Congratulations on your appointment as the DG Connecting Grassroots Initiatives; how does that make you feel?
Award-winning actor, movie producer and director, Ebun Oloyede, is a familiar face in the Nigerian movie industry. Olaiya Igwe, as he is fondly called by his fans, in this interview, spoke about his appointment as DG of MC Olumo-led campaign team, his viral Nood video, why he is supporting Asiwaju Tinubu. Excerpts:
I feel blessed and honored to have been appointed as the Director General of the Connecting Grassroots Initiatives (CGI) for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu/Shettima and Sanw- Olu/Hamzat election bid. As you all know. I have always been a supporter of the All Progressive Congress and with this new responsibility I’ve been saddled with, me and my team are 100% ready to get the mandate our party truly deserves.
In what ways are you planning to discharge the duty?
Don’t forget I am just the DG with other serving members who are capable in their own right; also this initiative won’t be possible without the idea of top transport administrator, Mr. Musiliu Akinsanya, better known as MC Olumo, who thought that it was necessary to form a formidable team toward the next general election. We have employed various strategies in disseminating information that include door-to-door campaign, social media awareness, jingles, TV commercials among others.
Some of the newly executive members are solely Nollywood practitioners; any reason for that?
Well, you may be correct that about 70% of the executives are entertainers that include Bimbo Akintola, Dayo Amusa, Bimbo Thomas, Yomi Fash-Lanso, Eniola Ajao and Madam Saje among others while the remaining 30% were drawn randomly. For CGI, it’s not just about the Nollywood practitioners alone but at the same time what better way can you connect to the people if not via the usage of entertainers. We all have been saddled with the responsibility of using all of our platforms and influence to support the efforts of other existing campaign groups targeted at ensuring the victory of APC at the polls in 2023.
During your inauguration, over 40 buses were unveiled; are they meant for the executives?
The convener of the initiative, MC Oluomo, as a way of empowering the entire team decided to support with donation of over 40 cars for mobility purposes to enable free flow of campaign in communities and other desired locations. The cars do not belong to any executive rather they are working tools for the progress of the APC.
Some weeks back, the internet was agog as a result of your nudity which appeared on social media; why go that extreme for a presidential candidate?
For the record, I was not stark naked in that video, only a few parts were revealed and for the second part of your question as to why go to such extreme for the Presidential candidate of APC, let me state categorically that I can go to any length for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and MC Oluomo. These two amazing individual are the reason Olaiya Igwe is still standing. When I was diagnosed with nephrolithiasis (Kidney Stones), these people came to my rescue, paid for medicals and gave me life; now tell why I won’t go all out to support them.
Why don’t you do something else rather than appearing naked?
A lot of you don’t understand divine calling; I was sleeping that day, and the voice came to me and said, please stand up. You said you love Asiwaju, and he has been assisting you. Stand up. Go and do this, this and this for him. I am an artiste and a bit of a politician. But professionally, I am an artist. So I said okay, as an artiste, I can do it and I stood up and did what I was instructed to do.
How did you feel seeing and reading the entire backlash that came with the Nude video?
I feel good, I never regret my action and as a matter of fact you never can tell the next thing I will be doing. It’s not every day in your career you will receive praises; there are days that come with backlash and gbas gbos! For me I don’t let hate comments get to me at all; there is nothing like bad press in my dictionary. I have moved past that phase and at the moment, my team and I are strategising towards the coming election.
How would you rate the present day Nollywood?
When we talk of technology, it is developing. But in terms of storyline, we still have some work to do. When we talk about the administration and organisation we need to do more too.
It’s been a long time coming for you; do you have any retirement plans?
Yes, I am planning to produce one fantastic movie which will be done like it is my last. I have that in mind and I am working on it seriously. That is what I have in mind, to do that and retire as a producer, except God says I would produce more movies after this
How did you get the name ‘Olaiya Igwe
I love my mother so much. There was a movie I produced and I called it ‘Ola Iya’. Actor Olaiya Igwe said that it was his mother that rescued him while he was in bondage and if not for her, he would have died. The Igwe part was because of the honour I got from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) as the ‘King of Theatre’. You know Igwe means King in Igbo, some people call me ‘Oba’ but it was ‘Igwe’ that was more popular
Tell us about your educational background?
Actor Olaiya Igwe said that he went to Muslim High School, he left there for United High School and finally he graduated from Premier Grammar School, all in Abeokuta, Ogun State. The reason he passed through all those schools was that he didn’t have time for education and concentrated so much on his acting life. That really affected his education.
So, when the school authorities found out that actor Olaiya igwe wasn’t attending classes, they told him he had to leave the school, alongside some of my friends who were also running from classes. So, that was it. But the problem is this: after secondary school, he wanted to further his education but there was no money. Then he said, he will focus on acting and take it as a career. Though, there was a time he went to Ogun State Polytechnic, he did not finish there. He was there for just one year to study Mass Communication. Actor Olaiya Igwe still have it in mind to complete his education, it is not that he want to use it for politics or any other thing but he just want to have it. In 2022 he graduated from Crescent University, Abeokuta.
Some of your movies back then were about money rituals and all that. Was there any reason for this?
Only three of my movies out of all were about money rituals. I don’t know why people are so concerned about the ones about money rituals. The first one, ‘Ololade Mr. Money’, I used a herbalist to perform the ritual rites and you know, when you are doing anything that has to do with religion, you have to be very careful, you have to balance it.
That was why in ‘Abela Pupa’ I used a pastor, which was where I used Pastor Ajidara. Then, in Osan gangan, I used an Alfa. So, I just had to balance it. But it was because I released the three movies simultaneously, that was why people were talking about those movies. Look at my other movies like Iru Eshin, Ebute, Osuwon and many more, there was nothing like money rituals in them. So, it was not some of my films, only three were about money rituals.
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