Yinka Salau speaks on career and Nollywood

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BON: Can we meet you please?

YINKA: My name is Yinka Salau, S- A- L- A- U, when I say Salau, some people will say Salawu.

BON: Can you tell us briefly about your background?

YINKA: I went to OAU nursery and primary school,I went to OAU Moremi high school then I studied law in Obafemi Awolowo university ile ife then later I went to Abuja law school Buhari for my law school,then afterwards I worked for sometime,I served in Lagos then I worked in Abuja as a personal assistance to the chairman of WTS ,then later i went back to OAU Ile Ife to further my education I did masters in business administration then afterwards I came back to Lagos to do my thing like entertainment generally then right now am also doing my masters in law that is LLN also in ObafemiAwolowo University Ile-Ife,am sure you guys will be wondering why Obafemi Awolowo university Ile-Ife because actually my parents are lecturers there and aside from that, that’s oba awon University, you know aside from obafemi awolowo university there is no University in Nigeria if you go and google it,it’s number 1 in Nigeria, that’s why I always opt for Obafemi Awolowo university ile ife.

BON: Are you trying to tell us to also opt for OAU?

YINKA: Not like am doing advert for Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife but it’s the pride of the west, it’s the Jerusalem of aluta, maker of “kosiru e”Afic a most beautiful campus,that’s OAU.

BON: It doesn’t look like your course has been inclined into acting?

YINKA:Ok ya,I forgot to mention this,I did TS in Federal Polytechnic Ede also ,I studied banking and finance,everything I have been mentioning are more of professional courses then entertainment, really,em… I don’t think entertainment is a professional course do u get?so they are not related kind of,I think entertainment for me its just a passion, its something I love doing and which i have been doing its ‘abinibi to yato si ability’ability is law that am studying, Business Administration is ability, Banking and Finance is ability because am studying them but acting,doing MC for event and all those entertainment things they are all “abinibi to yato sabilty,won bi mo ni”

BON: When did you realise this passion?

YINKA:Since I was a kid ,according to my parent even when I was in pre nursery I use to do all these em… lion,as in they will make up for us ,they will costume us and stuffs like that, at end of the year party and stuffs,you know I dint really know much then,then when I got to OAU nursery and primary school ,I use to like this good news club like a fellowship in our estate so I use to be like among the drama people,we used to have like a drama group then I was a kid I was still in primary school so I use to do all these stuff by the time I got to Moremi High School,I was like the co-ordinator of the drama group ,I used to stay in OAU quarters and so there used to be this quarters christian youth so I was the co-ordinator of the drama group we used to do stuffs together then later I started a drama group I used to be the co-ordinator of this drama group.

BON:When did you realise you could do that to earn a living?

YINKA:Oh okay,when did I turn it to business right?


YINKA:The bible says your talent shall make way for you so there is no how you have a talent and its not going to make way for you,really over time I use to just catch my fun doing all these things because its just passion something I like doing but later I realise some people will call me, and they will be like can you anchore our wedding ,anchore our birthday and they will be like how much will you collect, and I will be like OK just give me what you have or something then later they will give me some amount then I will be like these guys actually appreciate my talent ,and i was like let me just package my talent then let me rebrand myself,even then when I was in school I never thought I will use it for business or source of income so I was in school i just repackage myself and do complementary cards for myself that was university o,complementary cards for myself,I packaged , I got some jackets and stuff and from there I thank God .

BON:Are you one of the entertainers that do free show for people to know you?

YINKA:Ahhhhhh,really do you know what, so far I have not been doing free show for people to know me, because most times when people call me its kind of refer kind of thing, like maybe I have done for someone and when they call me up I do the show and when I do the show I have already collected money so by the time those people are calling me, they are ready with my money. I do free show once in a while like when ogas in the industry call me like yinka, its not as if its gona be free like that because if I do it free for them,they are not encouraging me. Most of them even if I don’t mention a particular amount when am leaving,they give me something like something tangible so I cant call it free like that.

BON:You are into acting and MC ,which one gave you a break ?

