” Lalude ” is a a warrior and has a lot of traditional power in Yoruba movie . His costumes are top – notch , such that , he looks scary with his mouth and eyes painted with black .lalude biography
May be tomorrow, he would be scripted in a different costume of, may be, a school teacher or an aristocrat or a clergyman, Fatai Adetayo whose stage name goes by Lalude, will remain a fearsome character in Yoruba movies.
It would take him extra efforts to convince the uninitiated that his popular character is not his person off the screen. He is an impeccable interpreter difficult to fault when he chants incantations and set to unleash afflictions on a target according to his clients request.If one is too deep in and addictive to those witch- and-wizard story lines, one’s faith in God’s power shrinks if not completely melts.
There are others acting similar role but whose performances reveal their limitations in delivery. Lalude is not on this list. Years back, I suffixed him with ‘wicked one’ whenever and wherever I am face-to-face with him either on the screen or jacket of VHS. And he did’t disappoint as he often put up a very wild look of hungry lion awaiting unfortunate object in sight.
That attribute must have informed and matter of factly impressed Chief Lere Paimo (Eda Onileola) to drop the actor who played Elemoso in his previous production for Lalude in the Celluloid version in 1990 or thereabout. As you are under the padlock now because of one angry Coronavirus, you may watch again OGBORI ELEMOSO and see the athleticism with which Lalude spiced his Elemoso performance during that make-or-mar fight with Ogunlola (Lere Paimo). Although Ogunlola overpowered the long invisible Elemosho, severed his head and took it to the Alaafin of Oyo, you would not but rise from seat and give Lalude ovation he rightfully deserves.
Yes, acting remains a make-believe enterprise but it must be done in reference to satisfaction of audience. With the reach of technology now, there must be a thin line between a film and reality. That is where the late Hubert Ogunde would always maintain his topmost position in the History of Theatre in Nigeria. Go and read HUBERT OGUNDE: THE MAKING OF NIGERIAN THEATRE written by Professor Ebun Clark and published in 1980, the year Ogunde incidentally released his debut AIYE. He would spend his last penny in search of right costume which suited each character, hence all his films appear original, and are timeless.
I did not decide to turn my eyes off those end time movies overnight. Neither was my decision caused by aversion to see certain faces. No. I had found myself helplessly watching some stuff not better than pupils’ end-of-the-year sketches. The dialogue was provokingly pedestrian just as general acting was representation of absurdity. Faced by that disappointment, I retreated to the the Mainframe and Tade Ogidan productions and enjoyed myself, still relishing those TI OLUWA NILE series.
Time and space did not permit me to engage Oga Bello (Adebayo Salami) at a function in Lagos on February 16. I would have asked him questions he would find comical but really germane to his profession. Give it to him, Oga Bello is a perfectionist, hence his sons seem to be shoving him to reserve bench. But do actors retire? Yes or no, that man I saw on that Saturday did not appear as a fatigued who would leave stage soon. Going by our brief interaction on his way out of the party, he will be on the screen for as long as movies are produced.
Theatre is an arm of entertainment which should be operated with accurate delivery and up-to-date equipment. When a practitioner like Lalude is featured in an epic film, viewers are cock sure of getting value for their money and time. If, however, the same script is given to one whose facial communication would not correspond with incantation coming out of him, I would change the channel or switch off completely.
In case you did not know that ” Lalude ” has a Muslim name ” Fatai ” and one may wonder , if he is a Muslim or a traditionalists in real life as portrayed in most of his movie . “Lalude ” is a Christian which has nullify claims of being Muslim or a traditionalists .
The movie that brought ” Lalude ” into limelight in the 80’s are ” Obgori Elemoso” , My mother is a witch and so on .
Here is wishing Lalude many more years in the industry. He should, however, shake off his inflexibility and take up roles away from always spitting fire. Finally, two years after, I am still searching for BALOGUN IBIKUNLE, a film in which Lalude is the lead actor and husband to our former Oyo State Chapter of Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) numero uno, Mrs Foluso Lala. Good morning.
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