memory lane as he shares some of his life experiences in an interview with the Punch. Read excerpts from the interview:
Is it true that your father did not want you to become an actor?
He was not pleased that I wanted to become
an actor . Going to watch a play is not the same thing as being an actor . My father was a prolific dancer and drummer , so he
understood what it meant to be an entertainer but instead of him to accept my wish , he was against it.
He was a master drummer but it was a hobby for him . He did not understand that acting was what I really wanted to do . I
went to meet my mother and told her to talk to him and I even threatened her that if he didn't concede to my request , I would run away . That was how we always threatened them.
I later got a passport form for England which he was to endorse and when I gave it to him, he tore it and said I would not go anywhere. I told my uncle who was his brother and he told me to get another passport form.
It was my uncle who eventually endorsed it for me but none of us in our house told my father, if we did , he would deal with us. I got the passport and when I was applying for the visa , I went through a very rigorous interview but I felt good.
This is somewhere I really wanted to go
so I answered the questions with all pleasure .
I answered the questions as if I had been told about it and the interviewer who was a white man had to ask me why I was giving him a ridiculous story . I simply answered that it was because I was telling the truth . He looked at me and offered me a drink. He asked the messenger to get me Fanta.
At what point did your father get to know that you had travelled to England for acting and how did he react?
Well, my mother told me that I should not
worry, that he would give her hell and she
was going to bear it but I should ensure that I kept in touch so that her mind would be at
rest . You think I was the only child but I was the fifth out of eight children .
I was told that when my father eventually
knew , he went berserk.
When my letter arrived from England , he looked at it suspiciously and when he opened it and saw it was from me, he dropped it . Then he picked it up again , saw a packet in it and when he opened that, it was his favourite brand of tobacco , St . Bruno.
A lot of people could not afford that . Before I travelled , he normally sent me to buy his tobacco which was always diluted . But what I sent to him was the real deal . It was not diluted . He then asked my mother if I was the one that sent it to him . He later sent for the person that brought the letter and asked after my well- being , he was very pleased with the tobacco that I sent to him , especially after he took a sniff.
We were having a management meeting for a play , Wole Soyinka ’ s Jero Metamorphosis when a young lady walked in. Immediately she walked in , something inside me told me that she was going to be my wife and I told the people around me that I was going to marry her. That was in 1981 . In 1986 , we got married.
Were you not in a relationship before you met her ?
I was not in a relationship . I had a disappointment that kept me away and I never wanted any serious commitment because the wound was still raw but when I met her , we talked and played a lot and it surprised people a lot . We travelled together a lot as well.