YINKA:Ah,I don’t know o,really I don’t know o let me say I have not been into movie like full time like that because you know all the…….. ,am sure you heard all the certificate I have been mentioning since and for you to be like studying like that ,since I was 17 when I left secondary school I have been studying like that, non stop aside from entertainment. Immediately I left secondary school ,like SS3 by the time I was writing my final exam like the following week I resumed federal polytechnic Ede from there I enterd OAU I didn’t even finish from the polytechnic Ede before I entered OAU, I was shuttling between the two after that I went to law school,immediately after law school I served, two months after serving I started working,I worked for a year do u get?so there was no much time for full time acting so,the first one I did was “Dugbe Dugbe Ton Bo”which was produced Bukky Wright and I think since that time they have been calling me for work.

BON:What year did you start acting?

YINKA:Okay lets say from my mother’s tommy

BON:Dugbe Dugbe was the first movie?

YINKA :Ya first movie ,before that time I used to do stage plays with the likes of Jimmy Solanke,you know Jimmy Solanke ,he works in cultural studies OAU so they allow people from other department to come and feature in their productions so I use to do stage plays with them,Kola Oyewo, madam Tinubu,he directed a particular play, a very big one and I played a major role. then I used to do plenty stage play before movies so the first movie aside from the stage play is “Dugbe Dugbe ton bo”

BON:So you are saying you are more experienced in acting?

YINKA:The two because so far now, I have done more movies than the stage play although I started with the stage plays.

BON:So which one do you prefer the stage play or the movie?

YINKA:Ehhhhh(laughs……)of course movie pay more ,movie is less stressful, you will answer the question yourself movie is less stressful,movie pays more,movie brings you out more do u get ?so which one do you prefer, stage play does not bring you out as much as movie,they don’t pay you as much as,I think that is restricted to Nigeria in some other part of the world they pay them a lot of money because they understand what they go through to do a stage play to actually present it,you have to go through rehearsal of like 13 weeks or thereabout, am not sure but I use to roll with them back then in school so its always very stressful, so I think I prefer movie because when you make your mistakes they can easily edit it.

BON:In stage play when you do something good you get the fit back and all the clapping?

YINKA:You get all the clapping, the good thing about movie is that when you make mistakes they can cut you and re shoot but you cant to that when you are doing stage play.

BON:So how many movie have you featured in?

YINKA: Emm …soap opera inclusive? English, Yoruba ,Hausa ibo it should be going to like fifteen now

BON:Can you mention the names?

YINKA: Dugbe Dugbe ton bo,Imoran Ika,olasubomi,Oka,Omo University,onikola …more of yoruba films because I have more yoruba friends.

BON: How did you get into the Industry?

YINKA:I actually did audition… Bukky Wright ,she came to Ife, she did an audition at dramatical department that anybody that was interested should come over, I went for the audition and she picked me, I was one of the people she picked then from there she got me another job in Lagos then from there I started working,not like her jobs o ,the first two jobs I did were her job then afterwards different other jobs,of course we continue the countdown.

BON:what roles do you feel comfortable playing?

YINKA:Am a very flexible actor,I can play any role that’s what makes you an actor now I don’t reject roles o except if its like pornography, I can act crazy,I can act cool,rich poor,sick,well, healthy.

BON:When it comes to monetary value do you reject roles?

YINKA:When it comes to movies, because if am doing MC I have gotten to a stage in MC I reject sometimes ,movie is not like MC really,movie is like you have to pay your bills before you have to get to the top.

BON:What are you talking about?

YINKA:Like most of these people that started then, when ever we get to location ,when we were learning,they didn’t use to pay us,we use to pay them,aside from paying them, we use to work seriously . They send us on errands and use us for waka pass that they will just jam someone on the road before they give him major role. Even now too its like that although some people are lucky maybe from their first production they are every where, even most times first production they don’t pay them that much. When you are just starting they don’t pay you,they don’t recognize you and if you tell them you cant take that amount another person will take it because they know they can do without you. Your face is not recognized like that in the industry, people will not because of you buy some films,you know some people when you see them on the postal you go for the film. If they don’t know you they can do without you, you have to work to that level where people will want a particular film because of your face so before that time u cant really cut it short.

BON:I want to ask you about the female folks, for a female artist do you think,sex for role still exist?

