by Segun Odegbami
All those that know Uncle TK well should go and ‘warn’ him now. Yes, I mean Tunde Kelani, the film maker, the foremost African cinematographer and Yoruba socio-cultural icon and ambassador. He is looking for my trouble.
I sat down jeje in my house, trying to make sense of the issues amidst the uncertainties of life, when TK decides it is time to enliven the country with another audacious new movie production, and invites me to it!
Why me? I am very suspicious.
Ok, agreed that TK knows a great actor when he sees one. So, I understand his offer for me to appear in his movie again.
He knows about my first incursions into movies a long time ago. I acted in two ‘great’ movies that were never released. One was by Jaiye Ojo, and the other by a film maker I can’t recall now.
The third movie I acted in was one TK ‘tricked’ me into many years ago. He lured me by NOT telling I was NOT going to be the lead actor. He ordered me to come to Unilag, the location of filming, and made me spend an entire day memorizing very difficult few lines, over and over again. Filming my role as Dean of Faculty took so many repeats, I developed butterflies in my stomach.
When ‘Campus Queen’ was finally released I found out I was not the lead actor; that the main face on the posters all over the world was not mine; that my appearance was no more than one minute in the whole movie. Haba, TK, I thought I was the lead actor and that my acting talent shone so brightly that Kunle Afolayan, Femi Odugbemi, Tade Ogidan, Lancelot, and all the other great film makers would come scrambling for me offwring me roles n their movies.
Instead, up till now, nothing has happened o!!! It has been a silent as a graveyard yard in a horror movie. Na wa for this film business o.
Since then, I have been wondering what I did not do right. I almost lost all my confidence in my sheltered ability. Every time I challenged TK to explain to me why my appearance lasted only a few seconds in Campus Queen he goes into a fit of laughter, never answering my question.
Now I know. Hahahaha. He has been afraid that I would send many of his top actors into the unemployment market. A star footballer in a lead role would open up that protected and monopolized world to the Nwankwo Kanus, Jay Jays and Owoblows of this world, and RMD, Zeb Ejiro, Ramsey Noah and their specie would be under existential threat and in serious trouble.
So, I don’t know why TK forgot all that and has come to stir up the Hornets nest again.
This time I also tricked him and acted some reluctance, when I was really excited. He fell yakata for it and has increased his offer to convince me to take part. This time I have him by the jugular.
I am promised a near-lead-actor role. I am also assured that my giant picture will be front-page in the posters for the movie. I shall also be smiling to the bank with fifty-K. Don’t ask me if I am paying for the role, or if he is paying me for it, in Dollars or Euros.
To ensure that our contract is not breached, I acceoted to go with him on the very first day of filming last Friday morning.
What an experience that turned out to be. It was a drone-shoot of some of the most exotic sights and landmarks in Abeokuta and environs. When we reviewed some of the pictures later, they were a blast. I saw Abeokuta in a completely different light. The city is so culturally and architecturally endowed that I am wondering why it has not been ‘helped’ by successive State governors to become a global tourist destination for, particularly, descendants of the Black Race in the Americas and the Carribean Islands who would want to reconnect with their roots that many of them have traced to Abeokuta, amongst other places.
Through the story of the life of a local musical genius and cultural giant, who lived and practised his art in Abeokuta, TK is capturing a historical chapter in Yoruba history, folklore and music genre.
Day One into the filming, I am hooked completely by what is in prospect with this epic movie.
This time, I am determined to prove TK wrong. I shall unveil the full array of my acting skills and show him that footballers (not like Neymar Junior and his legendary diving skills) can be excellent actors too. And the whole of the film industry should beware and watch out for Mathematical in one of TK’s most exciting and challenging movies yet.