A couple of weeks back, tale started hovering around that star actor, Saidi Balogun has found a new love, years after separating from his estranged wife, Fathia. ENCOMIUM Weekly visited the handsome role interpreter cum film maker in his Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos office on Wednesday, December 21, 2011, where we took him up on this and many more…
2011 is almost gone, what are your accomplishments, career wise, during the year?
I would say excellent and beautiful because I succeeded in releasing Eti Keta, the first all Ankara movie. I also completed You or I, and my one cast movie entitled, In the face of the Lord. It is a fulfilling year for me.
What is coming out now from the stable of Saidi Balogun Productions?
We have You or I coming out. That’s a movie where all the cast are white except one person which is myself. Also coming out soon is In the face of the Lord and Our dream, Our life. It is a movie about kids and their future. I believe if our kids are well nurtured, they can become great leaders of tomorrow. But if we neglect that aspect, it’s going to be a great disaster for our country.
We learnt you’re shooting a traditional movie, what’s the latest about it?
Oh! That’s not a movie per se, it’s about Yoruba eulogies. I just want the Yoruba race to learn one or two things from our ancestral talk. They should just tune to Africa Magic every morning, especially the youths. If you will agree with me, some of us are lost already. Some don’t even know anything about their origin, they can’t even recite one sentence of their eulogies. For instance, they say, Egba omo asunkun gbade. Why do they cry before being crowned? So, we have to tell the whole world. We have many towns in Yorubaland and each of them has its own peculiarity in terms of culture, has its own eulogy. Each of these towns will be mentioned and we will tell the people their eulogy. Those who have not known will know and those who already knew will understand the meaning. We did this so that people don’t forget their origin. So that our culture can be sustained. It’s just a five-minute film on Africa Magic every morning.
Let’s move away from your career. A couple of weeks back, news started flying around that you have found a new love and very soon the wedding bell may ring, how true is it?
(Smiles) No comment on that for now because my lawyers are working on it. When a case is being handled by lawyers, you don’t talk on it, you leave everything to your lawyer.
But they said they sighted the two of you together at an event recently?
I have told you, I am not making any comment on that.
But is it true that you have actually found a new love?
That’s a private issue and I think it should be treated so. When it is time to make it public, I will but for now I want everything concerning that to remain private.
Also, a couple of weeks back, it was reported in some newspapers and magazines that you and your estranged wife, Fathia snubbed each other at an event, why?
I wouldn’t know. Like somebody said, “Strictly business.” When we see, we see. And when we don’t see, we don’t see. I don’t want to talk on it also. If I am not going to offend you, I will also like to keep every issue like that private and I want it to remain so. People are entitled to their opinions, they can say anything they like. That doesn’t call for a lawyer. The one that concerns lawyers, would be handled by lawyers. But this one is strictly private.
Are you saying nothing like that ever happened?
It’s a private issue. If you call her and she comments on such, that’s her own life. But for me, it’s a private issue for now.
All this while that both of you are separated, who has been taking care of your kids?
Thank you, I still remain on my point that everything like that remains private. So, you want me to tell the whole world. That’s not possible.
The children are in the custody of who, you or Fathia?
So, you also want me to tell the whole world that. No, I can’t please.
Let’s talk about the movie industry, would you say things are actually moving forward or backward. We mean the overall assessment of the industry in 2011?
It’s both. Things are moving forward in the sense that we are doing good production. Give it to the young guys, we are doing fantastically and all the English movie producers as well. So, we are trying to get there. But we’re moving backward because of the activities of pirates and our lawmakers are only using their power to drag us backward. They have not made any law against the nefarious activities of these pirates who are reaping where they did not sow. Let’s ask our lawmakers whether the pirates have bribed them because for all this while they have been there, they have done nothing to help us in that aspect. Out of nothing we are struggling to make something. In the US, they spend a lot of money on their movies but there are laws helping them to recoup their money and make some profit. If our lawmakers can do the same thing for us, we would all have a cause to smile.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, December 27, 2011