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I’m Not In a Relationship With Opeyemi Ayeoola – Nollywood Actor, Jamiu Azeez
Jamiu Azeez is a popular Nollywood actor, producer and director. The talented actor was born in the early 80’s in Lagos State. He is an indigene of Kwara State. In a chat with Igbagboyemi Oladele, he spoke on worrisome issues in entertainment industry and other related issues. Excerpts;
I was born in the early 80’s in Lagos State. I attended S.S Peter and Paul school, then proceeded to Morocco comprehensive and later to Angus memorial school all in Shomolu area of Lagos state.
Tell me about the personality behind the popular face
The personality behind the popular Jamiu is this cool, very calm and collected dude. I try as much as possible to make humility my priority.
You are young, well exposed and could have excelled in many other fields, why did you decide it was acting, not any other?
Well I would say its all God, I didn’t choose to be an actor, all I wanted to be all my life is either a lawyer or a banker but fate directed me into media and I’ve got no choice than to embrace it.
A lot of ills and public disadvantages come with this profession. How have you been able to stay balanced and gaze high?
At first it was a very hard one but since I got to know its part of prices attached to my profession, I make sure nothing get me down or distract me, I keep my head straight and learnt to ignore negativity.
How do you remain positive and focused within your role as an actor?
At some point in every career, there are stages that one would want to loose focus and anytime I reach that stage, all I do is to bow to God, so I would give it all to God.
What kind of role do you love to do most when it comes to acting?
I don’t think an actor should love a particular role but if I am been permitted to do so, I love to play any role that is opposite my real character cos the real me is so gentle and shy.
Cut in…Shy? How do you cope?
If I’m off camera and I’m amidst strangers I’m a very shy person, but if the camera is on or I’m around my people I’m totally a different person.
Tell me about a time when you had a really bad day but had to perform that night. How do you get through it?
While I was under training, I was been taught that as an entertainer, no matter what happens ,show must continue. So I would put it behind me, do my work then I will pick it up after the show.
Why did you choose to be an actor?
Like I said I never planned to be an actor, I was fortunate to get Jide Kosoko’s number and I called with much anxiety. He asked me what I wanted and the next thing I said was I want to be an actor. And here I am today as one, but I never planned it.
Who trained you?
A veteran actor, Jide kosoko.
As a young actress, do you have a godmother or godfather in this profession?
I only have few people I look up to as mentor but not as godmother or father.
Can you mention their names?
I can’t mention names but they surely know themselves
Motivation is important within the acting profession. What would you say is your motivation?
A very good script always motivate me as an actor because I would want to put in all my energy to bring out the imagination of the writer and also the feedbacks I get from the audience also motivate me to always want to do more.
How close are you to the public, particularly, your fan base? Do you try to connect with them?
As I said earlier that I try as much as possible to make humility my priority, that is because I believe there is no me without the fans so I try to maintain a good relationship with them.
How do you handle your popularity?
Very simple, I try as much as possible not to let it get into my head, because one is tend to misbehave if stardom get into ones head.
What do you think about yourself as an actor and also tell me about your best quality as an actor?
I think the audience should judge that, but what I can just say about myself as an actor is that I always try to put all energy in all role I’m playing and my directors are always cool with it as directors have the final say.
People say you are in a relationship with star actress, Opeyemi Ayeola. What can you say to that?
Its all rumour and nothing but rumour. We are very close and that’s what brought up the speculation. Nothing more than been a colleague turned sister.
What is your definition of success? What extent will you go to realise it?
My own definition of been successful is when others have also succeeded through me, I want to look back in the next few years and see people that I have touched their lives in positive ways, then I can boldly say I am successful.
Thinking back on your career to date, what has been your greatest accomplishment as an actor?
(Sighs) The fact that I am still relevant in the field is an accomplishment on its on, some of those people that we started together got tired at some point but with the grace of God I am still in the field with awards and recognitions from people around the world.
Counting number of years you have been in this profession, how many year have you been acting and how much experience do you have in this field?
Its been over a decade, I started sometimes around year 2001/2002 and I can say I have gathered a lot of experiences.
If you had to start over again and choose again. Sincerely, would it be acting?
Nollywood is being appraised well, especially by other African countries. What limitations does the industry still face and how can we get by?
The major issue we have is that the government is not supporting us, we’ve got all it takes but the major issue which I would term as our limitation is fund. Assuming I have a concept now and I aimed to meet international standard but there’s no fund to achieve that, I will have no choice than to come down to our normal Naija level. With that no way we can measure up with our counterpart at the international level.
How do you want or think government can support in entertainment industry?
They should help us with Fund. The major issue is the funding aspect.
Have you ever seek for support from them before?
I haven’t thou. But I just heard lately that their is an institution called “Bank of the Industry” but I haven’t given it a trial.
Looking at the 21st century there are lot of vices facing the Nollywood world, how have you been abstaining from those vices?
The fact that we are all in Nollywood doesn’t mean we were brought up same way or I must do what others do, if I know something is bad or could dent my image, what I do is to avoid such.
Looking at what is going on in entertainment industry now, people are dying untimely , what do you think is the cause and the solution?
Nothing is the cause, don’t forget life is a journey and we would all alight when we get to our destinations! People die everywhere on a daily basis but people center more on us because we are popular.
You don’t think its because of lack of rest or any other social activities?
That happens everywhere too, no true hustler have time to rest, so its a general thing and not just peculiar to us alone. Its just so unfortunate for Nollywood loosing some of its practitioners but I would never agree it has something to been spiritual or that something is the cause.
A popular adage says, education is the best legacy, which this contradict the thinking of today’s youth rushing into Nollywood without education background, what’s your advice to youths in this category?
Education still remains the best legacy as far as I’m concern, no matter what one chooses to be in life, education should be the first priority because even in Nollywood of today , education is much more important, as an actor how do you read your script and digest before getting on set, how do you want to grant interviews, relate with fans from another tribe, so many opportunities that comes with fame and needed education.
Finally sir, what is your message for the junior/younger/upcoming actors?
A Rome wasn’t built in a day, slow and steady wins d race. They should learn how to put God first in all they do, not be desperate, be respectful, never loose focus and always be ready to take up challenges.