Caucuses destroy the movie industry – Rose Odika
* 'Our films should meet international standards'
Rose Odika is one of the prolific female actresses in the Nigerian movie Industry. The beautiful Delta State indigene has been in the make-believe world for almost two decades with notable movies to her credit. Many people will remember her role in the movie, Ododo Eye, which shot her into the lime light in the '90s. In this interview with SUNKANMI OGUNADE, she reveals why she has been glued to Yoruba movies and how she hopes to remain on top of her game. Excerpts:
You are a very beautiful and adorable actress, how have you maintained your good looks?
I have been careful. Being an actress, you majorly work with your face and facial attitude; I strive as much as possible to maintain the good look. I eat good food and drink a lot of water. I just wash my skin and ensure I make use of good skin products. I need a perfect face to ensure I attract a lot of viewers to myself. In this industry, if you have the acting skills supported with a very good face, you will go a long way. It's just as simple as that. Most importantly, all thanks to God in heaven who has protected me.
How would you describe yourself?
My names are Rose Odika, I am from Delta state but I grew up in Ibadan, the passion started when I was in the secondary school. I was in the French/drama club, I was so attached to the club that I normally organise events that will involve everybody in the club. We would engage in competitions that in the end, the winner walks away with a good prize. I actually developed myself with that platform and today, I am good with it. After that I proceeded to 'Oduteams' owned by Doctor Bode Sowande. I took up a soap which was produced by Tunde Fatilewa. That was how I started. I was at The University of Ibadan studying Thetare Arts when Mr Wemimo Olu Paul(Wemimio Films) invited me for a Yoruba movie. That was how I started acting Yoruba movies.
How were you received when you emerged in the industry?
Well, I have been in the industry indirectly due to the course I studied which was theatre arts, I have been groomed by theatre practitioners and I know the rudiments already. I have also been trained by the Oduteams group in the practical way; I had little or no problem. I was received warmly and I give glory to God again.
How would you rate the Yoruba movie industry?
I will say we have good hands. Most of these movie producers pick up less experienced actors and in the end, the whole production will turn out to be nothing to write home about. In the Yoruba world, there is nothing of such; it is so real that most of these actors have been groomed by a very experienced theatre practitioner. We produce films that lecture you on the facts of life. We don't just load up the movie market with senseless films. We share stories that are real. People will love to see practical stories refined into a home video. The best actors are in the Yoruba industry, it is as simple as that.
Have you encountered challenges as an actress?
The more you look, the less you see. The more you want to belong to a click, the more some things move close. If you don't have a group, you might not excel. If you are not in a caucus, it will be so difficult getting roles. I don't belong to any caucus that is why when you see the likes of Funke Akindele, you see Yinka Quadri. The caucus thing is destroying the industry; it will continue to kill talents if something is not done about it. The fact that, no matter the years you have spent, your pay will still be stagnant. It's painful and very discouraging. As an actor, you try your possible best on the set only to be given stipends after the whole show. That is just another challenge I face. Apart from that, it's fun all the way.
Are you saying this profession is not cost effective?
Yes, if you don't belong to any caucus, you will not get the roles talk less of making the money. For the past 7years, my pay has been the same. It's not encouraging I must confess.
Comment on your family?
Well, I am a single mother and I have daughter. Anytime I have a location call; my mother takes care of my sweet Oyinkansola. I am not always on the move every time. I have so much time for my family.
What happened between you and your husband?
(Cuts in)I don't want to talk about it at all.
What your view about politics in this country?
Well, I normally tell my friends whenever we talk, the country is divided into two parts and the president is not strong health wise, he is not fit for that task. That is not an excuse for things not to move on smoothly. Take for example, the governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola is a man that other governors should act like, that the president is sick does not mean things should not go on smoothly. A lot of things are wrong in this country and come to think of it, the leaders are not planning to change the way they handle things. The whole fault is not on the President , the Governors should do what is right and stop putting the whole fault on the President, I call what they practise in this country poli-pocket, All they know is to swallow money and send their children to the most expensive institutions of learning in the world. I hope all will change one day and they will all come to realise that things should be done the right way.
What is the role of fashion in this industry?
Fashion is in your mind, fashion is expressing yourself. I try my possible best to dress well. The industry has improved in the fashion way. People dress well to events and even when you watch our movies, you will come to discover that, the dressing sense has changed, the costume managers have actually stepped up and it's all good news.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I see myself becoming a very big producer. Produce films of international standards and also project the good image of this country.
What is your advice to up and coming artistes?
They should stay focused and ignore anything that would discourage them and at the same time, they should make sure they get education which is the best legacy.
How do you relax?
I sleep well and watch good movies.
I am currently working on a script and after which I will be shooting. It going to be a first of its kind.