Popular Hollywood actor, Alhaji Kareem Adepoju, popularly known as Baba Wande, had declared that he was short-changed by renowned filmmaker, Tunde Kelani, over the production of the popular Yoruba film, ‘Ti Oluwa ni Ile’ that was produced in the 90s.
Speaking in an interview with BBC News Yoruba, Adepoju explained his grievances in the partnership between him and Kelani that produced the film.
Adepoju said the agreement was for him to receive 30 percent of the film’s profits, while Kelani will receive 70 percent.
However, he claimed that he was paid much less than what was initially agreed upon.
“I wrote the story and shared it with Tunde Kelani, who promised to produce it as a film. He provided the necessary equipment, while I contributed the story, costumes, and invited actors and actresses to participate,” Adepoju said.
He explained that Kelani established a production company and financed the film.
“The first earnings amounted to ₦180,000, but I only received ₦15,000. I expected to receive my fair share of 30 percent, but they claimed there were additional expenses. I wasn’t satisfied with the amount I received,” Adepoju further explained.
“Later on, they would simply instruct me to meet the accountant, so I was unaware of the exact earnings. As the film gained popularity and demands for a sequel increased, I hesitated to continue because I was dissatisfied with the compensation,” he said.
The actor expressed his frustration at his unsuccessful attempts to obtain a reasonable portion of the proceeds from Kelani, eventually giving up on his efforts.
“After traveling to Abeokuta to meet Kelani, we collaborated on writing parts two and three of the film. I knew that if we didn’t complete the film, people would blame me for starting something I couldn’t finish.
“After completing the film, I distanced myself from his activities and stopped asking for anything. He also didn’t offer me anything to this day.
“I am not inclined to deceive. Kelani has been responsible for selling the film and handling the money.
“Although people advised me to pursue legal action, I declined because we began as friends, without involving lawyers. It wouldn’t be pleasant to end up in court.
“I am grateful to God because I don’t feel cheated. God has blessed me,” he concluded.