#MCM Odunlade Adekola: “There’s No Secret To My Success, I Just Put in My Best”

1 October 30, 2017 By Dang

“I used to act very well in church and people loved it whenever I came on stage. Even before I mounted the stage, people would already be screaming in excitement and the cleric would then have to caution them so that everybody could hear what I had to say.

It was the interest and love that people had for me that motivated me to take acting seriously. Meanwhile, there was a friend of mine who we used to act together and go about performing in churches. He was part of a group that used to meet for rehearsals somewhere close to where I lived. One day, he told the members of his group that he had a friend who could act. They told him to invite me and when I got there, they asked me if I could act and I told them I could do it very well.

The leader of the group then asked why I believed so much in myself and he told me to act like a mad man. I immediately moved close to him, grabbed his cloth and started unbuttoning it. As I was doing that, everybody there started clapping and that is how I joined the theatre industry in 1996.

I didn’t initially know that it was different from what I was used to in church because they had more techniques, but I learnt over time. There was a time that the leader of our group invited some actors who had been in the industry for a long time such as Mr. Paragon, Kayode Akindina, Segun Akinlade, and Segun Adeniji (SAMA), among others to come and inspect what we were doing. After watching us perform, they urged me to join the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, and I became a member in January 1998.

My father really liked it. It was as if he knew that I would succeed in it. But I had an uncle who used to beat me so much anytime I went for rehearsals. However, that same uncle now asks me to bring him my movie.

I was quite young when I started but as I grew older, I realised that all the things that I considered to be challenges are only normal things that happen as one progresses in life. There is always a price to pay for whatever you want to achieve in life.

I usually pray that the same mouth that the world uses in praising someone should not also be used to ridicule the person. Acting is what I do for a living and I don’t really know whether I do it well or not. It is the people who watch me that can tell. But I always put in my best.

There’s no magic or special thing that I do in secret. I just believe in doing my job well and taking it serious. I neither drink nor smoke and I believe that every good actor must study and understand the script before going on set so as to get into character. It is very important to concentrate and stay focused. I watch my films like an objective viewer. I don’t see it like I’m the one who acted in them. If I notice ways in which my character should have done better, I would note it down for future purposes.

My motto in life is: do anything you want to do to the best of your ability. That is the way I approach my work. You never know the extent to which your actions would go.

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