Joseph Oluwadare Faduri popularly referred to as Fadojoe is a musician that has made his mark in Nigeria and beyond having been part of PMAN before he relocated to the US. He has serenaded many with his ‘Iyawo Olele’, ‘Opeyemi’ and ‘Life To Leave’. Fadojoe, in this interview, speaks on his new work- three movie productions and other sundry issues.
What have you been doing recently?
The new thing on my sleeves now is that I am going into movie production. I’ve made my mark in the music world having done one or two things that you’re also aware of. Now I feel so strongly that I can also impact the society through movies, and that’s why I’m currently doing three different movies simultaneously.
Why movies since you’ve already made an impact through your music?
Movies and music go together. They are both expressions of your person to the outside world. Ultimately, what are we doing with both movies and music? It’s either you want to entertain or you want to teach morals. It is the same thing. When you listen to my music, you will be able to pick one or two lessons from my music, despite the fact that they are all danceable. You will be able to dance very well. Then again, I’m actually like a prophet to the society and that is the same thing I now want to do with movies. I also want to use my movies to impact on the society positively, the way I have done and still doing in music. Two of them are actually the same thing, we have the same end result. The goal is to be able to entertain people and also to teach morals. Highly didactic, that’s what we are doing.
What about the three movies you’re shooting now?
Let me give you an inkling of what you’re to see in the movies. The first movie is surely about teaching on self expression. We have so many people in this world who have very good minds, they have good mind-sets, they have focus, they are naturally innately good, but they can’t express themselves, they are always scared; so the movie tends to put across to those concerned. It is actually a movie that focuses on love; it is a movie that will teach a lot of parents the best way to deal with kids and by extension the best way to deal with children when they are in love.
The second movie is about a house in Oyo Kingdom, called Ile Ologbon, it is an epictrado-modern story. It is taken from Odu-Ifa. There’s a town in Oyo Township, that we call Ile Ologbon. So we want to show the world the efficacy and importance of this monumental and archival house. I’m not from Oyo but when you’re someone that’s deep in the culture of where you come from, as a Yoruba then one is bound to be curious about what informed such creations like Ile Ologbon. I’ve read so much about Oyo Kingdom. I’ve read so much about Ile Ife Kingdom. I’ve read so much about my culture. But most of our children don’t even know anything about our culture, they don’t even know anything about where our forefathers came from and we can indirectly beam that into the world through our movies and music, and that’s what I intend to do. It is a story from the Ifa mythology, we are bringing it out and it is going to teach people a lot of morals.
The third movie is actually for people in the diaspora, especially those wayward guys who come back to Africa to do what the society abroad does not permit them to do. They come here, they see different women, molest them, cheat them and run back to Europe and America to meet their families leaving those women with so much emotional wound. This third movie is a caution to them. It is just a story to tell people you have got to be careful. You must be mindful of the type of bruises you leave in people’s heart. It is an imaginative work of art but then it must be something that must be seen to be real, that’s what drama is all about.
But most guys come to Nigeria to maltreat women; will that not affect our men abroad as in ladies no longer having respect for our men abroad and vice versa?
No, men do not have to respect women; which is not the culture here, but a mutual thing. It is not a situation where the relationship between a man and a woman is that of servitude, a master and a slave, no. Abroad, it is a relationship of partnership, equality. The fact that you’re a woman does not make you less human than me, you have to respect me. It is based on mutual respect. A man is expected to respect a woman and a woman is expected to respect a man. It is an equal society where men and women are meant to be partners, no rivals, friends and not servitude.
Is that what the movie is trying to put across to Nigeria women?
What the movie is trying to preach is that don’t ever feel or think you can take a woman for a ride irrespective of where you reside, either in Nigeria or abroad. Don’t think that you can do this and get away with it.
Two of your movies are actually talking about how powerful women are and how they should be respected, what really informed your take on women?
