If you were born in the 70’s 80’s or 90’s you must have heard of the popular Nollywood veteran “Lere Paimo”, or seen one of his blockbuster movies. Lere Paimo who is also known as Eda Onile Ola, the name he got from a popular movie, he acted with his boss Duro Ladipo entitled “Eda”.
He is one of the Nollywood veterans that made waves in the 80’s and 90’s and still making waves. He has been in the industry for over 60 years and still counting. He is also very known for his exceptional ways of interpreting his roles.
The movie Eda shot him to limelight but he became more popular when he produced his own movie which was titled “Ogbori Elemosho”. The movie also got him a title in his town Ogbomosho. He is one of the veteran that has earned the love of many with his talent and very educative storyline. As a result of his hard work, he also got a national award as a member of the Federal Republic (MFR) many years ago where he met many prominent people like Aliko Dangote, Adenuga to mention few.
Few weeks ago, popular actress, Foluke Daramola-Salako had a gala-event and award for veteran in the movie industry, there, he spoke with City People Society Reporter, TOYIN OGUNDIYA on how he has remained very relevant in the movie industry, how he got his stage name “Eda Onile Ola” and also his 60 years experience in the movie industry. Enjoy excerpts.
How do you feel about this Para Africa Foundation that is set up by Foluke Daramola to help and appreciate veterans in the movie industry?
I am so glad with this programme and I pray God gives her a long life, so as to be able to continue. What she did is what the government should support and even the rich among us. For someone to appreciate the old veterans and those that are very ill, it is indeed a very good things. I pray God will continue to be with her and her family.
What are some of the terrible things that many Nollywood veterans are going through?
We, veterans, are going through a lot, if not for God’s grace, many of us would have been dead by now. Some are here today and they can’t see clearly, some are paralysed, they can’t stand not to talk of walk. But when they were still young and active, they entertain a lot of people, they also made their childhood memorable and now that some are down with one sickness or the other, the government should please come to our aid and support us. Many of these veterans are going through a lot, health-wise and even financially.
You have been in the industry for decades but despite the fact that you are old, you are still very active. What is the secret?
There is no secret other than God’s mercy. If one should obtain God’s mercy, then everything will work out well for him or her and one should also accept that it is the Lord’s doing. If I say, I eat good foods, I do exercise, those ones are added. It only God that should be praised. It can only be God.
There have been a lot of changes in the Nollywood industry from when you started and now. As a veteran, what are the things that young movie stars need to do to improve the industry?
Well, there are so many things they do now that are very wrong, they should improve their storyline, and also their mode of dressing. Some of them are almost naked while playing some roles, it is really bad. You don’t have to be naked to sell your film.
Some of them believe that the world is evolving and that is some of the things they can do to sell their movies?
I don’t agree with that, it is a foolish act, you can’t use that to earn the love of people. No matter the changes in society, we should not forget our culture. It is very necessary to always uphold our culture.
With all the years that you have spent in the industry, what is that thing or movie that you can never forget?
There are a lot of movies that I can never forget. One of my movies made the king in my town gave me a title. It is in this same work that I also got a national award member of the Federal Republic (MFR) and I met a lot of prominent people, the likes of Aliko Dangote, Adenuga, we got the award together. It is also in the course of being an actor that made me travel abroad on several occasions.
I went with my boss late Mr. Duro Ladipo, may God grant him eternal rest. I also went on my own. There are so many things that I can’t forget. God has blessed me with so many things that I can’t forget.
Which movie made you popular?
There are a lot of movies that made me popular but I will say the movie I did with my boss Duro Ladipo titled Eda and that was how I got the name “Eda Onile Ola”. When I also produced my own movie entitled “Ogbori Elemosho”. It made me more popular and it made our king gave me a titled “Are Arobajowu” in Ogbomoso.
Looking at it, how long have you been in the industry?
Well, I have been in the industry for over 60 years.
Looking back, is there anything you think you should have done or achieved that you didn’t eventually achieve?
I can’t think of anything, I am so grateful for everything God has done for me and how far he has brought me while we were young, we always aspire to achieve a lot of things, but for here we are now, we need to give thanks to God for the grace he gave us. And if God still sustains our lives, we still hope to do more.
In your 60 years journey in the movie industry, we would like you to share with us, some of your experience and how fulfilled you are?
I give thanks to God to where I am today, although, there are some things that brings sorrow and bitterness at some point but God has given me enough joy and happiness and it has overcome those periods of sorrow.
In what ways should the government assist the old veterans in the movie industry, looking at the health challenges of some of them?
Well, we have been saying it for a long time but we will not stop. Just like the way they are treating footballers, they should also remember us too. We are also one of the pillar of this country, we also make them proud, they should not abandon us.
They should help those that are going through one problem or any sort of challenge. Just like the MFR award I got during the time of General Obasanjo as the President of this country, it is also a way to appreciate us. A lot of us were recognised and celebrated then, they can also do the same now. They should help us now that we are old.
Is there anytime you regret joining the movie industry?
Like I said earlier, there are times that we face challenges and problems, everything is not always sweet or rosy. I remember a year that we went to shoot a movie in “Oke-Oya”, before daybreak, all our equipment and belongings were stolen.
It was only the lorry that we brought from Ibadan that they didn’t steal but they stole all our belongings.
What year did that happen?
It’s been a very long time. Like 50 years ago but with the grace of God and hardwork, we are bless with many that we also give out to people.