When you hear the name Pa James, what comes to mind is one of the funny characters of Papa Ajasco & Company.
Nollywood actor, Kayode Olasehinde, aka Ajirebi/Pa James speaks on his career and life as Pa James on hit family comedy show, Papa Ajasco & Company.
Read interview below:
For how long now have you been playing the role of Pa James?
Since the production started and by my calculation, that should be about 13 years now.
Does that mean no one has played that role aside you?
No one, it’s been only me. Papa Ajasco has been changed more than once. Before us, some actors had done Super Story in a big form. The first Papa Ajasco was Peter Fatomilola. After then was the TV series where Biodun Ayoyinka took over as Papa Ajasco. After him, when there was a crisis, Femi Ogunronbi took over, but thank God, the crisis has been settled and Biodun Ayoyinka is back in the fold.
During the crisis period, it was not only Biodun Ayoyinka that left even the late Mama Ajasco, Boy Alinco and Miss Pepeye also left.
It wasn’t the same case that made Pepeye leave anyways. In her own case, she got married and her husband wasn’t based in Nigeria, so she had to relocate.
What I’m driving at is that you were the only one that survived the onslaught then, how did you manage it?
It was just God. One thing in this life is that one should be patient; a saying of the old ones has it that if one is patient, one can cook a stone till it gets soft. Everything is not money, you might be offered big money, but the aftermath of it might not be too good. It’s not that I’m not money conscious, too but thank God for everything; and whatever the issues were then, it has been settled.
How did you feel when the former cast of Papa Ajasco were sent away?
There is no one I can’t work with really, but when they were not there, I felt that it would have been better if these people were around. Not that those with which we were working together were not good, they were also professionals.
On why he acts less in Yoruba movies
I do feature in some selected few. You see, our people in Yoruba movie sector seem to belong to the set of people I would refer to as “Use and Dump”. Though they didn’t do that to me, they have done it to some people. They would patronise you and offer you peanut, and the moment you demand for a higher pay, they would abandon you and by so doing, their movies are lacking in some areas. You will notice that some of the things we introduced into movies to create suspense are no longer there. They are aware, but because they don’t want to spend much, they overlook such areas. What they normally do is to call their friends to come and partake in their movies and give them something, not the correct fee. But now, this career has gone beyond giving casts transport fare alone, while they (producers) would buy cars after the production. They want to cheat us. If a producer comes to me and we agree on fees, I will feature in his movie, but no more peanuts. I have paid my dues and I have responsibilities to meet.