Efa Iwara says he hated the character he played in the sequel for ‘King of Boys’, a crime drama.
The Nigerian actor starred as Dapo Banjo, an overzealous journalist, who goes against powers that be in politics.
Dapo went the extra mile to expose government corruption at great personal costs and at the risk of losing his marriage.
On embodying the character, Efa told TheCable Lifestyle that he questioned the values of the role on a deep level.
“I usually present as a blank slate, so I start building the character from the ground up if I’m up for a role. I had a conversation with Kemi, asking her what we were trying to do with the journalist character,” the actor explained.
“The initial idea we had was somewhat outlandish and a little bit too extra. We had some things we had worked out and tried to do but realized it was a bit too much. Once we read the script and started shooting, it just worked.
“Less is more, it turned out. I didn’t want to overdo it. Watching the show after, I ended up hating my character, which can be good. I hated him so much because I believed him, what he was doing, and questioned his decisions.
“How his job was interfering with his relationship and the way he went about certain things, which a good journalist should do but it comes at a price. My persona as a rapper had nothing to do with my role.
“On the acting job, I present as a totally clean slate. I don’t even think Dapo listens to music and I don’t think I was listening to rap music at the time. The character becomes you; you become the character.”
Efa also spoke of the challenge of being a rapper in Nigeria and the importance of evolution.
“As a rapper, you have to be dynamic and ready to evolve. If you can’t, you’ll die off. I remember listening to songs by The Thoroughbreds. It was cool. But my favourite Ill Bliss song is the one with Terry G, ‘Aiye Po Gan’,” he added.
“There was evolution and a change of sound. Ill Bliss does stuff differently. If people are gravitating towards Afropop, it doesn’t mean that you have to do the same thing. What’s important is that you evolve with time.
“If any rapper feels isolated or left out, that’s on you bro. If you listen to Drake’s first album and the one coming out, it’s going to be different. If you listen to all his albums, he has evolved. Lil Wayne has evolved and even Jay-Z.
“So, who are you not to? I don’t mean evolve towards Afrobeats. Just be true to yourself and, grow while at it. You can’t say decide that, ‘oh, I’m a rapper so it has to be boom-bap. There are no rules to that.”
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