Q : Can we meet you Sir?
A : My name is Femi Lasode, former P.M.A.N. president, music producer and a movie maker.
Q : I know that you have contributed a lot of your quota towards promoting our tradition and culture internationally. How has the journey been like so far and what has it earned you.
A : What I have earned from all of that is satisfaction. Satisfaction in the sense that there was a story I came across many many years ago when I was a child when I had an opportunity of watching a stage performance by Late Duro Ladipo on WNTV before a live audience and I did not really understand what it was all about. But when I went to the United States of America, I met with a lot of people who are Afro Americans and who were fascinated with Yoruba culture, just as they are today. They saw my name as a Yoruba descent and they started asking me a lot of questions about Yoruba mythology and story which i did not know anything about because that was not my background per say. I grew up watching movies of Aladin, Magic lamp, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet e.t.c. So, I did not know much about Yoruba mythology. I decided to investigate and I came across the Sango story which I felt was very fascinating. And I said to myself that if I had a privilege and opportunity, I will like to put it on a film so that more people will have a better idea about the story and it will educate them. So, I do not see myself as a cultural icon but a film maker and music producer. I just saw the need and opportunity to do a film on a Nigerian cultural heritage which is a Yoruba deity that a lot of people like and appreciate, that's all.
Q : If you go out there, a lot of artistes believe that you have paid your dues just like the late Duro Ladipo met some theatre practitioners on the ground before he came on board. And they are saying kudos to you for that. But aside from Sango, how much efforts have made again to document some other Nigerian historical legends on films?
A : First and foremost, I don't see that as my own responsibility. My own interest is to look for nice Yoruba history with a very good cultural philosophy of life and do a movie on it so that more people can understand and appreciate what is all about. Osun for instance, has a fascinating story attached to her. People don't know who she was but they go and worship the deity. Who was she? What was she all about? What was her essence? And that is what I find very fascinating. I find her story very interesting and I feel that one should make a movie of it. My own objective is to document our history in films. And that is my own goal.
Q : That is a beautiful goal. But before turning a movie maker, a lot of musicians have passed through your music production to be stars today. There are so many of them because the list is endless. I want to ask you sir; which do you enjoy better, is it making movies or making music?
A : First of all, the reason why of being of assistance to these artistes at all was because I had the equipments to provide for their use. My dream has always been to be a facilitator. If I did not have the equipments then, nobody would have come my way, I can assure you! They all came my way because I had the facilities for them to utilize and bring out their talents. It is not that purposely I am good star maker as it were, but my equipments were there to utilize to bring out their talents. And that is all. To summarize everything, I had the good recording equipments on ground to back up their talents.
Q : Meaning if you had your way again; would you repeat the sane thing?
A : My own point is that, it was fun and exciting to be able to do that. Where they go after using my equipments to bring out their talents is up to them. If I had my way again, I would definitely do the same thing because it is always good to be a facilitator in area of talents discovery.
Q : Talk about talent, I know that you are a musician yourself and a very good bassist. Have you been able to make use of all your talents to the best maximum of your satisfaction?
A : First of all, no one can ever use all his or her talents to the best maximum of his or her satisfaction. And I keep on saying that the best money that I have ever earned in my life till date has been from sales of properties, not from my talent. Although you can say that my talent has assisted me in looking for buyers for the sales of the properties. My talent has not really earned me an income up to that point and I will not really say that I am satisfied with it.
Read on in part two of the interview.
•BY OLALEKAN ODUNTAN Copyright: © 2015