I don’t know if I’m ladies’ man—Actor Damola Olatunji Olufemi
Damola Olatunji Olufemi is one of the fast-rising actors in the Yoruba movie industry. He has appeared in a number of movies that have endeared him to the hearts of many movie buffs in and outside Nigeria. In this interview with YEMISI AKERELE, he talks about his journey into acting, love life and many more
As a child, what exactly did you want to become in life?
I actually wanted to be an engineer, but things turned around and I became an actor.
Okay, how did you get into the movie industry?
Actually, I love to engage in anything that is active, so to say, and that was the main reason I studied engineering in school. But when I was at the Yaba College of Technology, I thought of doing something else, so I joined a drama group where I did some stage plays. Whenever I watched movies, I would tell my friends that I could act, but they would usually say, “Do you think it is easy to act on stage?” Then, I would go to join my friends who had been in the movie industry at locations and in studios. Also, I was always going to see my mentor, brother and friend, Yomi Fash-lanso. He has always been supportive of me. He has been encouraging me to go to seminars and workshops on acting.
What movie brought you to the limelight?
I would say it is the totality of all the movies I have acted in the past years. But in particular, I will mention a movie, Ojo (Rain), by Opeyemi Aiyeola. In it, I played Opeyemi Aiyeola's younger brother. It was directed by Yomi-Fash lanso. But before then, I had done a lot of movies.
Have you produced any movie?
Yes. The title is Tipatikuku; it was produced last year.
How much did it cost you?
You see, making movie is not easy. In fact, all the movies you see around are from personal funds. But I spent close to a million naira on it because it was shot in Lagos and Osogbo. I will say it was an experimented movie.
What are your challenges as an actor?
Challenges are parts of one's life experiences. For instance, those at the top will not want you to get there, your peers will also want you to fall and those behind you will not want you to move ahead.
Of all the female actresses you have been paired with in movies, who did you have any chemistry with?
I love all the female actresses I have acted with. It depends on the way you carry yourself. Unlike in some corporate world where people call themselves by first names, this is an industry where we teach people morals; so, we have to give honour to whom honour is due. In other words, our culture dictates that we should always respect our elders.
Are you married?
No, but I am engaged and, very soon, I will get married.
How did you meet her?
I don't want to talk about that now.
I don't want to talk about my personal life.
People say you love playing romantic roles. How far is that true?
Do I? But one thing I know is that I love my job. I can go to any length to play to type. Sometimes, I play rugged roles than romantic roles.
Most times, when I receive a script, I develop an idea, so it is that idea that I take on the set.
If you have the power to change anything in the industry, what will you change?
God! I will change a lot in the movie industry. First is the environment because we don't have a permanent place for acting.
As an actor, when will you describe as your greatest moment so far?
I have a lot of great moments, but the one I will talk about was the day Antar Laniyan told me on a set that I was a good actor. On that day, I felt like crying because he is one of the people I look up to in the movie industry. Whenever I receive commendations from older actors and
fans, I always feel great.
Who are your mentors in the industry?
Oh! They include Yomi Fash-lanso, Sola Shobowale, Opeyemi Aiyeola and Antar Laniyan.
You are also described as a ladies' man. How would you react to that?
Frankly, this is the first time I have heard this.
But people say you are?
Well, you don't judge people from afar. But one thing is that I appreciate my fans.
Could you tell me a little about your background?
I hail from Edo Agbo in Osun state. l had both my primary education and secondary education in Ife. I later proceeded to Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, where I studied Electrical Engineering. I am the second child in a family of six.