A peep into the life of multi-talented artist ‘SAKA’ by our Photo and Culture Security Editor, SHOLA AKINYELE is indeed an encouragement to the teeming army of unemployed graduates roaming about the streets in Nigeria
The endowed celebrity, Hafiz Oyetoro famous as ‘’SAKA’’ has a humble beginning. Born in Adegbola Village – a farm settlement in Iseyin to a peasant farmer, the comic artist had elementary education in Baptist primary school, and later at Koso Community Grammar School both in Iseyin area known as Oke Ogun, Oyo State
Former Head of Theater Arts Department at Adeniran Ogunsaya College of Education, Lagos, Oyetoro got first degree at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife and capped it with a master degree Certificate at the University of Ibadan; from there he put in for his post graduate program in Education in Lagos State University, LASU, and also has his MPHD. Since 2001, he has been a lecturer in Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin where he’s now risen to become a senior lecturer.
Happily married with kids, SAKA as he’s fondly called is not just a tutor but also a dramatist, advertiser, announcer and brand ambassador of many prominent companies.
Growing up wasn’t so exciting for him; he was brought up by an uncle and not his parents even though he’s the only son of his mother. Childhood with a man who was excessively strict and hot tempered was at variance with his quiet and shy personality. The training given to him from his uncle led to his depressive nature and inculcated a high level of inferiority complex in him. This further lowers his relational skills with people. Despite his brash childhood and timid personality, he makes sure he worked hard and got admitted into the university to study Theatre and Dramatic Arts. During his trainings he came across good set of lecturers such as Mr. Chuck mike – an African American who was first amongst many to discovered the power of talent and will nevr relent till all that potential was unearthed. It was Chuck Mike who connected Hafiz Oyetoro to Mrs. Ajayi – a mother figure cum lecturer at the University of Ibadan to whom he went for speech therapy every weekend for whole of four years he spent in OAU. However the combination of Chuck Mike and Mrs. Ajayi and a host of others helped to mold him to the person knows a famous SAKA today. The effort of these dedicated people in his life paid off because even before graduated from OAU and some students other in his department had formed an entertainment group called Comic Palace. That production kept him busy and relevant till he went for his master’s degree. In 2003/2004, Gbenga Oyindapo, his friend and also a lecturer in Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin came up with House Apart – a T.V comedy packaged by the Odutayo’s. It was in this T.V comedy he got the role as ‘’SAKA’’ and the name stuck to him like a mixed cement. Thanks to the popularity of the show’s in and out of the country. House Apart had 26 episodes shot and showed on T.V. So everything knows and sees about him as SAKA today took root from there.
Winner of numerous awards from within and outside Nigeria, Oyetoro’s humble background notwithstanding, he’s not irreligious and not a practicing Muslim, but he believed that a man’s life and his journey are predestined by God and always appreciates God for all he has placed in his life that made him both bitter & better.