the mother of my children. When I go out and I am going back home, I am always very happy. My marriage will be 10 years in May and whether you believe it or not, since I got married, I have never had any extra-marital affairs. I can say it anywhere that I have never slept with any woman apart from my wife, Laide. Temptations are there but anytime I want to, my mind goes back home. She has never given me any problem. I have never felt scared about my going home; I always want to get home. She is about the only woman apart from my mother who understands Hafeez. Together, we watch Saka. She knows Saka and Hafeez. She married me when I was living in a room and parlour, no TV, nothing. She is beautiful. I pray that I will be somebody and she will become the wife of somebody. We have misunderstandings of course but she is just good. She is a graduate of Mathematics. We got married when she finished her degree and then, she was earning better than me but she just didn’t care about that. My marital life is fantastic.
M: People think actors and actresses don’t have successful marital life. Why do you think this is so?
HO: People tend to use actors and actresses as yardstick too much. A marital life depends on the individuals involved. There are so many doctors, engineers and other professionals who don’t have a successful marital life but because actors and actresses are in the limelight, people easily see it when their marriages are in trouble, it is news. Actors and actresses are responsible and disciplined. If you see any wayward actor or actress, they are not professionals and are not trained.
M: How is your life vis a vis others in your field compared to that of the ordinary man?
HO: People expect too much from us, that is just it. We are ordinary too, just in a different profession. I don’t make efforts to differentiate; I am a human being, a man, just like the next person.
M: How comfortable are you?
HO: I am not a millionaire but I’m not hungry. I’m averagely comfortable and it could be better.
M: What is your state of health?
HO: I have good health, I thank God. As you can see, I’m moving up and down. I don’t have any medical issues, I thank God. I will be 50 years old by August 20 and I don’t have any issues, I thank God. I used to have High Blood Pressure but we discovered it was due to one tea I was taking and I stopped the tea.
M: Actors and actresses are often victims of ailments and sometimes death; people think this is occurring too frequently. Do you think there anything about the profession that makes your type so vulnerable?
HO: (Laughs so much that I had to laugh too) See, it is like I said before, in any place in the world, people die everyday from various fields and profession. Go to the hospital and check the morgue and you would discover that out of maybe sixty dead people, you will see one actor or actress. Do you know how many died in 2012 but it easy to say that “Ah! 2 actors died in 2012”. It is just because artistes are in the limelight. You see, there are a lot of people in prison who stole something small or who have been wrongly accused; nobody knows them. However, somebody big or somebody who has stolen, millions, billions, subsidy money will be put in prison and all the newspapers will carry it and before you know it, people pick it up and the person is free to walk. It is that simple, it is because we know these people.
M: Do you play games or sports? What game or sports do you play?
HO: Badminton. I love it. Once in a while, I play Table Tennis too.
M: Apart from badminton, how else do you relax?
HO: I love watching movies, I love playing with my children, they are my closest friends and I love sitting down and listening to people, just listening to people. I love it a lot, once I am not on stage or set, I keep quiet and I’m watching and listening, I pick a lot and learn a lot like that, maybe that is why some people feel I snub. I also play traditional games with my children because I want to have traditional knowledge and values, so I play games like Ayo, hide and seek, riddles and jokes, tales and so on with them.
M: Is there a difference in class or language or clique in Nollywood?
HO: Everything in life is politics. Anywhere you find yourself in life and there is no politics being played there, run away from there, it’s not a perfect community. There is always a caucus, in any profession, there is always a caucus. It depends on individuals to maneuver around it. I am a total theatre practitioner, I blend into any. I just don’t see the difference. Some people are like that too and I believe that in the nearest future, everything will come together and everyone will be able to work together regardless of whatsoever.
M: In what ways have you contributed to the growth of the industry through your art?
HO: First and foremost, as Hafeez Oyetoro, I am a teacher and I have taught so many students who I believe I have impacted their lives so I have added some value to the society in doing that. As a Theatre Artist, I have added to my society through the roles I play, letting people see who they should not be and who they should be. Of course, I cannot judge, I am just assuming. People watching will judge better
M: What areas do you think are not properly handled in Nigeria? Using your profession as a pointer
HO: There are not enough infrastructures to work and no enabling environment. Come to our locations and you will pity Nigerian Producers, Directors, Actors and Actresses. We improvise too much, no grant, nothing. I am not defending the poor standard, I don’t like it but if the lowest rated director in Nigeria is allowed to shoot in Hollywood for example, you will be amazed. It is true that the standards of these movies are different from each other but I believe it will get better.
M: Would you call your dress sense unique? Why?
HO: Not really, I like traditional clothing. I don’t like to go all out to dress, I like being simple and comfortable but my nephew, Kareem Lukman in Badagry sows my clothes, and he designs my clothes. However, I don’t like appearing different anywhere, I still want to be free. I want to be able to do things like everybody else, I want to be able to go under the bridge and eat abula, amala and ewedu anyhow I like. Clothes have a way of differentiating you. I don’t like appearing like a “star”. How many people know me beyond Nigeria? Anyone can dress anyhow and be a superstar in his or her profession but me, I like traditional casuals. I am a total Iseyin man.
M: What are the benefits of being an actor?
HO: Popularity, getting things done much more easily than other people, I get favours easily. Satisfaction that I am doing what makes me and other people happy, especially when I see people laughing or smiling and I see that it is because they are watching me on TV. I like it. Although I always want people around me because I’m shy. Lastly, financial satisfaction. What some people will earn in six months, I earn once. Then I like the fact that when my children introduce themselves, they are welcomed.
M: What roles can you not play? What can you not do in your art?
HO: As far as acting goes, I will not act porn. I will not act naked. I can act a gigolo or womanizer in a mature way that will not corrupt the society but I will not act any role that will corrupt the society or teach the wrong things.
M: What does the future hold for up-comers in your field?
HO: The future is bright and it is getting better day by day.
M: Any word of encouragement for up-comers in your field?
HO: Well, take God first, work very well and very hard. I am still up-coming too. They should appreciate everything around them, don’t be money conscious and be committed.
M: Anything you want to say to wrap it up.
HO: I want to appreciate Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education. My Dean, Dr. Femi Adedina, my HOD, Mr. Gbenga Omidapo and other lecturers, Adeniyi, Ezekiel, Olumide, Bunmi, all of them in my department. They are like a family, my family; they have contributed so much to my life, their support, morally, financially and in every way. I love them. I also appreciate my wife, Olaide Saidat Oyetoro and my God Almighty who has given me the grace to be doing what I am doing, who gave me such parents, they are still alive oh and I pray for long life for them, Mr. Dauda Oyetoro and Mrs. Apeteasa Adedewe Abike Oyetoro. Thank you all and God Bless you and God bless us all.