Baaj Adebule: My outfit should portray me as African
Bandele Adetolu Adebule, popularly known as Baaj, is an actor, writer, filmmaker, model and TV host.
Born and bred in Lagos, the native of Ijebu Ode, in Ogun State, attended Seat of Wisdom Primary School and Caleb Secondary School. He is a graduate of Economics from the Covenant University, Ogun State.
Since 2012, Baaj has featured in films and TV series such as Hush, The Men’s Club, Payday, Zena, Uncloaked, The Governor, A Soldier’s Story and The Moles. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, he shares his experiences in acting and his passion for showbiz, among others.
Share with us you’re going into acting?
Acting is actually something I’ve always been interested in. I have been a ‘cartoonaphiliac’, movie and TV show enthusiast. And so when I finally got to the age where you have to actually start earning money, having a career, I started exploring different avenues, different job opportunities in different career choices to find which one I feel is more connected to my soul. I tried a couple of things; I did a little bit of engineering, accounting and TV presenting. I got a small role on a TV series called Tinsel, with three scenes and it launched me into taking up a career in acting and filmmaking.
You have featured in more TV series. Do you consider them your comfort zone above feature films?
I starred in a couple of TV series. That was where my career began, but I have been lucky to finally make a good transition into feature films as well. At the time, the reason I was more in TV series was that people actually held auditions for TV series more than they did for feature films. The TV series is usually more open to unknown upcoming actors because they do a lot of general auditions, which I always went for at the time just to get the opportunity to work. That was how it started for me and with more work and opportunities I got, people began to see what I was capable of doing.
In your almost a decade in the movie industry, you have evolved so well. What prepared you and how are you able to maintain this standard for yourself?
The most straightforward answer is to just make sure you keep improving and keep educating yourself on the craft. Like I said before, I’m a huge movie buff so I watch a lot of things from movies, TV series and cartoons from around the world. I also have a detailed archive of different acting master classes from different acting tutors and veteran actors. I make sure I go through them from time to time when I’m working on a project or just to refresh myself. When I was starting out, that was much my school.
What challenges have you encountered so far?
I think the major challenge for anyone, actors especially, is not getting the right opportunities or the best opportunities. It doesn’t matter how great an actor you are, if you are not given the chance to actually show what you can do, it doesn’t make any difference. You’ve worked on yourself, you put yourself through a lot of personal training and worked on a lot of monologues that you’ve rehearsed with different scripts that you downloaded from the Internet and you spend time just working on yourself, which is very important. Still, you need the right opportunity, a very good script, a great director, a good crew and a magnificent cast. It is also important for the film to be shown on platforms where people would get to see it.
What new project are you working on and what should we be expecting from you?
We are currently filming a new season of Men’s Club and I really can’t wait for everyone to see it. I was privileged enough to read the script, I was cracking up, being emotional, being upset and being happy. It was a roller coaster of emotions kind of script and just being a part of such a project is so exhilarating, so exciting. I also have a couple of movies coming up soon, both in the cinemas and on Netflix. They are absolutely amazing. From the filmmaking side, I will soon release my debut feature film, ‘Come with me’, written and directed by myself, co-written by Michael Osugi and it’s been a long journey. But finally, we’ve put everything in place and it should be debuting soon. It’s a crime thriller and it’s filled with so many twists and turns of emotions and very important social commentary.
What does fashion mean to you?
There is a saying that how you dress is the way you would be addressed. I believe that as well. My style of fashion is unique and classy. I like to wear very nice clothes, very nice colours, very nice designs, but I’m always very particular about looking very respectful and very mature. It emanates my person.
What is your favourite outfit?
My favourite outfit should have a strong element of being an African.
What is your favourite local dish?
I’m a huge fan of pounded yam, with Egusi or Oha soup to go with it. I also love Ewa Aganyin. I have been eating this since I was born.
What key lessons have you gained so far?
Understanding that all the power you have is working on yourself and your craft; when you go for an audition or get a role, you do your best. Anything that happens outside of that is not your fault, it’s not up to you and you should just take it as it comes because that’s all life is. Luck means preparation meeting opportunity. If you don’t focus on preparing yourself when the opportunity comes – which is going to come from outside – it will seem like you’re not lucky or blessed, but that’s because you’re not focusing on things you can actually control. So, focus on what you can control, what’s within your grasp and put yourself out there in the most positive way and let it go.
Describe Baaj in three words
Enigmatic, calm and responsible. I have been told that this is how I am viewed.
What is your philosophy of life?
My philosophy of life is focusing on living a life filled with love, understanding and kindness. Making sure you are holding yourself accountable, constantly looking inwards on how you can be a better person and also trying to help society become a better one.