Feranmi Oyalowo, popularly known as ‘Deolu Ariwo’ is a Nigerian actor, movie producer and a model who rose to fame after his blockbuster movies ‘Deolu Ariwo’ and ‘Akanni Ekun’ were widely accepted by movie lovers. The Abeokuta-born actor and a graduate of Pharmaceutical Technology at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun State, in this interview by FEMI OGUNTAYO talks about his personality, his career experiences as an up-and-coming actor, his love life among other issues. EXCERPTS:
You came into the limelight after you produced the movie ‘Deolu Ariwo’, tell us briefly about how acting started for you?
I have always wanted to be an actor, but my parents wanted me to be a medical doctor. So right from childhood, I started acting with my friends. When I was 17 years old, I joined an acting group called Afeez Sanya Olu Films Production which I left when I gained admission to the polytechnic. It was during my days in school that I joined a movie group – Odunlade Adekola Films Production (OAFP), owned by Odunlade Adekola. That was where my journey really started as an actor; it gave me the platform I really wanted as an actor.
What was life for you before fame?
Life was just life, I lived each day the way it came for me.
Tell us briefly about your upbringing, your growing up and educational background?
I was raised by the most beautiful woman on earth – my mother. I am from Abeokuta, Ogun State. I grew up in my uncle’s house – Moshood Kashimawo Abiola (MKO), whom I never get to meet till he died. I am a Muslim by birth, but Christian by choice because I believe we serve the same God in different ways. I studied Pharmaceutical Technology at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic and I served in Calabar, Cross River State, for my NYSC. I am planning to run another course in the university very soon though.
The character, Deolu Ariwo depicts a hooligan and one who is a pain-in-the-neck of his immediate community. Why the character and does this in any way represent your kind of person or your past?
The character in Deolu Ariwo does not represent me in any way or my past. It is just a movie that talks about how the past affects the present or the future. I was only using the movie to talk to the youths out there that there is nothing good in being a tout or a hoodlum, as it destroys the future. It has nothing to do with my personality or my past.
Who, then, is Feranmi Oyalowo (Deolu Ariwo) in person?
I am a God-fearing person, a very quiet person, a lover of God, an introvert, a lover of arts and I love peace of mind so much.
You are also a model; do you see yourself more as an actor or a model?
I see myself more as an actor than a model because I do more of acting right now, but with time, I know I will do modelling too. I see myself more as an actor because that is what brings me money right now.
How do you handle female admirers who make advances at you?
They are our mothers and they cannot be neglected or avoided. However, I have my ways of staying clear from anything that does not align with my beliefs as a Christian and I stay away from it. I know when to shut the door against that which stands against my beliefs.
Your relationship status?
I am very single (Laughs)
Tell us about your ideal woman – the kind of ladies you love?
A God-fearing woman; one who will love her mother-in-law, like her own mother, one who will love and cherish the word ‘family’, who will take care of me, my kids and my family. That is my ideal woman and she must be career-oriented, a go-getter and a lover of God.
When you were unknown in the industry, what was the most embarrassing moment you had?
It was at a movie location; I was inside the location bus because I wasn’t mobile. The production manager came and walked me out of the bus. He said and I quote: “Important people never sit down for inside bus, you dey sit down Oga, go carry bike.” I walked myself out of that bus and I cried because I felt embarrassed, I was deeply embarrassed. I trekked all the way down before I could get a bike to the next location. I can never forget; I was near tears.
Who in the Nigerian movie industry is your role model and why?
Well, my role model in the Nigerian movie industry is a fantastic actress, she is very good with her craft, she has been there for more than a decade and her contents are always meaningful, but her name is withheld for personal reasons. (Laughs)
What plans do you have to become a force to be reckoned with in the Nigerian movie industry?
God Almighty has got the plans, but I know with Him behind me, with consistency, creativity, good contents and His grace, my name has come to stay for long.
Which female Nigerian celebrity is your crush anytime and any day?
Genevive Nnaji is my female celebrity crush any time any day. She is so drama-free; she is so good at what she does. She is beautiful and intelligent, to my belief, I guess she is God-fearing too. She has been there for over a decade and she’s still very relevant.
Some words for your fans and lovers?
I really appreciate my fans and lovers out there. I appreciate them a lot for supporting my humble beginning, for believing in my craft, for accepting my contents and for cherishing my doings.
And especially, one of my movies – Akanni Ekun, which was widely accepted by the people, I appreciate the love a lot. Keep supporting me and my craft, I have a long way to go and I believe with your support, everything I dream of will definitely come my way. God bless you all.
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