My Grouse With Journalists, Politicians And The Elections — Odunlade Adekola

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odunladeOdunlade Jonathan Adekola is today a man of relevance in the Yoruba sector of Nollywood. Tall, highly amiable and friendly, Odun, as he is fondly called, by his closest fans, entered into the film industry ….and sees himself being fulfilled doing theatre in Nigeria. However, we caught up with him at a location in Abeokuta, Ogun State, and he has this to say about the forthcoming elections and how the administration should assist the film makers against the activities of pirates. Excerpts:
How did it start?
I started acting when I was very young in Abeokuta, Ogun State. It all began in the church. My friend, Tunde and I, used to present a two cast play during our church anniversary. Along the line, I was introduced to one theatre group with whom I joined in 1996. And I have been in the business from that time till today.
We tend to hear many controversial stories about you. What do you think is responsible?
I think the media should take responsibility of that. Some journalists do often forget the ethics of their profession due to some factors. But I will appeal to them to always investigate any story before they publish. This is important, because even journalists themselves have their own private lives. I can mention few of them that drink, smoke and even womanise. People don’t know about it because nobody can write about it.
And they cannot write against themselves?
They can’t write against themselves. They drink, smoke, womanise and do all those things they write about.
But why do you think journalists are the cause of these scam reports? Don’t you think some people within your circle are giving these stories to the press and the press publish them relying on the fact that you have the right of reply ?
I don’t know if I get your question right, that journalists don’t drink, smoke…
I am saying you seem to be blaming journalists for what you consider misrepresentation about you…?
(Cuts in) Jesus Christ! They have not written anything bad about me. They have written many stories about me even when they don’t ask me and none of them has been a bad story. However, whether they write bad or good about me, I always see it as normal thing because if you are dead today, they won’t write anything about you any more.
It is either, like you said, people go to them and give them such scam stories or they on their own cook up stories. But I don’t care. There should be an arrangement by a body of journalists in Nigeria to stop the reporting of scams about us and even about other people. The body should remind the media practitioners that only by being positive about the job will earn them good lives and for the good of the society too. It should also be spelt out that it is not compulsory that you bring people down before you are known or before you make it in life. Or does it make sense that you should kill some people because you want to rise up (laughs)?.
Economists say whatever affects environment affects the business. The business that determines how every business thrives in Nigeria currently is that of politics. What is the role of actors in nation building and in the electioneering process?
Many parties are using us for campaigns. But I will just say to the politicians that we are all human beings and we see what is happening. Whoever is in position of authority should try to make this country as good as one of those countries we all aspire to travel to .
Advertising and campaigning for politicians?
We are only playing our roles as actors. The only thing that will give us joy is when our politicians begin to perform up to our expectation.
Now, as a contributor to the national economy, what are your expectations from whoever emerges to form the next government among the politicians and what contribution will you make to ensure the new government succeed?
The politicians need entertainers, they need actors to campaign for them. When they get there, they should not forget us. They should call and ask us questions as per what we need and what we can do to contribute positively to the nation. The collaboration they are doing with us now should go beyond election period to after election.
Film making entails different stages which I know is not an easy job. But the industry has not been able to overcome piracy. Is this part of what you will like put in place before the government after election?
Politicians are the ones in power and all we can do is to continue to pray for them. But we can also let them know that people who are in power today will be remembered only for their performances in future. However, we have been crying and lamenting about the activities of pirates who deny us from reaping the fruits of our labour. The government needs to intervene. This is the major problem confronting us as film producers in Nigeria and zero tolerance for corruption will go a long way in solving this problem.
Finally, how many films have you produced?
(Laughs) They are many but I can just mention few: Sunday Dagboru, Omo Adugbo, these will hit the market soon; Alani Pamolekun, Fayebora, Maakofun e,
Culled from vanguardngr.com

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