I’m Not The Father Of My Child—Fabiyi
Upwardly mobile movie producer cum actor, Abayomi Fabiyi, in this interview with http://nollywoodgists.com, speaks about his forthcoming movie, 'pajawiri', and clears the air on the paternity of his child.
Q: For a long time now, there has been a wide publicity of your latest film titled pajawiri (Emergency), what has been delaying its release?
A: Actually, nothing is delaying it, except for the professional standard required of a good movie. My intention is to produce a world-class movie that will be free of flaws and misconception, though man is not perfect and therefore cannot do without making mistakes. We are trying to ensure that all avoidable mistakes are corrected, before we release it. Pajawiri, I can assure you, is poised to be a movie different from the lot we are used to. Aside that, we have been publicising it for a long time because the normal two weeks publicity people make for their movie before its release, cannot be enough at a time like this, when power supply is epileptic in our country. A two-week publicity of the film, you can agree with me, can never reach the expected number of audience, but a few of them.
Q: And don't you think your fans might run out of patience over the release of the movie?
A: I am not the kind of film producer that is so much in a hurry to release films and I'm sure my fans will bear with me.
Q: Apparently, you have paid your dues in the ever-competitive film industry in Nigeria. What has been your driving force?
A: It's a matter of you knowing your onions. I know why I am in the film industry, though I have had the opportunity of being in another industry. I realised that the passion I have for this industry is immeasurable. Besides, I have focus. When a man is not focused, he apparently, does not have a vision and where there is no vision, it means he can never have a mission. But I believe that my mission is going to be accomplished very soon. All of these, is a process and you'll realise very soon, that while stardom is beginning to fade out, we'll still be there and last for a long time. I am prepared for the task ahead.
Q: It is well known that you travel abroad often. Going by the bad impression in the minds of people that actors, especially the Yoruba ones are into drug trafficking, don't you think you might be suspected?
A: To be sincere with you, one of my senior colleagues once asked me what I normally tell them at the Heathrow or Gatwich Airport counter, about what I came to do. But I quickly responded that the law enforcement agents, from experience, know the genuine travellers. Sincerely speaking, there are some signs that they can easily detect from you. This is why when travelling, most of the time, I always submit my luggage for screening. I have never been stopped at the port of entry and as a genuine traveller, I see no reason why anyone will stop me as long as my papers are valid. With my upbringing, there is no premise for me to get involved in such illicit act.
Q: Most of the time you travel out of the country, what do you really go there to do since it is obvious that Yoruba actors only earn a little?
A: Under normal circumstance, I am not allowed to work there, so most of the time, my visit to the place borders on holidaying, attending functions of my colleagues and fans, and sometimes to unwind or get involved in other film productions. Secondly, I don't think that I've travelled out of this country more than 13 times and each of the time I travelled is for a purpose. For instance, one of my fans had once invited me to come to London to deliver a lecture at the University of East London, but the point is that, I earn money from some of those things I do while in UK. I get gratification from people.
Q: Generally, people mistake the movie industry for a platform to perpetrate nasty acts. How true is this?
A: I don't see it that way, though, I am aware that journalists are fond of painting the picture of any normal act (good or bad) of an actor or entertainer, as something big. This is why we always have scandals here and there. For me, I think being a star does not mean you are an angel.
Q: But why is it that entertainers, especially actors and actresses, hardly have a stable relationship or marriage?
A: An entertainer can never boast of a private life and for any marriage to last, there must be some privacy in it. It is not as if we don't like to live a peaceful life, but our celebrity status has a great impact on our lives.
Q: Can you marry an actress?
A: There's no problem at all about that. I can marry an actress, but don't forget that acting is just a profession. If I find the right qualities of a wife in an actress, then I'll obviously go for her. I hope out of the millions of actresses out there, one will definitely be my wife and we might not get to see each other until the clock ticks.
Q: Sometime last year, we gathered for the Christening of your first child. How have you been enjoying life as a father?
A: Do I look like a father? Of course, you are right here in my house and so far, have you heard the cry of any baby? So, that is to tell you that there is no child here and I don't think I have a baby yet.
Q: But you are married?
A: I am not married. Right now, I am praying that someday, I'll find somebody who I can truly love with sincerity.
Q: So, what happened to the baby that was christened last year and his mother?
A: In life, there are people who just come close to you for selfish reasons and I think that is exactly what is wrong with her.
Q: Who is she?
A: Sorry, I cannot answer that question because she's not part of me. If I mention her name simply means I'm making her look important. She has just told me that with the baby you're talking about, I have no proof that I am the biological father.
She said that the only claim I can make on the baby is the spermatozoa I donated and do not have any right to father the child. I'm not sure if she has found somebody else to claim the paternity of the child, but I have come to the conclusion that I have reasons to believe that I am not the father of the child since the woman who is supposed to know has just said so. A child that is not trained, under my roof and cannot be available any time I want to perform my responsibilities for him, is not my offspring. Even as I'm speaking with you, I can't tell you specifically where the child is.
Q:What do you mean?
A: My child cannot live outside my roof, if I have a point to prove as his father. Even if he should live outside this country, I don't think it should be without my consent. So, any time the child comes to me in the nearest future. I'll explain to him that he no longer has access to me as his mother had claimed long ago that I'm not his biological father.
Q: So, why did you throw a lavish party after his birth in South Africa, last year?
A: It was necessary because I thought the baby was mine not until she dropped the bombshell that I was wrong. I have been denied the experience of fatherhood. She has come out to state it with her attitude and in words, that I only donated sperm.
Q: Have you conducted a DNA test on the child?
A: There hasn't been any room for that because the lady in question has denied me access to the child.
Q: Is there any misunderstanding between both of you?
A: Even if there is any, no man should be denied access to his child for any reason whatsoever.
Q: What if she walks up to you for forgiveness later in the future?
A: I have forgiven her already, but I think the most important thing is for God to forgive her. I have no wife and kid for now. Someday, I will have a good woman with the real virtues expected of an African lady. She will also raise my children under my roof.