My Best Is Yet To Come
Femi Adebayo is one of the popular actors in Nollywood and has been able build a name for himself with his own acting skills without riding on his father's popularity in the industry. He is an actor, producer and director of repute.
Femi Lateef Adebayo, A native of Ilorin, Kwara State, was born on 31st December, 1972 in Lagos. He attended Tender Age Nursery and Primary School, Lagos, and Oke-Ode Grammar School, where he was the Senior Prefect for the 92/93 set.
He studied Law at the University of Ilorin. While in the university, he undertook part time training in entertainment with the then popular Awada Keri-Keri School of Performing Arts under the leadership of his father, Adebayo Salami (Oga Bello).
He proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, before going on to bag a Masters in Law at the University of Ibadan.
He had his first role in a Tade Ogidan movie, Owo blow back in 1995 and has not looked back since then. He has acted in hundreds of home videos and has won the hearts of Yoruba movie lovers, winning several awards. In 1996 however, he won the Nigerian Movie Awards' "Best Upcoming Actor of the Year 1996" in Nigeria, Best Yoruba actor at the 17th Afro Hollywood at the Stratford Town Hall, London and also the same category for the Best of Nollywood BON Awards in 2012.
He has a long list of movies to his credits which include Owoblow, Oba-Elesan,Tojo - terun, Baba - Ologba, Idanwo, Shola fe Pami, Ikan, Aranbada, Agbara Obirin, Mayomi, Ole, Inu, Orija ju Ogun, Ogologo, Fitila, Ila, Sonto Alapata, Wura Ati Fadaka, Ma Wobadan, Buga and Jelili among so many others.
Isn’t movie making almost turning into your family business?
It's true. All of us in my family are into movie making. We are more than six. I'm an actor, a writer and producer. My brother, Tope Adebayo, is a director and a producer as well. Sodiq Adebayo is a production manager and a producer. Daddy is a producer and actor. Rilwan Adebayo is an editor and our mummy is a marketer.
How does it feel acting alongside your father?
See, work is entirely different from father and son relationship. On the field, we are totally different. We drop being family when we are at work. There were scenes that I acted as an armed robber and went to rob my father, and I had to slap him and also had to do it well. So, that is the kind of situation we face. We are both professionals and we know what it entails. We all have to act our parts very well.
Will you allow your children to go into acting?
If they are comfortable with doing what I am into, then no problem, I will also give them the support my father gave me.
What are your career high points?
What first comes to mind are the several awards that I have received, they show that I am appreciated in the industry. I have also been able to increase my fan base, considering my role in Jelili, a movie that projected the other sides of me. Another point is that 2012 was when I shot one of the biggest projects so far in my career, which is Tribal Mark (Ila).
How is it your biggest project?
It's indeed a big project because I made use of some of the biggest and most expensive equipment that I had ever used since I ventured into acting. Another thing is the fantastic story line. The cast and crew members are wonderful people. I am very sure that when the movie comes out, I am going to secure another landmark success.
What challenges did you have while shooting it?
Nothing good comes easy. It took almost four months to complete the script alone. Gathering the cast was another issue because I wanted to make use of the best hands in the industry. Another major challenge was the weather, there was heavy rain for days in some locations. We spent a lot of time finishing the movie. You know the more time you spend on production, the more funds it consumes.
Jelili was such a big hit. Will you say it changed your life?
To be honest, I never envisaged Jelili was going to be so successful. I knew people would actually be seeing me playing a different role, which was going to shock them. To the glory of God, Jelili like you rightly said, was a success but I will tell you that it is not my best effort, because my best is yet to come. I've worked on a few more projects and they are yet to be out. My next movie is a complete story.
What was your most memorable moment while shooting the movie?
There was a time we had touts on set. I was shooting the movie and some touts came to disrupt our production, requesting for money, which I gave; but to my surprise they came back the fifth day, saying the money we gave them had expired and we had to give more money. I was afraid because they were throwing stones at us and breaking bottles. Some security operatives came to our rescue and got them arrested.
What are you working on at the moment?
Many new things. Expect nothing but the best from me. I still want to score high in the industry like what Jelili movie did. I am not relenting in my efforts. My prayer is that God should crown my effort.
Femi Adebayo is the CEO of J-15 Media Network Nigeria as well as being General Manager of Ibrafunds Holding, a company that deals with petroleum marketing, merchandising and consultancy.
He is a student member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria.
Femi Lateef Adebayo is married with children
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