Sunday, 10 August 2014

Bella Adenuga’s cinematographer’s exclusive (Part 2) HOW DAD DISOWNED ME @ 11---Celebrity Cinematographer, Gboya + Shares the biggest rule of success in Cinematography …Says “I do only high profile jobs”


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Gboya with lovely wife, Toyin (Nee Kuti)
In this concluding part of our super exclusive encounter with celebrity cinematographer Gboya Soji Frank in Lagos, the well travelled film maker told us the story of how his father’s action towards him as a young lad of about 11 years pushed him to the outside world where he learnt and grew fast.
He equally shared a bit of his romance life with us and how he met his wife at the Redeemed Christian Church of God and what makes her exceptional among other women that have come across his life. Gboya also told us candidly how young people can achieve success in their endeavors and what it takes to equally sustain success. It was one lifetime sort of coaching for the feeble minded ones only on your African Number one celebrity encounter blog asabeafrika. Enjoy!
Gboya at the Beach
Gboya the man
How I met my wife
We asked Gboya to tell us more about his wife and family and this is how he began “My wife is  Lagosian and I met her here in Lagos in 2002 during one of my homecoming trips to Nigeria. I came to Lagos for some important projects and you know I grew up in the white garment church setting (Celestial Church of Christ) and I think somehow people believe we from that background are the most talented people and I agree we are indeed talented. So, since I am into video production I was contacted by a particular Redeemed Church then, of course I do the same thing in my local church but nobody appreciate it but when I did the same thing for this Redeem Church as at then, 2002, they gave me N2000 and to me it was a big cash. It was like big boy in town and that kind of got me stuck to that church. And they have an engineer in that church that comes whenever he likes. 
Gboya Communicating with his Camera
Gboya with Rave of the moment Yoruba Star Rapper, Olamide

