No matter their talents, nobody can play my role —Rose Odika

Popular Nollwood actress, Rose Odika is famous for her legendary mother roles in the Yoruba film industry. She opens up to JOAN OMIONAWELE on issues surrounding her love life, career and personal projects. Excerpts:


AS the Governor of Tampan in Ibadan, Oyo State, what would you describe as your challenges.

The challenges are quite much. First, as a female, a lot of men don’t succumb to women being their leader, some don’t believe that women should lead. Also, raising funds to support our projects. But Tampan Oyo State has succeeded in bringing back the stage play as it was not being used here except for cinemas, but we have been able to regulate it and it holds every third Sunday in a month, it holds at D’rovans Hotel between 2 o’clock and 6 o’clock.


So, how has life been as an actress?

As an actress, it has been wonderful. I thank God because I am enjoying God’s grace. I am thankful for open doors and love from my fans.


What are the biting issues in Nollywood right now?

We are trying to penetrate the government to see if they can come up with a stronger law to tackle piracy. Instead of just parading them, why can’t pirates die by hanging? They should stiffen the laws against piracy, it is very annoying when someone puts in a huge amount of money to produce a movie and someone just pirates it for a token, it’s like killing someone, before they kill us, the government should help us to kill those people

If the government can also bring out a task force to fight militants and criminals, like they have NDLEA for fake drugs, they can also bring out law enforcement agencies to fight pirates? They will get more money, our work will move on well and everyone will be happy.


Preparations are in top gear for your annual event tagged ‘ewa asa’ what exactly is his event about?

Ewa Asa is about promoting integral talent development through a holistic approach. It’s about promoting the culture of Yorubaland. It is also an event set to appreciate and honour the living legends and dead heroes who have contributed to the promotion of the Yoruba reign. Ewa Asa is also to remember the reign of Oduduwa and our forefathers. It is also to showcase different talents and dance groups to the world.


What inspired you to put this event together

This is the 4th edition of the event. The inspiration came when I was going through the Yoruba culture. I discovered that there are lots of things to be celebrated. I noticed that most Yoruba parents don’t allow their children to speak Yoruba, some of our children have never come in contact with masquerades and I don’t want the Yoruba culture to go into extinction, thus I decided to come up with an event to promote the culture of the Yoruba people. There are lots of prices to be won as competitors will be given tasks to accomplish. There are so many unique dancesteps, foods and dialects in the rich Yoruba culture and that it what I want to showcase.


Coming from an actress from Delta State, how were you able to learn all these?

This is a Delta woman who has lived in Yoruba land all her life. I was born in Yoruba land. I go to my village every Christmas, but I also want to give to a society that made me. I was made by the Yoruba film industry and everything and everyone surrounding me are Yoruba, I also plan to promote the culture of the Ibo and Hausa, but let me start from where I know best which I have studied all my life. You cannot give what you don’t know and have.


What are your challenges?

Well, sponsorship is one thing that is difficult. We don’t have sponsors yet as I have been doing it by myself over the years, but to God’s glory, this year, we have the Ooni of Ife, who has accepted to host this year’s edition in Ile Ife, but we are calling on sponsors to support us.


Apart from acting, what else do you do?

I thank God. Apart from acting, I organize this event, Ewa Asa annually. I have a skincare outlet where I take care of people’s skin. I’m also into the fashion industry and I have a fashion line.


With the influx of younger ladies in the industry, are you under pressure?

I am not afraid of competition because no matter their number, they cannot play my role. I say it anywhere. An actor is the raw material of a particular product. For instance, when you cook vegetable soup, you use green leaves; shoko will not play the role of Ugwu, likewise an actor, if someone is playing the role of a rich woman in a particular play, it can’t be the same spice that I will put in. so there are so many people with talents and no matter how many people come in, they can’t play my role, you are who you are at any given time.


Not much has been heard about your love life, why?

Let me clear the air now, there was a time it went viral that I was going to get married soon, well, the writer wished me well and yes I have a love life but I have decided to separate my love life from the public. Secondly, I’m not a romantic person. I am more of a workaholic. My fingers have been burnt from my first marriage, so I put men as a secondary,  not a primary issue in my life, so I am facing my career rather than flying around with one lover who will break your heart in a few minutes.