– Denies being a gigolo
Aremu Afolayan shot into prominence with his romance with popular columnist, Yetunde Adegbenro. Recently, the actor and producer was alleged to be a gigolo. But in an interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, he vehemently denied that and more…
The Afolayans are really making waves in the movie industry. At least, there are four of you. What informed that and what is the secret? Or are you riding on the name of your father?
The secret of our success is God, because without Him, there are no fans and without the fans, there are no Afolayans. As regard
riding on the popularity of our late father, I can only speak for myself. I didn’t join the movie industry because my father was an actor, but joined simply because I am in love with the profession.
How and when did the journey start?
I joined the industry nine years ago and I thank God that the journey has been successful.
Which movies gave you your breakthrough?
I will choose the talk of the town movie, Ewon Laafin.
Your new movie which will be premiered this year and entitled Ina Fitila is already generating ripples, more so it’s coming just after your brother’s Figurine. What informed that?
The theme of the movie is parental negligence. It is a crime story involving four young people, two guys and two ladies, who have turned the country into turmoil. The lead cast portrays a boy born with a silver spoon and had everything at his beck and call. But he was neglected by his parents, especially his dad.
His schedule also rubbed off on the wife who comes home with different shades of men. All these affected the boy’s mentality and also rubbed off on the larger society.
We learnt it would be premiered in three countries?
Yes. It would be premiered in London, America and Nigeria. The movie was shot in Nigeria and Dubai. We are still working on the packaging and can’t say when.
Learnt it’s a huge project, how much did it gulp?
The budget is N20 million and it’s not enough. If I can sell my car or my property over a movie, then you can be rest assured that it’s a top movie.
Is that the first movie to be produced by you?
I had actually produced one before entitled Fire (Ina).
What were the limitations of this beautiful project?
It is the issue of sponsors. They are skeptical about putting down their money. The only sponsor I replied on and is worthy of commendation is Globacom. They are the only sponsor who gave me the green light. I was on net recently and I was reading comments on Kunle Afolayan’s film, Figurine, and some people I consider unlearned criticized him for spending about N45 million on that film. I can’t blame them. It is because they have adapted to the low quality movies being produced in Nigeria.
Only about three people commended him. That is the problem we have when we decide to do high quality movies that are world class. If you go abroad, they spend far more than that. The problem is that we don’t have the necessary support here in Nigeria. The government is not helping matters.
Even corporate organizations prefer to spend money on parties instead of the industry. It is only in Nigeria that we don’t celebrate our own. We need a film village in Nigeria and I know just a Nigerian can initiate the project.
That will ease some of the challenges we face while producing films. Look at Mowe, along Lagos-Ibadan expressway, let them clear it and build a film village there. It will be a source of income, revenue for the country, too. I am saying this in pains and tears. We don’t have a conducive environment to shoot our movies. That is why I give kudos to Glo.
Fans said you act sexy and speak as such, too. How do you handle your female fans?
My female fans are my backbones. They serve as a my source of motivation and encouragement in Nigerian. Of course, it is only the female fans that help actors in Nigeria.
Is it true that you are a gigolo?
That is why I said I appreciate the female fans. Some people were spreading different tales that I was dating this and that, but my female fans would reply that what has that got to do with you? At least, I have the right to date whosoever I like. Why would you say I am a gigolo simple because I am dating older women? A gigolo is someone who sleeps with women for money. That is a male prostitute.
I am not a gigolo. If I have anything to do with an older woman, it’s because I choose to relate with mature minds. I don’t need young girls who are only interested in clubs and eateries. Rather, a mature mind that cares about my growth. May be they need to understand the difference between a gigolo and relationship.
A gigolo doesn’t know the person he sleep with, but in a relationship, you know each other.
What is happening to your love life?
I am not in any relationship now. My movie is taking much of my time and I can’t give room to distraction now. Right now, I only need a business relationship.
Is it true you have broken up with Yetunde Adegbenro?
Yes, we are not dating again, but we are still friends. That was the sweetest relationship I have ever been into. She understands me a lot. However, man proposes but God disposes. Nature is bigger than us. We can’t force it.
Was there a quarrel?
What are the qualities you look out for in your ideal woman?
My ideal woman is Yetunde. If you can be like her, then you are my ideal woman.
If she is your ideal woman, why the break up?
Like I told you, I can have her as my ideal woman but if God says no, there is nothing I can do about it.
How did she feel when you parted ways?
We are still friends.
Who is that favourite actress you enjoy acting with?
It’s Mercy Aigbe.
– TADE ASIFAT
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, June 15, 2010