His father, Benjamin Olaye, popularly known as BENJOF (the magic feet sensation) was the producer and presenter of the then TV program ‘Beat Wave’ then in old Bendel State (now Edo and Delta States). Now starting from where his father ended and planning to take it to the next height, Bejamin Olaye Junior is a sensation. In a over 45 minutes encounter with Newsjaunts, the actor, dancer and model who is currently on set of a Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen’s new movie ‘For The Love Of Isiuwa’ in Benin, the Edo State capital, pours out his mind to reveal many things you will love to know about him. Enjoy the interview…
Let us meet you.
I am Olaye Benjamin Junior. I am an actor, dancer and a model; in fact, I am an all-round entertainer. I’m presently teaching acting at the prestigious Benin Film Academy. I am also a resource person for some international organizations and in all I’m a versatile entertainer.
At what time did you discovered you can do all these?
I will say I was born with these because; I was born into the family of the great Benjamin Olaye. I mean the popular Benjamin Olaye from the old Bendel State who is also one of the best TV series producers in Nigeria as at that time. So, I think my gifts started from the womb.
How challenging was it stepping into your father’s shoes?
I won’t lie to you, it has not been easy. But, I think he laid a good foundation for me, he brought me up in the right way especially in this business because, he has already produced a lot of stars and models like Miss Nigeria, Miss Olympic, directors, singers and a whole lot of entertainers. There are lots of them that are so popular right now. My present boss, Ambassador Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, is also one of the persons he gave opportunities to explore and now, I’m fortunate to be a part of Lancelot’s vision of training young minds. So, I will say in all it’s been God all the way.
Did you set out to be an entertainer right from school?
They say ‘he who doesn’t plan, plans to fail’. So, I would say yes I knew what I wanted to do from day one because, I realized that I could read and write stories very well. I studied Ramson Nouah very well while I was growing up, he is my mentor in the industry. He, late Sam Loco, Peter Edochie, all inspired me in the industry. People have been calling me Ramson Nouah right from my primary school days even till now because I’m his look alike. So, I look forward to work with him.
When would you consider your breakthrough in the industry?
I’m still learning and paying my dues. I don’t want to wait for that big moment when I would say I have the fame, what i’m doing now is working for relevance to sustain my fame when I get there because I know I will get there. I don’t just want fame; I want to be a great actor. There are a lot of persons who are famous but, not great but every great person is famous. So, I’m working towards greatness and not fame.
If not entertainment what else would you have been doing?
I would have been a footballer. I love playing football and a good left footer. But my legendary late father at some point flogged football out of our body. He discouraged us from playing football because he does not want us to mix-up with the street boys but see what football has turned to now.
How would you describe your current movie location?
It’s been wonderful. You get to learn new things and it has to be everyday; working with someone like Lancelot Imasuen who is the Guvnor of Nollywood is divine. Our relationship is God’s crafted and on this set it has been an artistic exposure, a new dimension to what acting is about, new dimensions to telling a good story, to developing your inner man, new dimensions to pursuing your craft. I believed the results of this story will surely tell the efforts we are putting in it.
What are your expectations in Nollywood?
I expect Nollywood to grow more; the budgeting for movies to grow; I expect our acting to be better than just been mechanic. Talent is not enough; I think we should have workshops where veterans can teach the young ones. Let us decentralize Nollywood hubs to all the corners of Nigeria and not just Lagos State, so that we can develop young minds.
What is your unique selling point?
I think it’s my humility. Sometimes people do say my humility is annoying. It is my nature that was how I was trained.
Not yet but, I’m building a part to that already.
It’s been said most actors lose focus when married, do you share that opinion?
No, because if people like Olu Jacob and Joke Silva can do it, anyone can do it.
What do you think people don’t know about you that you want them to know?
Whao! I’m very feasible. People need to understand me beyond the screen. I might be big and larger than life on screen because that is how they want us to appear but, just jump over the fence to know me before you judge me. Read my book; I have a blank page. You can write your stories on my blank page so; get to know me by yourself.