From Electrical Engineering to Dance Drama: Meet Ayo Ajewole a.k.a Alfa Sule. #StarsConnect
You are welcome to Stars Connect Network, a Subsidiary of Jetheights Services. Stars Connect network is a programme that brings together entrepreneurs, business owners, inspirational speakers, pastors, and leaders in the society, upcoming artistes, NGOs, people giving back to the society and the world at large. We conduct interview sessions to find out everything we can about their journey to stardom, we hope to bring together stars who can be of benefit to one another and who can synergize with Jetheights in other to impact the community. Once again you are welcome to Stars Connect.
Our guest today is a popular gospel drama actor and he is well known far and wide.
Can you please introduce yourself to the Stars Connect audience?
Ajewole: My name is Oluwafemi Ajewole. I’m the president of Christ Chosen Vessel Dance Drama Ministry a.k.a Alfa Sule. I was born in Ibadan. I schooled in Ibadan and I’m into dance drama ministry.
What prompted you into drama ministry?
Ajewole: Well, I believe each and every one of us is born with gift given by God. Right from when I was young, I just saw that it’s one of the gift/talent that God gave to me. You know God gave some people 5 talents, some 3 and some 2, and on and on like that. But I discovered that one of the gifts God gave to me is drama and likewise singing. I was a member of the choir in church for year and likewise I was in the drama group in church. What we are in now is dance /drama i.e. singing and dancing and then acting together with it.
Femi and Ayo Ajewole(Alfa Sule) at Stars Connect Studio
What brought the idea of dance drama?
Ajewole: Yes, that is true, dance drama has been in existence, but the kind of dance drama that we know when we were very young was that they don’t talk when it comes to dance drama. The audience just get what they are saying through their actions and demonstration. But there is a concept, so that is why we called our own modern dance drama. What really prompted this was when I was working in a school years back, of which I happened to be a teacher in that school and during the end of the year party; we are the one that will teach our children what they will present that particular year. I was in-charge of drama then and so after teaching the students drama for like 4-5days and I saw no improvement because they were very young, like you are asking a primary 5 student to act as a father to a primary 1 student and there is no talking or voicing, so I tried working on their action and their voice and it did not work, then God brought something to my mind that I should voice for them and they act what I am voicing and I just felt like it will be too boring and why not introduce beat, so I was using their table to play the beat and it also helped the pupils memorise and understand things faster and it made everything very interesting to the children. During the end of the year party, the street was very full and people were surprised at the performance. From there, I gained admission into polytechnic and totally forgot about it until one day while we were waiting for a lecturer someone just suggested that not all of us will come out and be successful in this electrical engineering we are studying and something just struck my mind that why not use my gift as a ministry. That day, when I got home, I called my brother and shared my vision with him and from there we started the ministry. And that was how we started it.
Can you please shed more light on your academics and your career?
Ajewole: Actually after gaining admission and studying electrical engineering in polytechnic, I discovered that it was only the theoretical aspect I was able to cope with very well, you study, write exams and pass but I found out I was having problem in the practical aspect and this was what made me key into what that student said. I still continued my career till the HND level because I did not see this dance drama as something to live on in the nearest future; I just felt it was a way of contributing and affecting our generation positively. I saw dance drama like being a chorister but God just turned around the whole thing along the line and said this is my plan for you.
Did you further your education based on drama?
Ajewole: No, I did not do that but everything is by God’s grace because many people have watched us and have asked ‘what drama school did u go? ‘Did you study theatre art?’ and so on. And we have been to some schools acting for their drama department and some of them still learn from us and what we do. So God is showing us that beyond what you can acquire from anybody, He (God) can do for you, He is the Almighty. God just used it to prove Himself in our live.
What motivated you into gospel based movie?
Ajewole: Well actually it’s not that we started from circular, right from onset we were gospel based but let me say that the difference is that we do not do Christian stuff, we do gospel and the difference between Christian and gospel is that when you do a Christian movie, its meant only for Christians but what we do is gospel and anybody can watch the gospel. We believe in God and we preach the gospel and at the same time we teach morals, not only will you learn biblical messages also moral messages from our movies.
Ayo Ajewole and Femi Ajewole(Alfa Sule) during the Stars Connect Interview
Like how many movies have you released?
Ajewole:We have released close to 12 -13 now.
Which was your first?
Ajewole: The first one was ‘oti gan pa’ because of the slang used everybody concentrated on that slang not even the message, that was the first movie we produced. And because of that slang many musicians use it in their music, even people that did not watch the movie were using the slang and it was everywhere.
What is the correlation between your name ‘Alfa Sule’ and your gospel movement?
Ajewole: In that same movie which was titled ‘take heed’ I showcased Wooli agba, iya orisa, professor likewise Alfa sule so four of them were in the movie. When we started about 12 years ago, one of the places we went to minister that time, another person from that program wanted to invite us to his church and was asking the person that invited us asking for our name and the man could not recollect our name. He just said he will find out and we were not having GSM to contact us and the guy had to come to our house and the other man just decided that in that our performance there was one alfa sule there, let’s use alfa sule, and Alfa Sule was used on their poster. When we got to the program, it was a praise program, after a group finished performance, it was announced that Alfa Sule should get ready and we knew we were not Alfa Sule until someone came to tell us that the audience is ready for us and we were like we are not Alfa Sule. We are Christ Chosen Vessel but everybody was expecting us and as we mounted the stage the gravity of the event made people go home to spread the news that Alfa Sule really performed well so that was how the name began to spread.
