I can marry an actress - Actor Samuel Ajibola - Report Minds

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Saturday, 4 August 2018

I can marry an actress - Actor Samuel Ajibola

Television and film actor, Samuel Ajibola, aka Spiff, talks about his career and other related matters in this interview with the Punch.

Read the excerpt below....

Tell us a little about your background

I was born in Maza-Maza, Lagos. I attended Handmaids International Catholic School, Surulere, and Command Secondary School, Ipaja, both in Lagos. I have a degree in Political Science from the University of Lagos. I am the first son and I have three siblings. My dad is a retired naval officer and my mum is a retired banker. I had a fun upbringing. I grew up playing musical instruments. I played the piano for my school, beat the drums and blew the flutes.

With your talents, why did you choose acting?

I didn’t find acting, it found me. I started by acting in plays in church. An aunt of mine invited me to play the role of the Biblical character, Samuel. Though I was just having fun playing the character, I put in my all. She then spotted the talent in me and decided to take it further. She was working with film producer, Opa Williams, at the time and she took me to him. He auditioned me and that’s how I got my first and subsequent roles

How did your father react to your decision to become a full-time actor?

He has always supported me even as a kid. He has always allowed me discover myself and he’d encourage me to grow and enjoy any passion I found myself involved with at any time. As a young kid, he would follow me to movie locations because I didn’t know anywhere or anything and I’m grateful because I had such a supportive father.

How did getting your first movie role make you feel?

I just had the normal reaction of getting something new but I remained myself. I was told that I was a brilliant young kid. I just kept giving it my best and people appreciated the talent and pushed me further.

How did starting out as a kid actor impact your growing up?

I discovered fame at the age of seven and since then, I’ve lived a life that revolved around being a superstar. I get a lot of attention even when I’m not in the mood for it but people always recognise me, want to talk to me and ask questions. I also get a lot of preferential treatment from many people. It also had its negative impact on my education so much that I had to take a break from my career but I returned to it in 2009. But in general, I’d say it’s been a fun life.

What would you consider your most challenging roles till date?

Apart from the Spiff character that I’m most known for, I will say that one of my most challenging roles would be when I had to assume the character of a dyslexic patient. Going into the mind of someone who has dyslexia was really challenging for me because I had to interpret what people with that condition go through but in total, I had a great time learning and understanding more about the condition. Another character I had some difficulty playing was in a movie titled The Call, where I played the role of a local village Igbo boy because firstly, I’m not Igbo and I have no close affiliation with any Igbo person. As such, it was tough getting into the mind of the character, learning the language, accent and intonations, as well as understanding their mannerisms etc.

Why was Spiff a challenging character for you?

Spiff was a challenging character for me in the beginning when I started developing myself into him and digesting the ideas surrounding him because I’m nothing like Spiff in person and I had to assemble a unique persona for this character. I had to create his voice, actions, behaviour, gesticulations and all the elements that make him the character that everyone loves today. It took a lot of work and effort to maintain the character initially but eventually, I got accustomed to it and it’s been fantastic.

How do you feel when people relate to you as Spiff instead of Samuel Ajibola?

Initially, I had a problem with it but now, it’s become very common in the industry especially with good role performances. Many actors are tagged by the character that made them become popular – John Okafor, who is popularly known as Mr. Ibu; Nkem Owoh, who everyone knows as Osuofia, etc. I’ve come to accept that Spiff is my own character name and I’m fine with that.

What was your experience getting former President Olusegun Obasanjo to make his acting debut in your skit?

It was my management who made that possible and I’m very grateful to them. Aside from acting, I’m also an event host and I hosted the Youth-Governance Dialogue 2017, which was an event that revolved around encouraging youths to participate in politics; pushing the ideology of ‘Not-Too-Young-to-Run’ and I asked myself what I, as a public figure, could do to push the notion forward. After much deliberation, I decided to make a skit that would encourage my stand. I drew up something, presented it to him and he liked it immediately he saw it and jumped aboard the project.

What’s the most exciting experience you have had in your acting career?

