CHECK THIS!! 7 random thoughts about Baba Suwe’s death.

 

1. Yet again, another nollywood veteran dies from an ailment after lacking necessary healthcare for long periods. Baba Suwe died like many of his late colleagues and you wonder how many more are likely to die that way.

2. As a kid, I watched a lot of nollywood movies and loved to mimic the actors. I was so fascinated by what they did that I started writing plays when I was in JS1. Fate led me to studying Dramatic Arts in the University, but it was not until I graduated that I truly realized that the movie industry is not as lucrative as many of us thought. In fact, most of the actors are only winging it with side hustles.

3. Old Yoruba nollywood, which produced Baba Suwe and others, was greatly affected by piracy. The actors who entertained us hardly made any good money, some of the top marketers made some money, but it was the pirates that made a killing from that industry. Little wonder many like Baba Suwe suffered in penury (and are still suffering).

4. The few people who have made it out of that old nollywood rut are either those whose talents were too good to ignore (Yinka Quadri, Oga Bello, Antar Laniyan, Jide Kosoko, and others); those who evolved their craft to fit into the english and millennial nollywood (Odunlade Adekola, Funsho Adeolu, Adeniyi Johnson, and others); those who are versatile (Lateef Adedimeji, Gabriel Afolayan, Omowunmi Dada and others); those who basically forced their way into the bigger mainstream (Toyin Abraham, Eniola Badmus and co); and those who are really in the movie business and have found a structure (Funke Akindele, Kunle Afolayan and co).

5. Baba Suwe and many others couldn’t evolve and so were left behind. His acting and comedy couldn’t fit into what the new age audience would have loved. With so many comedians around today, there was neither room for him in his colleagues’ movies nor capacity to take his art to the internet. Naturally, he became helpless. Evolution is important!! We must continue to find ways to improve ourselves.

6. Beyond evolution, some of Baba Suwe’s mates did slightly better because they found themselves in the right caucuses (you can call it clique). Yea, the industry has a lot of that too. You have to belong to a caucus if you want to get called into movies. Baba Suwe used to be in the Corporate Pictures caucus with Yinka Quadri and others, I don’t know how he fell out. But other folks like Latin found a way to be involved in multiple caucuses and do a lot of movies with them till date. This reflects the power of relationships (or politics, if you like).

7. We are now in a new age of technology where opportunities abound across many digital platforms for the Gen-Zs and smart millennials. I hope that the new age actors (and career oriented people in general) can begin to learn from the issues and mistakes of the older ones. Yorubas say that the elderly one that falls into a pit serves as a lesson to others coming behind him. It is my prayer that many of the young people in the industry do not forget to constantly develop themselves to improve their art, use technology to their advantage to evolve, build good relationships, make money with their talents, and be financially intelligent to prepare for the future.

May Baba Suwe’s soul rest in peace. Amen.

PS: I intentionally left out the drug scandal because he was discharged and acquitted, and I choose not to remember him in that light.
Good morning.


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