‘ I’ ve recorded over 500 stage plays’
By Bamidele Kolawole
A Nigerian folk artiste Kolawole Oluwafemi popularly known as Ààre Òrò has said that he has performed in over 500 stages within Nigeria since he has been singing.
Ààre Òrò while speaking with Friday Extravaganza he said that he ventured into the world of culture and entertainment in 2007 during his Secondary school days in Lagos State.
The artiste who has been singing and acting professionally for nine years said that his teacher in secondary school motivated him and mentored him into performance.
A graduate of Yoruba studies from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko revealed his challenges about being a folk singer in Nigeria since he has been singing and acting in Nigeria.
According to him, his uncle who he was leaving with in Lagos during his University days, seized the book of his chants write up believing world of creativity is a waste of time.
Ààre Òrò who hails from Iloro Ekiti in Ekiti State, said that he built himself to become a professional in dance, chants and drama.
“I was living with my uncle who sees my career in Law but I was seeing myself on stage, I was seeing myself in the world of theater.
“When I meet people who speak the indigenous Yoruba language, the spirit in me yearns to learn more. When I hear local drums, I always have the urge to sing and chant.
“This motivated me to pick Yoruba as a field, as a course to study which I never regretted.
“During my first year on campus, I met a likemind in the department, A friend turned brother, Comrade Ajibuwa Ifeoluwa, the recent National Association of Akoko Students president. We started a group, we named it Iseselagba, a group majorly designed to teach, chants in Yoruba but later metamorphosed to a Dance, Chants and Drama group.
“I became a brand on campus and outside the campus which enabled me to receive series of awards such as Most Talented Aauite, among others.
“My troupe received the best cultural troupe on campus in 2015 and I have partnered and participated in state troupe programmes.
“I was the lead chanter for Kogi council for arts and Culture in 2017, I played the role of ‘Ori’, a lead role in a stage play Ori Adimula, organised by Ondo state Ministry of Culture and Tourism to celebrate Governor Akeredolu’s one year in office.
“I have led my troupe to participate in several cultural programmes across Nigeria. We became the official troupe for the Nigerian Brand carnival. We participated in the Goldberg drum festival and we came 3rd in Ondo State.
“During my University days, I have about two lecturers from my department who believe my talent is a thorn in their flesh, seeing me doing what no one has never done, so they say ‘Eni toba se oun tenikan oseri, oju re a ri oun tenikan o riri’ and truly they showed me another part of life negatively.
“I’m a writer, a chanter, a singer, and a master of ceremony. I’m a language facilitator, I train and engage students in cultural activities.
“I bless the giver of talents, I have performed before dignitaries such as Senator Bukola Saraki, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Governor Akeredolu of Ondo State, Governor Ambode of Lagos State, Ooni of Ife, Professor Wole Soyinka and Baba Peter Fatomilola to mention but few,” he explained.
According to him, Yoruba language and culture is going into extinction, the incoming generation will pay huge amount of money to learn the language from the foreigners, saying that he has been busy recruiting and impacting a generation that will stand the test of time at this period.
He noted that he can rely on the job for a living, stating that it is a cool field that has few practitioners, especially the educated, saying he has been able to visit about 15 States since being into this profession.
He urged upcoming artistes to keep striving, get education, saying when education meets talents, it will open doors.