Mostly, just acting with people I’ve always admired from a distance but my most exciting was when I worked with Hakeem K. Kazeem, who is a Nigerian but based in Hollywood. It was on the movie, The Last Flight to Abuja.

What’s the hardest thing you have done regarding playing a character?

I’d say that was when I had to lose 15kg for a movie role because I was too chubby for the role. I went from 65kg to 50kg in three months just to play a particular character. I had to eat one apple a day for those three months and sometimes, I’d eat a handful of food just to lose the extra weight I was carrying. That was tough but it eventually paid off.

If you had to pick, which unmarried actress would you marry?

Although I don’t have any intention of marrying an actress, I’d pick Uche Nwaefuna if I had to pick one.

How do you relax when you aren’t working?

I do a lot of things to relax. Unfortunately for me, I’m not like people who sleep to relax. I wish I could sleep to relax but to relax, I swim, watch movies and listen to music

What’s your experience being an actor in The Johnsons?

We’ve been shooting it since 2012 and we are on our seventh season and we’ve a family. It’s been and still is a lot of fun working together with other fantastic actors. It’s been a jolly ride all the way.

Do you think that your role in The Johnsons has or will stereotype you in the eyes of the audience and other filmmakers?

Because of how we see things in Nigeria, it should stereotype me but I am working hard on not letting the character stereotype me. Most times, I reject roles where the character I should play is similar to Spiff’s character and it’s interesting because most filmmakers want me to play roles where I have to behave like a mumu. I am not just a comical actor, I’m a full package actor and I wish people would see that more. I can act any genre and any type of film. I tend to accept other roles so that people can see that I have more sides to me.

What would you regard as your breakthrough moment in acting?

As a child actor, I won many awards as ‘Best Child Actor’ and that was great. More recently, I’d have to say the Spiff character because the love I get from people is overwhelming. I didn’t envisage it to be this big but here we are and I am grateful to God for it.

What role will you love to play which you haven’t yet gotten the opportunity to?

Quite a lot! I’d like to play a singing character; star in a musical, play a horror character. I’ll like to play something different for the experience and so people can see that I can do a lot more.

How would you define your fashion sense?

I like to dress casually. Sometimes, I wear jeans, tee shirts and sneakers. Other times, I like to dress very formally; wear a full suit.

Why did you choose to study Political Science instead of Arts?

I wanted to study Business Administration but being in this country, I was given Political Science instead, and it was either that or wait another year. I just took my Political Science and sat in class. But even with that, I’ve never felt the need to get a formal four-year education in acting when I already have the talent. However, I went to study acting in Amaka Igwe’s Centre for Excellence in Film and Media Studies under the tutelage of the late Amaka Igwe. I wanted to get knowledge in something else other than acting. I sought a degree in Business Admin; sadly, that didn’t click.

Why aren’t we getting much of your web series, Dele Issues?

Because The Johnsons is a very demanding, almost full-time job, it’s very difficult to dabble in other things. To be honest, it really doesn’t give me room to do as much of other things as I’d have loved to do but I’m working hard on doing other things. Amidst acting, I’m working on very many other projects and I try to shuffle myself into them. But as per Dele Issues, I’m definitely going to put out more issues.

Do you think you will ever go into politics?

Yes, in the future. Not because I want to steal money but I know I’d be able to make a very huge impact on society. By default, I’m hard-working, focused, loving and caring. I want to see how much help I can be to people to make them live better. I believe that I have the amount of determination and focus necessary to move this country forward.

What were your fondest childhood memories?

Playing the piano! I was extremely caught up in playing musical instruments especially the piano and it was exhilarating for me. Also, winning awards and getting attention as a kid was really intriguing for me.

Do you have any scarring memories from your childhood?

Because of the fame I had as a child, I wasn’t allowed to do things that other people my age were doing and that was extremely daunting for me as a kid. I couldn’t live my life freely as a kid without people scrutinising me and most other kids didn’t have that problem.

Do you have phobias?

I’m scared of failing and snakes.


This post first appeared on The Punch



































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