How did your parents approve your ministry?
Ajewole: Well I thank God for the understanding of my parents. At least, my father happens to be a very good actor, he even had a drama ministry before us, but my father got confused of the kind of program we were doing because on a particular day we had a ministration and it was raining heavily and my dad said we cannot go for the programme again. The rain stopped around 11pm and he said he cannot allow us because there was no car but then the pastor of the church sent 2-3 cars to pick us up and when my dad saw this he was amazed because the pastor left the church to pick us up and since then daddy began to back us up in prayers and some other things to encourage us.
Femi and Ayo Ajewole (Alfa Sule) with Ayo Alex Alao, M.D Jetheights Services
Why did you choose to call your group a ministry?
Ajewole: Okay, it is a ministry because we believe it is a gospel movement and we see it that by the grace of God we will become international and not limited to our environment alone.
Could you tell us the part of the job you enjoy?
Ajewole: I enjoy being on stage to act, whenever I am ministering live on stage, I enjoy it a lot and anytime we are shooting our movies and producing them, in fact I enjoy every part of my job.
How much does it cost to invite you?
Ajewole: We don’t have a particular fixed amount but the only thing we usually charge is transport and mobilization, that is what we concentrate more on, we don’t normally charge for performance.
God has really helped me, I am married with children, I am a fruitful man and some other things like I have cars of my own, a house of my own by the grace of God and I have a lot of graduates now in the ministry, at least 80% of my members are graduates.
What is your plan?
Ajewole: We want to see that this ministry becomes a worldwide ministry so that when the time comes we will have impacted many generations and they will continue to keep the vision intact by featuring in the movies.
Alfa Sule and the Jetheights Staff
Any challenges so far?
Ajewole: You know for people to believe in what you have just introduced especially to the Christians and the kind of work we do. There was a time I posted something online, ‘how do u see Alfa sule?’ an evangelist?, an entertainer? And when I began to read the comments, some people said we cannot really say Alfa Sule is an entertainer but they just make you laugh and teach you lesson one way or the other. There was a program we call ‘evangecomedy’. We combines both evangelism and comedy together which was very rare that time. We started with comedy and introduce evangelism. That time, our members were very young, so for people to believe that small children can do anything reasonable it was a bit difficult. There was a time we were supposed to perform at a place and when the organizer saw us, his reaction was so discouraging and we could not perform but after some time, they called us back to perform. We actually came to perform for free but after the show we were given honorarium. Another challenge is piracy. Our works were being pirated and we could not make enough money. We were also attacked on the Lagos/Ibadan express way and 61 bullets were shot at us but none of us died.
How did you escape the attack and 61 bullets?
Ajewole: All glory belong to GOD, It is beyond my expression, even a bullet entered into our fuel tank and two tires busted. Two of our guys were hit by the bullets but were not harmed; even the police confirmed it that it was a miracle.
What motivates you?
Let me just say the Holy Spirit. The Bible says, ‘He will teach us all things’. Some people normally complain that despite the fact that we enjoy you, why is it once a while you produce your movie? But if we are to be producing on our own we will be producing movies that do not make sense that is why we have to depend on God and that is what is reflecting in what we do because someone that did not study theatre art and is performing in front of a professor and the professor is watching what he is doing and is entertained, it is beyond our explanation. So that is why we depend on the Holy Spirit.
Is there any project you are working on?
Ajewole: Yes, we are working on one titled CROSS. It will be for the home and will be released this year.
Alfa Sule and the Jetheights Staff Members
How do you cope with admirers?
Ajewole: I can just say that I was exposed to that then, but now it has dropped from like 95% to 10-15% because I no longer handle the calls of the ministry, my brother handles that now.Iit is only few people that are allowed to get to me now and it has to be important. There was an incident then that I can never forget, there was a lady then that was calling me saying ‘Femi, I love you so much’ and I asked her who she was and she said I shook her hand after a ministration in Ilorin. She said she wants to marry me and that time I wasn’t married. She said she had prayed about it and I don’t have any choice. In fact, she said all the children in her womb would be delivered to me. She will be the first to call me in the morning and even disturb my sleep at night but we were able to handle that by the grace of God.
When you see your fans how do you react?
Ajewole: I am always happy, I always respond well, especially to the children and anytime we go for ministration, I always recognize the children because I believe they have contributed to our success by telling their parents, they were the one that made their parents know us that is why we always respond well to them.
Why is your brother your right man?
Ajewole: When I started the ministry, he was the first person I called to share the vision with and we both said it is possible, so that is why he is still my right man.
How do people contact you in case of invite?
Ajewole: You can contact us via our email and our mobile contact
08027303010 Airtel, 08039137808 Mtn (hotline)
Ajewole: My advice is that people should see beyond money and fame. We should see things as contributing positively to their generation and using their talents to add more value to affect their generation. Money and fame will come when you have the right motive. The way you do things will determine how far you will go in that particular thing.
For more information about StarsConnect:
Phone No: 09050888890