EXCLUSIVE: How I wish I can go about in facial mask – Top actor Yomi Fashlanso

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 Top Nigerian actor Yomi Fashlanso is the one star who is very passionate about the acting profession and his Yoruba culture. He is one of the few actors termed as evergreen and ageless. Give him any role to interpret Fashlanso will interpret it perfectly well from that of the angel to a devil reincarnate. Lately Fashlanso has been away from the industry and his fan have been missing him. NAIJ.com hooked up with Yomi Fashlanso and he spoke about his absence, the state of Yoruba movies especially subtitling. He also spoke about Nollywood at large and the need for the coming together of all practitioners. Excerpts.

Yomi-Fash-Lanso

Yomi Fashlanso has been missing in movies these days. What is taking you off the screen?

I have been busy with too many projects, with two of it coming to light in ‎the past 2 years now. I mean the Olokun Festival Foundation Ambassador – which is taking me round the world for months now. At this point I must digress a little to pay homage to the convener of this laudable project in person of Otunba Ganiyu Abiodun Adams – the national coordinator of OPC whom Olodumare has equally bestowed the task of uniting all sons and daughters of Oodua in diaspora under the platform Oodua Progressive Union (OPU) which has berthed in over 70 countries around the world. The second one that’s really taking my time is the celebration of Africa’s legends and icons event we’ve put in place under AHBEA (Afro-Heritage Broadcasting & Entertainment Award) to honor and celebrate Africa’s entertainers i.e film, singing, broadcasting, fashion and lovers of arts. We put this together in order to also use it as a platform to sensitize our children living abroad and our African-American, African-British etc that in Africa we have quality people doing tremendously well, representing Africa and propagating our culture, language and ideals. We want them to look inwards and see a role model back in Africa. As the coordinator of the event for Africa, I’m saddled with the task in tandem with the set up committee to source for our veterans in the industry – a task which is so cumbersome, and also look for those that can fall under the icon category. We’ll be having the AHBEA 2016 Edition in Houston TX USA this year come August 20, 2016. So you can see that if I don’t relax a bit in film making I won’t be up and doing for all the projects I have at hand.

For me my next level is to impact positively by selling Africa, our ideal, culture and language anyway possible. Truth is that a tribe without a language is non-existent, non-entity and non-profitable. The western world talk about and promote their culture and language using the entertainers. Just like they’re the ones that can tell their stories, we too should tell our stories and document them. I’ve been to Hollywood, been to film studios and the popular Hollywood walk of fame and what this things do is remind you of these great entertainers. We’ve a lot to do as Africans and we at AHBEA will not relent.

You are one of the ageless actors in Nollywood, what’s your secret?

I don’t know seriously, but I think the bulk of the secret has to do with my gene. Till maami died last at age 89 you’ll think she’s in early 60, same for baami. But a little bit of everything is of essence too.

You left the banking industry for Nollywood, why?

I left banking for the passion and love I have for film making though at that time I wasn’t ready to come into the industry. I’ll say that my leaving banking job then was due to the fact that I love freedom. I want to do things at my own pace and time. I really don’t like regular routine. I was told my boss then held on to my resignation letter for three months telling his secretary that I’ll change my mind (laughter). Oga mi o mo mi rara‎ (my boss does not know me well enough).

You are one of the loud voices of the Yoruba movie industry as it concerns marginalization of Yoruba movies in Nollywood. What do you think can bridge this gap? What caused the disparity?

My agitation has never been about marginalization from any quarters. Who will marginalize Nigerian actors and film makers? I say who? Is it those ones promoting another man’s language and culture? Or the multinational companies that believe not in the Nigerian actors because they speak and use Nigeria languages to shoot their stories into film? Look “ina ile ni omo eranko won ma ya gbehin” (Their cock will definitely come home to roost). If I want to watch foreign film I know where to go and if I want to watch Nigeria film I know where to go, but all those aping films. Not for me.

My agitation is that all association should come together so that we can have a formidable entertainment industry in Nigeria. Our lack of purpose and direction has made the federal government put up a body called MOPICON to futher gag entertainers and film makers just like the Nigeria film and video censors board has been doing for years now thus killing creativity and ideas. Until and not until the practitioners come together and wrestle the industry from the grip of the government we will continue to be a yoyo in their hands.

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Subtitling in Yoruba movies makes it very difficult for them to win awards except ones dedicated to the genre. When will Yoruba movies win internationally recognized awards like Indian and Chinese movies?

