By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The name Iya Awero rings a bell in the Nigerian Nollywood industry, especially in the Yoruba genre, having taken part in scores of movies.
Iya Awero, real name Lanre Adesina Hassan, was born on October 3, 1950 in Lagos.
She started her education at Odu Abore School in Mushin. She also attended Children’s Home School in Ibadan and ended up at St Peters Faji Schoool in Lagos Island.
It was while at the school and a member of the school theatre, that she met the late artist, Ojo Ladipo.
She started acting in 1964 with the Ojo Ladipo travelling theatre group.
In between, she went for training in the School of Drama for six months, then facilitated by Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka.
According to her, she earned the moniker Awero, when she featured in the stage dramatisation of Efunsetan Aniwura Iyalode Ibadan, written by Professor Akinwunmi Isola.
The name stuck and as she gets older, her fans added Iya, to the name, in reverence for her age.
After Ojo Ladipo Theatre, she joined Bello and Aluwe in forming the Awada Kerikeri Organisation.
The group took their production to television, the long running Awada Kerikeri on NTA.
During her time, the Nollywood industry was not as prosperous as we have it today, but then, the movies had good plots.
She insists that Nollywood films must have good plots and embody some moral lessons to have lasting impact on the people.
On her part, she said in an interview last year with Kilarigbo TV, she normally requests for the script of a movie, before she agrees to participate.
If the plot is not good enough, she says, she insists on some modification.
She features majorly in the Yoruba-language genre of Nollywood, and sparingly in English-language productions as well. Since the start of her career with the Ojo Ladipo Theatre Group, Iya Awero has starred in multiple films.
In one of the movies, Ògìdán, she starred along actors like Hanks Anuku, Lilian Bach, Lanre Balogun, Clarion Chukwura-Abiola, Ernest Asuzu, Jide Kosoko, among others.
Fears for her wellbeing in 2020 led another actress, Foluke Daramola sharing photos of herself with Iya Awero during a visit to the veteran thespian’s home.
Some of the movies where she featured are:
Despite playing many roles in movies, she faced some accommodation challenge as she was almost ejected from her apartment until Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu came to her rescue.
Iya Awero was presented with the key to a new three bedroom apartment in the 360 units Lagoshoms Phase 2 scheme completed by the Governor in Igbogbo, Ikorodu on Wednesday.
Iya Awero still believes it is not sunset yet to her acting career as she believes she has a lot more to offer.
She is however not happy about the crowding of the industry with untrained actors and actresses.
She advises they should go and learn the art of acting first and that movies must be scripted.