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Nigerian Actor-Turned Nurse Rasak Ajao Talks About Life In America

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Nigerian Actor-Turned Nurse Rasak Ajao Talks About Life In America

nigerian actor rasak ajao america

August 29, 2014 – Nollywood Yoruba Actor-Turned Nurse Rasak Ajao, Ara Osan Talks About Life In America

A popular name in Nollywood Yoruba genre, Rasak Ajao also called Pefun Ele or Ara Osan in movies relocated to the US from Nigeria back in 2002 and since then, he has been away from his wife and children.

The actor who currently works as a nurse recently opened up about his new life in the United States of America.

Hear what he said:

YOU JUST DISAPPEARED FROM THE NIGERIAN MOVIE SCENE AND YOUR FANS ARE WONDERING AS TO WHERE YOU ARE. WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THE UNITED STATES?

Razaq Ajao popularly known as Ara Osan or Pefun Ele is now a nurse here in America. I have been in the United States since 2002 when I left Nige­ria. And I thank God because I am doing great here.

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO YOUR ACTING CAREER, HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN ABOUT IT?

No, I have not forgotten about acting. I still act. You know, one thing about America is that whatever you were doing in your country before you came here, you have to suspend it and start all over again. So, I have to suspend acting for sometime and go into nursing, to be able to pay my bills and meet other necessary needs as they arise. But now, I have some films that I have already produced to launch myself back.

TELL US ABOUT THE FILMS?

They are two; the first is ‘Iwe Igbelu’ (Green Card), which was released two years back. And we just released ‘Babalawo l’America’ (Herbalist in America).

WHAT INSPIRED THE MOVIE, IWE IGBELU?

‘Iwe Igbelu’ is inspired by the problem many of us here in the US encounter before we are granted resident permit. You know, it is not easy to work in the US without a permit. But with your permit you are guaranteed a new lease of life here.

WHO ARE THE ARTISTES THAT TOOK PART IN IWE IGBELU?

I took part in it. Also the movie stars Yinka Quadri, Toyin Ade­gbola popularly known as Toyin Asewo T’ore Mecca and others.
Rasak and Laide Bakare
DID YOU FLY ALL THE AR­TISTES YOU MENTIONED TO AMERICA TO TAKE PART IN THE FILM?

Yes.

WHICH LOCATION DID YOU USE FOR THE PRODUC­TION?

We shot the film in Brooklyn, New York.

WHAT OF THE SECOND MOVIE, WHAT IS THE TITLE AND WHICH YEAR DID YOU RELEASE IT?

The second and third movies are not yet released. Jide Ko­soko directed one while Murphy Afolabi and I directed the other. The films are not yet titled. But the fourth one is titled ‘American Psycho’.

WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO RELEASE THE THREE MOV­IES?

By the grace of God, I am going to release two this year and the other one next year.

CAN YOU TELL US SOME OF THE ACTORS IN THE MOV­IES?

We have artistes like Bimbo Oshin, Liz Anjorin, Murphy Afolabi, Yinka Qaudri, myself, and others.

rasak ajao ara osan americaRasak and Laide Bakare

DID YOU USE THE SAME LOCATION FOR ALL THE MOVIES?

I shot the second and third movie in New York and Maryland. But the fourth, ‘American Psycho’, was shot in Florida.

DO YOU HAVE PLANS TO RELEASE THE FILMS IN NIGERIA?

Of course, I am releasing them in Nigeria. That is my father’s land.

WHAT ARE THE CHAL­LENGES YOU ARE FAC­ING AS AN ACTOR AND FILMMAKER IN AMERI­CA?

The problem I had was doing everything all by myself includ­ing directing, screenplay, and so on. It is unlike what we have at home where the production process is divided into stages.

IS YOUR FAMILY HERE WITH YOU?

My wife and children are in Nigeria. I am here with one of my children.

HOW DO YOU COPE WITHOUT YOUR FAMILY HERE, ESPECIALLY YOUR WIFE; WHO TAKES CARE OF THE HOME FRONT?

I am coping well. At least, I am here working hard to ensure they are well catered for back home.

WE ARE TOLD SOME NI­GERIANS ARE INVOLVED IN ILLEGAL ACTS IN AMERICA, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS…?

