How I Was Lured Into Acting With A Bottle Of CocaCola – Aderupoko


Veteran comedian, Kayode Olaiya, popularly known as Aderupoko who insisted that he would only grant the interview if he was allowed to speak in Yoruba, shares the story of his life in this interaction with Tribune.

Your real name is Kayode Olaiya, but many people call you Aderupoko, how did you come about your stage name?

I think I should ask you how you got to know that I am Kayode Olaiya. What led to the name Aderupoko is a long story but I will let you know about it if time permits us. I started my career with Western Nigeria Television (WNTV) and Western Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (WNBC), first in Africa at Agodi in Ibadan as a story teller. It was a live programme then and we  do come on air between 4p.m and 10 p.m. when the late sage Obafemi Awolowo introduced TV. Where we have the Oyo State Government house today used to be a bushy place. My friends and I usually go to the place to pluck mangoes and hew tree. I was a student then. One day, when we were coming from where we had gone to pluck mangoes, one man walked up to us and asked us if we could tell stories. We were about eight, but all my friends ran away except me. He beckoned to me, so I walked up to him. I thought he was going to scold me for not running away like my colleagues, but to my surprise, he asked me if I could be coming around with my friends to tell evening stories. I told I will be coming. He asked me to go and tell my friends so that we could all be part of it. I was saddled with the responsibility of telling the story to my friends. After some time, the late Hubert Ogunde came in for a stage performance called Olo ngbo Dudu (Black Cat).

How did those people ensure that you stayed, did they entice you in anyway?

Yes, I could remember that the only time we used to drink soft drinks like Coca-Cola and Fanta was during festive seasons like Christmas and Ileya. They ensured that we drink a bottle of Fanta or Coca-Cola each time we came so that we will always come back. We became so happy that we hardly miss a day because we knew we would drink Coca-Cola and Fanta. Even my friends who did not like the idea in the first place later joined us because of Coca-Cola. That was not the only thing we enjoyed, we were also given money. I could remember that we collected one pound, which we shared among ourselves.

What were your parents’ reactions and how did this not affect your school?

Our parents did not complain because we were making money which we could use to buy few school things that we needed. Our parents were not that rich to send most of us to school so we added the proceeds we made from our story telling to whatever we got from our parents. More so, there were few television sets in Ibadan as of that time, people would go about looking for television set in the evening to watch programmes. So, in less than no time, I started becoming popular among my friends and especially in my area that many parents would want their children to follow me when going because they knew they would see them on TV.

So, how did you move from story telling to live stage performance?

Like I said, when we started the story telling thing, after a while the late Ogunde came to the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) for his live stage drama. But I discovered that the rehearsals and performances of people like Oyin Adejobi, Ogunde and Duro Ladipo were different from what we were doing as story tellers. They came from different parts of the country to NTA for their stage performances. So after sometime, I decided to join a theatre group called Edunkunle Travelling Theatre in Ibadan.

While you were doing all these, I am sure you were still in school. Did you miss class for any reason?

Yes, I missed a couple of classes and I received serious bashing from my teachers. I remember a day when my teacher said he saw me on TV when I was supposed to be in school. When I was in school, I was the band leader. I was the one who played the konga drum for my school for a long time. It was during a school performance that Baba Ajimajasan saw me playing the drum and asked my boss then, Edunkunle if I could come and play drums for him in one of his shows. He obliged him but I never went back to Edunkunle group because I was enticed with money and I loved watching cinema at the Odion Cinema because that was where Ajimajasan used to have his rehearsals and shows. It was at Ajimajasan’s group that I met Jacob, Iya Ijebu, Baba Eleko, Arikuyeri, Jegede, who is known as aworawo now (Star gazer). Those days, we had Baba Sala and Ogunde who had programmes on NTA. These people were not based in one place, they moved around so when they had gone for weeks, there would not be anyone to record new episodes on TV. The recorded one would have been exhausted before the return of Baba Sala and others, so the management felt they needed to fill that space and called for a rehearsal of jesters. So, I was invited for an auditioning alongside the likes of Baba Mero, Ola Omanitan, Ayinla Olumegbon, Baba John Bull and Duro Ladipo, which was led by Lere Paimo. So myself, Papalolo and Jacob got the job because of the characters we portrayed.

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How I Was Lured Into Acting With A Bottle Of CocaCola – Aderupoko
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