Kunle Adegbite, actor, script-writer and filmmaker came into the industry with a mission and has made an impact. He came into the limelight in 2006 when he shot his debut flick, OGBON. RAHMAN IS’MAIL spoke with him recently on his new corporate deal, his general view of the movie industry, and more. Excerpt.
We are heading to the New Year, what’s your New Year resolution?
Yeah! My New Year resolution is to be much closer to God.
Does that mean you’ve been far away from Him before?
That’s why I said closer; had it been I’m far away from Him, I would have said close to Him. I think I’m justified. After that, I want to be more dedicated to my job.
What is the latest about you as a filmmaker?
My new film is set to hit the shelves. Come 26th of December and 3rd of January, I’m showing it at LTV8.
What is the title of the movie?
It is titled “Star Boy” but there’s possibility of changing the title based on the directive of the censor board.
You agree with me that there are lots of caucuses in Yoruba sector of Nollywood, which of them do you belong to?
You’re right but the fact is that I’m in love with all the caucuses but I belong to TAMPAN.
Why the choice of TAMPAN?
I joined TAMPAN because I believe in its vision; not that I dislike the vision of others perhaps because I’m closer to people in TAMPAN.
How would you rate the industry when it was being controlled by one body (ANTP) to present situation?
I don’t find this disintegration of members so interesting. Personally, I’m not too good in politics and I don’t have interest in that case. I will subscribe to a single body. Be it TAMPAN, TGMAN and One House, they can come together to form alliance with a single ideology on how to move the industry forward. Ordinarily, I don’t believe in association, I work with brains without putting your caucus into consideration. Once I noticed that you will be best fit into a particular role in my movie, I will patronise you. So, the issue of association to me is a mere formality.
Some of your colleagues are diversifying into another business because piracy is hindering the development of the industry; are you following the same trend?
Definitely! Virtually, everybody is getting involved in other businesses. In this coming New Year, I promise you that another story would be heard about Kunle Adegbite. Just keep your fingers crossed till when I’m set to let the cat out of the bag because as an actor, one shouldn’t remain idle when he or she is not on movie location.
Another means of revenue generation for artistes is the ambassadorship deal; we have not seen enough actors from the Yoruba sector of Nollywood, what is your comment?
Anyway, I’m not ready to speak for anybody or a particular association. Whatever I say here is a personal opinion. The Nigerian corporate organizations have introduced tribalism into their system of choosing ambassadors. It has been stigmatized. The telecoms organizations are trying their best in supporting artistes by making them ambassadors for their brands but the argument is that some of the top officials there are not fair in their decision. You will agree with me that actors in Yoruba movie sector are quite professional. Even those in English are complementing us because we’re up to the task when it comes to interpretation of roles but hilariously, we have only two artistes from Yoruba sector as ambassadors to a brand owned by our own brother. Some of the actors signed as ambassadors are not as popular as they are meant to be, forget about propaganda, every individual has his own shortcomings. The same thing plays itself in national award. The federal government has been honouring young actors in English sector who have not spent a decade in the industry while we have legends who have been in the industry for the past 40 years and still very much relevant. The Federal Government does not recognize them because they are Yoruba actors, forgetting that we’re the real projector of our culture and tradition. Tribalism is centralized, let’s say the truth.
How many movies have you released so far?
I’ve nine movies from my stable.
Which of your movies shot you to the limelight?
I will give it to my first movie production titled OGBON, it was released in 2006.
Who are your mentors in the industry?
I really don’t have a mentor but I have those that I appreciate. The likes of Saidi Balogun, Dele Odule, Oga Bello, Yinka Quadri and a whole lot of others. But when we talk of the artiste that gives me inspiration for acting, I will give it to Saidi Balogun. He’s a fantastic actor.
When did you delve into acting?
I started acting in 1999.
How was your growing up like?
I was born and bred in Ilaro, Ogun State. I had my elementary and secondary education in Ilaro. After my secondary education, I proceeded to Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro and Ibadan Poly for my HND. The road was quite rough and challenging because I was combining everything together. I was serving at the defunct National Electricity Power Authority, (NEPA) while I was acting as well.
What do you want to be remembered for?
Everyone that has worked with me knows that I’m a straight forward person. I don’t betray agreement and I think that is my best trait in life. I stand by my words and I’m not easily intimidated.