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Don’t mistake me for cultist because of “Oleku” movie, actor tells Nigerians

Shodimu acted the character of Ajani, a cult member in `Oleku’ produced by Tunde Kelani in 1997.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the character was not his true personality.

Shodimu, also a television presenter and movie director, said that Nigerians should be able to differentiate an actor’s personality from his role in a play.

“Some people cannot still differentiate between Yemi Shodimu in reality and Ajani in the play, `Oleku’.

“Imagine somebody stopping me a couple of weeks back, giving certain signs and expecting me to respond; I got to know that those signs were for a particular secret cult which I acted as a member in `Oleku’.

“The truth is that I have never been anywhere close to being a cultist apart from being a palm wine drinking club member which I also portrayed in the play.

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“I had to study that particular role well before being able to act it well,” he said.

Shodimu said that the greatest challenge he had in the movie was understanding Ajani’s character well to depict the exact role Oleku’s producer wanted.

According to him, understanding the role involved much research.

“Before I could interpret the role well, I did a lot of research into what life was like in the University of Ibadan and other universities because I needed to imbibe the character of Ajani in the university.

“It took a long time to get into that character, it took a lot of energy to retain it and it took a much longer time to get out of it.

“It was really a challenging one for me; the movie was released decades ago and we never knew it was going to be that big.

“I feel we shot the movie earlier than we should because if it were now, we would be telling a different story as it will further realign us with our culture,” he said.

NAN reports that `Oleku’ birthed the fashion of knee-length `Iro and buba’ called Oleku in Yorubaland. (NAN)