YEMI Blaq is not one the run of the mill actors nor is an actor one that courts media or public attention at the easiest opportunity. This Ondo indigene shies away from public attention and strives to live a life devoid of fame or fanfare.
In a rare chat, Blaq explains why he is not the regular actor. “My aims and vision were just to be a good actor. To be good at what I do to be recognised for it, to be able to do the job for a long time, I love the fact that acting gives me the chance to live many lifetimes in one so for me, that was basically all.
“Not for the fame nor really for the money, I mean it’s good to make a living out of it but I wasn’t focused on just doing it because I want to be famous. Quite contrary to what one would expect as an actor, I’m not one that seeks fame that much, fame is not something that I’m comfortable with, I like to be anonymous, I’m a simple person and for me, it’s just to get the job done, what I love doing,” he told The Nation as the chat commenced.
Quite witty with a sharp mind, Blaq says he began acting professionally with a focus of being true to himself till the public recognises his God-given talent.
“I think it’s important to keep on being yourself and being true to yourself so over the years people will see that and respond to it. So for me, coming into the industry, I didn’t come on the strength of hype, I came on the strength of my God-given talent and that is what I’ve used so far and in the confidence that is also reposed by the public who consume the product of my talent.”
Blaq has been nominated for several movie awards and has won quite a number with the biggest being Best Actor in a Leading Role at the AMVCA for his role in the film, My Idol and Best Kiss in a movie at the BON awards for his role in Obsession. He says the yearn to act has always been in him when he was much younger. “For me, acting has always been it. Since I was young, I have always had the flair for acting, telling stories in a more dramatic way and always been in the midst of art and artistic impressions, so for me, it’s always what I love doing since I was a kid and I didn’t even have to think about it, it was not a conscious effort, I just knew I was going to be an actor and that was the path that I always towed.”
When asked if he saw himself in the position he occupies as one of the talented actors in Nollywood, the husky-voiced actor says he didn’t set out to be in a position but rather to be an actor and darn good one at that.
He says, “Well, I wasn’t looking for a position when I started, I wasn’t looking to be in a position, I just wanted to be an actor and I wanted to be a good one so my focus primarily is to be able to represent myself to the best of my abilities and have the confidence to step up when names of real actors are mentioned and that is what I’ve concentrated on so whatever comes after that has been an addition and for which I appreciate God for.”
Unknown to many, Blaq is a singer and rapper. Though he rarely displays the attributes, he says he just wants to do what he loves doing and does it without attention if possible.
A registered member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Blaq reels out a list of film directors he has worked with and those he hopes to work within the nearest future. “There’s virtually no director that I wanted to work with that I haven’t worked with but having seen Ramsey’s work, it wouldn’t be a bad idea working with him. I loved working with Sneeze (Moses Inwang), I’d love to work with Izu Ojukwu again because of the work he does. Akin Omotosho, we haven’t worked together, so it would be nice working with him and Tope Oshin, we haven’t worked together, so it would be nice working with her. And then of course my dear friend, Biodun Stephens, it would be amazing to work with her.”
Like every individual and film practitioner, the accomplished actor says he had planned to work on some four personal projects in 2020 but was stopped by COVID-19.
“2020 started on a certain level. I wanted to embark on some projects and do my stuff. I had four projects lined up but once COVID started, I thought it was just going to be for two weeks but it’s been dragging on and on so basically, I’ve been trying to fine-tune my plans and be able to execute them before the end of the year,” he says.