Tunde Kelani Vs Baba Wande Feud: I Paid you N300 Over ‘Ti Oluwa nile’ Movie, Kelani Opens up
Accomplished filmmaker, Tunde Kelani has been embroiled in a feud with fellow veteran Baba Wande with the latter accusing him of defrauding him over the returns from the legendary Yoruba movie, ‘Ti Oluwa nile’ which was a big hit back in the day.
In an interview with the Tribune, the director of Saworoide and Agogo Ewo, said he never defrauded Baba Wande and that the film didn’t make as much money as some have reported.
He said; “He was not accusing me; I think he was stating his case and complaining about a project that happened over 20 years ago. I think he is not saying that I didn’t pay him; he is probably saying that the money was not enough. When I heard that, I asked the office to start dusting some papers and I think they found some vouchers, at least we are still looking for the 2003 record.
“But, the vouchers they found already showed that he was paid over N300,000 that time. You know the film has a short lifespan and I cannot understand why Baba Wande keeps harassing me over something that happened more than 20 years ago. If he thinks that the films are selling as he thinks, I can give him the right to produce them if that would solve the problem.
“It is painful that he didn’t even care whether we made our money from it or not. Even after all that experience, I took him to the Benin Republic to take part in Abeni and I always paid him whatever he demanded. Again, I invited him to play in Arugba. He doesn’t remember all those ones, but he can only remember bad things about me.
Despite the relative success of the Ti Oluwa Ni Ile project, he doesn’t seem to see anything good in it and me. It is very strange. I think it is a deliberate effort to blackmail me. I think he is broke, but I am broke too; we are all broken and that is the reality. This is why I refused to reply to him instantly because it won’t be good for the Yoruba race. I don’t know who is older; he would be probably older than me because I just turned 70. I don’t expect him to be saying all that on the pages of a newspaper.
“I cannot do that, because I will be insulting the institutions of our traditional rulers and all eminent Nigerians. I think it is a very simple case that can be resolved. He is also not bothered by what I went through when all my works, including the films, were pirated. I almost died when it happened. It pains me a lot anytime Baba Wande refers to that issue. I have various pirated copies of my works in my Lagos office. I would say that he is entitled to his opinion on the things he said about me.
“Meanwhile, I have not said anything bad about him; not to talk of doing it in public. There is nothing to settle; if people are interested, fine, not me. I have many challenges. I am pained because all my films have been pirated. He could not imagine what happened to me.”