Reveals How He Met YINKA QUADRI
The big news is that Alhaji Taiwo Hassan popularly called Ogogo is 60. Last week, he told City People why he has kept on to his craft decades after. “Let me quickly say this” he explained, “we were acting then because of the Passion not because of Money. It is the passion that has brought us this far”
He recalled that after Shola Adeyemo’s movie “Itakun”, late Alade Aromire now did Home Video. He was the first person to produce movie on Home Video. I want to be quoted on this. Late Alade Aromire was the 1st to produce Home Video. If anybody lays claim to it, it is Capital Lie. Uncountable number of Theart Arts Practitioners of that era will buttress the fact of what I am saying. He was the 1st person that shot Home Video”.
“He launched it at the National Arts Theatre, at Igannmu, Lagos. The industry players didn’t know that he was coming with Home Video. They only heard rumours of it. He was fast and smart in bringing in Home Video into the industry. He deceived them with Reversal. Nobody knew it was Home Video. He was asked to deposit the sum of N200 in case he violates their law. It was a big event. They took Ankara and we had that event. Eventually, they detected what he did and they didn’t give him a a refund of the N200 today.
“It was big money then. It was like N200,000 then”. The success of what he did motivated others. He motivated other actors and actresses. There is the case of one man who is called Baba Ibeji at Meiran, that always gathered people at Meiran and will be giving people money to produce movies. He will give them N4,000 or N5,000 depending on what you wanted to. I was not party to it. Right from when I started acting I have had Class. I always do my things with class, and you know I don’t take rubbish”.
“If you offer me cheap money, I won’t take part in your production. You have to pay well for my gift which God gave me. Chanting is not easy. You have asked me to come and chant, it is a lot of work and effort to play the role of . Agbohun Oba, in any production, I put in my best and you have to pay specially for it. I don’t take rubbish. So they started doing Home Video. NEK joined in 1991. He began to produce his own movies”.
“They call one man Oguntade. He is a director. He now invited me to his office to discuss how I can work with them. I took excuse from work that day and went to his office. I dress well normally. You can’t see me and feel I am an Automobile Mechanic. You will think I came out of an office. In the Mechanical Store, where I worked at Water Corporation in Lagos, I am the one my Oga put there. I am in charge of the store. I am in charge of the requisition and requests. When they give me the requisition, I will then take it to my Oga to sign and approve it. If they need spare parts, they have to write requisition.”
“That was how I started acting with them. We started going round to show films. I didn’t produce any thing until 1993 when I produced The Wicked Boy. I am personally a Sports Man. I am into Boxing. I like punching. I have the knowledge. I am not a professional boxer but I have the knowledge. I am a boxer in my own category. There is nobody in my category that can take me on”.
“I did that movie the way I was at that time. I decided that my 1st movie has to be a Hit movie. And it was a Hit movie. Till tomorrow people who know me still call me The wicked boy even though I am now a man. Jokingly, I tell them I am now a wicked man, though I am not wicked.”
HOW I MET YINKA QUADRI
“So we continued to act. It was through acting that I met Yinka Quadri. I met him through Rasak Ajao. There was a particular theatre group that Yinka was their head as at then. He lived on No 42, Odunfa Street. He used to come for our rehearsals. We met and we became so close. I use to live on Ondo Street, No 36. We used to go for rehearsals at his Oga’s place. We were all on the Mainland.”
“I met some guys from my boss, and we were together, the likes of Abbey Lanre & Co, that. I got close to Yinka Quadri and I know his family members. He knows mine. We started Oodua Theatre Organisation and we appointed Adeolu Funminiyi as our Chairman of the Group and Fatai Adetayo known as Fatai Lalude as our Stage Director. Abbey Lanre was the Secretary, to the organisation while I stood as one of the leaders in our Theatre Group and being elderly person. During this time Alade Aromire loved to hang out with us. He so much liked our midst. He usually comes to us and one day he just raised the suggesting that why can’t we form a caucus and we all agreed with him, and like play, like play we started working on the idea. Later we started deliberating on who will be the Chairman of the caucus and I was the only person that said I will prefer Yinka Quadri to be the Chairman of this caucus.”
