Born on November 2, 1961, Dele Odule is a Nollywood veteran and an award-winning actor, producer and director, who has written his name in gold in the Nigerian movie industry since the past four decades and still counting. He was the first and immediate past President of the Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN).
In this interview with DAILY POST, the Olabisi Onabanjo University graduate talked about his life as a thespian; the only job he has dedicated his life to.
Here are excerpts from that exclusive interview:
DAILY POST: Can you briefly tell us about yourself, sir?
DELE ODULE: My name is Dele Odule from Oru Ijebu. I am an actor, married with children. I acquired my primary school certificate from St. Mark Anglican Primary School, Falafonmu and my highest educational certificate is from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye from the Department of Mass Communication in 2011. I’ve been in the world of make-believe for four decades now, right from my modern school days.
DAILY POST: What were you doing before acting?
DELE ODULE: I’ve been an actor all my life. I had a break when I got admission to study at the Teacher’s College from 1979 to 1982. I continued with my acting career after the completion of the programme.
DAILY POST: How did you become an actor?
DELE ODULE: The environment where I grew up influenced me; a lot of traditional activities exposed me to the world of art. From there, I discovered my artistry competence, my ability to drum, dance and sing, which of course were the basic tools to fit into the then travelling theatre.
DAILY POST: How do you mean by traditional activities, sir?
DELE ODULE: Traditional festivals, where people engage in dancing, drumming stuff, I used to be involved and good at it.
DAILY POST: You mean festivals like Egungun, Ogun and so on?
DELE ODULE: Exactly! (laughs)
DAILY POST: Who are your mates in the industry as at today?
DELE ODULE: To God be the glory, some are no more, while some are still alive; the likes of Ebun Oloyede (Olaiya), Yomi Faleye, Deji Adenuga, Yinka Quadri, Taiwo Hassan, Rammy Toffy and many others. The likes of Jide Kosoko, Oga Bello and others are senior colleagues.
DAILY POST: Which movie would you say brought you to limelight and when was it?
DELE ODULE: That was T’oluwa Nile in the year 1993.
DAILY POST: How many movies have you produced yourself? That is, the ones written and financed by you?
DELE ODULE: About twelve or thereabout, they include Ọrọ kanka, Baba Agba, Lakunle Alagbe, Lagbondoko, Morenike Alagolo and so on.
DAILY POST: We notice it’s a long time since you produced a new movie, Why is that?
DELE ODULE: Well, anything worth doing at all, is worth doing well, I’ll prefer a production that can stand the test of today, be produced, which I don’t have such financial muscles now. But good enough, I still act regularly, which is the main thing.
DAILY POST: Sir, can we say the cost of production is the reason you have not produced a new movie in a long time?
DELE ODULE: Yes, you’re very correct, because of the cost of production (a good one at that) is very high nowadays.
DAILY POST: Are you saying it is more expensive than it used to be to produce a quality movie?
DELE ODULE: Sure, it is way expensive than it used to be.
DAILY POST: Can you give us a figure of what it cost to produce a movie in the past and an estimation of what it will cost to do so now?
DELE ODULE: We can’t discuss it here. Your script determines the financial implications.
DAILY POST: Are there sponsors and financial institutions who offer loans for movie productions?
DELE ODULE: Well, some have access to loans and sponsorship, but it’s always about who you know.
DAILY POST: Are you saying you don’t have money as most people think?
DELE ODULE: Honestly, I do not have money. But I thank God for His mercy because, by the living standard of an average Nigerians, I contented.
DAILY POST: How were you able to combine attending classes for your Bachelor’s degree at OOU and pursuing your acting career?
DELE ODULE: My passion for education is the drive and determination that complimented my efforts.
DAILY POST: Who’s your favourite musician?
DELE ODULE: The late Orlando Owó and other good singers; particularly good juju and gospel musicians.
DAILY POST: Do you enjoy listening to Fuji music at all?
DELE ODULE: Yes I do, but with great respect for Late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister.
DAILY POST: Sir, are your kids following in your footsteps? Have they shown any interest in acting?
DELE ODULE: I’ve not seen anyone showing interest now.
DAILY POST: If they show interest today, what will be your reaction?
DELE ODULE: Today, they won’t; tomorrow, they may, the choice is theirs.
DAILY POST: Why do you think they won’t show interest today?
DELE ODULE: They can’t combine the two (education and acting), it will be too tedious. The primary priority now is their education; after that, they’re on their own.
DAILY POST: Are you a football fan, what teams do you support?
DELE ODULE: Interestingly, I’m not a football person, but I watch Nigerian team whenever they play.
DAILY POST: Considering the temptations actors face, how have you been able to cope with hundreds of female fans here and there?
DELE ODULE: I have my shortcomings, but as a matter of principle, I’m not ready to marry two wives.
DAILY POST: If you don’t mind, tell us about your wife sir.
DELE ODULE: Let me just tell you she is a good woman.
DAILY POST: How did you meet her and when?
DELE ODULE: Fate brought us together many years ago.
DAILY POST: Any words of advice for the younger ones joining the movie industry?
DELE ODULE: Majority of newcomers are too cosmetic. They should try and be more dedicated to the job so as to be able to remain there for a reasonable period of time.
DAILY POST: Cosmetic? That word carries a lot of weight, can you explain, please?
DELE ODULE: Some of these guys are just using this industry to cover up. They are not genuinely in love with the trade and this makes them to ignore ethics of the profession; which include orientation and discipline. Character is also Germaine in becoming a successful role interpreter.
Source: Daily Post