Star actor, Alaran hawks paraga in the street
Hard times are here for popular comedian, Muftau Olaniyi Oladehinde aka Alaran. And he seems to be taking a cue from the adage that says 'when a road closes, another opens just immediately.'
Since jobs are becoming scarce for Yoruba comedians in the movie industry, Alaran has decided to seek his fortune elsewhere.
He now uses his Volvo car to hawk herbal medicine, known as paraga in the local parlance, on the streets of Lagos. Of course, the list of Alaran's clients is intimidating. It includes popular acts like Jide Kosoko, Adebayo Salami (Bello) and several others.
Alaran says: “You want to know the type of people who patronise me? All the who-is-who in the Yoruba movie industry, I mean people like Oga Bello, Jide Kosoko and several others.”
The comedian, who is known as Alaran 150 among his clients because a shot of his herb sells for N150, narrates his antecedent thus: “I am from Oyo in Oyo State. My father was a powerful hunter and a herbal medicine practitioner. I learnt a lot from him. I can prepare herbs for pile, malaria and other diseases.”
Alaran came into acting by accident. According to him, he was a driver in the Awada Kerikeri Theatre Group before fortune smiled on him when an actor billed for a role failed to show up.
“I took up the challenge and performed to the admiration of the audience. I didn't know anything about acting. I was a driver when this opportunity came. But at the end of the show, everybody agreed that I was a good actor.”
Since his debut, which earned him N30, Alaran has featured in several productions, making him one of the most prolific actors in the industry. However, with his new business, Alaran may
be preparing for his eventual exit from the stage. He says: “The entrance of charlatans into the acting profession is a signal for veterans like us to prepare for a honourable exit.”