There is hardly any major movie that comes out of the Yoruba movie industry these days that does not have star actor, Odunlade Adekola, in it. That has been the trend for the past few years. Not only do movie producers use him a lot, they usually advise all those who want to go on location to always feature Odunlade in their movies, so that his face can be put on their movie jackets. This is because his face sells movies. Within the Yoruba movie industry, everyone knows that for your movie to sell you need to have Odunlade feature in it, even if it’s just for few scenes. That is the power that the Odunlade brand attracts. He is also the highest-paid actor in the Yoruba movie industry.
But the interesting thing is that Odunlade is very modest about his achievements. He does not make a song and dance of it. He has remained very humble despite his accomplishments.
He does not like to arrogate his run-away success to his efforts. Any time you ask him, he will tell you its the grace of God. He never underestimates the God factor in his success story. “It can only be God”, he keeps saying.
A few days ago, City People cornered him at a party in Lagos and he spoke about his success story. It was at Wunmi Toriola’s baby dedication at the City People Event Centre, Gbagada in Lagos.
What has helped Odunlade stay focused is his Christian background.
Multi-talented actor, Odunlade Adekola was born into a Christian home, his father is a Pastor while his mother is a Deaconess at the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) in Abeokuta. He is a strong member of CAC and according to the actor, he is a committed Christian. He had his tertiary education in Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), where he obtained a Diploma Certificate. He is also a graduate of the University of Lagos, where he bagged a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
He debuted as an actor in 1996. Prior to his debut in the Yoruba film industry, he began acting in the church where he used to play the role of jester alongside his childhood friend Tunde Owokoniran.
He debuted with movies like Fawonraja and Asiri Gomina, which eventually gave him his big break in the movie industry. He has starred in over 1000 movies both English and Yoruba and still counting such as Taxi Driver, Oko Ashawo, Wives On Strike, New Money and too many to mention. He is a very versatile actor and he is arguably the best in the Yoruba movie genre.
Odunlade is happily married to Ruth and they are blessed with kids. He is the CEO of Odunlade Adekola Films Productions, where he trains upcoming actors and actresses, so far, he has trained over 50 students, who are presently starring in the movie industry such as Eniola Ajao, Bukky Adeeyo, Tunde Owokoniran, amongst others.
Over the years, Odunlade has been able to establish himself as an accomplished actor and he has several awards to show for it, these include City People Best Actor of the Year back to back in 5 years (2009, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017) Best Actor in a comedy/television series category in the 6th edition of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards 2018, with this award, he proved to the world that English can not restrict his shine in the both industry.
Odunlade who is an actor, singer, producer and director is often regarded as the top pillar upholding the Yoruba movies in Nigeria. He is one of the most expensive actors in the movie industry, and every producer is willing to part away with any amount, just to feature “Odu” as he is fondly called in their movies, because his face on the jacket of any movie sells faster than any other movie star, even if it is just for few scenes.
He ventured into the music industry in 2015 and has established himself also as a successful musician.
The talented actor in the last few years bagged lots of mouth-watering endorsement deal. He was Glo Ambassador in 2015, Goldberg, Conoil which all raked in millions of naira, and the current one with Revolution Plus Homes and Properties.
Odunlade Adekola’s status as a leading celebrity in the Nigerian Entertainment Industry is partly due to his work and more to the public exposure gained through Memes created on social media, especially on Twitter.
He is regarded as the king of Memes in Nigeria, there are many of his humorous freeze-frame expressions floating on twitter. They are used by young Nigerians to buttress a humorous event, moment or observation.
Odunlade Adekola is no doubt one of the most successful actors in the movie industry with close to 4 million followers on Instagram giving an edge over his male counterparts in the industry. Also Africa Magic Yoruba proved us right with the number of his movies showing per day, they make it as a point of duty, that 70 percent of the movies they show every day, features Odunlade Adekola in it, this also places him above others. This extremely friendly and humble actor clocked 43 years few days ago. When asked how he has been able to maintain his stardom the past years, this is what he has to say? You are my boss and it is people like you that can really tell me, if so far, I have been able to that.
honestly, it is not what anybody can do by himself or herself. It requires the power of God to direct and control you to achieve all that, and I give Almighty God the praise for his grace upon my life.
Do you really have time to rest amidst all these?
Definitely, I create little time for myself, but honestly, it is not easy because it is equally important to attend events and support colleagues during events like this. So despite my extremely busy schedule, I make time to relax and rest, because it is very important to attend events and support colleagues during events like this. So despite my extremely busy schedule, I make time to relax and rest, because it is very important.
If you are not working, what do you do?
If I am not on location shooting movies or attending events like this, I will be at home, writing scripts. It is a part of my life, I am so used to it, so I can’t just sit down and remain idle, I need to always keep myself busy.
How have you been able to keep your rating high both in the English and the Yoruba movie industry?
It is something you can’t plan or prepare. It is just the plan of God Almighty in my life that is making things work that way for me. Don’t forget the fact that I met a lot of others in the movie industry, so I am not in any way better than them, so it is just God’s grace that is upon me. It is even beyond my own imagination, so it is God.
How do you react to the fact that every producer wants to feature Odunlade in their movies? Laughs!!! Haa, I have not heard about this before, honestly, it is just God’s grace that is at work for producers to desperately want me to feature in their movies, doesn’t mean I am perfect in any way. It is the grace of God, don’t forget that I am a Christian and I am also a Pastor. Laughs!!!
What determines the movie you feature in?
Good producer, good scripts.
Do you get that all the time?
Even if I don’t, we will know how to manage and work around it to suit me in other to protect the good name I have really worked hard for.
How have you been able to manage your fame and marriage together?
I can’t really say much about that because we have different background and home training and also in the industry, so I will still say it is the power of God because nobody is perfect and we all have our shortcomings and there is no perfect marriage anywhere, so we only work extra to make everything perfect. Every marriage definitely has its own ups and downs, so it is understanding and patients that make everything work. Nobody has supernatural power.
It is just the power of God that leads us right.
Despite being very famous, you relate to everybody with respect, what explains that?
All these great people you are seeing made me famous, so why will I look down on them. They made Odunlade Adekola today, they buy my movies and recommend my movies to others. So it is very important to give them that few minutes they ask of me when I meet them. It is very important and they are an equally important part of our lives.
What should we be expecting from you in 2020?
I have a lot of projects I will be working on for 2020, and I would not want to disclose them for now, let it come to my fans and well wishes as a surprise.
Have you ever wished not to be famous again with all the attractions from fans and the opposite sex?
Have you ever gotten tired of getting money, I make money from what I am doing so I have never considered stopping it because I am really enjoying every bit of it. So this is what I do for a living and I am really grateful to God for it.