For a good number of years, the Ile-Ife born Rotimi Mikael Makinde was a regular face on the screen.
He was one of the pioneers and stakeholders in the Yoruba movie industry particularly during its formative years.
In spite of being a hotelier and car dealer, Rotimi joined others in moving from one location to another, playing different roles in the world of make-belief.
Stories changed in 2007 when Rotimi took a decision to dump acting for politics. He contested for the Reps seat of Ife federal constituency on the platform of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) but lost to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Albert Adeogun.
Rotimi returned to the field in 2011 and eventually won the Reps seat. Definitely, Rotimi’s election as a Reps member naturally elevated his status and would make harvest and cultivation of new friends imperative.
The federal lawmaker is at present involved in SMS war with colleague veteran actor, Ebun Oloyede a.k.a Olaiya Igwe.
According to an actor who stumbled on one of the messages exchanged between the two, the war of text messages might take dangerous dimension if not ended early.
‘The duo of Makinde and Olaiya are trading accusations and counter accusations while Rotimi insists Olaiya is blackmailing him and assassinating his characters; Olaiya accused him of abandoning old colleagues and the platform that produced him’, said a source.
Rotimi Makinde while reacting to the accusation said he has not forgotten the platform that produced him and that he played good role in stopping the planned sale of the National Theater and also in making the N3billion grant by the federal government a reality.
‘I know I have done all I could to uplift the industry. The question is simple; to what extent do they see me as their ambassador? As the first artiste to become a legislator, if I have done poorly, no other colleagues would be encouraged to join politics, I am happy that many of them are coming on board; it is a good development. See the way our brothers in the English axis rallied round Desmond Eliot even when my people would do that they would do such as professionals with the attendant demands. I have those that I have tremendous respect for, people like Oga Bello, Jide Kosoko, Aluwe, Yinka Quadri, Ogogo and others but the challenge is the lack of unity among the theater practitioners. If there is unity, one would have done something substantial for the association and I tried my best in finding a way of ensuring unity and I even involved His Imperial Majesty the Ooni of Ife but the response wasn’t encouraging. Saidi Balogun’s group came as a body and the outcome was good. Those close to me know that I am not stingy and it is important to note that I have always been nice to my people even as a hotelier and a car dealer’, he said.
We also got Ebun Oloyede on phone to get his reaction on the character assassination accusation leveled against him and his answer was simple and direct ‘I know nothing about what you are talking about, thank you’ and the conversation ended.