INTERVIEW: My first salary of N130 was earned in Ilorin – Saheed Balogun

Saheed Balogun is a veteran actor well known in Nollywood for his versatile roles in Yoruba movies. He also acts in English movies too. Currently, he’s President, Golden Movie Ambassadors of Nigeria; a body that believes in rebuilding, restructuring and re-branding the movie industry. He spoke with Sunday Sun recently about his firsts. Excerpts:

Your first movie?

That was in 1989 in Kwara State and titled Ori Apere. My first TV national soap opera was Winds of Destiny on NTA. I played Mallam Vodca  in it . My first radio program was on Radio Kwara as Mallam Sule Metoya, a comedian. My first television appearance was in 1978 in NTV kiddies program. I was the first producer in the history of Africa to do the true cast movie, the Ankara movie and the three cast in West Africa.

First day on stage, did you panic?

I was just doing my thing. No stage fright at all. But the following day, I asked people how it was and how I performed.

First salary?

I earned it in Ilorin and in 1989 at the Kwara State Council for Arts and Culture. It was N130 and I felt cool that day. I left primary school in 1978 to go back to secondary school in 1985. Just imagine that stretch. Fausat Balogun was the first to tell me to go back to school.

First car?

It was a BMW. That was what I bought with my money. That was like 15 or 17 years ago. I dashed the car to a friend who said he would give me something. I couldn’t face him to ask for the car again, because he assisted me a lot. He has done more than a car for me. Subsequently, I bought Honda Accord.

First pet?

I don’t have.

First trip abroad?

I’m sorry to say this; a person who went to Cotonou went abroad too. My first trip abroad was to Cotonou. But if you want to package it, my first trip was to London. I was shocked at the trip because I went with the likes of Ramsey Nouah. I felt I just had to sit down and watch others. But when they called my name, the hall was vibrating and I was like is it real? That was in 2002.

First girlfriend?

It was in secondary school and we called her Bose but she’s from Ebiraland. She taught me how to speak Ebira language. You know that kind of boyfriend and girlfriend. It’s more of picture and letter. Not the kind of things they do these days that result in teenage pregnancies. We were all in Ilorin then. But don’t forget, I left primary school in 1978 and started secondary school later in 1985. Look at that long stretch. I was much older in secondary school. Even in Form 1, I was the president of music and dramatic society. It was like a star coming to school when I got to secondary school.

First designer outfit?

I can’t mention the name. That’s a free advert for them. My consultant would fight me. But in those days, it was bj trousers, stretch jeans, and bj hairstyles. These were designers in those days.

First kiss?

I don’t remember. But I’m not a fan of kissing. My pikin must not pick my brain in that regard.