For a lot of us, our grandparents didn’t go to school. They don’t know how to speak English so that is where I brought in Ngozi. She was an uneducated person who understands a little English. She comes every now and then to visit us in the house. Her character did not die… She came because she wanted to act but I told her to take it easy
YOU are currently working with a young aspiring Director. What attracted you to him?
He is not that young, he is seasoned. There is nothing new or strange about it too. First and foremost I studied theatre art and he was my junior in school. So when I was called to take part in one of his production, I just felt it was a good idea. Being that it has been long that I have done stage plays, apart from the one I was producing myself, I also wanted to work with someone else. That did it. I am happy I am doing it.
You have so many things on hand presently. Is one not going to suffer for the other?
Everything works together, it is just timing. I just need to do some other things and make sure I balance them. For my TV programme, I have done what I have to do. I have some other concepts that I want to do later this year but it is no longer the same with what I used to do. That one is settled, because I won’t be shooting again until next year. The new one, I will shoot sometime around April. Subsequently I have other things too but everything is timing for me. They are all programmed already, I mean from now till December.
Let’s talk about Yaw as a family man?
(Laughs) It is just Yaw.
What is the concept behind Yaw N Myn?
The idea came about in 2009. Then I had a stage play that I did and the returns were not encouraging. My friends just said to me why spend so much money trying to do stage plays and you don’t get your money back. When you can use that money to do a film or TV programme and reap something. I said to myself, I have been thinking of wanting to do a TV programme, let’s see how it goes. Gradually the idea came, but I did not do anything about it. That was how it started. It is just about Yaw, the radio presenter and stuff that I do once from work. Some of the storylines are real life situations, some of the things that have happened to me. I just narrate to the writers and they just go ahead to write. And we have good scripts.
Why the introduction of guest artistes?
I have had lots of people coming on board. People like Ifeaoma Ejenebor, Pasuma, RMD, Sound Sultan, Susan Peter, Empress Njamah, Wale Sango and lots more. After shooting the first season, definitely you have to do something different when shooting the next. So it was from the second season that I had to add people up to come play cameo and all that. Then it was the way the story lines were written. Like the Pasuma episode, it was specially written for him. I told the writers from the onset that if they feel there is anyone who will make the storyline better, they should just infuse the person and I will get in touch with the person to come and act.
How did you cope with Ngozi Nwosu’s character?
Her character is about my grand mom. For a lot of us, our grandparents didn’t go to school. They don’t know how to speak English so that is where I brought in Ngozi. She was an uneducated person who understands a little English. She comes every now and then to visit us in the house. Her character did not die. She came visiting when we were shooting one of the episodes of the second season. She is okay now. She came because she wanted act but I told her to take it easy.
The scriptwriter had already written about four episodes for her before I told them to stop writing for again. Then, she told me she was travelling some months back for her check up and that she had to go every now and then so I didn’t want to stress her. I told myself that when she comes back, we will start from where she stopped. But she is good, because she spent enough time with us on set before heading back home.
One entertainer recently got a car worth N30 million. What is your take on entertainers spending lavishly on cars?
Cars are meant for people to buy and not for spirits. That is just what I think. If Mr. A can buy it, why can’t a comedian buy it too? If you have the money to buy it then go for it. Everybody has got his or her priority. It is what you place as number one that is number one for you. I don’t think I have a problem with it. I am indifferent about it. If I have such amount of money, I probably would invest in my production that I am doing.
But these people ask for help when something comes up. People have been asking; why can’t they save for their future?
That is one bad thing about entertainers. And I don’t think it is just here alone. Even some in America have been in the same situation; someone like MC Hammer today is broke. There was a time they said Mike Tyson was in debt. I think the wise ones among them would invest, which is the most important thing. They live reckless lives, they drink, smoke and do a lot of other things and they don’t consider their health. I think everybody has got what they place as priority. Pertaining to kidney failure, if you have enough money to take care of yourself, you can drink and smoke and live your reckless life because the money will be there to take care of yourself afterwards. It is when you don’t now have that I have a problem with it.
Was there any time in your line of career that you decided to go for something else?
I can never trade my career for something else. I would rather spread out to do other things. I started as an actor in 1995 with home videos. From there I went to school to study Theatre Arts. Along the line, I started doing stuff with BBC. Then I took part in Twilight Zone, Flatmates, Fuji House of Commotion and lot of other productions. I came into radio fully with Wazobia after which I decided to go back to TV to start doing my own thing. What I mean by spread out is that I still do stage plays, I anchor and package events. I think everything around me is centred on entertainment. Now I am planning to start shooting short films. I am also planning to go to school to study film. I am expanding but I am still in entertainment.
Let’s go back to the days of Flatmates. Are there any plans to bring the production back?
I was talking to Kayode Peters, the producer and he said he is making plans to do that, to have some of us, come back to do something different. It might not necessary be called Flatmates this time because everybody is big now, busy doing their own thing. When we were doing Flatmates, we were broke.
Those were the characters. If you try to act broke and you have added weight, people would be like, who are you deceiving? So he said he has intention of bringing back, in particular the characters of Flatmates. We are waiting for him. Okechukwu Chima is in UK. Once we get there, we might try to record one or two scenes. And when we come back to Nigeria, we will continue with the one we are doing. And we still keep in touch with each other.
Apart from the sitcom do you have any other project on hand?
Yes, but when it is time, you will know. I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag. Let me just leave it at that. I am working on some other projects, which before the year runs out will hit the TV stations. Presently, I am recording, shooting and gathering contents.
How do you relax, when you are not at work?
I am a home person. I just sit at home and listen to the news, current affairs, basically things happening around me. I am not the outgoing type but when I feel like it, I go out. I am not the club type. I sit at home and just try to rest.
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