Let us tell Yoruba actor, Lekan Olatunji the truth. Speaking English in Yoruba movies has helped them to…
Olatunji Lekan is a popular face in the Nigerian Movie Industry, Yoruba genre.
He is not only an actor; his is also a producer. He features in most Yoruba movies, especially movies produced and directed by Odunlade Adekola.
Lekan recently featured in one of Adekola’s movies titled “OBA.”
Ehen, so, to the main gist…
So recently, Tribune interviewed Nollywood actor, Olatunji Lekan.
The lengthy interview caught my attention the moment he said it was annoying that the Yoruba actors were speaking too much English in Yoruba movies nowadays, and that if he had the power, he would put an end to English speaking in the Yoruba movies.
View his exact words below:
Tribune: If you had the chance to change anything in the industry, what would you do?
Lekan: Firstly, I will make sure I change this mentality of speaking more English in a Yoruba movie. It is becoming too much and it’s annoying.
If we want to shoot a Yoruba movie let us know we are shooting a Yoruba movie, if we are shooting an English movie, let us know we are shooting an English movie.
Take the movie ‘Ayinla’; for instance did they speak English in the movie? Was it not well done? Let us go back to the typical Yoruba movies we shot in those days, movies like ‘Oleku’ and the likes.
There are many of our Yoruba proverbs that our children can learn in these movies. That is why even in my home, I have mandated my children to speak Yoruba to me and not English.
They need to understand their mother tongue first before any other language. Another thing is the welfare of our aged actors.
We need to ensure there are policies and schemes to take care of their welfare when they are old and not agile to work like before anymore.
We can introduce a kind of dues that can be paid into an account annually for this purpose; it will go a long way.
So, after reading all he said during his interview with Tribune, honestly, I will say there are some things Lekan doesn’t understand, and I need to make him understand them now…
Mr. Lekan, na (it is) the English una dey speak small small (you guys speak) that has brought Yoruba movies out from darkness into light. It has given the Yoruba movies prominence, and made the actors prominent.
Check am now, in the olden days, how many people use to watch Yoruba movies? How many people use to love Yoruba actors? Who dey talk about Yoruba movies self?
In fact, any one who associated with anything Yoruba movie was tagged Local.
But now, today, it is no longer like that, owing to the fact that some of the actors blended English with Yoruba in their exceptional acting, and finally the whole world accepted Yoruba movies, even though na (it is) mostly juju (voodoos) una dey preach.
So Oga it is not annoying to speak English in a Yoruba movie, it is normal. You can’t suggest an “End” to something helping the industry. You self dey speak English for Yoruba movies. At least, I just finished watching the movie “OBA,” and you still dialogue in English.
Even Chinese people too, it is their language that they use as dialogue all through the movie, but, at some point, you will hear them chipping in some words in English.
You may say the English is not much, yes, it is not much because that is the little they understand, they can’t give what they do not have…
They speak the little English they understand, because they want those who do not understand their language to feel connected to them, movie; to be a part of the movie.
So, please, don’t criticize any actor that speaks English in Yoruba movies, it is a welcome idea and it has helped the Yoruba movie industry to gain recognition and be in good standing over time…
So think am well, before you go voice am out again some where else that English speaking in Yoruba movies should be totally stopped.
In summary, it is not a bad idea to speak a little English or chip it in, in Yoruba movies. The English speaking should not be more than the Yoruba speaking; sure, but it should not be stopped.
If they start calling you people Yoruba actors now, you people will be fuming up and down, saying that you should not be called Yoruba actors, that you are an actor like the English actors. Abeg, wetin we dey call people that act Chinese films? No be Chinese actors?
But in Nigeria, just say Yoruba actors, they will make face, and turn you to an enemy. That’s how the other day, Helen Paul during Hip Hop award had called one of the Yoruba female actors, Ronke Odunsanya a “Yoruba” actor, and she was so quick to rebuke her, saying, “What do you mean by that, excuse me, we are all actors.”
So, Mr.Lekan, you can see that even the Yoruba actors don’t want to be identified with the Yoruba Origin, so, let the English speaking in Yoruba movie continue biko…
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