Young and talented actor cum producer, Michael Eriyo Osas, is now one of the most sort after entertainer in Nigeria at the moment. The Benin born actor who is one of the graduates of the popular Benin Film Academy bares it on his ordeals and sexual abuse encounter among Nollywood practitioners in Lagos before he got to where he is today. Enjoy it…
Can we meet you?
I am Michael Osas. I am an indigene of Edo State, Benin. I am a film maker and an actor.
When did you start your acting career?
It started when I was in secondary school; I was actually in my secondary school drama group. I had a passion for acting since I was young but, I didn’t really drive it. I was just joining one drama club to the other doing one or two things for the fun of it. Then something happened in my church at a point in time that the drama leader of my church had to drag me into an impromptu role during a drama ministration in my church and I performed really well to the admiration of the whole church and that was how my passion for acting began. Despite the fact that I didn’t later study acting in school as I later studied Physics but, I have always had serious passion for acting; being in front and at the back of the camera.
Did you get any support from your parents when you started your acting career?
Studying Physics was actually because I wanted to please my parents because; they always believe that their son must be an engineer, doctor, a lawyer and those other supposedly lucrative professions. My parents didn’t fancy theartre art at all but, overtime when they got to know more about my chosen career, since my mum had been a very strong source of support so also my uncle and my late dad. But, that was after I had pleased them with my BSc. Physics certificate.
How would you describe the journey so far?
It’s been interesting. Full of bitter and sweet memories because, initially it was tough and that was the period before I met Ambassador Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen who is my father in the industry, I have spent a lot of money pursuing my acting career. I have experienced degradation, segregation and abuse. Yes! Sexual abuse from even males; people of the same sex. It was really tough. I spent money and time moving from one audition to the other with no headway, it was really difficult. All these happened to me while I was in Lagos, then I decided to come back to Benin, heard about Benin Film Academy and I decided to give a trial. So I met Lancelot who encouraged me and since then, he has been a major source of inspiration to me and I blessed God for making our paths cross.
You have made a very critical allegation of sexual abuse among your male colleagues in Nollywood, how exactly did this happen?
I don’t want to be vulgar but the truth is, I met a lot of them (back then in Lagos) and they will tell you that the only way you can get this role is “if you scratch my back.” I never knew it was real because, I used to see such things in the movies, seeing homosexuals and all that but I saw it live! It happened to me not once, not twice, not thrice. Even when I wanted to pursue my dream in modelling as well, it was also the same thing. Those periods were really tough for me; going for auditions and the next thing is that someone will tell you that you must follow this due process if not there won’t be anything for you, it was really tough, it was tough.
You are now pursuing your dream with ease how would you describe your present situation?
Like I said, I blessed God for making my path cross that of Amabassador Imasuen, it’s been a dream come true for me. The Benin Film Academy family has been wonderful and Lancelot is not just a father, he is a maker of men and like we always say, the Benin Film Academy is a movement where young and aspiring entertainers; be it in Nollywood or other sectors, who want to pursue their dreams should consider. This is actually the gateway to the heart of Nollywood and the best around the country.