On this particular day this engineer was away as usual and  two ladies approached me and said ‘brother, since you understand one thing about engineering and about the sound system,  could you be coming around not just to be doing your video alone but to also operate this engine and all that. And my wife happens to be one of those girls that actually approached me but my eyes was never on her, I was more interested in the other girl. I was looking at the other lady really, I was eyeing her and I approached her and she was like ‘you? How much do you have in your account? And like the Yoruba adage says “Ta’a ba rigun, ao fo’obe jebo” I just switched to the second girl, that is my wife and I said ‘hey, I love you’. And she was like ‘I have never dated anybody in my life, what do you mean by you love me, just tell me your mission’ and I told her straight away, “I want to marry you”, I said it to her in 2002 and I got married to her in 2009. Her name is Oluwatoyin Rasheedat Kuti she is a Lagosian; a Muslim converted to Christian. Today we are happily married with a beautiful daughter”.
“As an entrepreneur you must think out of the box. We have several laws in cinematography. Our last law in cinematography is “Brake the Rule”. But the laws and the rules have stages. The first stage is “know the rule”, the second stage is “Master the Rule” and the last stage is “Brake the Rule”… the last law is ‘break the rule’ that is the law I work with. But mind you, don’t break the rule when you have not known and mastered it. Know it, master it and break it”.
Why my wife is special to me
 We asked the celebrity cinematographer to define his wife and he went thus “Like one of my friends will say, that is Kayode Aderibigbe, he will say my wife is not quite, she is silent. And she never for once gave me any problem; I just saw someone as calm as a dove. With my kind of work, I mean a creative mind is a mad house of ideas; we are eccentric in most cases. In fact people see you as not normal; so, it takes someone who is calm to bind with our kind otherwise there will be crisis. And that I saw in my wife which really balances my personality.  She is the kind that if she is here now you won’t hear her say a word till we leave here. But when we get home, she will tell me, ‘ah, you made a mistake here, you made a mistake there or don’t you see the way that woman was dancing? In fact my wife taught me how to dance Azonto and so many Nigeria dance steps yet you will never see her say a word or dance outside. She is very quite, cool, calm and collected. She studies things and addresses them accurately”.
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Gboya with Veteran DJ Jimmy Jatt
Why I have celebrities as clients
 On his relationship with so many celebrities who swell his client list, Gboya goes philosophical “There is a particular verse in the Bible that says a man’s talent will make a way for him and that a man that is diligent in his job will sit before kings and not before ordinary men”; the first thing that stands me out is creativity. As an entrepreneur you must think out of the box. We have several laws in cinematography. Our last law in cinematography is “Brake the Rule”. But the laws and the rules have stages. The first stage is “know the rule”, the second stage is “Master the Rule” and the last stage is “Brake the Rule”. So, who says you must put your camera straight at someone and just record them the normal stand straight manner?, who says that? Who says you must have your wedding on a Saturday? Who says you can’t do something in a new way? So the last law is ‘break the rule’ that is the law I work with. But mind you, don’t break the rule when you have not known and mastered it. Know it, master it and break it. Someone like Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati can afford to break the rule; if someone like Abati makes a grammatical blunder or someone like Seye Kehinde or someone like Dele Momodu of this world, we see it as an effect, we will say “Ara lo fida’a on dara ni. O mo nkan to se. O mo’omo n dara ni” (He knows what he is doing, it is not a mistake) why? Because they know the rule, they have mastered the rule and now they are breaking it. They can do what they like with it. So, first thing is know it, this is it, master it then do whatever you like with it. But if a leaner or a baby journalist records a grammatical blunder, people will say “Orie o tepe, ki lon ko? O o lo wo nkan tonko” (What do you think you are doing etc?)
Gboya having his super aboard a flight to Los Angeles
Gboya on picnic
What Nigeria does to me outside borders
Telling Gboya to tell you the country that catches his fancy most among the countries of the world he has visited is like telling a kid to recite an old poem “I can never forget Paris. Ooh, you need to be there. You need to be there to see and feel what I mean” he says with all sense of sincerity before he revealed his many lessons about the image of Nigeria outside our borders. “Another funny thing I learnt from my traveling in the last twelve years is that our image abroad has been so dented and we need to revive it. But whenever I travel, I am always a proud Nigerian. I have about four passports (Of other countries) and I have work permits that also look like a passport but when I am travelling I put those work permits in my bag; I have about three of them but I always chose to flag my green passport. Wherever I go to I say ‘I am a Nigerian and at times they still delay me’. Even when I say I am a journalist, they still delay me at the airport, they still behave funny but I remain a proud Nigerian anytime any day. 
Gboya is also good on base guitar for leisure

Something happened in 2008, I was going for a study in Mexico and there was no Mexican embassy in Nigeria at the time. The only two Mexican embassies we had in Africa, one is in South Africa, one is in Morocco and I was supposed to get my visa from the one in Morocco because I wanted to see what is happening in Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and that side of Africa. So, I tried to use Morocco as a gateway; I applied for a Moroccan visa and it took them three months to grant my visa, I mean Morocco, just Morocco an African country. They didn’t even ascent to my visa until the foreign body I was working for in Geneva, Switzerland intervened. There is this organization I send pictures to and they intervened by calling them here in Nigeria saying ‘what is wrong with you?, do you know who you are denying a visa? And that was when action was taken and even when I got to Morocco, you need to see what is happening to Nigerians there. 
Gboya in a relaxed mood
Gboya Soji Frank

Because when I travel to any foreign country the first assignment on the second day is to first of all look for where our embassy is located and to go and tell them ‘hello, a Nigerian is in this country; and I came into this country legally and I will be leaving legally’. Any country that I don’t have a resident permit or the right to stay for long, I don’t stay. So, when I visited Nigerian embassy in Morocco, some two Benin guys came to the embassy for something and when we approached the security guy who is a Moroccan he drove us like a dog, he asked us to go away. And I had to beg him to just give me a pen and a sheet of paper to write something. And I wrote there that ‘My name is Gboya Soji, I am a journalist from Nigeria, I am in Morocco’ and I gave him to go and give the Ambassador. And he took the message to him and when he (Ambassador) saw it, he came out himself to welcome me and he deeply apologized. He said it was the habit of Nigerians to come there everyday to beg for food and all sort of help. He said a lot that made me so shock. 
Gboya in France
Gboya on picnic

