It’s been long since we heard from popular actor, Taiwo Hassan, also known as Ogogo. He was once the poster boy of the Yoruba movie industry. Though that was then, not a few things have changed. For Ogogo, as he is affectionately called, it is not a question of whether he has become less in demand by marketers but that the dynamism of movie-making has changed.
“I just can’t be chasing some jobs that are not worth it now. Imagine going to Ibadan now on fuel of about N30, 000, the producers don’t usually have the fund to pay for my hotel and I will lodge my personal assistants in hotels as well. I can’t commit to jobs that are not worth it. It is not every job that one gets to do at a certain stage in one’s life.”
Aside from that, Ogogo said piracy had caused a lot of actors to become impoverished. “No marketer can finance a movie project with a large amount of money. Imagine releasing a movie in the morning by 9am and by 2pm the pirated copies will be out. So, how do we get our royalties or how does the marketer recoup his investment?”
Speaking further on the impact of piracy, the tall and dark-skinned actor said many of his colleagues are now being fed by their wives. “We solely depend on God’s mercy now, and the goodwill of those who love us. Only few have small businesses of their own. As I speak, some actors are being fed by their wives. A big marketer in the industry told me when he wanted to release a Yoruba movie, some Igbo boys in Alaba told him to settle the pirates so they don’t pirate his movie. That is happening in a lawful society.”
Rejecting suggestions that movie stars are extravagant, Ogogo said they earned less than many people thought. ‘”Footballers and musicians make more money than actors. Actors are the least paid.”
Asked about his next line of action, Ogogo who still acts, said he was planning to go into farming.
“My parents were farmers. I have partially started the process of going into farming.”