Yoruba Movie Stars Are Not Under The Grip Of Evil Forces — Saheed Balogun

Saheed-BalogunOn the heels of the sudden passing away of rising Yoruba movie actress, Bisi Komolafe, a fellow actor, Saheed Balogun, has risen in defence of the actress disclaiming the stories making the rounds that her death was as a result of fetish practices and husband snatching scandals.

Balogun, who is currently putting finishing touches to his latest movie, ‘You or I’, says, “I find it very absurd that anyone would attribute the death or illness of any Yoruba actor to juju. Many people die every day as a result of various ailments but the reason behind the hullabaloo over the death of a star is just because we are popular. It has nothing to do with jazz (evil forces) and no one knows the day he/she will die besides God. It is just sad that she died at a time when she was about to blow in the industry and fans looked forward to more works from her.”

While justifying the predominance of fetish scenes and diabolical practices in Yoruba home videos, a visibly upset Balogun retorted, “Yoruba movies are filled with juju scenes because I have never seen a situation where an actor will need to play a witch and then put on a pastor’s robe or dress like a teacher to act like a thief. We act it as it is and do not pretend about anything. We the film-makers are like teachers who help you shape your future and mirror your present.”

On the cirmcumstances surrounding Komolafe’s demise and the number of deaths that have rocked his industry (Yoruba movies) in the last two years, Balogun says, “With all due respect, if you recollect, you will remember that it was the elders that passed on last year. Komolafe, was a young and rising star and one of the few young ones we have lost.”

On steps to be taken to avert similar occurrences in the New Year, the Kwara State-born actor notes, “Usually, when things like these occur, the elders organise prayer and deliverance sessions for we the practitioners, and we are going to do just that right now.”

On the professional side, he concedes that the Yoruba movie industry is plagued by the copycat syndrome. “Besides piracy, the major issue facing us is that many practitioners are not organised and focused. Just because one person produces a comedy, everybody will join the band wagon. If it is a war film, they will tow that line. Everybody cannot be a producer, director or actor at the same time. You must have the talent then get the necessary skills to match.”