YINKA:No no you know sex to get role is not like a criteria, actually except for the desperate ones ,I think no matter the trade you are doing whether like movie,whether like banking sector,any where you find yourself ,once you are not desperate then you wont find yourself in that situation,having to pay,bribe,aside from sex they bribe, they pay to put them in movie.

BON:Some people pay?

YINKA:That’s what I heard o,I have heard it before,people pay sometimes,people lobby, like the desperate ones,but if you are not desperate like you are ready to climb the ladder to the top,you are ready to pay the dues you will get there without doing anything dirty but when you are desperate,you want to get to the top without climbing the ladder that’s when you do those kind of thing like you have to bribe your way and stuffs and most of them wont even get there because you will end up being used,if you want to go through the normal procedure to get to the top,you don’t have to twist your ways,it happens everywhere,if you pay your way up that means you are desperate. you don’t want to go through the normal procedure which is not supposed to be so.

BON:About your educational background which is not related to entertainment ,do u still intend working?

YINKA:Yes,do you know what this job is….. most mistake entertainers make is that when they start getting the money they just forget about education,the point is at one point in life you will need all these ‘pali’you will need all these certificate.RMD had to go back to school, when he went back to school he was already made he knows all the implication of not having a degree I don’t know if he has his masters but I know he went back to school to study law,to do law school and then go for professional courses and everything,this job we are doing is kind of flexible to an extent its not like office job that you have to resume in the morning and close sometimes when you have job you have to be on location for maybe weeks or months but you still have time to do that education and education goes a very long way so that’s why am collecting every thing so that later if I want to go for a post maybe in politics,it doesn’t have to be politics or maybe I want to go into my practice,law practice I can easily pick up my certificate and enter the practice back that’s why am not like relaxing and sleeping, am doing the two,am still young,don’t ask me for my age o.

BON:Who would you play a love scene with in a movie?

YINKA:Am married o

BON:You are married?

YINKA:Am married with a kid

BON:So for how long have you been married?

YINKA:Two years now

BON:That doesn’t mean you cant play love scenes?

YINKA:Of course I play love scenes in movies,I play love scenes but am not particular about anybody. I will love to play a love scene with my wife (laughs…….)

BON:Does she act?

YINKA:No no no she doesn’t act but she dances ,she was in a dance group when I was in school actually,that was when I was doing my first masters actually MBA

BON:How was your growing like?

YINKA:I grew up in the midst of very literate people,educated people like professors so it was really okay and my parent are monogamist that’s like one wife one husband so I didn’t really have any issues and they are like…… they were not really strict like that but they were always there they are still there self even till date.

BON:And they supported you?

YINKA:They supported everything ,from my education they are always there.

BON:you are not one of those that sold things to help yourself?

YINKA:No I never sold anything

BON:So it was all rosy?

YINKA:Not like my parents are dangote or something do you get?but we were living averagely even right from time we were not poor, we are not like r-i-c-h we were okay right from time, every other person there even the children of Oni of ife we went to OAU together then some of them went to moremi high school with me too.

BON:How has it been,getting to where you are now?

YINKA:Its been God all the way,I really believe in God I have faith,I might not be perfect but I believe in God,anything I do in life I put God first u get?i cant say its been tough like that because God has been faithful,making me meet the right people at the right time like the likes of em.. Bukky Wright at that time then later I did this competition, next movie star 2011 and I was one of the finalist I met sola I got some jobs through him then I met muyideen oladapo that’s lala yoruba film industry,he really really helped me ,he introduced me to a lot of people ,he featured me. I met BON too,Seun oloketuyi, all these people have been encouraging me ,they have been helping out,then I met Gbenga Adeyinka too,he has been supportive in the MC side then some there colleagues,I cant say its been like tough tough like that and I know its because I have been involving God but you know in this world,nothing good comes easy so maybe am just this kind of person that is not greedy that believe in hardwork before getting there,its not as if it has been rosy like they pay me like 1 million or 500 thousand for a movie don’t let me mention figures,am not gona mention figures, sometimes I get the money high ,sometimes I get the money low I know I will get there one day that if you don’t pay me 1 million I will not feature in a home video (laughs)……nothing dey happen.

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