And one of the things that really marveled me, I was to pick my Mexican visa in Morocco and when I went to the Mexican embassy in that country to tell them that I am travelling to Mexico, they told me that I will have to go and book appointment; that I cant just come and pick a visa. So, I thought it was the usual Nigerian style that you will have to wait till thy kingdom come before they issue you your visa. But lo and behold I was shocked when the lady told me I can book my appointment there and then and come for the appointment the next day. I booked my appointment that same day and I went back for the appointment the following day and the lady said since I wanted to go and study there I will need a residence permit; that same day I got a residence permit for 5 years; multiple entry in just one day. Just a day and I got a five years visa for my journey. And these are the same embassies you apply for in Nigeria and it takes you forever to get things done. In fact it marvels me that people even go out in churches to say ‘praise the Lord, I have been believing God for an American visa, aah, won ti fun mi Oluwa o seun’ and people will stand up and shout and start jumping; and even pastors will be saying ‘Oh, raise up your passports’ my brother, these are basic things. If this country is great, nobody will be seeking to go abroad and sit down. Nobody will waste his time looking for one visa and queuing up at embassies for some minors”.
Gboya in Madrid with some white admirers
Gboya with a female fan on picnic
Why I don’t like remembering Dad
 Gboya who hail from a family of all 4 boys in Ondo state, South West Nigeria and the third in line changed his mood when we told him to tell us something about his father; his countenance did not only changed but his mood fired up a different expression and this is how he expresses it “I am sorry I don’t like talking about my dad, I don’t like him. He sent me out of the house at age of eleven. He said I don’t look like him. That he is not sure he is my father and for that reason I decided to find my path in life so early and that is why I will want you to change the topic and let’s not talk about him in this interview”
Gboya on a foreign trip
Gboya with his article of trade
As if trying to change his mood in a jiffy, we asked the celebrity cinematographer to talk about mum and you could instantly see the light of enthusiasm that glowed over his face “Oh my mum? Kudos to her, kudos for her, her name is Beatrice Tileola, she is from Ilaje-Ese-Odo, from Apoi in Ondo state. She is alive, the house she lived in I built it. I built a house for her in Ketu here in Lagos. I love her because she is my pillar of support after God. She is the best mother in the world and I am very proud of her”  On how soon he is settling down in Nigeria, Gboya said he lives 60% of his time in Nigeria and 40% travelling around the world “I am actually based in Nigeria really but I tour a lot. Let me say 60% of my time is spent in Nigeria while 30% percent is used travelling around the world, working and studying and 10% percent with my family”.
Gboya's lovely daughter Ademide
Golden advise for Nigerian Youth
 Rounding up the chat, Gboya gave his piece of advice on success to Nigerian youths. Hear the celebrity cinematographer who took his source of inspiration from his own experience “First and foremost, money is not everything. Money is not everything; if you have a talent, if you know you are good at something and you really want to charge ten million for that thing and you want to convince people that you can really do it, do it for free first. If you tell me you are a good journalist, you can write, if you tell me you are a good photographer and for people to believe in you that you are a good photographer, do one or two free jobs. Do free jobs, from that free job I can bet you when people see the value you have given for free, you won’t need to tell them to pay premium for it. I shot Bella Adenuga’s wedding and I was the only videographer there. I have shot many high profile events and I can tell you right now that I only do high profile events. I do just high profile events and the reason is simple, I have done this free in the past so if I am charging premium for it now, there is a reason for it”.
Gboya with Inyanya
Gboya with late highlife maestro Fatai Rolling Dollars
Gboya with late Yoruba Rap star, Dagrin

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