I don’t have AIDS---Ogogo
Seated in his office situated at Odunfa in the heart of Ebute-Meta, the dark skinned ever young looking actor Taiwo Hassan a.k.a Ogogo was quite receptive irrespective of his disregard towards reporters who according to him “tell a lot of lies to make their headlines that would sell their papers”. The easy going producer/script writer opened up to Kate Robin concerning the recent talk about his having contracted AIDS.
Who is Ogogo?
I am an actor but my real name is Hassan Babajide Taiwo.
How did you come about the name Ogogo?
Actually it is my family praise chant ,so it stuck to me during my early days as a stage actor .
How did you come into acting?
My career started in 1982 under Awo Ademola family and after a while myself and other friends that is Latunde, Suraju Olajuwon formed our own group the Oodua theatre association till 1990, our first job Orogun atitebi was done in 1989, then we did some exhibition before going our seperate ways to do things on our own.
What is your educational background?
I attended Gazikia college Lagos then went aheadto Yaba Technical school where I studied Automobile engieering, on graduating, I worked with Lagos state water corporation for 15years before retiring in1994.
During your job with the Lagos state water corporation, were you still acting?
Yes , I was shuttling and on my retirement, I faced acting completly.
How many films do you haave to your credit?
(laughs) between you and I you know we can't count such , but I will mention a few of those I did earlier when I started, they are The wicked boy, Prisoner, merciful God, etc.
How come you have them titled in English?
Well at that time we never had anything like the cencors board aand there was always a clash in movie titles, you produced a film only for you to find out that there already is a movie with the same title but after the censors board came into existence, it became their job to screen out movies with the same title that is why these days even if you title a movie in English, their is always a supporting yoruba title and I have movies like Opomulero, Ekun-Ayo, IIya-Ibeji, Omolomo, Idaajo Olorun, Obinrin Sowanu , have you seen that movie? you should cause it concerns women.
Are you married?
Of course, and I have 3 lovely girls.
Is any one of them interested in acting?
The first who is about 20years of ageis not really interested,but can pick out flaws wwhen asked to, the remainig two Shakirat and Halima. I have used in Obinrin Sowanu.
What do you think the future is like for the industry?
Great! it is going to be greater because as you can se e, the industry today is different from what it used to be.
How much do you charge per movie?
What we do here is assist one another to grow so if you are thinking we cut each others throat with charges then the answer is know.
There are rumours that you have Aids, how true is it?
Anyone can be ill, I had constant malaria and typhoid then last year Ramadan I had ulcer and the doctors prescribed some drugs for me which did not go down well with my system, 13th of February this year I travelled to London with my crew, coupled with the cold, my illness got worse and I was advised to go home (Nigeria) and treat myself, on getting home, I went to the hospital and was admitted in the hospital for 5days, I couldn't eat properly and what do you expect from a person who does not eat? started loosing weight then my doctor conducted series of test on me including HIV test which I tested negative. though I was also given the address of a specialist at the Gbagada general hospital did more test there.
How do you relax?
I don't party, I can never be found in a beer parlour cause I don't drink all I do is read my Holy Quran and this is where I get my inspirations.