Femi Afolabi is an actor and currently the CEO of Styling Global Concept, an advertising and a movie production company. In this interview with YEMISI OKUNLOLA, he speaks about his life as an actor, his passion and other sundry issues
What was your childhood like?
I had a lovely childhood. Back then my mum was a disciplinarian she was an educationist precisely, a teacher who owned a school which I attended till I moved to secondary school. But I was given so much care, support and freedom and because of my parents orientation, they made sure we developed whatever talent they noticed we had. So back then I went to a music school. I’m sure you are surprised. I’m a good singer and more. When I got to JSS 3, my parents changed my school from a private school to a public school because they wanted me to know what life was all about which was my mum’s well calculated attempt to teach we the men of the family that life was difficult. There is the good and the bad. All my brothers also went through that process but my sisters had a free ride. They attended private schools all through till university. I spent my early childhood years in Lagos with my family but my higher school days were spent in Ibadan.
What is the most significant aspect of your life growing up?
That point where I started to realise myself and my talents and knowing that this life was not a bed of roses
How did acting begin for you?
I’ve been acting since in church dramas and school theatre. Since I was a child, I decided with encouragement from my brother Segun Afolabi who is a musician to go serious when I was through with school. I eventually went to a film school in 2013 to learn filmmaking and acting even though I started acting long before then, as we always say “talent is not enough.”
Was acting the aspect of entertainment you were always inclined towards?
Not really I was more into music but eventually I’m here now.
What were the steps you took towards getting into the entertainment industry?
I put out words to friends that I knew were in the entertainment industry and affiliates but it didn’t really work until I came across Actors Guild of Nigeria(AGN) Abuja chapter and my journey started from there.
Tell me about your first movie role?
My first movie role I’ve forgotten the title but I remember that I played a two-faced guy. The son of a big man that stays in the United States and when he came back he noticed that his father was a con man. He decided to investigate his father in the process, he got killed. I can remember because I broke my wrist while trying to scale a fence.
So, when you get a movie role, and shooting is about to start, besides rehearsals that goes into the overall production, how do you prepare yourself for the role?
I become the character
What is it like for you when you get to act with big names in the industry, do you feel pressured to do a good job because of the line up of people you have to keep up with?
When I started out in the industry, I felt pressured but along the line, I got to understand the industry and I saw it as an opportunity to showcase myself and a privilege. So I put on my A game because at the end the day, your present job is a CV for the next.
What is the hardest role you have had to play so far and why was it difficult for you to portray the character?
When I played the role of a very poor orphan that had three sisters to take care of.
That must have been tough.
Not really, it was only challenging.
Who are those you look up to for inspiration as an actor both locally and internationally?
Funny enough two are my name sake Femi Branch and Femi Jacobs; Internationally, Idris Elba and Denzel Washington
Are you single or married?
If in the future your kids wanted to venture into the entertainment industry, would you support them? If you would, what would be your advice to them?
Yes I would, but I would advise them to be focused and determined because there are a lot of distractions and challenges on the way to success
What is that secret talent you have that people generally don’t even know about?
I sing and I also write poems(love poems)
So you see it/ them as things you could potentially take up as a serious career path somewhere down the road for you?
Yes especially the singing part.
Speaking of your career path, if you weren’t currently an actor, what would you be doing?
I would be in an office working for the government or probably a politician. I love politics.
Considering your style, what inspires it?
It runs in the family, we have a great sense of style in my family and I’m also a sucker for fashion, so since I was born with it I would say God.
What has been happening to your clothing line, Styling Global Concept?
My clothing line has been floating but we are at a halt for now to come back bigger and better.
Do you design your outfits yourself?
Yes I create designs by myself and pass them on to my fashion designers
Tell us more about yourself and your background.
I was born in Lagos State, Nigeria. I am the first born amongst four men and three ladies. I was brought up by both my father and mother. I attended Dupwal Children School at nursery and primary level which was a school owned and managed by my mum. I attended Sunbeam Secondary School and Community Grammar School Lagos State. I have a Higher National Diploma (HND)in Public Administration from Polytechnic Ibadan and Postgraduate Diploma(PGD) in Project Management respectively. I have spent 10-15 years working in travel and tourism business, international organisations and for the Federal Government respectively while I also was acting part-time at some point before I decided to go into it full time. I am currently the CEO of Styling Global Concept which is an advertising Company and a movie production company and also Styling Firm which is the Fashion side of the company which is my baby that I love and I’m very passionate about.
Before we call it a wrap, I would like to know, what impact would you like have on your generation?
To be a good ambassador in all ramification through my works and my actions.
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