DURO LADIPO WAS SANGO’S REPLICA —WIFE
Chief (Mrs.) Biodun Duro Ladipo a.k.a. Oya, the widow of the late Chief Durodola Ladipo, a foremost and renowned Yoruba dramatist, who was in Lagos recently for the Yoruba World Film Festival, spoke with Entertainment Cafe about her late husband and the legendary Sango days.
Q:For some time now, not much has been heard about you. What has been responsible for this?
A: Nothing at all. You know, film making is the new trend in the country and it is only God that can revive stage shows. Although it has been proposed, we only hope it will be revived soon because that is what we started with. As you know, I have joined the bandwagon of film makers, but it is not all films. I feature in epic films because it promotes our culture.
Q: Are you saying that you don't just accept featuring in just any film?
A: Yes, because there are films I am expected to feature in. People will be disappointed to see me in just any film and as you know, there are different categories of films in the market. Most of them don't promote our culture. Personally, I have a style of acting and if I don't know the origin of a story, I don't accept the scripts, let alone acting in it.
Q: What if it is quite rewarding in terms of payment?
A: I don't act for money. I can't trade my reputation for money. I have stayed this long in this profession not because of money but because of the passion for acting.
Q: Why haven't you produced the video of Obakoso, the epic Sango film?
A: There was nothing like film making in those days, so we could not record the play. More so, we are talking about 30 years ago. I hope that by God's grace and people's support, we would be able to shoot films from the late Duro Ladipo's Theatre Group very soon, especially, the epic film, Obakoso.
Q: What effort are you making towards achieving that?
A: We don't have a sponsor yet, if you can get one for us, we shall do it right away.
Q: Is it still intact?
Q: What form is it, celluloid?
A: No, not yet, but if sponsors emerge today, we will do all that.
Q: Wasn't it aired on television in those days?
A: It was just a television programme by then.
Q: But no one can play the role of Sango like the late Duro Ladipo.
A: There are people that can play the role.
Q: What are you doing for now?
A: I have no other career apart from acting. I am a professional to the core and there is no way I can dabble into other trades.
Q: These days, actresses no longer promote our indigenous hair styles. What is your view on this?
A: We can only continue to admonish them as it is not their fault. We must not forget that it is the trend they met, even though it is not decent. We still have to enlighten them and I hope they will take to correction some day.
Q: Don't you feel depressed that your husband is not immortalised in spite of the immense contribution he made to the Nigerian theatre industry?
A: There is nothing we can do about it. However, I want to enjoin you and your colleagues to remind the government about that. But it is quite disappointing that his legacies have been dumped into the waste bin and they are no more remembered.
Q: What have you done to remind the government and his colleagues?
A: We expect people like you to persuade the government to do the right thing at the right time.
Q: How was he able to spit fire while acting just like the legendary Sango did?
A: That is one question I cannot answer because Sango had died many years ago and all his powers gone with him.
Q: You mean he really had the power to spit fire in his lifetime?
A: Yes, he did.
Q: Is it true that his death had some connection with his dramatic roles?
Q: Was he actually supernaturally powerful just like the real Sango?
A: He was Sango's replica. He had a striking resemblance with the real Sango, who we now regard as a deity.
Q: Can we then say that the real Sango reincarnated in Duro Ladipo?
A: Exactly just as you put it.