Actor, director and producer, Olu Olowogemo, popularly known as ‘Mr Portable’, has been in the movie industry for a long time and has assisted several upcoming actors to become stars. The award-winning actor, who is best known for playing comical roles in movies talks about his career and the Yoruba movie industry in this interview by FEMI OGUNTAYO. Excerpts:
We have heard of how you helped a lot of actors grow and become stars in the movie industry, can you tell us how and when you joined the industry?
I joined the movie industry in 1992 under the Olaiya films platform. Olaiya Igwe (Ebun Oloyede) is a brother to me and I grew up watching his movies and stage plays. We also lived in the same area and I developed an interest in what he was doing. So, in 1992, I went to meet him at a movie location because he already left our area by that time. I met him through Oyebola Ogungbe – Baba Ogungbe’s son, he was the one who told me Olaiya was recording a film at Baba’s place. So, I met him, I told him I would also like to join him in the acting business and from there I started following him to movie locations. In 1996, I started my own theatre group and in 1998 I organised a stage play, which I called ‘Ajule Orun’ in Abeokuta and people had to pay to enter and watch it. We showed it for a fee of N20, so that was how it started. In 1999, I took one of these secondary school books titled: ‘Abere Oro’, I got the right from the author and we started showing it on stages around schools. Then, in 2000, I did a soap opera from which I did another movie in 2001, the following year – 2002, I also produced another movie. So, that was how it all started.
Has your height ever been a challenge to your acting career?
Yes, my height used to be a challenge to my acting career because when I was still struggling to make a name for myself and was still an upcoming actor, there were some roles that ordinarily I should get but right in my presence I would hear some directors say, ‘No he can’t play the role, he is too short’. Now that I have the name, as short as I am, I now play the role of someone like Ronke Oshodi’s husband in a movie. (Smiles)