Remi Oshodi a.k.a Surutu is one actress whose maiden appearance on the lighted screen, on the set of 'Lakasoro', a popular Yoruba home video film, reportedly took the local film industry by storm. In this interview , she talks about her experience in the hands of some Nigerian movie producers and how to avoid getting entangled with them.
What led you into acting?
I started my career as a model. As at that time, it was a good thing to promote our culture of beauty in the African society. Modeling promotes tourism industry. It got to a time when all my activities as a model manifested in what I would describe as robust artistic orientation. Later, I discovered myself in various television stations as a neophyte. I remember vividly my experience with notable actors such as Adejumo Lewis of the popular Village Headmaster and Patrick Itoye and all the rest of people like that.
How has it been since then?
The journey has been very rough. I have experienced a lot of turbulence and untold hardship. But, by the special grace of God, I was able to whether the storm. Actually, it has not been easy to become a become a very successful actor or producer. You need to go through different stages of life. With hard work, faith, consistency, diligence, and honesty, victory is guaranteed.
What are the challenges so far?
I started from the grass roots. In the beginning, there was no body to offer me assistance. I was very poor and nobody was willing to give out any loan for production in whatever form. In the area of acting, I went through many ordeals. Maybe, it was because of my beauty, a good number of producers wanted to sleep with me before they offered me any role to play. It was like a hide and seek game. It was like a struggle between cat and mice. Initially, I would rebuff their amorous advances and call their bluff. When it got to a point, I had to mellow down and I employed some deceitful tactics until I grew in the field. It was when I started to get matured in the business that I came to realize that in the first instance aggression should not come in at all. With God merciful, I can tell you today that if it requires for me to produce with a huge of amount of money, my God is ever ready to assist.
Was it modeling before acting?
Exactly. I began modeling since my secondary school days. That was twenty-five years ago. I attended Corona Nursery & Primary School in Victoria Island. I also attended federal school of Arts & Science in Lagos but I did not complete my advanced level course programme. Modeling was a fantastic thing that I have ever engaged with in my life. I have partaking in different event with a good member of people from all length and breadth of the country.
Now, Can we discuss about your acting career?
I have taken parts in different films in the last two decades. They are very uncountable. I have equally won various awards and different accolades in many occasions. Acting is a very dangerous vocation in the Nigerian environment. I have worked with different artistes, producers and marketers. Majority of them are good set of people while some of them are embodiment of disgrace and confusion. Some are generous in their own little way while some are stingy in nature. Above all, acting needs consistency. Any attempt to derail in whatever form or for whatever reasons, it leads to disintegration. One needs to constantly be on locations and must not rest on oars. Acting is a thing of mind. It requires intuition and high degree of professionalism for one to real excel.
Which Yoruba film shot you into limelight?
It was an home video, of course. I was able to come out with a video titled 'LAKASORO'. It was based on my life experience. LAKASORO was a satiric in nature. It was all about romance and true love life. Actually, I meant to title the play something else but my marketer, GBENGA ADEWUSI of BAYOWA FILMS PRODUCTION who agreed in his own magnanimity changed the title to 'LAKASORO'. It is very difficult for me at this forum to describe what LAKASORO is all about but in most cases I will tell you that LAKASORO is trendy, interesting, and highly philosophical.
Why haven't produced another film?
It is not a good thing to rush production, especially the one that will play prominent roles in the life of people in the society. Presently I am busy working on a new movie. I will not produce more than a film in a year.
Can we have a gist on your new creative effort?
No. It is not possible. I will not divulge such an information right from here. Some people are very crafty. One needs to be very aware of theft of intellectual property. People are very wise these days. Before you know what is happening, they are already on location to shoot an idea that belongs to somebody else.
Can we discuss creativity in the industry?
A lot of work play are rubbish things. They are devoid of intellectual stuff. This is because many Nigerian producers and directors are bereft of genuine ideas. They lack what it takes to come out with a very fine production. Majority of them are half-baked set of people. They are not professionals. Many of them need good education to package standard materials essentially meant for public consumption. Nowadays, some producers rushed their manuscripts coupled with low mentality of some of the Nigerian actors and actresses. We are in the era of celebration of mediocrity. Good products are very scarce in the market. Producers and the Directors are now in habit of parading wish-wash set of dramatists and end up with what I will describe as exhibition of primitiveness. It is rather very unfortunate that in spite the ugly scenario some artistes are still making their fortunes by playing on the gullibility of the entire citizenry as the final consumers of the acting products.
Can you mention some of the sub-standard Home Video Plays?
Not at all. It does not augur well. Such action will only promote enmity amongst all the stakeholders.
How can the industry get rid of those mediocres?
The elders need to come out with some measures as a way of checkmating all forms of mediocrity. From the art of script writing to producing and marketing the creative efforts. Sanity is equally paramount important in order to guide against all sort of frivolous activities among the rank and file of the practitioners associations. Media also need to continue to perform their critical role in the area of mirroring the society.
Can we discuss your Marriage?
No, it is not possible. I don't want that for now. I will inform the media when the time comes. As of now, let us not discuss it. It can be very dangerous.
Who is Remi Oshodi?
I am a Nigerian. I was born into family of Oshodi in Lagos. I am number five in the family. My father was a devoted Muslim while my mother is a good Christian. I attend St. Michael Aladura Church, Ketu, Lagos. I am a very flexible person and I like good food.