Alhaji Abudul Gafaru Adeola Olapade whose stage name is ‘’Oba to Buru’’ was born and grew up in Abeokuta, Ogun State. His entertainment career began from the high school where he started performing mostly as a king. A devoted Muslim, Olapade used to tour other schools with his friends and held public performances to entertain people. After acquiring his secondary school education, Olapade moves on with his education to be trained as an architect and he’s and later established Decent Surveyor Nigeria Limited. However, his passion for entertainment was ignited again, he made a move to learn more about the industry from his friends who are still in theater practitioners, until he founded his own theater-art group. Oba to Buru was cornered by SECURITY MONITOR’s Arts & Culture Editor, Shola Akinyele in Abeokuta recently where he urges upcoming artists to be focused and committed
YOU ARE WELL KNOWN AS FILM PRODUCER AND ACTOR, ESPECIALLY WHEN WE TALK ABOUT EPIC MOVIE, YOU ALWAYS ACT AS A KING, HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN IN THIS INDUSTRY AND HOW DO YOU CAME ABOUT THE NAME- OBA TO BURU?
As a theater-art practitioner, I have over twenty years’ experience; because I’m somebody that cherishes education and always seek knowledge in all my doings. When I was in school then, I have a friend that also had the same passion for theater arts, a person of Adeleke Adetutu popular as Seyi Crown. We were childhood friends. When I was a teenager I told my Daddy that I will like to be a movie actor and surveyor in the future. My father told me that if I was focus and committed in anything I’m doing, I will surely get it right. However when the time to go for more studies came through, I have to go and left my friends in the industry and until I came back fully to the theater business in 1996.
The name Oba to buru was a stage name given to me by my fans because I used to perform the role of a wicked king at my early years in the movie industry.
JUST LIKE MANY OTHER ACTORS, DO YOU INHERIT THEATER PROFESSION FROM YOUR FATHER OR YOU LEARN IT FROM SOMEONE?
I did not inherit it from anybody, but since I have a passion for it and my father use to take me to cultural Centre to watch actors like PA Adeyinka Afolayan (Adelove), Hubert Ogunde and others who were well known in the industry at that time. That was where I picked interest to become an actor. Moreover, there is no how you can do it perfect without having someone that will put you through, which led my going for apprentice under my friend since we’ve been together before and graduated as a professional theater practitioners.
SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN ACTING, CAN YOU REMENBER YOUR HAPPIEST DAY IN THE INDUSTRY?
Yes of course, my happiest day was the day our Ex- President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was celebrating his birthday at his village in Ibogun, Ifo local government area of Ogun state. That day was so fantastic because there are lots of high calibers and political leaders at the event from within Nigeria and abroad. They came to celebrate with the president and we are opportune to perform live on stage to honor our amiable president and his guests at the occasion. I was very happy and amazed on that day because we were really appreciated by people that came to the occasion through our entertainment performances.
HOW MANY MOVIES HAVE YOU APPEARED?
I have appeared in many movies and honestly I lost counting. It is so many that I can not even comprehend their tiles any longer.
HOW MANY MOVIES HAVE YOU PRODUCED BY YOURSELF?
I have produced about eight films so far.
WHICH OF YOUR FILMS IS YOUR FAVOURITE?
All of them are good but I think I have good disposition towards the latest one titled: Oba to Buru
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO THE UPCOMING ATRTIST?
They should be more focus and have endurance in any situation they find themself, so that they can enjoy the benefit and the good things that are coming to the industry very soon. Moreover they should learn how to respect their elders and tap from their knowledge
WHAT DO YOU THINK GOVERNMENT SHOULD DO TO ASSIST FILM INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA?
Well, I think they should look into piracy issue, because it’s bringing down the quality and standard of movie production in this country. We also plead to government to assist us in terms of equipment, so that Nigeria movie industry can become more standard which can be compared to Bollywood.