THE FOURTH WALL - AN INTERESTING TIME WITH YELE BALOGUN

TUESDAYS 7PM


AN INTERESTING TIME WITH YELE BALOGUN
There are no words to describe the man I am about to introduce to you but let me tell you for sure that my story will be incomplete without him in it. I have never met anyone more passionate and committed to developing the arts and leaving a legacy for his unborn generation.
Uncle Yele as I fondly call him, is one of my mentors and one of those whom I have learnt a great deal from and whom this page is not enough; to describe but enough talking now, why not enjoy a piece of the cake I have stolen from his wealth of knowledge – just for you?

I am still waiting for a woman to break the lineup of manly interviews. If you are a female in the entertainment industry, hit me up. I want to hear and share your story too.
Sandra T. Adeyeye: Please how would you like to be introduced?
YELE:     I am Yele Balogun.
Sandra T. Adeyeye: Did you study theatre art?
Yele: I studied English Language at my NCE and degree levels, but led the drama group during my NCE, and the group was one of the motivations for the establishment of the Theatre Arts Department of the Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta, Ogun State. We are code named ABUJA 1998 in the school, due to a performance that we took to Abuja that year.
I actually learnt theatre art from traditional practitioners like Ade Negro Theatre Group, Omo Onikoyi Theatre Group, Ijewuru Jesters International and Ifedola Theatre Group all in Ado-Odo, Ogun State, Nigeria in the 1980s up to the 1990s. I was also lucky to have been born into a family where singing and dancing was prominent. My paternal grandmother was of the Ishaga Yoruba sub-ethnic group, where the egungun art and drama was a prominent feature, and I was duly trained in the art. My paternal grandfather too was a singer with the indigenous Awori singers in Ado-Odo. My father, a singer was also a great patron of the theatre art, and he always involved us. So, I have been exposed to theatre art right from my early life, that it became my first love and every other thing I did/do in life, I always looked for, and enjoy the drama (theatre) involved in such.
Sandra T. Adeyeye: How long have you been practicing?
Yele: My theatre practice is close to 40 years now. I started very early in life. From my family to those practicing groups in my home to my adult age; forming my own performing group very early in my life, up to my being with the likes of NTA 12, Abeokuta, where I wrote and presented for their children show called "IT'S OUR WORLD" around 1996.
Sandra T. Adeyeye: Do you do stage or screen productions?
Yele: Both.
Sandra T. Adeyeye: What’s the difference and their challenges?
Yele: Stage is real, but costly and stressful, and brings little returns, except if there is/are sponsor(s).
Whereas, the screen can also be costly at times, but easy to be managed, mistakes can be edited, less stressful, and some numbers of returns are sure due to available multiple markets despite the piracy bedeviling the industry.
Sandra T. Adeyeye: What’s your favorite play text?
Yele: The gods are not to blame by Ola Rotimi. I also love and have acted his Ovaramwen Nogbaisi on stage before.
Sandra T. Adeyeye: Who's your favorite actor, director, dop/lightsman, costumier and set designer?
Yele: This is a multiple question, but let me attend to them one after the other:
1. My Favourite Actor is ???
2. My Favourite Director is Tunde Kelani.
3. My Favourite DOP/LIGHTSMAN is Fatai Tunde.
4. My Favourite Costumier is Yemisi Ale Okanlawon.
5. My Favourite Set Designer is Muraina Dudu.


Sandra T. Adeyeye: Great. What’s your favorite movie?
Yele: Ti Oluwa N'ile by Tunde Kelani, and it motivated my first feature film entitled ARAMANDA (The Amazing God).
Sandra T. Adeyeye: Who is your favorite playwright?
Yele: Ola Rotimi.
Sandra T. Adeyeye: Are you a member of any body governing performance in Nigeria?
Yele: Yes, and that is NANTAP where I had served as State Secretary, Clerk of the National Delegate Conference, National Director of Business, and on various Committees.
Sandra T. Adeyeye: Who is your favorite comedian?
Yele: Moses Olaiya (aka Baba Sala). We grew up listening to his comedy audio records back then.
He was also available on Television, Stage Plays, Cinemas and a Yoruba photo drama magazine called ATOKA. He was one of my numerous mentors.
Sandra T. Adeyeye: How would you like to be remembered?
Yele: I want to be remembered as a "man who had progressive impacts on the lives of others".
Sandra T. Adeyeye: Thank you for your time.
Yele: My pleasure.
Kindly follow YELE BALOGUN on all social media platforms. You can also like and share this post and also leave a comment in the section below.
SANDRA T. ADEYEYE, Author  and Founder of NiWco_street

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