“When Hollywood studios dangle leading roles in front of John Boyega, the south London-born actor propelled to galactic stardom in the new Star Wars film, they will first have to tackle Femi Oguns – an agent whose stable of black British talent is causing waves across the movie industry.” – Femi Oguns: Agent whose black British actors are causing waves across Hollywood on racism in the industry – independent.co.uk
It’s indeed a thing of immense pride to see Yoruba men and women achieving great things, whatever their nationality.
Femi Oguns MBE , born Olufemi Ogunsanwo , leading British agent, and founder of the Identity School of Acting and Identity Agency Group congratulates his star client John Boyega as he wins EE Rising Star Award at 2016 Baftas .
Established actor Femi Oguns who founded Identity School of Acting in October 2003, shared his pride and happiness at John Boyega’s BAFTA success on social media.
Femi Oguns Identity is Britain’s first “black” drama school. Femi Oguns has said in the past about whether he would like to see the BBC implement diversity measures, “They’ve got no choice but to [do so]. I’m in favour of a quota because that’s the only way things are going to happen.”
John Boyega winner of the EE Rising Star BAFTA Award for 2016, who grew up on a council estate in Peckham was one of the last people to see Damilola Taylor alive. His father wanted him to be a become a preacher. Damilola, who was a similar age to Boyega and whose parents were also Nigerian, was discovered bleeding to death in a stairwell of North Peckham Estate just before his 11th birthday. His killers have now been convicted and jailed.
John started acting at the age of 9 and his famous acting roles include Star Wars , Attack The Block, Da Brick, My Murder, Half of a Yellow Sun and Imperial dreams.
Yoruba names shaping destiny
Olufemi Ogunsanwo in Yoruba means ‘God loves me’ (Olufemi) , and ‘The God of iron/technology profits me’ ( Ogunsanwo) , while Boyega , John’s surname means ‘To bring esteem to a title/role’ ( as opposed to bringing shame) . The Yoruba Name Dictionary website launches in 3 days.
Oruko ng ro won as we say in Yoruba, loosely translated as ‘their names are shaping their destiny’.
Watch John Boyega’s speech as he accepts his award below
John Boyega who played Finn in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) had a postage stamp of his character issued by the Royal Mail. Yoruba gba iyi.
John is a very charming young man with the gift of the gab. Here are some of his personal quotes from imdb website
Personal Quotes (33)
- ‘Attack The Block’ is an alien invasion film set in South London. It’s about a group of kids who are some petty thugs, who have to find the hero in themselves, when they attack.
- I remember my manager telling me, ‘Be myself, be humble, keep rooted, keep God first’. Those words were very helpful.
- My dad is a minister, and my mum is a worker with the less fortunate and the disabled. They’re Nigerian natives. Their first language is Yoruba, and their second language is English.
- My dad’s a Pentecostal minister, meaning that he’s full of charisma. If he’s telling a story about Noah’s ark, you best know each tiger is going to be having their own little conversation and narrative.
- Acting careers don’t come out fully formed – not unless your name is Jaden Smith and your dad has done it all.
- Film is just a great medium to express yourself and a great environment to work around.
- I know my movies. I love my movies.
- Hollywood has given me a great, warm hug.
- Being robbed hurts – not physically, but from what it does to your pride.
- I like my women very green; you know, eco-friendly.
- I’m a Michael Bay fanatic.
- I’d like to be in anything that tells a good story and has an interesting character.
- I’m a comic reader and a manga fan.
- I love London. I’m a London fanatic. That’s my city.
- I’ve been getting diverse roles.
- There is a level of appreciation for brothers and sisters in the hood.
- The scripts that I’ve been getting are of epic proportion. People want me to lead the big armies.
- There’s a difference between living somewhere and being part of somewhere.
- The ‘block’ in ‘Attack the Block’ is not just a physical thing. It’s people; it’s families.
- Portray the world for what it is, and you will find truth.
- In this life, it’s not hard to do wrong.
- ‘Junkhearts’ is a great story.
- I’ve had plenty of lessons about film acting and theatre acting.
- My biggest challenge is to not do urban movies for the rest of my life, those alpha hoodies.
- In the States, you have a little bit of freedom to audition for different kinds of roles.
- It’s amazing that people still feel, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s a black guy.’ We’ve been here for a long time; let’s get used to it. Let’s get used to other cultures.
- I’ve been acting since I was 5 years old, from primary school to secondary school, did training at drama school, which was the big thing for me because they trained me, put me out into the industry.
- Normally you hear about Southeast London, and you hear about all the stuff that goes on down there, all the negative things, and the tabloids kind of stay away from all the positive things that happen that I see every day, which kind of outshines the negative.
- You know, urban culture is fun; it’s lovely.
- You know, we all can do bad, and we all can do good.
- Some people feel fulfillment from a bitter end – it gives them some sort of sense of reality. But, when you’re dealing with reality, I feel like films should discover the part that is happy.
- I watched season four of ‘The Wire.’ They have subtle performances that they do through their eyes. You could watch season four with the audio off and still understand what’s happening through their eyes.
- Who wouldn’t want to be in ‘Star Wars?’ It’d be great.