Staff Spotlight: Oluwaseun Odukoya
This month we spoke to Oluwaseun, an actress with PMC-Nigeria’s show Jolokoto (“Mirror of Life”), to learn about getting into character as the no-nonsense Mama Bisi, and how acting brings the storylines alive.
What is your name, position, and how long have you worked for PMC?
My name is Oluwaseun (Seun for short) Odukoya. My friends call me “Shine-Shine” or just “Shine.” At PMC, I am a Voice Actor on Jolokoto (“Mirror of Life”), the radio drama produced by PMC in Yoruba language. I play the role of Mama Bisi who runs a restaurant in the local community in the world of the drama.
What is your favorite thing about working at PMC?
My most favorite thing is the way work is scheduled. The producers try to schedule scenes and characters during the recording process such that most actors can come to the studio, do their bit, and leave the space for others. This strategy helps to maximize time for everyone; no actor has to sit on location all day and end up doing nothing. Except circumstances that arise beyond control, recording is organized in blocks of activity that maximize time, effort, and creativity of both the production team and the members of the cast.
What is a normal day for you at PMC?
A normal day for me as Voice Actor on Jolokoto is comprised of a series of recording sessions. I would have been pre-informed along with other actors of the day and the time my scenes have been for recording. Most times my day on location would most likely start in the afternoon. Once I arrive at location, I meet with the producer to collect my scripts and to be briefed if there are any new developments. Then I link up with voice actors I have scenes with and we rehearse together. This is when I drop my everyday self and enter the character of “Mama Bisi” the restaurateur, a kind but firm woman who would brook no nonsense from the cunning of characters such as “Otunba” or “Fausat.” After this, the marathon of rehearsal and recording begins. It is work, and yet acting is what I enjoy doing and we get free rein to creative expression to enrich the script sometimes. This usually gets very interesting because the Yoruba language is one that is very rich, full of proverbs and idioms. And the cast is an interesting potpourri of characters.
What is one of the biggest challenges of your job?
Not many really. It can be a bit of a challenge getting to the studio because the location is out of my way, but the scheduling style of the production team helps with this because they schedule in blocks according to storylines. So, once your team is done, you’re free till the next time.
Why did you decide to work for PMC?
My first encounter with PMC was my being invited for the script workshop in March of 2019. It was a very interesting process where I learnt a lot, among which was about the Miguel Sabido methodology of entertainment education which PMC has adopted, adapted, and built on through the years for behavioral change communication. It was an exciting week in which we journeyed into the world of creativity via a different, intriguing route. When later the opportunity came to be a part of the creative world as a member of the cast, to get to “live” it as an actor and bring it “alive” for the audience rather than just “create” it as a writer, I found it immediately attractive.
Tell us a little about your childhood, family, or favorite things to do outside of PMC.
I am the first born of three children and today I have a daughter of my own. I can say my father paved the way for the work I do with PMC today particularly because Jolokoto is produced in Yoruba Language. He was literate and a banker but he found the time to teach us his children to read both English and Yoruba, which is our language. He not only encouraged his children to read, he bought us the books, and he went further. He would sit with us and read to and with us. He was so deliberate and detailed about this. We would be seated in a circle with him: he would read first, modeling correct pronunciations and observation of punctuation and then ask us to read one after the other with him, correcting us along the way as we did. This was done both in English and Yoruba. Today I have a good command of both the English and Yoruba languages. I communicate confidently and effectively in both — speak, write, act, work, do translations, and earn from doing this primarily because my father laid the foundation. He is late now and we miss him more than ever. Thank you daddy, rest on in peace.
Is there anything else you would like to share about working for PMC?
I am an actor on all platforms, voice-over artiste, and a director for stage. I also do English-Yoruba translations of scripts. One of my favorite things to do outside of PMC when I’m not working at my regular job is read with my daughter like I was read to, and I would love to open a children’s book reading club very soon.
I am also a baker and a jewelry enthusiast. I share my love of jewelry through my small jewelry business called Jolly‘n’Shine.
Working on the set of Jolokoto with PMC has been very interesting and I appreciate all members of cast and crew as well as admin for the experience.