Shooting the video for iconic singer, Sir Victor Olaiya‘s “Baby Jowo” that had phenomenal singing sensation, Tuface on it, didn’t stop at being fantastic, it was intense. From the set design, to the costumes, to the pre-shoot details to actual shooting, you could feel it, you would feel like you were there, back in time, in 1960 as the whole concept’s timing was focused on back then – the 60s.
Makeup by top Nigerian celebrity makeup artist, Lola Maja was the best kind I could imagine for a 60s look. “My mom’s eyebrows was serious”, Lola would latter comment to a friend when the topic of intense makeup back then seemed to dominate their talk.
I was particularly drawn to Kunle Afolayan‘s really calm demeanor even when actual shooting had been prolonged beyond the supposed time slated for it. It of course was Kunle‘s first musical video and even though, he had admitted to looking forward to returning back to his day job (shooting movies) he confessed he was loving the experience on this one. It was something specifically exciting for him. The “Baby Jowo” remix was played just before shooting began to get that mood activated, I had guessed. You should have seen how more than a few people (including Kunle) quickly jumped at the song, crooning and dancing, obviously enjoying themselves. Kunle would say a quick prayer aloud afterwards and then the ‘show’ was officially started.
He had the cast run their ‘silent lines’ then shooting proper began with different takes now and then. It was enjoyable until most people began to realize there was just one person missing on set – Tuface! (Dr Olaiya – as he’s mostly referred to – was said to be around, “upstairs”). “Where’s Tuface?”, Kunle had thought aloud as he picked his phone to dial the “Ihe Neme” crooner’s number. I didn’t understand how people across the street knew Tuface was going to be there. Still don’t! When I asked someone on the street where the hotel was, without betraying any emotions to show something big was going to be ‘cooking’ there later, he had asked, “When is Tuface coming?”.
Tuface eventually arrived the venue, walking as briskly and smartly as he could, straight to hop in a sit just beside Kunle Afolayan. Everyone was drawn to him and wanted to get a piece of him – everyone that is the school children who came running across the street, like one mighty army (there were so many of them!), screaming with some whispering, “Tuface, Tuface” as they seemed to swim across. If someone hadn’t stopped them and shut the gate, I’m not sure we would have had any recording for that day.
Dr. Olaiya himself had been homely as I stepped out sometime in-between the shoot to have a word with him on this outstanding work. He wouldn’t speak with me initially or “any media person for now until later”, he stated to at least help me not take it personal but when I insisted on “just a question or two”, he bulged. Even though, recognized the richness of the song in very African terms, smiling, he had objected to taking any glory for it. “The credit should go to Mike and the producers. Mine is just to come up, show my face and play my part”, he insisted. He had also said about looking forward to collaborations like this “if the public embraces it. Let’s see what the public’s reaction to it will be”, he put in. Dr Olaiya‘s likeable attitude was infectious when he replied, “And thank you for thanking me”, he offered, as we closed our talk.
The video is a master-piece and I’m certain that you look forward to it as much as we do.by