Popular Yoruba actor, Funsho Adeolu has stated that Yoruba filmmakers are far better than their Igbo counterparts, noting that the Igbos still have a long way to go in the movie industry.
In an interview with NET, the 45-year-old actor-cum-director who had always wanted to be a lawyer, but veered into acting after failing JAMB four times, said “I like to be in the midst of people that are professionals…when I was in English [movies], I never worked with anybody apart from Tunji Bamishigbin, Jimi Odumosu, Tade Ogidan, and the likes. During that period, I got offers from others but I always declined because they were not professionals. Theirs (Igbo filmmakers) is usually a case of somebody who started as a production assistant and in a year, claims to be a director. I had a standard and used to refuse their offers.”
The actor who has starred in popular soap operas such as: Palace, Super Story and Family Ties, disclosed that, “There is no big money in Yoruba movies but I have realized that they are after knowledge, even though they are not as read as the English people.” Unlike the English movie sector where there is a lot of “fights and beefs.”
Adeolu disclosed that there is oneness in the Yoruba movie industry. He said, “The Yoruba setting has a system that is informal, but well-coordinated and educational for me that makes me more comfortable and at home.”
Speaking further, the Ondo-born filmmaker noted that the Igbo movie industry is far behind the Yorubas in terms of quality.
His words: “In their case, (Igbo movie makers), often times, their marketer is also the producer and director. I’m not saying it is professional, but it can be done, and well, too. Mel Gibson is a director, producer, actor and that is what we are looking at, but that does not mean everyone should do that. They feel it is a normal process for an actor to grow to become a producer and director, but it is not so.”
He noted that there was improvement in the industry unlike before when a producer would produce a film within few days.
He voiced his conviction thus, “It used to be worse, there was a time movies were shot in four or five days, but right now it is improving, and people are getting things right. Some even go abroad to learn about the technicalities involved (in filmmaking). I must say here that it was not this bad at the beginning, but some nonentities came in and made a mess of the system”
He disputed the claim that Yoruba actors can not speak good English, saying, “If a Yoruba actor doesn’t try to show him or herself in any English speaking movie or soap opera, nobody will know they can speak English, but we have more read people in the Yoruba movie industry more than English.”
Defending why Yoruba actors are not well known overseas like their counterparts, Adeolu said “Yoruba actors and producers travel more often than the English, but they do it for relaxation and enjoyment.”
The actor who got married eight years ago, expressed his joy at the level of improvement in the motion picture industry globally known as Nollywood. “Let me mention that not all Igbo movie producers are making their mark; only a few of them do movies with good quality, the likes of Amaka Igwe, Emem Isong, Jeta Amata, Desmond Elliot. They are in a clique and are doing professional things, which are different from the regular Igbo movies,” he added.
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