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Though from Muslim home, dad started acting from church –Agbako’s daughter

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Adeola Sanyaolu is a daughter of popular veteran  thespian,  Abdulsalam Sanyaolu, better known as Charles Olumo Agbako.  In this interview with EMMANUEL OJO, Adeola offers an insight into her father’s personality beyond the character on the TV screen

Can you briefly introduce yourself?

My name is Adeola Abiodun Sanyaolu. I am a daughter of the famous Charles Olumo.

I am a fashion designer.

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Your dad is famous for acting bad man or violent roles in movies. Beyond the character seen on TV screen, what kind of a person is he really?

Actually, he’s a cool person but because of the roles he plays in movies, people think he is a wicked person. He’s actually not a wicked person, just that whenever people get on his nerves, he gets angry but the worst he does is to shout. He never beat us. Instead of beating us, he would rather punish us in other ways. He also doesn’t like being called the name ‘Agbako’ because he feels it’s just a stage name.

How did he come about the name?

He told us how he came about his names. He actually started his theatre career after a Christian stage play he featured in. He said he followed some people to the church for rehearsals, although he is a Muslim. He followed them to church and then observed the person acting the role of Joseph in a play. On the day of the performance of the play, the person didn’t show up, so, he took up the role and that was how he discovered his acting talent. He said some people later introduced him to the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners and encouraged him to join Ogunde’s theatre group but he said he didn’t want to stay under anybody, he rather preferred to mobilise people for his own theatre group, so they thought of the name to give to his theatre group. People started suggesting that since he is from Abeokuta, Ogun State,  they should name the group Olumo. He got the name ‘Charles’ from the church. That was how they came about Charles Olumo, which is the name he used for his group. It was the from first local stage play he did outside the church that he got the name ‘Agbako’. He acted the character ‘Agbako’ and that was how everyone started calling him that name.

What’s the meaning of the name ‘Agbako’?

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It means misfortune or something.

Does he like being called that name? What is his usual reaction when people  call him by that name?

Sometimes, when he is called by the name, he replies in Yoruba, saying – ‘Ebí won ló ma k’àgbákò’ (It is their family that will encounter misfortune). He usually says that because it’s just a stage name and it isn’t supposed to be a name he should be called in real life. Sometimes when people hail him by the name, he responds well but when they say it in an abusive manner, he gets annoyed.

Well, we don’t stay together anymore; I can’t really recall any such experience.

How do you feel as his daughter when people call him by that name?

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I always feel bad, though. I feel bad that of all the names on earth, why that name? At first, I didn’t know the meaning; I only got to know the meaning when I got to secondary school. So, I felt that the name is not a good name but whenever I’m called by that name, I’ve got no option. I just look, acknowledge and move on but when it’s abusive, I get angry at it too.

So, what is your dad’s real name?

His real name is Ishola Abdulsalam Sanyaolu.

How did you feel about the kind of characters he is known for playing in movies?

Acting is not a new thing to us actually. We understand that what he is doing is just make-believe. Sometimes, I help him with the reading of his scripts at home and I just know that he will deliver on his roles. Just reading a line, he already knows what to do and how to interpret his roles.

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Has the name ‘Agbako’, despite its negative meaning, ever brought you favour or opened some doors for you?

Adeola

No and yes. My siblings and I don’t live or depend on his name. We are all striving to make a name for ourselves. That is our dad’s name, not ours, so we are not keen on flaunting the name. However, it (the name) sometimes got me some preferential treatment with my lecturers back in school.

How old is your dad now?

He should be 99 years old now.

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How did you arrive at this figure?

I was told that he was born in 1923. He told me so.

Did he show you his birth certificate or any record which affirms that?

Birth certificate in 1923?

Did he go to school?

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Yes, he did. I think it’s the ‘form’ kind of school of those days, when they would say Form 1, Form 2 and so on. That’s the way they described their primary education in those days. After that, he went to learn mechanic work (automobile repairs) as a vocation and that was it.

Did he ever work as a mechanic?

Yes, he did for a while before he went fully into acting.

When exactly did he start acting professionally?

I think he did 50 or 70 years on stage in 2014/2015 or thereabouts. I can’t remember exactly now. It’s been long. He started acting before he met my mum and my mum was 53 years old  when she passed on.

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When did your mum pass on?

My mum died in 2017. According to what he said, he has been acting since he was 18 or 20 years old or so.

Is he still very active as an actor now?

At the moment, no. He does say that he is active but to me, he’s not.

When was the last time he featured in a movie or went to a location?

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Well, I can’t say because we don’t live together at the moment but it should be up to five or six years now since he last featured in a movie.

Is it old age or are there other reasons why he is no longer that active in the industry?

Well, not really. He was sick and he went through surgery twice and due to his age, he was unable to go through any further surgery, so, the surgery has made him weak.

Apart from acting, did he venture into other things or business?

No. He lived totally on acting movies.

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Did he ever produce a movie of his own?

Yes.

How many of them?

The few I know are Ajanaku, Ajana Oro and Agba Aja. These are the ones I can recall.

Which of the movies he acted in do you find most unforgettable?

