Many people don’t know that movie icon, Agbaakin Yinka Quadri dropped out of school in Form 3 despite the fact that he is from a rich family. In his recent roundtable session with City People Magazine, the Chairman of Odunfa Movie Caucus revealed why he chose to drop out of school.
Where were you born and what was your growing up like?
I was born and brought up in Lagos Island, I was born in No 8 Redamation now N57, Igaidugaran. It starts from Oba Akiolu market to Idumagbo, Isa.
So I am both Omo Oko Awo and Idumagbo I went to St. Patrick’s Primary School, Idimagbo, I went to Christ High School and I dropped out at Class 3. I spent all my life in Lagos and started Theatre in Lagos State.
At what point, did you consider going into theatre?
I have never said this before, I dropped out of school for some reasons. There was a guy called Rasaq Alabi, he was working with my dad back then, he worked with my dad for 15 years, though, he is more or less a family member. Then this parents wanted him to be independent but my father was not willing to free him because he felt, nobody will take care of business when he leaves, my dad kept promising his family yearly for his graduation but kept procrastinating. Three years later, something happened, that is why I keep saying I dropped out of school for reasons best known reason. This is the first time I want to talk about it, since I have decided to give an exclusive interview. I was coming into the house that fateful day, I met the guy’s parents at the stair case, and they made some statements that I over heard and I was not comfortable with what they said although they didn’t know I heard what they said. They said, If the man is using our son for money rituals and that is why he has refused to let our son go. So that night, I called my mother and explained things to her, she couldn’t bare it as well. She called my father too, so we all discussed the issue together, I noticed my parents felt really bad. Three days later I called my father that he should let the guy go that I will take over the business he just looked at me and was like, am too small for that. After a week, I realized he wasn’t very happy, I told him that he should not worry, that I have made up my mind to drop out of school and help him take care of the business. The following week he called the guy’s parents to pick a date for his graduation. This was 1976, I assured him I would help him, do my best. I didn’t even think twice, I left school and took over the business. To God be the glory. I did very well. My dad was very surprised. I even performed far better than the guy.
It was while I was doing the business, that my father suggested that since I sacrificed for him, so he will like to introduce me to one of his brothers. So Ola Lawal, he is late now, he was an architect so I could learn from him. So after work, later in the evening, I went there to learn, and that was where I met Fatai Alabi and Mustapha Bajelu, the Bajelu of Lagos. We met each other and made our intentions known that we love to act.