Actor Dele Odule is both loved and criticized for his bluntness. The former president of the Theatre Arts and Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria is known to usually speak his mind without caring whose ox is gored.
In a recent chat with Punch, the veteran actor expressed dismay that a lot of young actors in the industry didn’t have respect for those who got into the business before them. According to Odule, the lack of regulation in the industry is at the root of some of these problems in the business.
He said, “It is in this industry that a particular actress would go on a ranting spree on social media because another actress did not address her as aunty. If you look back at my set and Jide Kosoko’s set and those who are older, you could never find things like this happening.
“The young generation artistes are the people messing up the industry and this goes back to what I have always said about the lack of standards in the industry. In those days, I used to address every actor who was older than me in the profession as sir or ma, though I didn’t take tutelage from them. But that doesn’t happen anymore. Now, they just call you uncle.”
Odule, who celebrated 40 years on stage in 2017, told Sunday Scoop that talent was the most important factor every actor needed to succeed in the industry. The veteran added, “No matter what anybody tells you differently, the single, most important factor to succeed in the industry is talent.
“In those days, you could never come into the industry without proper training. But these days, it seems nobody cares about that and everybody does whatever they feel like. It is indeed sad and I am worried for this profession. For people like me, this is the only job I have and I wouldn’t want to see it go to ruin.”
Though he is no longer the president of TAMPAN, Odule stated that the association was in touch with senior members of the profession who had one health challenge or the other. He said, “We try to support one another as much as possible. It is quite unfortunate when our legends have one illness or the other and have to seek the public’s help. However, we also try in our own little way to support our members as much as we can.”