My brother and I will continue to build on our father’s legacy – Gabriel Afolayan

Movie making is what we met as a family, so there is the professionalism aspect and the family angle as well, because we are always looking forward to doing stuff that people would like. We have a common goal of excellence, so there is a way everything just works out perfectly.


Famous Gabriel Afolayan has certainly honed his craft and captivated fans with his acting talent.

Regarded as one of Nigeria’s handsome actors, Gabriel has garnered acclaim both locally and internationally.

In this interview with David Adebayo, the multitalented musician-actor discussed his role in “Anikulapo: The Rise of the Spectre” and his career journey, among other topics.

PSN: You and your brother, Kunle, continue to shape the movie industry scene, creating unique stories and cinematic experiences in style. Tell us how you keep getting things right.

Gabriel: You know people think we don’t disagree or that we always have it smooth all the time. But I can tell you that we are doing just what each person knows how to do. My brother Kunle is a superb movie director and more. While I stay on the acting side because that’s what I really love to do, beyond that, it is a legacy for us. Movie making is what we met as a family, so there is the professionalism aspect and the family angle as well, because we are always looking forward to doing stuff that people would like. We have a common goal of excellence, so there is a way everything just works out perfectly.

PSN: How often do you engage your brother in projects?

Gabriel: My brother and I talk about future projects every day. So from that perspective, we have a common goal: getting things right.

PSN: How do you manage to keep doing this without feeling the need to go into movie production yourself?

Gabriel: I have a movie coming to the cinema very soon, and I produced it myself. I think people should just watch out and see the magic created. Just wait and see. Per Second News will be invited to cover the event.

PSN: How will you describe your experience on the set of “Anikulapo: The Rise of a Spectre?”

Gabriel: Well, I wouldn’t call it local. As an actor, you must not take a role too far from your character because you must be comfortable in your role. And I love, love, so acting in love and selflessness is a lot similar to my character. If I’m ready to do something, I do it with all my heart, and once I’ve made up my mind that I will do something, I will do it, so the doing is coming from the decision for me, so there is a lot of me in Akin’s character and a lot of Akin in myself, except for places I have to make tweaks. I could tell there was a bit of Gabriel here, but hey, this is Akin, so we could work something out.

PSN: Knowing the details of the project and considering the indigenous nature of it, how much of Gabriel did you portray?

Gabriel: It was sweet, and the kicker is a blend of veterans and the new team, and it’s a big industry. You either experience being on set with a veteran or you are one yourself; you will know that based on your experience as well. It was the best of both worlds, coming together to work. Both teams of actors are looking forward to meeting each other. And it was fun, wisdom, and vibes everywhere. There is fun on and off-set. We never jeopardise our fun for anything. So work is work. And fun is necessary.

PSN: What’s the synergy like with the other characters involved?

Gabriel: The Anikulapo feature-length movie was a test to see if the audience would love it. And they did, and it got awards. So I could get into the role as it diversified and spanned more than just love; as you can see, there is heroism, selflessness, family bonds, and leadership tussles, amongst others. The only difference now is that he is a strong man, but we are juxtaposing it with a selfless lover; if you are in love, you are weak. That doesn’t mean you are a weak person; it just means the love will weaken you. So blending his weakness with a strong point will give the viewer a strong sense of the 360-degree feeling; it’s not flaccid, it’s not a bad character, it’s one that feels good emotions, with sorrow and joy and all that. Bravery and all, so it was an exciting time for me.

PSN: How easy or tough was it for you to fit into the series project knowing that you were not part of the feature-length movie released last year?

Gabriel: No, there was never a time like that. We woke up with big smiles every day because the work we would have done inspired us for the next day. Always have a better tomorrow and repeat the process every day. We knew if we went through the process of making it, no matter how hard it was, we would end up enjoying it, so the end result was guiding our daily practices.

PSN: You shot for months; were there moments when you were tired and wanted to give up?

Gabriel: We will all do our best; everyone has reasons why they are in the game. Whatever you are doing has to be from your vantage point. So everyone is trying their best. But we can’t start pointing fingers. Even though the metropolitan story is superb, the cinemas are boiling right now. Girl’s story, robbery, gangster. We are everywhere. So it doesn’t have to be cultural all the time. Once we start doing traditional stuff, then we will do it as well.

PSN: You appear most often in selected movies; is it because you don’t want to be featured in movies or because you don’t get invited to be part of movie projects?

Gabriel: This question cracks me really hard when you say I appear in selected movies in the industry. I don’t bounce in and bounce out. It is just a careful career choice that I have made. I wish I could show you the number of scripts I get regularly that I don’t entertain. The truth is, I am only trying to make careful career choices for myself and give the best of myself to the craft when the time is right. I don’t have to entertain all the jobs that come my way, but I love to do what makes me happy and gives my career the facelift it needs.

PSN: You have always been like this.

Gabriel: Like I said, I have chosen a career path that I must follow carefully and consciously. It does not mean my career will not be in the spotlight or that I have to force my way into the game. Half of the time, it is always good to do things that resonate with you and your brand because, whether you like it or not, whatever you feel as an actor in the role you are playing is what the audience will feel when they see you in the movie.

PSN: With the newbies in the industry, how do you ensure that your career keeps getting the attention it deserves?

Gabriel: It is the same attention I give to both. I cannot say I love one more than the other. I can’t just pick one because the passion I have for acting is the same as my passion for music. This is for those who think I want to quit acting for music; no, there is nothing like that. Acting is forever with me; music is an added trait. It’s more of a case of an actor who doesn’t want to sit down and stay idle.


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