Yemi Blaq is a popular Nollywood actor who won the maiden edition of Celebrity Takes 2. Since then, Yemi has evolved; he has become one of the most sought after Actors in Nigeria. In this chat with Nollywood Post, he talks about life after becoming a Star, and his other love, music.
Let’s take it from the beginning. How did Yemi Blaq get into acting?
I just always liked to tell stories, and to sing and perform. It started in primary school, when I was on a production of The incorruptible Judge, though I had a minor part. It continued in secondary school. When other students were excited about Jet Club, Rotary Club and all those other ones, I was more interested in the Drama Society.
In the school I was in, not so many people seemed to want to join the Drama Society. In a short period, even though I was in form one, I became the captain of the drama team. So that’s it. In 1981, I went on to represent my state. There was a secondary school theatre thing so we went there. I have always wanted to be an actor.
How did you get yourself into Nollywood?
I think it was 2003. I heard about a movie that was being shot, so I went for the audition. When I got to the audition venue someone called me and was like “Hey, Steve”. Shortly afterwards, another person came and was like, “Oh, Steve what’s up?” and I was really confused, like what’s going on? Why are they calling me a name that’s not mine? Apparently, I looked so much like a character in the script. That was the character I was given to play.
It was an interesting experience because I had also started seeing the art. So it was just an interesting episode to see the world not just from the stage but in the world of film. I did feel like a dog in water, though.
In 2005, I moved to Lagos to pursue this acting career full time. Initially it was difficult, but I know that I’m talented [I’m not being arrogant]. It’s like when you say that my name is Yemi. It’s just what it is.
Yemi, let’s say you weren’t an actor, what other thing would you have been doing?
I would have been a singer. Yeah. I would either be a singer or a poet. And I am still exploring all these things, I am still writing songs and Poetry.
We’d love to hear your song one of these days
Oh yeah, I’ve been trying to put something out but COVID-19 and lockdown came and scattered the whole year. So we are looking at next year.
Do you to play any musical instruments?
Yeah, the conga and the Harmonica
Oh that’s so nice. So nice. Okay let’s talk about Yemi Blaq at home…
Outside of acting and the glitz and glam, Yemi Blaq is a very simple person. who doesn’t even like to go out that much. He’s comfortable with being at home all day. Comfortable with reading a book, seeing a movie. I am just a home person you know. Not much of a party goer. I like to wear my shorts and shirt. If people would allow me, I would just wear it all the time.
I have a small Toyota Corolla that I really like, it’s very efficient, very economical. It’s not flashy, so armed robbers are not going to attack me. And that is what I’d like to drive all the time. So just a simple life, really. If I had my way, this is what I would do all day, everyday. Simplicity makes everything better. You don’t have to pretend, or try hard. You don’t have to get into debt trying to satisfy the people who don’t know you. Just be you. Live for yourself and for your family and be happy. Try to affect humanity in a positive way.
Any word for the Nigerian youth?
Well, we have to realize people have now moved from being quiet and longsuffering to demanding for their rights, for justice. It can only get better from here. So I think so far, it’s all good. Let’s go back, strategize and know that the foundation has been set for this generation and the revolution is not a one time thing. Right now there are sparks that are being ignited in young people’s minds that would lead to the configuration of a new Nigeria.
So what has life taught Yemi Blaq?
Life has taught me that it’s very important to realize that what you put out is what you get. At the end of the day, you cannot be a nasty person and expect to live a great life. Whatever you put out, you get back, whatever you sow, you reap. So always remember that, and it would be easier to follow whatever religion you are in. The religions always teach you to do good. So just know that you get what you give. If you are a good person, good things will happen to you and if you are a bad person, trust me you can’t escape it. It’s quite simple
Are you directing or producing anything at the moment?
I am not producing at the moment. I have thought about it and it’s something that I would do in the future. It’s not an immediate thing for me, especially looking at the industry at the moment. There is a lot going on. It would be wise for everyone to take their time. People are going on YouTube and are making the waves and I see all that but It’s not top priority at the moment. It’s not something that I would just venture into. I like the fact that I am an actor. I like what I do and I’m good at it. And if we meet in a place like America, or Hollywood where things go better than this, trust me, I would just be an actor and I’ll stick to it.
Let’s talk about your fashion sense. You talked about wearing shorts on a normal day at home. If you were going to hang out with your wife, maybe on a Saturday, what would you wear?
Well, perhaps jeans, or native trousers with a plain shirt, but mostly jeans and T-shirt. As simple as possible, trust me. The more simple the better. In fact sometimes, I beg to wear my shorts and T-shirt like I told you. If it’s not a formal place where I know I have to dress officially, I would gladly wear a jeans or shorts and a T-shirt and be free and not worry about all that. I don’t really dress up.
What if you have an all expense paid trip to a country or to a place of your choice, where would you love to go to?
Oh well, I would go to Europe because Europe has a lot of history and culture.