“Many people agreed with me straight away. Some disagreed, they felt cheated, that how can somebody just come all the way from Lagos Island and come and champion us here, on the Mainland, forgetting that life is not like that.”
Who was their own choice then?
“They wanted to be the Chairman, not that they were rooting for me. Many of them displayed ego but we later settled it. I will never be like them. Yes, I am a tough guy. I am really tough.”
“I was really angry. I treated his fuck up that particular day. I am not his mate. Even my friend Rasaq Ajao disagreed, but he didn’t follow those who disagreed and left. He set up his own group, called Albak Film Group. But that didn’t make us enemies. We still worked together.
ODUNFA CAUCUS HAS COME TO STAY
So, since 1985 till today, Chief Ganiyu Olayinka Quadri and I have worked together. He has gone on to set up his own Acting School now. But as far as I am concerned he is still our Chairman, the Chairman of Odunfa Caucus till now. Others may not agree with me. But that is my own conviction. But I have every reason to convince anybody. Some maybe angry because of his decision to go and set up another school since we do the same thing.
They might say, you are the Chairman here at Odunfa Caucus and again you went to do the same thing elsewhere. You can see where the conflict comes in.
Those who are angry with him, are maybe angry with that aspect. But I can convince them to the last point that it will have no effect.
What must be, must surely be. Odunfa has come to stay and nothing can scatter Odunfa Caucus.
Tell us more abut Odunfa Caucus. How old is Odunfa Caucus now?
We started in 1985. That is 34 years ago. It is not a joke. If God can help you to keep a name for 10 years, forget it, the name has come to stay, God forbid bad thing. Many students have graduated from Odunfa, not 100, not 200, so many. There was a year about 37 did graduation at ago.
HOW BIMPE ADEKOLA JOINED ODUNFA
Odunfa Caucus has produced many stars, someone like Bimpe Adekola (Ireti), is not even in our 2nd set. She died in 2002, she joined us in 1992.
That was after we started Odunfa Caucus. She joined us 7 years after we started Odunfa. She saw what we were doing at Odunfa and she came to join us at Odunfa Caucus. She kept coming to see me for months. Someone introduced her to me. Folly Omo Akintunde is alive. He can bare me witness. He brought her to Odunfa to see me. Yinka usually goes to Island where his father has a shop. I told Yinka when he came. He used to go to Island where his father sold towels. When he came I told him, Yinka, this girl wants to be part of us ooo. He said there is nothing bad in that. Lets take her. Later I called on him, I said Yinka. You are looking for a P.A. You can be using her as your P.A. I was still with Water Corporation then. If I were to be fully into theatre. She may like be under me. So, we all worked together. Whenever she did anything wrong she will be begging saying don’t let Sir T hear about it. She knows if I hear, I will react harshly, because I took her like a baby. We were very, very close. I took her like my daughter, like an Aburo. She acted in a few movies like Wicked Boy, On The Run produced by Rasaq Ajao and Omo Elepo produced by Jide Kosoko. We wanted to do a movie Legal Wife. They were to cast someone else to be my wife in that movie. I now told them, I said the person you chose is not appropriate. Lets use Bimpe. People had their doubts. I now told them to let her do one or 2 scenes before we can even consider her for payment for her role. I told them, I know the ability of the lady I have.
To God. be the Glory, she dazzled them. She blew our minds. It was a successful production. We did Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 of Legal Wife. This movie now made many people to begin to ask questions whether Bimpe Adekola is my official wife at home. There is this sister of hers who called me to ask me why Bimpe and I can’t marry ourselves. I smiled. I told her it can’t happen. Its a taboo. I am a Yoruba man. She said people do it, I said that is you. I can’t do it. I am from Ilaro. I am from Yewa. I am a Prince. I am from a Royal family. I am from the royal family through my father’s side and through my mother’s side. And from my father’s house Idogo. The throne in Idogo belongs to us. I must not mess up the family name.