Ghana’s super actor, John Dumelo, is also one of Nigeria’s favourite thespians. Handsome and gracious, Dumelo has become one of the most sought-after male actors in both Nollywood and Ghollywood. He started acting at age seven and has been featured in prime movies in both industry. Recently, Dumelo was in Nigeria for a Ghandour Cosmetic launch. NEWTON-RAY UKWUOMA and other journalists had a brief chat with him. Excerpt:
Growing as a kid actor
I started very early. I did my first film when I was seven years old. It was a hit in Ghana then. My first movie is titled Baby Thief. After the movie, I started developing a strong film sense. God has a purpose for everybody. I think acting is what God chose for me. I naturally developed the passion for acting.
Breaking into the Nigerian market
I think at that time (2007), it wasn’t that easy. You know, we had other Nigerian actors around. Accepting me was a bit challenging. I think later we accepted the fact that we could come to Nigeria and work and Nigerians could come to Ghana and work. Things became okay.
Personal views of Nollywood
Nigeria does good films. It always keeps Ghana on its toes. Ghana does the same thing. I think it is a healthy rivalry – Ghana copying Nigeria and Nigeria, Ghana. In the end, it is a good marketing strategy. Ghana has a lot of fan base in Nigeria and Ghanaians love Nigerian movies.
Use of Nigerian languages I have worked in the East, so I picked up a lot of Igbo language there. And because I always come to Lagos before going to the East, I‘ve picked up some Yoruba language too. And yes, I have a lot of Yoruba and Igbo friends.
Challenges working in Nigeria and Ghana
We all have similar challenges. We have challenges with financing, organisation and piracy. Piracy is also prevalent in Ghana to the extent that when people premiere films they are very care-ful about their CDs, because you can premiere a film today and find the film on the street the next morning – and that is your money gone.
I have heard people talk about the beauty of marriage. I have seen a lot of people getting into marriage early, and divorcing early. I think people just love the idea of marriage but don’t know how to stay in marriage. They like the idea of love, but don’t have the idea of how to stay in love or be in love. Since I have some following, I decided to put what I have heard and seen in writing. It is to advise people not go into marriage in a hurry, or marry because your friends or cousins are getting married or because you want to have beautiful wedding pictures. Marriage is making it work and that is what is failing a lot of marriages these days.
These reasons are also why I am taking my time before getting married. I have plans of getting married soon.
Yvonne is just my friend. We have enjoyed a beautiful relationship over a long period of time. We had a misunderstanding, but one thing I understand is that life is short. There was no need to prolong the fight. So we settled.
Personal views on fatherhood
The father is an important factor in parenting. I have witnessed a situation where the father figure wasn’t identified in a home and I have also known how the children turned out. I am not saying that women are not good parents. They do their best. But when you have a father, it just makes everything wonderful. It is the same thing about when you are growing up and you have a father and no mother. The children will turn out to be something different. I think both are very important. I was closer to my dad.
The meaning of Dumelo
Dumelo means ‘town crocodile’ or ‘crocodile in town’. You know, crocodile are not normally in the town. They are supposed to be in the water. So, this one is the crocodile who made it out of the water.
I think I have been working for Ghandour Cosmetics for a couple of years now. I am the brand ambassador for Style Up, a hair gel for men. You know when you are working for a cosmetics company, you don’t work for one brand. Though I work for Style Up, I still have deals with BO16 and other brands that Ghandour produces. That is the main reason I am here. I am here for BO16. I am here to support the company.
Hairstyle and women
I use Style Up all the time and I think that’s one of the reasons why they chose me as the ambassador of Style Up, and maybe because I have a little fashion sense. I always keep my hair well trimmed and neat. Since I started using the product, I know a lot of men who have always wanted to use the product too because it’s good for the hair. It straightens out the hair and it makes the hair look neat and it attracts the women as wel l. When I say it attracts ladies, what I’m saying is that your hair becomes nice and you know ladies like nice things. Some ladies are attracted to nice hair, so, obviously, that would attract some of the ladies.
No. I don’t have any. It is just that with other products the waves and texture of my hair doesn’t last.
Personal views on earrings and tattoos
I don’t wear earrings or have tattoos. And I have nothing against those who wear tattoos or pierce their ears. It is a lifestyle choice. It is the same as those who drink and those who don’t. No one should judge.
Biggest turn off in a woman
Hair in the armpit. You can be as pretty as Kim, but if you have hair in the armpit, it wouldn’t be easy to look pass that.