Femi Adebayo is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after actors in the country who has paid his dues so well. Femi has equally joined the growing list of Nigerian entertainers who are getting involved in governance. In this interview with OMONIYI ALLI, Femi spoke about youth’s involvement in politics, cinema culture and the journey thus far.
Q: What are your assessments of the cinema culture amongst Nigerian youths?
A: For me, it is growing in as much as there is still room for lots of improvement; gone are those days when all we do is go to cinemas and watch foreign movies but the reverse is the case now as more prominence is now been given to Nigeria movies in cinemas as our productivity level has increased. For me, I believe we are already knocking out Hollywood in cinemas if not sending them packing.
Q: For you, how would you describe your creative process?
A: It’s not that gradual but it’s improving because something actually invokes the creativity in me, what I see around me; unlike before when I actually started anything comes to play but now more exposure has further helped in shaping my creative process.
Q: How much did your father influence your career?
A: Working closely with my father gave me a picture and maybe I got the passion from him since he is an actor. I used to take acting as a hobby before it turned into a profession. I wanted to be a lawyer and I went to school to study it. But I later realized that I was having more fun and getting comfortable in showbiz. That was why I settled for acting.
Q: What are the lessons you’ve learnt from your father?
A: I have learnt so much from my father and I am still learning. I am using this opportunity to say thank you to him and if I am coming to this world again I wish to come through him. He is an extremely humble man and we learnt that from him.
Apart from the fact that he is a talented actor, he is a born leader and we got that attribute from him too. I have been using so many of his principles in my daily activities and it is really working for me. I give it to him and I see him as a major factor behind my success.
Q: Do we still see you practising law?
A: As much as I am a qualified barrister, I can appear before the law court. But it is important to mention that the professional ethics of law won’t permit you to be a practising lawyer if you are into any other business. As a lawyer you should have enough time to prepare your matter as much as you want to represent your client in the law court; you shouldn’t misrepresent the court. So if I am not doing any other thing again, I can decide to go into full-time practice.
Q: When did you decide to dump law for acting?
A: Sincerely, it was even after my call to bar. I was called to the Nigerian bar in 2003 and I decided to turn my passion into a profession in 2005.
Q: What is your take on youth’s involvement in politics?
A: Believe me sincerely it is a good idea that youths these days have begun to show keen interest in politics but it is actually sad that when people hear the word’ Politics’ what ordinarily comes to the mind is that there are thieves, they are corrupt and if we continue to think that way nobody will have interest in the politics of the country. The fact remains that we have so many truthful politicians in there but as you know the bad eggs will overshadow the good ones.
So for me, I will tell the youth that now it is our time to get right and happily for us there is not too young to rule bill indicating that a lot of youths can be lawmakers; let us use this medium to tell those grandfathers to go and sit down; retirement age is 65 in Civil Service; so let those people above 65 give chances to the younger ones to come on board and see what we can do.
Q: A lot of celebrities have been bashed on social media; what is your take on social media trolls?
A: Luckily for me I have not had cause to have issues on social media where insults will come in; I take a step at a time and I have tried as much as possible to keep records and stay off scandals. Even when fans give a polite insult on my page, I have been trained not to attack or react and believe me that has really helped me a lot because you don’t have to respond to all passes on social media.
Q: Who is Femi Adebayo away from the limelight?
A: You can give me the opportunity to describe myself and I won’t say sweet things. I am an easygoing person, straight forward and I am totally different from the person you see on screen. But when it comes to work, I interpret my roles well and I can go to any extent to achieve it. I do research very well.