•TAMPAN President, BOLAJI AMUSAN
Bolaji Amusan also fondly known as Mr Latin is a popular Nigerian comic actor, Movie Producer, Director and currently the National President of Theatre Art and Motion Pictures Practitioners of Nigeria (TAMPAN).
He began acting in 1988 and has since starred in lots of movies and is fondly remembered for movies such as 50-50 in 1992, produced by the late Akin Ogungbe. As a movie producer, he has produced over 40 movies mainly comedies. He is very good at interpreting roles and making them look real.
He became Tampan’s President in 2018 and has immensely contributed to the growth and development of the Yoruba movie industry. Since he became President, he has been able to stabilise the association and bring sanity into it.
His administration has signed an MOU with a reputable Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO) to cater for the health needs of members. His administration has also established a guild of Directors, to make sure that the quality of Yoruba movies is the best. These and more are the many things Mr Latin has achieved so far as Tampan’s President.
He also revealed in one of his interviews: “I want Tampan to become a global association, also increase the welfare of members as well as strengthen existing collaboration with other stakeholders.
In this chat with City People’s BIODUN ALAO, he talked about what the industry will miss about veteran actor Baba Suwe. He also observed that despite all his hard work and success, he still feels unfulfilled in the industry.
When was the first time you met with Baba Suwe?
I met him in 1993, during the shooting of a movie entitled: “Iru Eshin” and ever since we have been like brothers in the industry.
What do you have to say about his life?
He was such a professional actor, he wouldn’t joke with his job at all. If he was on set, he was a complete comedian and if he was not on set, he would be serious. So, he maintained dual personalities all through. If he was not on set, he could not make you laugh, but when he was on set, he would tell you, this is my job, this is what I was paid to do. He was a professional actor to the core. If you tried to make him crack a joke when he is not on set, he won’t agree, he would bluntly tell you that he got paid to do that and couldn’t waste it. Once he put on his costumes, you would see Baba Suwe and immediately he took that off, you would see someone else entirely.
As the President of Tampan, you have been able to settle rifts among aggrieved parties wisely, how have you been able to manage the industry successfully?
Let me say this, I have been able to do all this by being humble. Yinka Quadri is a member of the Board of Trustees of the association. Immediately he steps in now, I would stand up from where I am seated to greet him, give him his due respect. Whatever I ask him to do, he would do it for me. If I see myself as the President and boss to everybody, I won’t achieve anything in the association. I understand I can’t do it alone, so whenever I call any one of them, they would answer me despite the age differences. I hold them in high esteem and respect them a lot.
Would you say, you are fulfilled in the industry?
No. I’m not fulfilled.
There is still a lot of ground to be covered. If I tell you today that I’m fulfilled, then what will Sunny Ade say, what will Kwam 1 say, What will RMD, Joke Silver and a lot of them say. So, I’m still struggling, when it is time to tell you that I’m fulfilled, by God’s grace, you will know.
Are you now working on any project?
Yes, I’m working on a movie entitled: Government House. It is a political Satire. Just one occupant at a time and over 1000 people are jostling to enter that same place. It simply means, there is something about that house, that they are not telling us or we don’t even know. There must be something special about that house that everybody wants to see, probably it is more than what we think.
What is that unique thing about Baba Suwe that you will miss?
He was an epitome of humility despite how much God has blessed him, he would never look down on anybody he would talk and laugh with everybody. And I appreciate that much about him.