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I think Agba Aja.

In movies, he often uses improvised comic English expression such as ‘Go and sh’aja le’ (Go and release the dogs). How did he come about those expressions?

I don’t really know how he came about those expressions. Some were given to him in movies.

What are the other popular expressions like that he used to say?

Well, I don’t know but everyone should be familiar with ‘ekunipotent biro’.

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And what does that mean?

Just one of his expressions.

Outside of movies, does he crack jokes to make everyone laugh at home?

Yes, sometimes, especially when people are around him. Sometimes he practises his acting at home and we understand that.

How does he relate with his children?

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I’m the closest person to him. I’m not the firstborn though and I’m also not the last child of the family. I see him regularly because of his health issues and I’m the closest person to him at the moment. I lived with him during my school days and spent all my time there. We were together through my secondary school days before I gained admission to higher institution. I am very close to him. The only issue is that he was not always at home. When he left for location, he might be there for two or three months before returning home. After his return, he might not spend more than a week before leaving for another location. I don’t stay with him anymore. I only visit him from time to time.

How many children does he have?

Uhmm… that question, I cannot answer but from my mother’s side, we are four. He had maybe three wives or so, so, I don’t know (the exact number of his children). With the first wife, he had one son and he’s the only child of the first wife that I know. We didn’t live together under the same roof.

Our firstborn should be in his 50s or so. From my mum, I have two brothers and a sister but I’m not the first. Our last born is 30 years old.

Does your dad have grandchildren?

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Yes, he has grandchildren.

How was growing up with him like?

It was fun in a way and it was not fun at the same time. My mum stayed in Ibadan because of her business while my dad stays in Ota, Ogun State, so, I only visited my mum at her place during the holidays and my dad wasn’t always at home too. Sometimes when he left for a location, it might take weeks or months before he would return.

Will you describe him as a strict father?

I wouldn’t say he is strict, I would rather say that he is a disciplinarian. He never wanted wayward children.

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Growing up, how did he correct you when you did wrong?

He punished us when we were much younger. The last time I experienced that from him was in 2003 or thereabouts. Ever since then, he has never really scolded us.

Did he encourage his children to become actors?

I was the one that showed interest and attempted to tread that path but he told me categorically that he didn’t want me to go into theatre art. I developed the interest by travelling with him to locations in neighbouring countries for stage plays during the festive seasons. We went to Togo, Benin Republic and the like. I was following him then and I had some roles I was playing then too. After my secondary school, I told him that I wanted to study Theatre Art but he said I should not go into that. I sat my mum down and asked her why my dad was against me being an actress. She gave me reasons which I prefer not to make public.

What’s the funniest story he ever told you?

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Well, I can’t think of any but even our house is a funny story. One funny story I can recall, although might not be that funny, is that my dad had someone who he was dating back then. I was much younger then though. I travelled with the lady to her village without my mum’s knowledge. After a few days when my mum didn’t know my whereabouts, my dad brought my mum to the village of the lady he was dating and the lady could only plead with my mum but my mum just took me and went back her way.

Also, my dad liked ladies. There were times he said to my mum that she had to excuse him as he wanted to bring his girlfriend home.

Was he teasing her?

No, he actually meant it.

And did he ever do that?

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I don’t know about that.

Did he narrate to you how he met your mum?

My mum said that he came to the North where they had a stage play then. That was when they met.

Was your mum an actress too?

No. she wasn’t an actress

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What was her occupation?

She was a businesswoman.

In what ways does he miss your mum that you know of?

I don’t know. We don’t talk about it. He’s old and my mum has passed, so we don’t remind him of the past.

Is your dad still married?

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No. Since my mum’s demise, he only had women that came around him when he had money. I would say that my mum was the last recognised wife he had; the other women didn’t stay with him and that was because my mum had four children for him. She is from Edo.

Was he legitimately married to the other women that had children for him?

No.

Would you say your dad was a  ‘ladies’ man when he was much younger?

That was then.

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What values have you picked from him?

That one is another story.

Is there any of his legacies that you would like to carry on with after he has gone?

None. It would have been the theatre thing but he didn’t want me to follow that path and I have taken it off my mind since then.

Do you think things would have been different  if he spent more time at home rather than being often away at locations?

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Well, only God knows the journey of life.

Do you wish that things were different and that he was more at home?

Well, yes.

How does he relax and what’s his favourite meal?

He relaxes by napping. He neither drinks nor smokes. What he takes is tea.

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Will you describe him as a loner or gregarious?

He’s not a loner. He’s sociable. He’s not a loner. He loves to have people around him.

Who are his closest allies in the movie industry?

I don’t think he has, except for Mama Rainbow and Foluke Daramola. Well, those are the ones I know with him except he tells you about the others himself. I don’t know anyone else.

Is there one thing you are certain your dad can never be caught doing?

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Yes.

And what is that?

He is not diabolical. That’s one thing I know.  He doesn’t like stealing too. Even if you give him soap from one pastor, alfa or babalawo, he won’t use it and will never follow you there.

You said he is a Muslim. Does he regularly go to mosque to pray?

He prays at home; he doesn’t go to mosque, neither does he go to the church.

