Veteran Actor, ADEWALE ELESHO
The name Adewale Elesho has become a household name in the Yoruba movie industry. He is part of the second generation of actors that paved the way for what is known today as Nollywood. He made his name decades ago when he ook prt in several hit movies and dramas such as Taxi Driver, Ade Love, Ogun laye by Ajimajasan and several others. But what has endeared this very accomplished and talented actor is the comical roles he interprets perfectly. He has the ability to take on both serious and comical roles and deliver them perfectly.
Two weeks ago, he was present at the movie premiere of Ojo Ale, a movie produced by young actress, Doyin Amodu, which features dozens of Yoruba movie veterans. He spoke to City People’s Senior Editor, WALE LAWAL (08037209290) about his journey so far in the movie industry.
Share with us, sir, your thoughts about this laudable project by Doyin Amodu?
Oh, our joy and happiness can be seen all over. We are all very happy, very excited about the whole idea. And for Doyin and all those who have supported her on this project, we appreciate them. It’s a very good concept and the motive behind it all is not lost on us, we are very grateful to her. May she and her partners also be honoured in their old age. That is my sincere prayer for them.
Tell us, sir, how did you feel when you saw people that you hadn’t seen in over twenty years ago?
Ah, you’re very correct. There is somebody I met just before coming to talk to you, the last time we met on a movie location was about twenty seven years ago. We were both very excited to see each other again. Same way I have been happy to see lots of people here today. So, in all, we just have to thank God for everything, for preserving our lives to see this day and be with each other again.
What is the secret of your youthful look, sir? You have always been looking this young ever since I have known you. And another thing is that you’re always happy and jovial with people, no dull moments when you’re around, what’s the secret behind this?
Well, there is no secret to it, my brother, I just practice a few simple things. Number one is that I don’t think too much. I don’t like taking things to heart or getting angry to the point that I start to hold grudges, no. We came to this world naked and naked we shall return. With my little experience and exposure about life, and the things we have heard about some of the high and mighty people around us, I have learnt that, at the end of the day, we all have to take things one step at a time because whatever we shall become tomorrow lies in the hands of the Almighty.
How do you feel, sir, when you look around you today and see young ones who were barely in the primary school when you started acting, and they are the ones doing big things in the industry today and you are still there in their midst, still making valuable contributions to the industry?
We give all glory to God. We give all the credit to no other but God Almighty. We are happy. Some of us already have children amongst them that are already doing the profession, and to think that even before these children were born, we had been doing this job, so it is a source of happiness for us. If you look at Police officers, soldiers, Lawyers, musicians, name it, various professionals in various endeavours always desire to hand over the baton to their children, so we give God all the glory.
Who was your first boss, sir, the very first person that taught you how to act?
My boss was called Olufemi Olukoga alis Baba Kudi in Ilorin, Kwara tate. That was where I started from.
How many years did you spend with him?
I spent just about three to four years with him.
When you left the group, which other theater group did you join?
No, I didn’t join any other group again, I formed my wn group called Adewale Elesho theater group. There was no Elesho Films International, it was simply Adewale Elesho Theater group.
How did you cope back then, sir, because during your own time there were very few television stations to support the different theater groups, no social media like we have today?
Really, it was tough back then. There was only one NTA station in Ilorin where I was based back then, but we just had to keep patching things up. And it can only be God because if you look at what we went through back then, if not for genuine love and passion for the profession, many of us would’ve left the profession long ago. There were times that we would meet ourselves where we did not even expect. But we just have to keep thanking God for everything.
Can you still recall, sir, the movie that shot you to limelight? And your name, Elemosho, which drama or movie did you get it from?
It’s the name of my lineage, not a name I got from the theater. Nut it was Baba Ogunde that made the name very popular. There was a cinema movie in Ososa, there was a part where I turned into a snake and people started shouting, ‘Elesho has turned into a snake,’ some people now suggested they should change the name because Elesho is my real name. But Baba Ogunde now said, even the name is not a name given to a child, it is the elders that answer Elesho, that thry should let the name stay. But the first drama that shot me to limelight was a television series. , it was called, ‘Ogun laye, Omo araye le,’ produced by my boss, late Ajimajasan. After that, I also worked with my boss, my companion, my every thing, Adeyemi Afolayan, on his movie called TAXI DRIVER. That movie made me become very popular.
How was it back then, coping with moving from one community to another to entertain people, its much unlike these days that everything is done right in front of the camera in one possibly in one location?
You know we started with stage plays back then, that was the way theater groups were expected to improve their worth. We performed in schools, secondary school halls, town halls and the rest. But the day I was to perform first time at the national theater, I burst into tears. I had never seen such gigantic hall with massive llightings in my life. I was grateful to God for bringing me that far and I was proud of myself. Before then, I had only performed in smaller halls but this was the ultimate and I was so grateful to God.
And how did your performance go that first time at the national theater?
Oh, it went very well/ From that very day, my fame shot higher. I performed to the best of my ability and even exceeded all expectations because I was overjoyed to be performing inside such an iconic place like the national theater back then.
Your advice to the young ones dominating the industry right now?
Well, our advice to them is that may they continue to break new grounds and do even far more than we did in our time. But like I always say, the most important thing is for each and everyone of us to be contented with what the Lord has done for us.
the story of my over 50 years in acting was last modified: February 12th, 2024 by