Let me say this for the records that 99% of the producers are not to be blamed. The marketers are the ones that bought the right of the film from these producers and release the films into the mass market‎. Don’t they preview the master copy of the film at all before sending to the company that’ll write out the CDs? What measure have they put in place to check these errors since the right has been bought from the producers and the marketers do the film editing too. I strongly believe that it’s the job of the marketers to correct those errors if indeed they want the best for the industry. Even if the marketer didn’t buy the film outrightly but agree to market it at least you have to preview what you want to put out there if it’s good or not. I’ll say this here that my association TAMPPAN is leaving no stone unturned to see that these fundamental and debasing errors are no more.

Most times you are out of the country as the cultural ambassador of Olokun Festival Foundation, isn’t that affecting your career and family?

My sister it’s not affecting negatively at all. In fact it’s adding more values and respect to the brand Yomi FashLanso. My family understands my stand when it comes to promoting my culture and language. My passion and zeal is key into this noble idea and I’ll forever be promoting my cultural values, ideals and language.

What do you think is lacking in Yoruba movie genre that can make it compete on a level playing ground with other genre of Nigerian movies?

From my own point of view, I will say it is lack of professionalism. Professionalism in the sense that we need to eradicate the age long “aaro” of a thing, I mean help me I help kind of. We have to put proper measures in place that will be a benchmark for new entrants and standards for production. I know this kind of idea will never go down well with a few people but that’s what we must do to salvage the industry from total mess. ‎These things are very very important in film making, your story, cast, picture quality and sound. If as a filmmaker you don’t pay cognizance to these things from production planning stage then it’s sure to fail.

Many see Yomi Fashlanso as a proud person, is that true about you?

 (Laughter) Sola at least we’ve known each other now well over 18years and here we’re still rollicking. If Yomi Fashlanso is that proud will you still roll with him? I presume NO. Because I know you too. Do me a favor, anytime you come across anyone saying…. not even Yomi Fashlanso alone this time but that actor or artist is proud, ask that person to give you reasons. Or that has she or he ever met Yomi Fashlanso in person and I bet you’ll start hearing “orisirisi a he so‎” meaning side talks. I really don’t let that bother me at all because I’ve so many intimate friends that we’ve been rolling for more than 20years. And for us to still be together till now then I believe they’re all proud people. The work I do has put me in the spotlight so I must expect both negative and positive remarks. I’ve had a situation whereby someone said I’m proud because I didn’t greet her. One of my friends now ask her at what event did she saw me and she answered at D’Place – a night club arena. You can imagine. Lolz. But for Yomi Fashlanso everybody is a friend whether we’ve met before or not.

You have good command of English language, when are you breaking into ‘mainstream Nollywood’?

Nibo ni mo ti gbe ede mi laruge de ti maa wa ma so eebo kiri ninu film ti a se ni Ilu mi? (How far have I promote my language that I will now start promoting other people’s languages?)If it’s a film I’m invited to come and be part of in Britain or America no problem. And I’m not saying it’s wrong for producers to use English language as medium of communication in their stories but……. bi oni’gba ba se pe igba e ni won se ma ba pe, oni’gba ni o npe igba e ni akufo ki araye to ma fi ko ile. Meaning as you hold what is yours that is how the world will view it. So for me to start that “o ku di e”, soon.

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You recently celebrated your 48th birthday, how was growing up like for you?

Still basking in the euphoria of that day jare sister, my growing up was full of fun, intrigues and laughter. I’ll forever miss baami and maami. They molded us into what me and my brothers and sisters are today with the love for Olodumare richly embedded in us. We were taght to respect people no matter the age, reason why you’ll not catch me exchanging hateful words with anybody. Maami will always say “Oluwayomi akanbi ranti omo eni ti iwo se o”. Always remember the child of whom you are. I blessed the day I was conceived by these rare gems. Rest on parents.

You are sure a fun loving guy and a great dancer. How do you relax, your hobbies?

No hobbies at all but you’re sure to catch me sitting all day watching films. Aside that I seize every available moment to meditate and seek more knowledge,

How have you been able to stay ahead of your game in acting?

By been focus and understanding the direction of the game. Lots of talents out there but having your style of doing things will make you stay on top forever‎

How have you been to remain scandal free in the industry?

By trying to do my very best in staying out of trouble. If only it’s possible I go about in facial masks I’ll do it because I really love quite atmosphere. But my work is my harbinger. Looooooolz. Thanks a lot for your time Ire o, ire kabiti

The post EXCLUSIVE: How I wish I can go about in facial mask – Top actor Yomi Fashlanso appeared first on Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Nigerian newspapers.

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