*Says his new series ‘Alagbara’ exposes power tussle in marriage
Adebayo Salami popularly known as Oga Bello is currently in the news for his recent production, Alagbara. The 26-episode series which he did exclusively for StarTimes Nigeria is scheduled to start airing on Sunday, November 18. The Yoruba production features top Yoruba acts including Oga Bello, Femi Adebayo, Dayo Amusa, Tayo Sobola, Toyin Alausa, Funsho Adeolu, Ronke Oshodi Oke, Bukky Arugba among others. In this interview, the veteran actor and producer sheds more light on the series and other issues. Excerpts…
By JULIET EBIRIM and EKAETTE BASSEY
Tell us about your recent production – Alagbara?
Alagbara in Yoruba means a powerful person. It can also be interpreted to be those in power. But it is used in a different context here, as question – Who is more powerful: Man or woman? It is a reality and a reflection of what we see around us on a daily basis. The story is about the display of power in marriages, in relationships and how people, especially men, are controlled despite their strong personalities. Alagbara is a powerful message for everyone to enable us handle some marital issues and personal challenges in our relationships.
What actually inspired the story line on marriage?
Naturally, I always base my stories on social satire – happenings in the society, marital and family issues… It was my desire to promote the Nigerian culture that inspired me to write the storyline. A lot has been happening and our culture has lost its place, so I just had to come up with this educating series that cuts across everyone in this society. Marital issues and family affairs are common in the society. There are series of issues regarding marital life, that if I decide to do a story on around them, I will get one thousand episodes.
What makes this particular series unique?
The series is one of a kind, it is a clear picture of what is prevalent in our world today. A lot of marriages are undergoing problems even the strong men are falling victims. This series Alagbara is a beautifully, crafted indigenous series which sheds light into the lives of different men from all walks of life and how they are controlled, manipulated and influenced by the women in their lives. It also gives ideas on how to handle these issues when they occur.
Your son Femi Adebayo also featured in this series. Why do you cast him in most of your movies?
If I have someone in my house that can interpret the role I want, I would rather pick him or her first.
Have you ever experienced any awkward moment while working with your son?
Oh yes, if he doesn’t meet up with the role interpretation, we fight. If he doesn’t maintain a high level of discipline in the production, we fight.
Prior to this production, we don’t get to see you feature in TV series?
Well, I guess it’s due to my busy schedule and time factor. But in all honesty, if I get a good script I will go for it.
As an African man, what’s your opinion on feminism in marriage?
I must confess to you that we have lost our culture. We are emulating the western world too much and that is the root cause of marital issues. If we go by the ways our forefathers treated their wives and how there was co-opearation in the homein those days, all these won’t be happening. Don’t emulate the western world.
What’s that one thing you’re unhappy with in the entertainment industry?
A lot of things… but the common issue we all grapple with is piracy.
Despite your busy schedule, how have you been able to maintain a healthy and youthful look?
It is peace of mind. Give yourself peace of mind and you will see the magic. I give all the glory to God.
What should we be expecting from you after this movie?
I am working on a series titled “ Khaki Boys”. It will hopefully be in collaboration with StarTimes. For now, that is the project I will pick up after the production of Alagbara.
In most professions, people retire, are we looking forward to seeing you retiring someday?
Can you show me one actor or actress that has retired? Just mention one… You just have to move with the tide.