Popular Yoruba actor and filmmaker, Kehinde Adeyemi, began his career in 1990 with the Odunfa caucus.
He was trained by veteran actors, Yinka Quadri, Taiwo Hassan ‘Ogogo’ and Abbey Lanre.
With over 60 movies in his kitty, he is a highly sought-after filmmaker in the Yoruba movie industry.
In this interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the soft-spoken actor speaks about the realities of the Yoruba movie industry.
PT: If you could change something about your industry, what would it be?
Kehinde: If I had the opportunity, what I would like to change is the way people produce Yoruba movies nowadays. It is just too much. As a producer, I cherish good stories because I see it as the foundation.
Building a house on a good foundation is going to result in a good building. Most of these producers don’t know what they call a producer, they just write and produce indiscriminately. You don’t have to be a producer to be famous and celebrated.
Producing a movie takes a lot of patience, research, and hard work. If you’re not ready to put in the extra effort, if you don’t have what it takes, do not produce movies.
PT: Subtitling has been a major issue with the industry, especially for Yoruba movies. How do you think this can be rectified?
Adeyemi: Subtitling is not a major issue. Most of our subtitles are good but remember that only God is perfect. I can’t blame the producers who are guilty of this because marketers outsource the subtitling to ‘outsiders’.
We’ve asked marketers and some producers to make sure that movie subtitles are handled by professionals.
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We have also suggested that they also cross-check for errors before the film is released. Are you aware that these films are also censored? The Censor’s Board watches these films before it is released. They also have a lot of work to do in this regard.
PT: We are waiting for a Yoruba movie that will represent us at the Oscars. Do you think it is possible, how can this become a reality?
Adeyemi: We produce with self-efforts here. In some countries like India or America that have reached that produce Oscar-worthy movies, their governments support entertainment business. But Nigerian filmmakers have nothing like that. There is only so much we can do on our own.
PT: Aside from the government, are there no private institutions your industry can partner with?
Adeyemi: How can you invest in a business that will not yield profits? I’m not sure anybody wants to do that. For example, marketers release DVDs every two weeks and there’s no electricity to even watch the films, not even on YouTube.
PT: A lot of Yoruba actresses have ventured into business. Is it that your industry does not pay well?
Adeyemi: Yes o, the industry doesn’t pay well and it is not profitable. In those days, if you produce a movie before the film is even out, you can plan ahead for what you will spend or invest the proceeds. There is nothing like that nowadays, we are all managing now because we don’t have other options.
Most people are in this industry for passion and not money because the money is not even there. We believe that with God all things are possible. To God be the glory, we are getting there. Entertainment cannot die, I’m very sure that things will definitely change for the better soon.