Dele Odule the Yoruba actor,is one of those actors you never get tired of watching.Over the years i have lost count of the amount of times i have seen him in a movie.He is one of the few actors that you would watch a film for simply because you saw him on the cover or you saw his name on the credit.Many things have been said about Dele Odule,some say he is a womanizer,some say he is arrogant and disrespectful,all these are argumentative,but one thing they all agree about is,he
is a bloody good actor!
Now lets start with his biography.The actor made his first appearance on tv in 1982 and has not looked back since.I did a lot of digging but i could not quite find a place where Dele Odule's real age was highlighted.But from what i could put together,i think Odule was born in 1961,That would make him 54 years old.He lost his mother at a very young age.She died in 1969.So if he was born in 1961,he would have been 8 years old when she died.That's a very tough thing for any child to cope with.To add to that,he has lost his father as well over 40 years ago! On a brighter side,he reckons maybe if his parents had been alive,they would not have allowed him to go down the acting route. Maybe that's why the actor likes women so much,lol.He is trying to get all the love and attention he missed out on due to his mum not being there.The actor's love for women is legendary.I will tell you a personal experience,well,not 100% personal,but it involved my sister,so you could say it is personal.
My sister and my brother went on to a film set.My brother works in the Nigerian movie industry,so my sister decided to go visit him while she was in Nigeria.She is a big fan of Yoruba movies,so she took the chance to meet some of the Yoruba films industry stars.
When they got on set,they met Dele Odule along with some other actors.One of the actors present,i don't remember who exactly,introduced my sister to Dele,and said this is Mrs X,dele shook my sister's hand and won't let it go,so the guy doing the introduction said,Dele,i said Mrs X,emphasising on the Mrs so he would know she was married,Dele with that famous smile of his said ..ehhhn mo mo..translating- to yea i know...hahahaaha,the man is so funny.
He further confirmed this love for women wen during an interview with Sahara Tv,the young lady interviewing him asked what he liked to do when he was not busy working.He replied,i love to hand out with people like you! The girl was shocked and asked him again,he gave the same reply with a smile saying,i love women,i get my inspiration from women,i love sitting down and hanging out with them..So there you have it.
Odule began his acting career 30 years ago with Dele Ogunsanya Theatre Group. He is native of Oru Ijebu, i always wondered why he played so many roles speaking Ijebu,now i know.Odule was educated at St. Mark Primary School and Itamerin Secondary School, Oru Ijebu. He also trained as a teacher at Muslim Teachers Training College, Oru Ijebu.He is also a degree holder in mass Communication and is getting ready for his Masters.He says he loves education and loves re-energising himself in the educational fields.
He has been married to his wife for over 25 years.It is rumoured that he has over 10 children by different women.When asked this question,all he said was he was not perfect and it's not only in his field that men have many children.He also replied that men such as General Abacha,King Sunny Ade had many children,so no regrets.Remarkably,he has so far sent 5 children to various Universities,further enforcing his belief in good education.
Like i said earlier,the actor has been involved in some controversy along the way,the most popular ones being with Yinka Quadri and Lere Paimo,Baba Eda.The genesis of the rift with Lere Paimo Baba Eda,who he said was like a father to him,started over the battle for the Presidency of the Association of Nigeria Theatre arts practitioners in 2009.Apparently,the elders wanted Dele Odule to step down for another candidate and he refused to.So in typical African tradition,he was labelled as disrespectful and arrogant! A few years later in 2014, Dele Odule was elected President of the Theatre Arts and Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN) .
Bisi Komolafe and Dele Odule.
The Yinka Quadri feud was much messier.It involved a young actress called Bisi Komolafe.
Bisi Komolafe was an actress under the tutelage of Yinka Quadri.According to industry gist,the two started dating.Bisi Komolafe and he were on a movie set in Oyo state,while on the set,he reportedly asked Bisi to produce her tally,a tally is an ID card that the actors are supposed to produce on a film set to identify themselves.Now i am sure Odule very well knew who Bisi Komolafe was,he didn't have to make an issue of the tally business,Bisi replied him that she was not giving a tally and have never been asked to produce one on any movie set so far.
This dragged on and Dele accused her of being rude and telling her things like he was her senior in every department and old enough to be her father.He also reportedly said he was better educated than her and her mentor Yinka Quadri.Now bear in mind Dele,Yinka Quadri and Taiwo Hassan Ogogo used to be inseparable friends,before they fell out.
Bisi Komolafe in her won words said despite her begging Odule,he carried on and said to her- if he had his way, he would make sure acting becomes my past.Now you will agree this was totally unnecessary,like the Yoruba will say,"Kila gbe,ki le ju"?
So carrying on with the gist,Dele now calls Yinka Quadri and reports Bisi Komolafe to him.Yinka Quadri called Dele an hypocrite,saying why are you reporting her to me now after you had already called me an hypocrite behind my back?
So that was one of the controversies generated by Dele in the industry.Sadly,Bisi Komolafe died a year after all these messy incident.RIP to the dead.
While speaking on the subject later,Dele said he has no bones or quarrel to pick with anyone as he is an easy going man.If you talk to me i will talk to you and if you don't,i won't either.He refused to delve too much into the Bisi Komolafe affair as he said you don't speak ill of the dead.
While answering a question in an interview about what role he wishes he had played,he answered that he thinks he has played every role possible.
One of my major regrets is not talking to Dele when i was lucky enough to be on the same flight with him.I saw him at an Airport,he was with Fathia Balogun.Maybe if he was alone i would have spoken to him at length.But i just said hello and moved on.I think they were on their way for an awards show in Europe.I was quite surprised at how tall he was.he was over 6 feet.I look back and really wished i had spoken to him at length,it would have been a very interesting journey and funny one.As you know,he is a very funny actor.You hardly watch a movie of his without laughing at the part he plays,no matter how serious,he will always add some humour to it.
But after much though he replied and said he would love to play an Igbo man,he doesn't speak the language but would love the challenge of it.
D .O. take a bow,you have carved your name in Nigeria's entertainment industry for posterity.
By Queen Olofofo.
By Queen Olofofo.