From a simple fascination of the beauty and delicateness amongst African women when making their hair in salon stalls at local
market places, Ishaya Bako created a globally recognised and 2012 African Movie Academy Award-winning short film, Braids on a Bald Head. This short film has been showcased at international film festivals such as the Cambridge International Film Festival (2010), Festival Tous Courts Toulouse(2011), Seattle International Film Festival (2011) and the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival France (2011) among others. Titles in Bako’s filmography are: School of Curry (December 2009), Blue Baby Elephants (July 2009), The Filipino Guide on How to be Invisible in London (April 2009).
Let’s meet Ishaya Bako (Twitter: @naijafilmmaker) and learn more about his career and of course the making of the award-winning “Braids on a Bald Head.”
How did you go into film?
My background was in Information Technology. I studied MIS at Covenant University (Nigeria), but I felt if I stayed in IT I would have killed my colleagues with blunt pencils [figuratively speaking of course]. Right from my industrial attachment, I figured that working in cubicles wasn’t my thing.
I had acted on stage in school and have always loved writing, so after a nasty accident during my youth service, my near death experience, I spent the following year soul searching and convincing the powers that film is it…
Then I got into the London Film School.
Before we travel to (talk about) London Film School, who are the powers?
Family, myself and God (laughs) but family mostly, I mean, they were going to fund film school – which as you know is pretty expensive.
So how did you convince Family that FILM was it?
I said it’s film or die. I said I’ll walk the streets of port harcourt and shave my legs – so they caved in at the leg-shaving threat…(laughs)!