Kunle Afod is a household name in the Nigerian movie industry as he has produced and directed numerous movies, many of which have bagged awards. The Oyo State-born actor, who co-founded Legacy School of Performing Arts with his friends some 25 years ago, in this interview by FEMI OGUNTAYO, talks about his career, among other trending issues. Excerpts:
What were the plans you had pre-Coronavirus that have been affected in one way or the other?
Before the lockdown, I had plans to travel to the United States, start production in the states and shoot the Nigerian bit when I get back, but here we are. Still don’t know when things will ease up but we are grateful for the gift of life.
What have you been doing in your own capacity as a public figure to support your fans and government in the fight against Coronavirus?
I did some research and found out that a lot of Nigerians do not believe in the existence of the virus. They think it’s some sort of elaborate government scam to make money from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other bodies. I took it upon myself to do a relatable video to explain the dangers of this assumption and the need to stay safe and comply strictly with the directives issued by the government. I also reached out to the indigent and vulnerable ones around me to the best of my ability.
On your career now, it has been a while coming for you, can you recap your journey to stardom?
It’s been a long walk to fulfillment; I am still on that journey anyway, but the path started way back, post-secondary school. My mother noticed I had the zeal for anything art and one day, Uncle Jide Ogungbade walked into my mother’s hospital for treatment and she told him about me. I have not looked back since that day. After several stage tours, I joined ACO owned by Oga Bello, Aluwe and Iya Awero. That started my sojourn into the Yoruba movie industry and it’s been a journey full of twist and turns. I might write a book on my journey one day, it would definitely worth reading.
What inspired you to become an actor and a filmmaker?
I discovered myself, I had to inspire myself honestly, no one was there to hold my hand, that’s why when I look at today’s youth saying there was no one to help them, I laugh because no one owes you anything. My passion and dream was and still, is my major driving force. I am glad I didn’t quit.
Acting or directing, which do you enjoy doing more?
I have to say both. Directing is like seeing the end of a thing from the beginning, you already have the picture in your head you are bringing it to life bit by bit, piece by piece and you have the privilege to mould it your way, it’s intriguing. I enjoy acting a lot, it’s an outlet for me, I just put all my emotions to work and that can be so satisfying.
Many viewers out there and even actors in the Nigerian movie industry believe the industry has not really developed the way it ought to, in terms of storyline, production, graphics and all. As a filmmaker and an actor who has been in the game for a long time, what would you say about this or is responsible for this?
I believe in growth and I also believe that everything grows at a pace that is convenient for it. Look, we are not where we are supposed to be, our jobs have improved a lot, there are low quality movies, we agree but all industries have their own share of low quality movies. We have grown, we will keep growing and we will make them proud. We will pick up our pace real soon.
Do you see yourself retiring from acting to focus on some other things later on?
I do not, although no one knows tomorrow but not in the nearest future except of course governance calls, who am I to say no?
Would you encourage your children, male or female to go into acting?
Why not? My son is a director and he is just 14. I would encourage my kids and even give them a platform.
As a public figure and married man, how do you manage advances from female admirers or even actresses?
I am very professional and I respect people’s boundaries, it’s only fair that they respect mine.
What do you do at your leisure?
Parte after Parte, bond with my kids and develop new content.
What do you have to say about fame and pride with Nigerian celebrities, especially the actors?
It depends on who you were before fame set in. A proud person will be proud, famous or not. Fame doesn’t last forever, it’s very temporary and once you have that at the back of your mind, you will remember to be humble.
What is always your greatest challenge on set?
My greatest challenge as a director is working with an actor that is not teachable, they are the worst kind of actors to work with and they make you look incompetent. All actors have to be teachable, take instructions and put their best foot forward at all times.
Your words to your fans.
Live and let us live, your words are very sharp swords, use them wisely
YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
Sperm Containing COVID-19 Raises Risk Of Spread Via Sex ― Study
Chinese researchers who tested sperm of men infected with COVID-19 found that a minority of them had the new coronavirus in their semen, opening up a small chance the disease could be transmitted sexually, scientists said on Thursday… Read full story
Stop Harassment Of Journalists, Other Essential Workers, PTF Tells Security Agencies
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic has told security agencies to desist for harassment of journalists and other essential workers on duty during the period of the ongoing restrictions to contain the spread of the virus… Read full story
Lagos Records Another Two COVID-19 Deaths
Lagos State government on Thursday said it recorded two additional coronavirus related deaths, bringing the total number of deaths associated to the pandemic in the state to 33. The Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, disclosed this on his Twitter handle, recalling that 82 new cases of COVID-19 infection… Read full story
22-Year-Old Lady Stabs Husband To Death After Catching Him Making Call To Another Woman
A 22-year-old lady was on Thursday, May 7, arrested by men of the Nasarawa State command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) after she allegedly stabbed her husband to death for making a phone call to another woman she suspected to be his lover… Read full story
PHOTOS: Lagos Expresses Appreciation, Releases List Of Donors To Coronavirus Fund
The Lagos State government on Thursday released list of various individuals and organisations who have so far donated to the fund to combat coronavirus in the state. In a tweet from the state government twitter handle, the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the state appreciated the corporate giant and individuals… Read full story
Give Account Of COVID-19 Donations Expenses, Lagos Assembly Tells Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State House of Assembly has called on the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu to make recourse to the House over expenses incurred from the donations made towards combating the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. The House also charged the governor to make recourse to it before declaring a state… Read full story
EDITORIAL: Buhari’s FCC Nominations
IN line with his usual practice regarding postings and appointments, President Muhammadu Buhari recently sparked controversy once again when he announced lopsided nominations into the Federal Character Commission (FCC). In a letter dated March 18, 2020 and addressed to the President of the Senate… Read full story
Justice Dahiru Saleh, Judge Who Annulled June 12 Presidential Election, Is Dead
Twenty-seven years after he made history by annulling the 1993 presidential election in what has now become popularly refer to as ‘June 12’, the judge, Justice Dahiru Saleh, has died. The retired judge died Thursday afternoon in his hometown, Azare, headquarters of Katagum Local Government Area in Bauchi… Read full story
Two Medical Staff Die, As Seven Travellers To Maiduguri Test Positive For COVID-19
Seven more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Maiduguri after being caught by security personnel trying to sneak into the capital city. They had come in from different South-West and South-South states inside empty petrol tankers in some cases to enter Maiduguri which is the ancestral home of some of them… Read full story
Lagos Discharges 48 More Patients After Testing Negative For Coronavirus
Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday announced the discharge of 48 more patients from various facilities in the state, saying the patients, who had tested negative twice to coronavirus comprised 32 males and 16 females, all Nigerians… Read full story
PTF Fumes Over Persistent Violation Of Guidelines; Threatens To Review Measures
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, on Thursday, expressed concerns over continuous violation of the guidelines put in place after the lockdown was relaxed and warned that the PTF may be forced to review the measures already taken… Read full story
The Pains, Struggles Of Almajiri System •Echoes from northern streets
Three years ago in Kaduna, the Kano state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, at a forum made a revealing disclosure that woke up deep thoughts in the guests; he told the gathering that the state had conducted a survey and discovered that there are no fewer than three million almajiris in the state… Read full story
Ramadan: The Richness Of A Special Month
RAMADHAN is primarily intended to make Muslims and indeed mankind to remain generally good, pure and righteous. It is Allah’s yearly serious purification of the body, heart and soul of every true Muslim in readiness for admission into Paradise (a Garden under which Rivers flow)… Read full story