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What about his siblings? Did you meet anyone of them?

They are fine. Yes, I met some.

How many siblings does he have?

He has four siblings but now three, I think.

Did he take you to his hometown?

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Yes. He did.

Is there something unique about the way he dresses?

Before now, he hardly wore native attire; he liked wearing three-quarter pants (crop pants); that was what he often wore. I think he just felt comfortable in English wears and that was the way he used to dress until recently when he started wearing native attire too.

How long ago did that change start?

Like 10 years ago now.

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He has always clean shaved his head? Did you grow up to know him with the hairstyle or at what point did he begin to do that?

Yes, I grew up to know him that way.

He started acting back when actors got very little or no monetary reward for their craft. But today’s generation of actors being well paid and living rich lives. Did your dad ever express how he feels about this in a conversation with you?

No.

Would you say he has been well rewarded for his craft?

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No.

And why do you think so?

In the entertainment world today, what they do now is different from the kind of character he played. There is a new trend now which came with its reward. Let me say that he is not up-to-date now that reward is coming in. In their time, it was more of stage plays unlike what we have now. You can’t compare then with now.

Did he make efforts to adjust with the new trend?

Well, had it been he changed, he could have blended in but he has been known for the character he plays. It’s just like saying that ‘Fadeyi Oloro’ should change his character or something. They have been known for the kind of character they play.

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Is there any form of regret you’ve heard him express?

Well, he might have said it in his heart but didn’t express it out. Everyone will definitely have regrets about one or two things in life which might not be known to everybody. I’m very sure he will have but keeping it to himself.

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My wife and I no longer together – Ikechukwu speaks on marriage crash

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Nigerian rapper and actor, Ikechukwu Onunaku has confirmed that his marriage has ended.

Recall the former Mohits rapper tied the nuptial knot with his fiancée, Ella in May 2021.

But speaking in a recent interview with Daddy Freeze, Ikechukwu said he was now divorced.

He cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the desolation of his marriage, revealing that it was not due to infidelity. In Ikechukwu Onunaku’s words:

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“My wife and I are no longer together. We separated due to irreconcilable differences. It wasn’t over infidelity. There were too much gaslighting, too much looking for faults, and too much listening to outsiders.

“I tried to save our marriage but I got to a point where I couldn’t tolerate my ex-wife’s excesses anymore and I showed her my other side and we couldn’t bear it.”

In the same interview with Daddy Freeze, Ikechukwu recounted his experience at the now-defunct record label, Mohits Records, owned by D’banj and Don Jazzy.

The rapper claimed D’banj used to cheat him out of his hard earned money by giving him stipends after making millions.

According to him, D’banj would pay him a meagre N50,000 for shows he was booked for, despite the actual fee being over N1.5 million. He said the ‘koko master’ used to treat him like he was doing him a favour.

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However, he mentioned that D’banj later increased the payment to N150,000 after obtaining permission from his mother.

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Rudeboy refutes Eedris Abdulkareem’s claims that 50 Cent assaulted P-Square

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Paul Okoye, aka Rudeboy of the P-Square, has refuted Eedris Abdulkareem’s claims that the group was assaulted by American rapper 50 Cent and his crew at a concert held at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos in 2004.

Abdulkareem claimed in a recent podcast interview that 50 Cent’s crew “flogged and chased” Nigerian artists, including P-Square, out of the backstage area at a concert.

He said he was the only Nigerian artist who refused to be intimidated out of the backstage.

Reacting during a recent Instagram live session with fans, Rudeboy said P-Square never attended the said show due to the inability of the organisers to reach an agreement with them on the booking fees.

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He said Abdulkareem betrayed Nigerian artists by going behind them to accept “peanut” from the show organisers after they had already agreed on lucrative performance fees.

Rudeboy said: “P-Square did not go for the [50 Cent] concert. We had another concert. We were never billed. The reason was because they offered us peanuts, and we refused. But Eedris Abdulkareem accepted the peanut and was expecting VIP treatment. 50 Cent crew didn’t beat you well.

“Respect yourself. P-Square was never billed for that concert. Daddy Showkey, Tony Tetuila, everyone is telling you guys that Eedris is a big liar. We know he is a lair. We were never billed for that concert. We didn’t go.”

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Women rejected me due to my looks – Actor Stephen Alajemba

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Veteran Nollywood actor Stephen Alajemba, aka Uwaezuoke, has revealed that he experienced rejection from women and people in general while growing up due to his physical and facial appearances.

The thespian said his mother told him that as a baby, people refused to carry him because he was not looking attractive.

He disclosed this in a recent interview with popular YouTuber, Yan Kontent Factory.

Alajemba said he promised his mother that he was going to make her proud because she told him that he did not “earn anything good” for her as a child.

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He said ladies “run away” whenever they see his face.

The comic actor said he was unable to attract a lover until he was 20, adding that he got married to his first love at 23.

“Any lady who sees my facial look and stature runs away,” the actor said.

“Unfortunately before one accepted me I was already 20 to 22 years old. I married at 23. So the first person tasted it and confirmed it and she did not leave me anymore.”

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