BY OLOYEDE GBENGA
Everywhere you turn, Nigerians are doing great things both at home and in the diaspora and YEMI SOLADE is one of such Nigerians.
An actor, Director, Producer, Writer, Dancer, father, and Grandfather, he has made a name for himself in Nollywood, Nigerian film industry.
There, he is known for movies like Iriri Mi (2008), Madam Dearest (2005), Pasito Deinde and Tunde Kelani‘s award-winning film, Thunderbolt.
Yemi Solade clocked 59,January 31, 2019.
His career as a TV, film, and stage actor has definitely placed him on the map, for Solade studied Theatre Arts at Obafemi Awolowo University.
Bred in Lagos, Yemi had his elementary and post elementary education in Surulere. He went to St. Thomas Aquinas Primary School and Birch Freeman Secondary school, both in Surulere.
He did A’ levels in the U.K. at Tyhill College in Coventry and later headed for OSCAS, Oyo State College of Arts and Science to prepare for University. It was there he met Ovation publisher, Dele Momodu, who is also an alumnus of OAU.
He is the ambassador for Nigerian Entertainment Health Insurance Scheme (NEHIS),Pioneer president of Theater art and Motion Picture producers Association of Nigeria (TAMPPAN). Yemi has come a long way,the chat with him will explain better.
In this interview with The Eagle Correspondent on the sidelines of the NIJ students ‘week, he speaks more:
I trained professionally. I went through the Dramatic Arts Department of OAU Ife. I have an academic qualification to doing what I am doing today (he has three master’s degrees). I still say it; I am an ordained actor sent by God. I started my social life very early at the age of 14years where I was so passionate in being part of the FESTAC 77 (from 15 January 1977 to 12 February 1977) ,now have been in acting for 42years. I was a disco dancer and I won a lot of awards for my school (4times in a row).
I played the role of passenger, driver, conductor in an imaginary bus. Any one who witnessed me in Ife then would recall.
It was an intense performance in my first year. I am myself, I don’t impress people that’s why I don’t have friends. I like to see talented people. I felt sober watching American Got Talent (AGT) because of the way I see people use their skills and body.
These are people like us. While some Nigerians will say they can’t make it in Nigeria, I believe strongly in Nigeria. People like Wizkid, Davido, Donjazzy, Dbanj and Tuface made it here in Nigeria.
I don’t go out, You hardly find me in a loud social event.
COPING WITH HOME FRONT AND WORK
Firstly, let me set the record straight, Acting is like any other job. it moves one around, sometimes it takes you out of your comfort zone. Home is home, workplace is workplace, there’s time for everything. When I am not working, I am in my house. When I am not working I rest in my home, it energies me for next project.
Home is peace for me; when I want peace I stay in my house. It’s comfortable ,peaceful.
I do whatever I like in my home because it’s my home. It’s fun. I see my wife and children. I thank God for that. Though acting has taken me to places but my home is still my Palace. I rule that place
Clarifications On The Assertions That All Actors Are Fetish
I can’t clarify that because i don’t do such. I am a Yoruba man, you can’t see any scarification on my skin,you just won’t permit me to strip. If I am in location, I change by my car. I am a child of God, I have covenant with God. I don’t do fast-track. Those that do that die young. I want to protect my body and keep it glowing. Being fetish is a personal thing. For me, i believe in prayer. I call my God anytime I like and he answers.
Advice For Upcoming/Amature Actors
We call them “Greenhorns”,I always tell them to train well. They should have eyes for good productions. They should not indulge in all productions. They should believe in their craft. Learn it well and be systemic. Everything should come with moderation, not to compete or race with anyone and time. Be original and it will take you to places.
Whether It Is Right Or Wrong For Actors Or Artistes To Show-off On Social Media?
It’s freedom of expression. I think it’s right for people who do such but it’s not right for someone like me. If I should post my cars or cloths on social media, it depicts poverty in my soul. For people who do such I think they are just trying to remind God for bringing them out of where they were before but I think it’s a way of thanking God. But I will not do that.
Filmography: Shadows, Thunderbolt, Lady In The Forest, Madam Dearest, Mr Gabriel and many more