I WANT TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL TO STUDY ENGLISH LANGUAGE – BABA SUWE
Babatunde Omidina is one of the movers and shakers of the entertainment industry. He is a comedian who has set a standard in the film industry.
He shot into limelight in the late 80s and since then, he has remained a force to reckon with.
Baba Suwe as he is fondly called started acting his entertainment career with a stage name Adimeru and later switched over to television production which made him a sought-after among his numerous admirers.
He had his first production Ore Odale in 1980 and since then, has embarked on a number of productions. As far as comedy is concerned, he is one of the noise makers the industry has produced.
He had his secondary education in 1976 at Ife Oluwa Grammar School Oshogbo before venturing into acting.
It's God's given because except one is talented in comedy, no matter how lively he wants to be, his comedy will become boring and he will have the option to speak jargons.
I know that God has really endowed me with comedy. For instance, if I am given a script, I know what to add in order to make it funny or lively.
In your own opinion, is comedy more lucrative than other types of drama?
It is lucrative because it is not common. If you observe the trend these days, most comedians are no longer in comedy.
They have diversified into other categories of drama. My last production Baba Shiroki was a mixture of comedy and serious drama.
A lot of comedians have emerged , is there anything you are doing to add more spice to your comedy?
(He burst into songs) Esin t'o siwaju lo gba first... (meaning he is a pace setter in comedy)
My comedy is with a difference and it comes with various slangs, for instance, @ yahoo.com, indomie l'omo, omonomopa, omoj'omolo .
In most cases, your comedy don't appear real and cannot be applied to real situations?
Journalists have asked this question on a number of occasions.
What people don't know is that a comedian is a mad man and when one is into comedy, he has to turn the script upside down, make what is not real to be real. For instance, I have been accused that I normally slap my boss.
This action will first of all create a lot of humour before they begin to criticize the action. It's not that I slapped my boss, it happened in Gbenga Adewusi's production, I raised my hand and my boss held it before giving me a warning. There is no difference between comedy and madness.
How old are you?
When you started, you used to put on a piece of suit, shirt and Kembe with a long robe, why a change in costume?
(...Cuts in) I have changed my style. Nowadays, I put on something else to make myself different from others. I try to portray an old man and my dressing must go along with this. That is why I wear khadigan and cap in order to change my outlook.
What comes to your mind when you watch yourself on air?
I seldom watch myself on air apart from editing stage.
During the editing stage, how do you feel?
It amazes me and I keep asking myself how it is possible. Sometimes I ask when and how I am able to do such a thing.
Is there any difference between Baba Suwe and Babatunde Omidina?
Baba Suwe is a comedian, Babatunde is not. Ordinarily I am not the jovial type until I mount the screen.
What are the things that easily upset you?
I hate humiliation.
Tell us your first meeting with Omoladun?
I met her at a location in Lagos although she turned down my proposal and I refused to pester her. When we met at Oshogbo the second time, I told Iya Rainbow and Oyeladun about my interest in her. With their assistance, she obliged to my proposal and thereafter she visited me in Lagos. She was a widow with two children.
Do you hope to marry more wives?
If the opportunity comes and I have enough resources, I shall not hesitate to do so.
How much are you aiming at before this could be done?
One hundred million is not enough.
How do you cope with two actors as wives?
It takes a lot of patience for an actor to marry an actor. As an actor, a lot of women will want me as their suitor, but I want to say female actors should be careful because if they default, it may break the marriage.
Men can marry more wives but people will not take you serious if your wife is having extra marital affairs.
Has any of your wives fallen victim to this ?
No. I don't pray it happens.
Apart form comedy, which role can you play?
I am a theatre leader to the core and I can play any role. One thing I know is that our audience are not fools and it's better we don't play on their intelligence. Since I have portrayed myself as an old man, it will sound foolish to wake up one day and pick any other role.
Do you get your costume?
I buy my make- up from abroad, likewise glove, shoes and clothes.
As a star, can you go to market?
The last time I went to Idumota was over ten years. If you see me in public, you will pity me because of the way people rough handle me. Sometime ago, I went to Ogbagi in Oyo State, people barricaded my car until they destroyed it. Some of them threw stones, sticks and sachet of water at me.
Sometimes this has to do with one's credibility. In most cases, people hail you if you have a good conduct and behave otherwise when your conduct is bad.
Even if they like you, they will pull your dress, touch your car. Some of them will ask for money and they expect you to carry money all the time. If you don't dance to their tune, they can break your windscreen or remove your wiper.
Is there anything you can't do as a star?
I can't pay a visit to women because people will gather round us, they will want to know who she is and why I am paying such visit. I can't visit my mother during the day, if I want to do that, it has to be before daybreak in order to avoid embarrassment.
There was a time you were said to be serving a jail term abroad?
(...Cuts in) People are bound to say a lot of things. I have a lot of opposition, my status has attracted envy and jealousy such that if I traveled abroad today, the next thing they will say is that I am in jail.
Have you produced any artiste
Madam Saje was under me, Pa Kasumu was Baba Idogo when he was under me, Kesto and Opebe were all trained by me.
Do you hope to have a comedy school?
Any plan to go back to school?
Yes. To study English Language.