“Acting the role of babalawo has affected me badly” – Actor Alebiosu


A popular Babalawo or Ife priest character in Yoruba movies, Adewale Alebiosu has warned actors from playing such roles in movies.

He revealed that reciting some incantations in movies had some adverse effects on him in real life.

Alebiosu, who spoke with BBB Yoruba, said he was just doing his job as an actor, and that he never knew the incantations he was reciting could come to haunt him in real life.

The film star told BBC Yoruba that many actors fail to understand that incantations bear hidden powers beneath.

Alebiosu also spoke about how role stereotyping made viewers assume he was into spiritism and voodoo beyond acting.

“People often think of me as a native doctor. This is not the case. I’ve never been a native doctor, and neither has my father. When I first started acting, which I learned from Taiwo Balogun, I loved incantations,” the actor said.

“After I left him, I met with one of my bosses, Fatai Adetayo Oodua. That was when I started using incantations. Filmmakers were the ones who made people start to ask why it was solely the native doctor roles I was being given.

“Acting shaped people’s perception of me as a wicked man. I’m not that dangerous. My parents are both Muslims.”

Alebiosu narrated how he entered a trance while drumming for a church service and how he became a Christian.

“I was born a Muslim, until when a church was doing a harvest service and they didn’t have a drummer,” he said.

“The congregation pointed to me as someone who is into theatre and drums as well. They started singing and I was drumming, but my head began to swell. I didn’t know when I fell to the ground and started sprawling.

“It was when I got out of the trance that people told me what happened. That was how I became a minister of God. All those incantations you see in films, I don’t do anything beyond that. It’s just acting; even my elders know this.

“If I get to the church, I do church activities as well. There are times when we as actors utter incantations without knowing that there are hidden meanings & powers behind those words.”

Alebiosu said, “I never knew there was so much more to the incantations I was delivering. I thought I was just delivering my lines, not knowing there are repercussions to follow. Whenever I get home after the act, while I sleep I would see some strange beings, and some would turn to goats and start biting me.”

Alebiosu warned that the coming generation who wants to play the role of a Babalawo should be very careful and be ready to be prayerful. According to him, the role requires all sorts of precautions.

“I’m saying this to warn them so that they don’t end up regretting their lives or ending up miserably,” he said.

“Actors who want to play traditional priests and native doctors should pray fervently. When I’m called on set, the filmmakers see I came in a bike or taxi,” he added.

“They start asking if I have no car of my own. I tell them I don’t and they are shocked. They feel pity for me. But the words I hear from them hurt me. Those I trained have become wealthy. If I offended god, he should forgive me.”