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Why I Chose To Premiere 3 Movies At A Time – Movie Producer, Princess TEJU

PRINCESS Bukola Adeteju Agunlejika is a multi-talented filmmaker. She is an actress and producer. She produces and supplies content to TV stations. The native of Osun State has been in the movie industry for 30 years. She has acted in and produced quite a number of movies. She recently shot 3 movies at a time; ‘Somori Ologi’, ‘Igbehin Adun’ and ‘Drowning Soul’. Drowning Soul is 90 per cent English and just 10 per cent Yoruba. Come August 7, 2022, these movies would be premiered at the Presken Hotel in Shonibare Estate, Maryland, Lagos.

Recently, Princess Teju had an interview with City People Publisher, Seye Kehinde and his reporter, Jamiu Abubakar. She spoke about her formative years in the industry and why she chose to release 3 movies this time around. Read and enjoy!


Why did you decide to produce 3 movies at a time?

I just feel like doing things differently. These days, you just want something different and so I decided to tweak it a little.

How challenging is working on 3 movies at a time?

It is not easy; finances, crowd, crew issues, artist issues, time, location and all that but to God be the glory, everything worked out.

Tell us how you acquired your acting and production skills.

I started with acting first. I joined the industry in 1992 as an apprentice. Late Bolaji Salami (Lukuluku Bantashi) was my boss then. I joined them at Meiran. Through him, I started learning this acting thing. After I graduated from him, in 1994, I joined another boss, the late Yemi Shomoye, we call him “Mesh”. He then advised me that if you want to be more successful, you have to learn more. He now taught me how to produce; he taught me how to do make-up, and how to direct. He even taught me how to edit. Then we used video-to-video. I told him I can’t cope with that because it requires a lot of sitting. I said, "Oga, let me manage the make-up and the PM thing, that is the Production Manager." I then followed him around a lot. He was the one who handled most of Professor Peller’s films. I was always part of the crew and at times, I acted too, maybe two scenes. But then, I was focused on production. Since then, I have mastered the skill of producing and acting. And since then I have been producing my movies.

Tell us about your first movie?

My first movie was ‘Akowe’ and it came out in 1994.

How many movies have you done?

 ’Akowe’, ‘Idarijin’, ‘Komalobe’, ‘Obi Meji’, ‘Ayesebotan’, ‘Gbonka’, ‘Osa Idile’, ‘Fikayomi’ and after all these, I came up with the 3 movies which are set to be premiered.

How easy has it been producing movies?

In the 90s and early 2000s, when you produce one movie, you are okay, unless you want to be selfish. The only avenue to market your movies then was Idumota. But, if you have a good marketer, with that one movie, you can make your money. The movie business is somehow now, you have to keep doing and doing to meet up. I don’t like going from one location to the other. I prefer doing my movie alone unless you are close to me. This is because I do other things; I’m into teaching. So combining acting with teaching is not easy. I supply content too. I’m a very busy person. I’m always on the road. With all that I do, to now go and sit down at a location is a no for me.

 How will you compare production now with how it was back then?

I won’t lie to you, we enjoyed the production then. Under the boss I was working with then, any location you go to, I get lots of money. I told you I do a crew job, I got paid for that. I also received my acting money. So whenever you are going home, you will laugh. If I travel for one week or two weeks, when I’m coming home, I know what I have in my pocket. But these days, we have to help one another. We all know what is happening in the industry. There are some actors you can’t do that to. If you call them, they will bill you. If I know you can’t assist me, why will I assist you? So that’s why I stay on my own. But now, let’s say technology has taken over everything. It makes things look somehow. As of then, if you want to produce with the little you have, you will still come out with a good movie. But these days, if you say you have a little, you shouldn’t even bother producing. Just put your movies online.  If you say you want to produce now, you have to do it big. Despite doing it big, you still have to pray to God for His grace.  But because acting is in the blood, if you don’t do it, you will feel like you are missing something or something is missing in your body.

Tell us a bit about your formative years. Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born in Lagos at number 4 Abbey Street, Bode-Thomas, Onipanu. I went to Agunbiade Primary School, on the other side of Somolu. Later I proceeded to Nigerian Model High School at Idi-Oro. I went to Kwara Poly where I studied Public Relations, I came back to Lagos to attend the Lagos Poly. Back then in Kwara Poly, I was doing this movie thing. It stayed in my head. It did not make me concentrate on my studies. When I came home, my mum insisted that I won’t go into acting. She said, "acting is meant for the wayward, no responsible person goes into acting and you won’t become the black sheep of the family". She said all my siblings have good degrees. I was insisting on acting. But I told her it’s my life and I have not come to live another person’s life. Please let me follow my passion. But my dad was very nice and cool. He likes what I’m doing. Even when I started producing, he would take my movies to his friends and tell them; to come and see and buy, it’s my daughter that produced them. But my mum is a deaconess so she said no.

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