By IYABO AINA & EKPENBOR GRACE
Nollywood actor and producer , Yomi Fabiyi whose marriage to a British lady became a hot issue last year is being alleged to be in the relationship for material benefits and not love , and now, the whole story seems to have taken another dimension. Yomi was nominated for awards in London as best actor and his movie, the best movie of the year 2011. He speaks with our reporter about his new movie ‘Father Moses’ , his life experience and other issues surrounding him . Enjoy
On marrying a white lady for her money
That is poverty mentality. Must it always be that way? I’m in the marriage for happiness and not for passport or money, and there was no agreement for me to relocate to the UK. If that had been one of the conditions my wife gave, I wouldn’t have married her.
If people say I married my wife for her money, she must really be a billionaire to have attracted me into the marriage. Those with such assumptions should check themselves. They are aided by poverty mentality. Does it have to be that way? Britons are too intelligent.Why should Nigerians always think this way? Ninety-five percent of Britons won’t think that way.
State of my marriage
My marriage is intact and the bedrock of every relationship is communication. We talk like friends. And presently, I am in Nigeria working on a very massive movie project titled Father Moses starring Ini Edo, Desmond Elliot, Jide Kosoko, Ayo Mogaji, Hafiz Ayetoro, Keji Yusuf, Yomi Fabiyi, Hakeem Rahman, Kemi Afolabi, Arugba and so on.
I am working to get it into the cinemas though I am meant to send an invitation to my wife so she can visit me to bridge the gap. She either comes or I will eventually go to meet her.
The Movie Father Moses
Father Moses is a concept that is very unique and I believe the audience will like it because the title is trying to tell us something about love, religion, power and faith, and you need to look at how they come together, though we believe in the saying that love is the first religion and with my belief, this is the first time that the audience will be seeing such a movie.
Bringing together of English and Yoruba actors like of Desmond Elliot, Ini Edo, Jide Kosoko and others
I am not just starting this job and I want to believe that whatever you know how to do, you should do it well because your work will speak for you. Apart from the fact that you should have the money and the script, you should be able to move the actors and your reputation forward. And as a producer, the actors will also speak for you and will tell if you are the type that produces good films.
I believe that is one of the reasons it was very easy to call on these artistes and they were able to give me audience. They know me as someone that can produce quality movies.
Cost of producing the movie
I won’t be able to mention the exact production cost because such a movie gets to to post production before getting to the cinema and these cost lots of money. I went through a lot shooting the movie. At a stage, I had to sell my car to raise funds to complete it. It got to the stage that I couldn’t go to the bank and I needed money so quickly. Big projects like this take sacrifice and I want every sacrifice to be ultimate for this project.
Premiering the movie
We are trying to take it into the Cinema at the moment and after that, we will look at how acceptable it is to the audience and how long it is going to last in the cinemas across the globe before coming out with the DVD.
Producing other people’s movie
I have shot movies with several producers, top actors and actresses like Funke Akindele, Yinka Quadri, Ogogo and others. So, I work with other producers as well.
Making a good movie
There is no basis for comparism because I want to believe Yomi Fabiyi is a different person entirely, and all I do is to ensure that within the limit of resources I have and with reasonable technical standard, I’d bring out what my fans and the audience will enjoy and give them value for their money. I don’t see myself walking in anybody’s shadow. I don’t see myself doing what others are doing, I see myself as Yomi Fabiyi and I do what I want to do. So the difference is clear.
Choosing between acting and producing
Obviously I would prefer being a producer because I don’t believe in quantity, and the only way I can explain quality is when you are relatively scarce. I maintain scarcity because if I produce, I will also have the opportunity to feature in the movie and do whatever I want to do. So, I use producing a movie to maintain my acting career. But if I choose acting, it could as well kill my career as a producer ; so I prefer to produce and shoot quality movies.
What next after Father Moses
I am going to shoot more movies, I am going to shoot a movie titled “Mo eto Mi” and The stranger on a lonely journey. Those two stories are ready and they are high profile storylines and cinema- standard scripts. I will be shooting that immediately after the release of the Father Moses.
My family background
I was born into the family of Mr. and Mrs. Fabiyi. I was born and brought up in Somolu, and I am married and doing things the way I want to do it.
Relationship with other artistes?
I don’t think I have any problem with any artiste. I am close to everybody. I have access to anybody except those I really think will be a problem to work with .
Picking the actor for role of Father Moses
I have my cast. I believe I have the best because casting is also very important when you are shooting a movie. Wrong casting could as well cause damage to a script. So, I don’t have any problem accessing anybody. I got those I wanted and I believe they are the best for the project.
Relaxing after work
To be honest with you, it’s always very difficult to plan relaxation except if I travel out because in Nigeria, all your time is being hijacked and apart from the fact that you have personal assistants, you’d still have to remember what you are going to do, what you’d want to wear, how you’d want to get them, when you are going to make calls. Sometimes, you drive yourself and these are not really easy but I do them.
Joining my wife after eight years
I married a white lady but there is plan to relocate soon. My career is just taking shape and it is not the best option to leave permanently except there is need for that. My home is here and also in the UK. I’m a regular visitor to the UK. I love the Britons and marrying one of them makes the marriage more interesting.
My wife is aware of my work and she supports my commitment to it. So, at the right time, it’s either my wife visits me here in Nigeria or I visit her in the UK.