Victor Oyebode describes himself as an all-round entertainer. Popular as ‘Boy Alinco’ in the television series Baba Ajasco, he speaks, about his career, the misgiving that he is forbidden from acting in other movies, life outside Boy Alinco and more. Friday Treat brings excerpts:
Boy Alinco is an age-long character. What crossed your mind when you auditioned for the role?
First of all, I have been this Alinco guy from way back when I was young. So, people used to call me Alinco, but when I auditioned for Boy Alinco, I didn’t know that was what I was going to do until when I heard that we were auditioning for Boy Alinco. It dawned on me that I was going to learn how to do the rigmarole, the backward thing that the character is known for. I was worried, I wondered if I was not going to slip. I tried the first time and almost fell, but as time went on, I got into the character. It was really a big challenge. To get my own fans from what the former Boy Alinco (Bayo Bankole) had wasn’t easy, but as time went on, I was able to fit into the shoes. Here I am as Boy Alinco, 14 years and still counting.
The Boy Alinco character seems to come naturally to you, why is this so?
I brought in the cartoon freak because I am a cartoon freak. If you watch closely, Alinco is this cartoon person. So, it wasn’t too hard for me to metamorphose into my cartoon world while playing my Boy Alinco character. So, it was easy. Nothing was so challenging asides the script that I have to adhere to.
Your face is not one that is seen regularly in movies. Is this because the Boy Alinco role is tasking?
Our producers are usually choosy. Most independent producers want to have a clean slate; they don’t want to hijack somebody else’s character in their own film. What is so annoying is that they don’t confirm from the artiste if they have a contract with the original producer that makes him not to be able to act anywhere. The insinuation that I can’t act for any other producer is not true. I have acted in several other movies, but you know producers until they are ready to market or air it, you won’t see it. Really, I have done some cinema jobs too; some are still coming on the way, I have done a lot of jobs. I have been on set with Gregory Odutayo. Some of the movies are ‘My Mum and I’, ‘Bella’s Place’ and other movies. So, it is not that I am tied to Papa Ajasco, but one thing is that I can’t do Boy Alinco elsewhere. That is the only clause there, I can’t wear my ring, I can’t wear all the blings, I can’t do my rigmarole on another set, but I can be someone else on your set. So, to every producer, I am a total actor. Call me, and I will deliver for you.
Did you always know that acting was the thing for you?
Yes. All my life, I have been an entertainer. When I finished school in 1999, and I got admitted to Olabisi Onabanjo University, I went for Mass Communication. I have worked with some television stations, and I have been a photo journalist. I have also worked for some newspaper organisations. S I am a full entertainer. I know my life is. If I had not not an entertainer, I would have been a presenter and if not, I would have been a model. Everything around me is entertainment including cooking. I am a good chef.
You are a model, dancer, singer and a chef. What are you more comfortable doing?
It is very hard to choose because even in my acting I sing; in my acting, I dance. So, even when I act, there are some cooking scenes that I do. Even when I cook for my family, I act. So, they are kind of interwoven, but I think I like acting more because I get to do everything.
Has there been a script that you have turned down?
There has never been any role because my character as Victor is free-minded, jovial; I won’t say a womaniser, but if you say so. So, producers cast me as a family man. I am romantic, I have girlfriends out here. So, when I see the script, I just laugh and go into the show. So, it is fun for me.
What has been your most memorable experience?
That was the day I was embarrassed by a lady at the mall. Can you imagine? You know that people believe that as a Nigerian actor you have all the figures in your account, it’s a lie. I went to the mall to do a little shopping and I ran out of cash. The girl just came and said almighty Alinco, get me something, and people started gathering. And I don’t like the spotlight. People started looking at me with some saying I could not pay for her. Though they didn’t say it out, I was reading their eyes and lips. It was really embarrassing, but I used jokes to get out from there into my car and drove out of the place. That was really embarrassing for me.
Let’s talk personally now. Who is Victor outside Boy Alinco?
I am this reserved person. I have a dual personality. If you see me at home, you won’t know that it is me. I am this reserved daddish person. I am a hundred per cent homely. I don’t really go out like that. I don’t club, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I am mostly at home. I don’t even go to eateries. I am this total man at home. So, there is this big difference between Boy Alinco and Victor. I am a good lover of children too.
You lived with your stepmother while growing up. What was the experience like?
When I was with my stepmother, it’s always the quiet me, but when I am out, I am free. I am off my case. So, I do extraordinary things to make myself happy and to make my people happy too. The experience shaped me; it made me keep my head straight in everything I do. I don’t gallivant; I don’t know how to spend lavishly. My stepmother would give you food and use the other hand to smoothen it so that there is no plus. Even when she gives you sugar, she will make sure she scrapes the extra. All of these things shaped my life. When I eat in eateries, I eat all of the food before I eat meat. People often ask me who I am reserving the meat for. It’s just being who I am. Then, you dared not eat your meat until you finished your food. That was who I was and I still live that life.