OLATAYO AMOKADE a.k.a Baba Ijebu was born in Ilisan Remo, Ogun State, a town where Babcock University is located. Though, he has been imitating his father ways of dressing just to practice the profession by the corner days back in his village, but acting for him started a few years ago when he was at Ibadan Polytechnic for his National Diploma in Mass Communication. He joined the industry through Muyiwa Ademola Authentic School of Drama. After that, he worked with another comic actor, Olaniyi Afonja a.k.a Sanyeri as his P.A/Manager for years before the shoot of his maiden film titled, Muniru and Ambali written by Sanyeri but produced by him, while Adekaz Productions marketed it. The wife of “Omoba Funbi Ni Ilisan” as Ijebu is fondly called recently welcomed a bouncing baby girl, and the actor spoke with YORUBAMOVIEGIST.COM about his fatherhood experience among others:
How easy it is being a father?
Being a father is not an easy task but I thank God for everything. Let me start from this, I met my wife at Eruwa campus in Ibadan, we both got admission into the Ibadan Polytechnic, I was senior her in school with a year, in the process, we fell in love before it now got to the stage it is now. Fatherhood is not something very easy. I brought her from Ibadan to stay with me for sometime because I hate staying alone, loneliness is my biggest problem, I brought her down here and we started planning on getting marrying soon. Along the line, she got pregnant and when she told me, I said no problem about that, so I took her back to her parents to do the necessary thing so as not to be told that “Bring Back Our Girl”, so her parents said we should hold on till she give birth.
When she told you she was pregnant, what ran through your mind?
I was very happy within myself, I can’t tell her to abort because if I do and she lose her life in the process, what will be my gain? I was scared that she can give up during the abortion and as a public figure , I should distinguish myself from others, things about me should be holiness. We are not all righteous but we should try our best. Many of us gets slapped by our wives at home but you won’t hear anything outside, not because we can’t beat or slap her back but if you do, it becomes controversy and scandal. Either you are a celebrity or not, the wives of today her too wise and strong. If your wife do things very ridiculous to you, I will advise that you pick up your cloth and leave the house for sometimes, before you return, things must have come back to better shape.
You both met at the campus, our did the love came in?
Well I just know that I love her so much. Her name is Opeyemi Popoola. When we met, she did something unforgettable to me which really made me what I am today. Apart from God, she is the next person who supported my career. I did my compulsory industrial training at a radio station where I earned #10.000 monthly, rather than requesting to share the money with me to buy fashion accessories I told her that I am interested in acting,rather than sharing the cash with me, she said I should go ahead with my career and that was how I went to Muyiwa Ademola’s School of Performing Arts. That little money she refused to share with me did wonderfully well for me. Now, I have my personal car and I can afford to pay my house bill and others while I also have some change in my bank account. All these were borne out of the #10.000 of 2003. That is why sometimes when she gets me angry, I will just overlook it. I believe that there are still some girls who can still do like she did but they are not just common, all they want now is Ferarri and Bugatti.
At your first meeting with her, did you have the intention of marrying her or chop and clean mouth?
Uhmmm! It’s all about campus love. But her good character towards my success changed my heart for her. People were not just aware of it. This is not the first time she is having a baby for me. When I left school, she was already pregnant. Our first child is a girl and the second one also came as a girl. She was pregnant while she was in school and at the time I wasn’t rich neither was i popular. She was solely taking care of the baby before She now moved into my apartment. Now,that I am popular, if I go out to look for a girl to marry, of course I will get one but do I know the kind of character she is going to exhibit? That was why I decided to bring her in as my full house wife.
Actors are always surrounded with girls,with you having girls as your children, don’t you think this is revenge time for you?
There is nothing like revenge in my own case, because we all have our past. I believe if I give them better training,no man can toy with them.
Can you permit any of them to go into acting?
Why not? If there is any one among the two who shows the interest, she will gain the best support she can’t get anywhere from me.
When do we see you marrying her legally?
Soon! She is still nursing the baby, thereafter, we shall invite you all to our wedding. For now, i am the one washing the babies’ clothes. It will be like a year before we do that.
Why are you the one washing the babies’ clothes?
It is not funny, she is still capable to do all those things and if there is a way I can assist her, so I should render the support. If anyone sees me doing that, I don’t think it is bad, you can only run your mouth because it is yours. You may say I have eaten vegetable like people do say but I don’t give a damn. Sometimes, when the baby cries,i will carry her and I will be singing for her. She will eventually stop the cry. There is even a particular song I dedicates to her and she now knows my voice.
What really influence the mixing of Indian language with Ijebu when you are acting?
It is just an inspiration. If you watch my new movie, Ore Meta Were Kan,the Indian song I sang came in in the studio. I never knew I would sing when I got there but I just knew that I have to do the song. I composed chorus for my parents in the movie, since I don’t have cash to give, so I decided to do the song for them and I sing it thus “Arabaribiti Bafunbi… Arabaribiti Ye Funbi!!!!” and the rest came from nowhere. Though I was saying rubbish but it makes a whole lot of senses to my fans and they all accepted it. I am just a kind of person who learns a lot. If you speak any language here, I will know it in 2 days.