Raymond Agaba is the corporate handler of the weird Fuji music star, Obesere. He once had a brush with Mr. Ope Banwo, the boss of Stingomania360, who majorly runs things for the music act on his label but for maturity that prevailed. Raymond is based in South Africa where he engages himself with other things such as acting and modeling. He is working on a big Yoruba drama series with a company called Media Navigation right now, which he claimed is the first Yoruba drama series ever shot abroad. In this chat with me, the very fine-looking guy who in a skeptic's thinking could pass for a gay, confessed that he had no problem with those who practice homosexuality, though he is not one. He spoke on other issues...
Why did you relocate to Nigeria before and did you achieve your aims?
Coming to Nigeria is necessary for me, because I can't be too far from home(Nigeria) and for the fact that that artiste (Pk1st observe) is based in Naija coupled with some international projects I'm working on. The idea is also to facilitate international collaboration with our Yoruba actors to create sustainable and quality movies. I am working with Media Navigation in South Africa to create such opportunity for our entertainers such as actors, musicians, and models. It's very expensive to shoot in U.K but to work at moderate and affordable budgets with quality output is the key to success.
Before you took up the image making of Obesere, have you handled any other artistes before him?
Obesere is the first artiste I will ever do 'collaboration' work with, and it's a wonderful and additional experience for me, because working with such big star has opened many doors for me. Since then, I know a countless number of artistes now that want me to work with them. I'm still enjoying the good working relationship with PK 1st Obesere.
How would you compare modeling with acting and handling artistes' image?
Modeling and acting are very close. You must understand that the standard of production is higher and more demanding than in Nigeria. Opportunities for modeling usually come in the form of commercials, but it is a very tight industry. To project artiste's image is more taxing, because several times I had to fly down quietly to Nigeria from South Africa to make sure my artiste is in a right position image, and thanks to Ope Banwo, the C.E.O of Stingomania Records for his support and understanding. Also working with Dan of Media Navigation has made the industry easier with projects that consider models for Yoruba movies abroad.
What were the circumstances that took you abroad and would
you say the decision was worth it?
The decision to live abroad was worth it in terms of exposure, opportunities and acting orientation. The most important thing is to present similar opportunities to other Yoruba actors in Nigeria.
Who are your role models?
Oprah, because of her interest in education even though she didn't have a child of her own; supporting other children makes her mother of the world. Nelson Mandela for Freedom and Unity, Obesere is very humble to people, and of course my father (Chief Kayode Kabir Agaba) for supporting my decision as an entertainer.
Tell us about your marital status and relationship with women generally
Wow! That's very private, generally I find women as beautiful and lovely creations from God. For now, I'm concentrating on myself solidly though I do have eyes on someone special.
What was your most memorable event so far, positive and negative?
That was the day Obesere bought me a brand new car, and also when I was cast for the production of a major TV series by B.O.M.B Studio in South Africa; the producer of the film had wanted a Nigerian to fill that role, my agent in South Africa had negotiated on my behalf, but needed to make more profit, so I decided to represent myself and I handled the role.
Would you like to state the number of jobs you have handled so far modeling wise?
I was the Face of Intercontinental Bank(Internet Banking Advert both billboards & press). I was also Face of Afri Bank TV commercial (Walk Tall Promo). I had modeled for Delta Soap TV commercial alongside Lilian Bach and Desmond Elliot. Presently, I am the Face of FOREVER LIVING ALOE VERA Products both in Nigeria and South Africa. I just shot an advert for Vodacom, a telecommunications giant in South Africa.
If success is gauged by the volume of job experience, would you say you are fulfilled?
I am very fulfilled in my career as an international actor and model, although at times things could be very quiet and uneventful, but coupled with lot of different projects, there is never a silent season.
What's your plan for another four years?
My plan for the next years is what I am doing already to facilitate an international segment for both Yoruba & English. I'm sure by the time Asiri (secret) starts showing on Africa Magic Yoruba, you will see how hard I have worked with the Director, Dan Akinlolu, by working together to change the orientation of Yoruba Films with ASIRI.
Let's share your family and educational experience.
I'm from a polygamous family home. I am the 7th of 15 children. I had my primary education at St. Peter's Primary School, Ita Faji, Lagos, and LBA Comprehensive for Junior Secondary; Ogba Grammar School for Senior Secondary School and Olodi Apapa for my WAEC. I studied Industrial Relations and Personnel Management at LASU; I'm still studying at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
What has changed about your personality and career in the last four years?
A lot, being an international figure has enabled many doors to open for me. Also, being a broadcaster on an international television (South Africa) is an achievement. Gaining exposure to international actors (both White and Black actors.) has allowed me to learn and share skills.
What's your take on homosexuality?
It is a personal decision, and I respect people's opinion; who am I to judge anybody? Each person should be guided by his or her own moral and cultural upbringing.
What's your view on reported negative image some Nigerians are giving Nigeria regarding various shameful acts?
It's really sad; sometimes I and others are ashamed of being Nigerians in foreign countries! But I'm sure one day the story will change to positive, but yet we have a lot of Nigerians who are doing great work abroad.
How often do you change your wardrobe as a fast rising model?
I love clothes and they are one of my bad habits. I purchase clothing weekly, because as a model, I need an updated wardrobe.
What are the qualities that you think win you high profile jobs in modelling and acting?
Prayer, hard work and a lot of humility. I always try to look my best at all times.