Let me explain to you, one of the key problems we have in Africa is that we don’t value the essence or contribution of our women folk. When you go abroad you will see a lot of powerful women that are contributing positively to the society. In the UK for instance, Theresa May is a woman. They are not being neglected or relegated in anyway. My movies basically are to make us see the essence of women; they are not mere sex toys. They have a place in our society today to add value and better our society. That’s the essence; women shouldn’t be seen as sex toys. They should be seen as partners in progress towards building a virile environment, environment that will be tilting towards real good society and development. And men can’t do it alone. The perception in Nigeria is that it is a man’s world, no! give the woman a chance, see them as humans, treat them respectfully, incorporate them into the system and work together to build a virile system, that’s the essence of my message in the movies.
During casting, what are the criteria you use in selecting the actors that will star in the movies?
The truth is that, apart from good story line and good location, what is very important in movie is that fact that you need to have a very good cast. Characterization is key and that’s why, with directors I pay special attention to characters, who’s going to play this role? Are they qualified? Can they deliver? And authoritatively I can tell you we have the best cast for the job. It is not really about how popular they are, it is about how good they are in what they are given to do, and that’s what we’ve been able to achieve. It is fantastic. I’m sure you will love it. We have notable actors like Jide Kosoko, Aisha Ibrahim, Ojopagogo, Liz Da Silva, Latif Oladimeji and so on. We have so many people. I can’t remember everybody now. We have different sets. We have many known people that can best interpret their respective roles.
Now that you’re going into movie production, what is going to happen to your music career?
My music career is perfect. I only came to Nigeria to shoot the three movies and one danceable music track. I’m already working on that in the studio, they are working on it and before I go back I will make sure you get a copy and listen to it.
How do you think the industry will benefit from the opportunity you are bringing in?
We have people who are very good in the industry already, they are contributing their quota and in life what you need to do is to do everything within you to also contribute your own quota in a positive way. So I’m here to also contribute my quota to the industry, to add value by bringing my wealth of experience garnered abroad, to make it play here. To do everything within me to make people see my work, I want my world view to be seen from this end. I want to penetrate the world through my world view because I think I’ve a better world view now.
How will it benefit people in the Diaspora? It shows that if you can contribute your quota abroad, why can’t you do the same at home? If you’re a medical doctor based abroad, you can also come home in any small way and contribute your quota. If you’re into agriculture and you’re based in Europe or anywhere, you can also come home and contribute your quota. Let us join hands together to be able to lift our people out of extreme poverty. Let us join hands to do everything within us to assist our people, to help our people. I’m just one person that’s committed to bringing about a change, a change in the way the people in the diaspora are being perceived and also in the type of movies I want to start doing and also through my music.
How much have you invested in these movies you’re working on?
To be sincere with you, I don’t want my movies to be like every other movie, so I’ve spent something I felt is insignificant, though not in terms of what we spend abroad on movies, but averagely, I was able to put in about N4.3m on each of the movies. An average of N4.3 to N5m per movie, making an approximate sum of N15m in all because these are actually my first movies, but when I’m doing subsequent movies I want to really invest very well.
What of your plans to give back to the society via free medical care ?
By the special grace of God before I go back to the States, I will be giving out almost 2000 medicated glasses to the people in my hometown. We will go there with opticians to test people and also give free eye glasses. That’s also another way of contributing our quota because I see myself as one of the very lucky people to stay in the US and I’ve asked myself how do I give back to my society? So the best way to do that is to look at the sector where I operate and see what I can do. I think this is about the fifth time, we’ve done about three editions in Lagos, we have moved to Ipetu Ijesha to do it, and before I go back we still have two sessions with the less privileged people. Ultimately, I’m targeting about 2500 people before I go back. And I already have the materials and they are ready for distribution.
How was the experience on your music tour like?
It is an eye opening for me. Initially, I was thinking that my music is actually domiciled in the States but I was shocked when I got to Paris and I saw the type of reception I was given. I was in the U.K, I was in Manchester, I was in Ireland. I’ve actually gone round a little bit. To God be the glory. It has been success all through. The reception I get everywhere I go pushes me to want to do more, God helping me.
How do you find time to relax?
I make sure I sleep when I’m supposed to sleep. I eat good food courtesy of my wife. I don’t really stress myself. When it is time for me to relax, I just put off my phone and sleep off. I could put off my phone for a day or two and I sleep when the body requires. It is that simple.
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