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“Why I Have 18 Children”; Veteran Actor ‘Oga Bello’


Yoruba veteran actor, Adebayo Salami, popularly called Oga Bello, has talked about reasons why he has 18 children. In an interview, the actor who has been acting for 52 years, talked about his reaction to his son Femi Adebayo’s marriage and other personal issues.

Read excerpts below:

You have 18 children; will you encourage the younger ones to have such figure?

I will not. The fact that I have many children is by destiny, because I did not plan for it. It happened when stardom came and there was nothing I could do.

Female fans were all over me and one way or the other, they wanted to attach themselves to me. I was just doing it. Now, I believe it is my destiny, because God gave me all I needed to use to train them. But not everyone would have the grace or opportunity like Bello.

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So, I will not advise anyone to have many children. Apart from the present harsh situation of the economy, I will not even advise anyone to marry two wives. If I had my way, I would have loved to have a smaller family. But it is my destiny, like I said earlier. Why has it become extremely hard for celebrities to stay in marriage? It is possible that the couples are incompatible, when you look at things well.

If two actors get married, it is always hard. As an actor, female fans always love to be around the husband, but most women cannot tolerate that for too long. If the celebrity wife cannot control herself too, she could go astray.


How did you react when your son, Femi, told you about getting married a second time?

We have been looking forward to that. When his first wife left eight years ago, he did not want to marry anymore. But at his age, it is not good for him to be alone for the rest of his life. I really was disturbed.
We kept on searching, hoping he gives marriage another chance, until he brought his new wife to us. I am happy he eventually did.
Your children are already living your legacies; how does this make you feel?

I thank God because such grace is uncommon. Coming into acting, I did not think that any of my children would take after me, not to talk of it happening while I am still alive.


Why don’t you feature in English movies?

They do not invite me and I cannot lobby for it. Maybe they feel that my spoken English is not up to standard; I do not know honestly. But the fact is that I would give Yoruba movie more priority than English movies, because I like to promote my culture. My culture is who I am and where I belong to.

But anytime I get invitations, I am ready. For me, acting is acting; the only difference is the medium of expression. If they invite me, I would surprise them. I have done more than eight English movies in the past.