(Cuts in) I don’t know about that, but the most important thing is that you should know who you are, and as well know where you are coming from. If you know the background you are from, you will not want to stain it. There is an adage that says, ‘good name is worth more than gold and silver’. To be successful in this country is very easy when you are patient and focused. If you are trying to work at another man’s pace, you will run in the fast track but if you work at your own pace, you will make it easily.

YOU ALWAYS ACT AS BA­BALAWO (HERBALIST) IN MOST OF YOUR MOVIES IN NIGERIA. CAN WE NOW SAY THAT A BABALAWO IS RIGHT HERE IN AMER­ICA?

That is why I titled one of my movies that was just re­leased ‘Babalawo l’America’ so as to let my fans know that I am still very acquainted with my Babalawo role in movies. The movie is enjoying a massive patronage here and at home.

CAN YOU BRIEFLY TELL US HOW YOU STARTED ACTING?

I started with Chief Leke Ajao, may his soul rest in peace, we have the same surname but he was from Osun State while I am from Kwara State. I started acting in 1979/80 when I finished from secondary school. That was when I knew Yinka Quadri, his father was selling towels and my father was sell­ing sewing machine in the same area at Lagos Island. Every Saturday and Sunday, I used to go to Yinka Quadri’s house for rehearsals, he had a group then called Adetutu Theatre Group. That was how we started. Bayo Olaleye who worked with NTA 7 then used to write scripts for my boss. Our debut production that brought us into limelight was ‘Olaniyonu’. Then, we acted on stage every week at the National Theatre, Iganmu, because I started with stage acting.

WHEN DID YOU CROSS TO FILM?

We crossed to films in 1985/86. My first film was ‘Odada’. After the debut film, we did ‘Enu Orofo’ for Corpo­rate Pictures and so many others I cannot remember.

HOW DID YOU COME ABOUT THE NAME ARA OSAN?

I got the name from Olani­yonu. I acted as Fadare, the son of an herbalist, in the film and Yinka Quadri’s name was If­agbamila. So, anytime he says, ‘maso mo’ (don’t say it again), I will reply, ‘ara osan o’ (thunder will strike). He acted as the vil­lain while I was the hero.

WHERE DID YOU LEARN ALL THE INCANTATIONS YOU CHANT IN MOVIES, IS YOUR FATHER AN HERBALIST?

My father is an Islamic cleric. I learned the incantations from the scripts they gave me to read. In most of the stories Bayo Olaleye wrote for my boss, the role I usually get was that of an herbalist. I crammed the incantations whenever I was given such roles and that’s how it stuck.

DO YOU HAVE AN ASSO­CIATION FOR NIGERIAN THEATRE PRACTITIO­NERS, LIKE THE ANTP, IN AMERICA?

Yes, we have organized our­selves and soon we will make people know about us.

[Interview By Tosin Ajirire, The Sun]

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Precious Nwah

    August 29, 2014 at 5:59 AM

    You don’t need to tell us about america it is already show in your colour
    congrats ma pls work on getting ur stay so as to bring your wife and children ontime. It is now over 12 years, what do you have to show for it?
    You mates back home have moved on

    • lily

      August 29, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      He has a stay now.Bad belle.Dont be rude.

    • lily

      August 29, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      @precious…-f you are not a fool,you should know someone without a stay aka resident permit can never work as a nurse.is not nigeria a tailor can suddenly become an opticia.use your head and erase hate from your head.There is traces of jealousy in your comment.Beware,jealousy kills.Dont go and **** yourself.lol

  2. fola

    August 29, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    very good actor,i miss him

  3. obinna

    August 29, 2014 at 7:29 AM

    I will be the last person on this earth to move to america. is nothing but yo yo yo, i love it here in Europe far more than America. keke driver in nigeria that knows how to save money will make it than doctors in america.

  4. sogo

    August 29, 2014 at 7:30 AM

    nice to see him he has gained so much confidence

  5. Amanda

    August 29, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    I remember he and Mr. Qadri in that movie, “Olaniyonu”. Searched YouTube but cant find it. Babakekere(E ra adalu epo). I think “Fokoko” was in that movie, too. Fun days long gone. World has dramatically changed. Now, the tie is between Yinka Qadri and Ogogo.

  6. kbgolden

    August 29, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    Dat man is a great actor,if 2 say he stil dey 9ja mayb he fit don solve d issue of ebola coz juju dey….

  7. Nnebaby

    August 31, 2014 at 2:55 AM

    I love my country Australia,its the best place to leave more than Europe and America.

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