How time flies! I probably would not have paid any attention until the Arugbá herself called to remind me! Bukola Awoyemi walked in one hot afternoon in 2006, (perhaps in her National Youth Service Corps uniform?) — I confess, I cannot remember. She introduced herself as a graduate from the University of Ilorin and an ambitious actress. Age cannot rub me of my first impression of her, but just in case, I added her to my contacts with some memory joggers exactly as follows: From Ilorin – youth service, Sept. ’06, acting -slim, dark.
I had already started auditioning for the part but was having two main difficulties. It was as if the Yèyé Ọṣun—the Goddess of fertility—was at play or war with me. The two potentials for the role were heavily pregnant. As you know, according to the custom, the Arugbá’s primary qualification demands she must be a virgin. Obviously my two selections were not! Secondly, one or two other ladies declined because they needed permission from their pastors for feature in such traditional role with ritual content.
Bukola took her leave and she could not have gone for more than three minutes before it struck me like thunderbolt. I must have yelled, ‘Run after her – Call her back! She must not disappear.’ That is how an actress, filmmaker, father, daughter relationship that has lasted ten years started. The film was a huge success which was featured in major film festivals in the US with Bukola Awoyemi in attendance. Yèyè Ọṣun played her part seven years after—she was delivered of a set of twins.