Popular Yoruba actor, Yomi Fabiyi, in a chat with Saturday Beats, talked about marriage, his career of 20 years in the Nigerian movie industry and many other things.
“This woman was what I would call my foremost fan. I used to patronise her small bukateria in those days. One day, she told me that each time I came to eat in her shop other people would like to come, too, just to listen to me talk. Then she advised me to find any of the outfits that produce films and join them.
“When I told her that it would be difficult for me to become an actor, she promised to sponsor me. Before then, a lot of people had tried to encourage me to join the movie people, but I didn’t listen to them until this woman spoke to me. I had to make up my mind.
“A relative of mine told me how I could find and hook up with a film production company around Ebute-Metta. I already had it in mind to approach two popular actors that were my favourites. So I searched for them. Fortunately, one of them, who happened to be Baba Suwe, accepted me. That was how my journey into the world of movies started.”
Becoming an apprentice to a popular actor:
“In my position, it was not enough to be humble, committed, trustworthy and a hundred per cent loyal to my boss; I realised that I had to make a lot of sacrifice, too. In order to earn the approval of my boss and to move forward, I had to have these qualities. In addition, there must be proof that I had talent,” he said.
“I just had to endure. Some days I had very little food or nothing to eat. Sometimes, I had to depend on the kindness of a Hausa shopkeeper who allowed me to buy things on credit. And there were days when I slept outside because there was so much work to do. I didn’t dare to complain to my boss about my suffering. I didn’t have to bother him about food. He wasn’t my father, after all. He was doing me a favour because I came to learn about film acting and production from him,” he said.
On his parents thoughts about becoming an actor:
My father was not always around. But my mum was quite worried when she observed that I was coming home late some nights. One day, when she asked me where I had been, I told her that I went in search of my destiny,” he said.
On his marriage/divorce:
“We are still living apart. She insists that she will not settle in Nigeria,” he said.“I have only initiated the idea of suing for a divorce. I am still considering that option, though. The only problem is that my wife has to be physically present in Nigeria to be served the divorce papers. But she has refused to come,” he said.