Behind the scene | 4 May 2007 06:14 CET



Many of his fans thought he was dead following a ghastly accident he was involved in recently, but fast rising Nollyhood star, Saheed Balogun, said he was very much alive. The talented actor who is popular in both the English and Yoruba segments of the movie industry, said it was exciting and somehow strange to read his obituaries in some publications.

Popularly called James Bond in recognition of his heroic exploits in a number of movies, Balogun said he survived the accident by providence and particularly because he has not completed his mission on earth.

"I am James Bond … why should I die? My life has really been an adventure and I believe I have been sent to this world for a purpose. But the experience I had during the accident was beyond plots of movie."

Balogun, who spoke about his life and incursion into entertainment industry, also explains why society should accord more respect and opportunities to the women folk.

I am Saheed Balogun. My fans call me James Bond or Omo Alhaja. I hail from Kwara State. I was born 39 years ago in the same state. I attended Army Children School, Obalende and later completed my secondary education after which I attended Kwara State Polytechnic in Ilorin, Kwara State. I have been in the acting business for about 26 years now.

Mr James Bond
I believe my role in movies as well as in other film productions fetched me the name. It is believed that my role is so synonymous with that of James Bond in the West. My fans even feel that I am another James Bond living in Nigeria.

Aside this, people have said that I don't always like to die in any of the movies where I featured. I feel this is not fair. I always put in my best irrespective of the role I'm asked to interprete.

My accident
The rumours that spread around about my accident were nothing, because I didn't die as it was announced. What happened was that I wanted to go for a particular job somewhere in the state. One of my brother, Bola, was the one who drove the car, while Yemi, the cameraman, sat in the passenger's seat with his video camera that we were going to use for the job. All of a sudden, I heard a thunderous bang… (gbaaah). That was all I could remember till date. The next thing was that I found myself on bed in the hospital. This was contrary to the news that went round the town that I drove in a girlfriend's car.

God sent women to save me
God passed messages across to me, but I ignored the messages before the accident. Had I listened, I would have been saved from the danger. But as God would have it, I had to learn in a hard way. Two voices came from my family, restricting my movement. On that fateful day, my daughter was the first to call me in the morning. She said; "Daddy! Today you are not going out, take me somewhere." I snubbed her. About an hour later, my mother also called me and said "Saheed! We have something to talk over this afternoon, so suspend wherever you want to do today". But as a guy who thought he was so smart, I sneaked out of the house. I believed the two voices were God's and, of course, I had a feeling that no man ever gave a pint of such premonition except God...

Women and my destiny
On my hospital bed, I realised that God wanted to use women to save me as well as the entire society.
To buttress my point, for example, in the last presidential election, it was only Pastor Okotie who picked a woman as governorship candidate for Lagos State. I admire both his philosophy and vision in spite of his defeat in the elction. One of the messages I got after the accident episode was how to give voice to the women, to give them a chance in the society. When this clearly dawned on me, I had to heed the call of a woman, the candidate gunning for the Lagos State governorship seat, Remi Adikwu-Bakare.Today, I have discovered that men are gradually losing their respect. Majority of the Nigerian leaders who have been indicted are men.

In Liberia today, a woman is the president. And could you have imagined that a woman in person of Hilder Williams would win the PDP primaries in Lagos. I do give kudos to women. That's why I always portray this ideal on the screen, and people would say Saheed is a typical womanizer. Saheed will continue to do it.

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