Okiki Adeshina Oshin was born into the family of Ogunsekan of the Oke Ogun quarters, Okeho in the 1970s. He started out his acting career in a church based theatre group in Okeho before he joined the league of Yoruba actors in Nigeria. Okiki is prominent in many movies were he usually played his beloved comic roles. We had a brief chat with him and herein below is an excerpt of the discussion-
PDC: When did you start acting?
OA: I started acting in 1990 with the Apejaeniya Theatre Group in Araromi Baptist Church, Oke-Ogun, Okeho. I was a part of the group till 1995 when I started my own troupe called Olagaye Theatre Group. Interestingly, I have not given up on acting since then.
PDC: What are the movies that you have acted in?
OA: Thanks, there are a lot of movies that I had acted in, however, I can remember some titles such as Asiri Ologbo 2002, Ayepemeji, Tangiri. I am sure I will remember more titles as we continue.
PDC: In this age, when everyone wants their children to be professionals like Doctors, Lawyers etc, what was your parent’s reactions when you wanted to go into acting?
OA: My parents were not interested in seeing me become a thespian. They desired that I should become a legal practitioner. The contention was much until a day when my brother intervened, he told them that it was only God that knows the path to the success of a man. It was at that time that they gave me their blessings.
PDC: Have you ever acted on stage? If yes, who are your bosses?
OA: Yes, I had various bosses while I was setting out in my career. My first boss was Mr. Oseni Adegoke, he is also from Okeho. That was at the initial stage when we were practicing community theatre. I went out in search of greener pastures in 2002 to Ibadan, I was trained further by Mr. Rasaq Olayiwola. All of these have made me a seasoned theatre practitioner today. I am always grateful to my Bosses for the way in which I was mentored till I came into limelight.
PDC: What movies have you took part in and what are your roles in the movie?
OA: As earlier said, I have taken part in many movies. I can remember that I took part in DODO. I was the friend of a Londoner, the man who sought for advice on how to manage his brother’s wife.
PDC: Do you take just any role or roles that you feel represent your brand as an actor?
OA: No, I do not just take up any role, I usually take roles that I can vividly interpret the role. Acting is not just about accepting a script and going in front of the camera for cameo. What is very important is the interpretation. Many times when an actor does not interpret his role well, the audience would notice the false personality in the movie. Interpretation is very key!
PDC: As an actor, which do you prefer, stage production or movie production?
OA: Personally I love and prefer both and I have reasons. I started out on the stage before transiting to movie production. For me, whichever I am invited to partake in, I am comfortable and I give my best effortlessly.
PDC: In this era when movies are being amplified through PR, do you think Yoruba movies have also got to that stage?
OA: Yes, whatever is good for English movies is equally appropriate for Yoruba movies. We have got to that stage. We are also in the cinemas. We both have similar products and we can communicate our messages through all the same medium. Also, we have a lot of Yoruba actors who also have cameos in English movies so it’s the same techniques that are used. We just have different audiences.
PDC: For anybody who wants to come into the movie industry, what are the skills needed?
OA: Firstly, they need good education both formal education and informal. The theory would be learnt in school; the informal knowledge will be picked on the job, as the Yoruba saying goes, bi a se n kose, la n ko iyara and the last time is of course, good morals which is what will bring them great recommendations.
PDC: At this point in time, people have stopped telling stories full of morals but stories that tell recent realities that were not spoken of in the past. Issues like cougar, sexual innuendos etc. What are your thoughts about it?
You know we all have some one or two story to tell and Yoruba people use to says, life is like a drum, when it face someone, it will face the other person from the rear.
PDC: Which of these roles do you prefer- a comic role or you like to be a main character?
OA: I quietly prefer to give the comic relief to all the tensions in the movie. I am a very funny person. I usually tell people that making people laugh in Nigeria is not a small task because the stress in the society has made a lot of people lose their sense of humour.
PDC: What are the things that current Yoruba actors should do to improve upon so that they can attract a global audience?
OA: We need to promote our culture and our heritage. That is what we will use to attract the global community. Countries like Trindad and Tobago, Brazil, Jamaica and some Western nations are already coming to learn about African Traditional Religions (ATRs) as such we need to equally brace up to tell the right stories about Africa. If we don’t they will come and tell us our story possibly in a way that does not represent us.
PDC: What are your own ways of giving back to the society?
OA: I see myself as a teacher and I should not teach the society nonsense like Fela said, “Teacher don’t teach me nonsense. “ I am always willing to teach people good moral values as this is becoming a thing of the past in our culture.
PDC: As someone who hails from Okeho, have you ever used the town for any of your productions?
Yes I have used Okeho as the location for various movies. Some of these include Gbolohun kan, Temi Yemi, Amuke Seye, Atupa Olohun lege. We have to promote our town in all ways to ensure that the world our beautiful topography and engage with our history and culture too.
PDC: How do you unwind?
OA: I usually unwind by reading some literature texts; it is one of the important tools that we use to tell our stories asides the experiences of people.
PDC: If you were not an actor, what will you be doing?
OA: I would have been a fine artist. I love to express myself and that is one typical thing with a fine artist and actor.
PDC: Describe yourself in three words?
OA: I am diligent, faithful and fine gentleman.
PDC: What are your advice for upcoming actors?
OA: I will advise them to be focused; they should not toy with their delivery; they should teach moral lessons and promote Yoruba cultural heritage through their production.
PDC: Thanks to you very much for your time.
OA: You are welcome.
Sit back and enjoy his movie titled-