Ade Adenrele is a veteran actor, known for movies such as Gucci Girls (2012) Eti Keta (2011) and Ayitale (2013). Despite being in the industry for so long, he is very humble and maintains a very cordial relationship with both his younger colleagues and his contemporaries in the industry. And this explains why he is so loved by many.
The veteran actor clocked 75 years a few days ago and was treated to a surprise party by US-based veteran actress, Ashabi Olorisha. City People Reporter, OLUWADAMILOLA AKINSANYA got him to talk about his life at 75 and his over 5 decades journey in the Yoruba movie industry.
Can you tell us about your journey into the industry and how many years have you been in the industry?
It has been a long. I started during my primary school way back in Ibadan, that was around 1957-1958 to be precise but by now I didn’t know maybe it is the professional way.
I worked with National Banking in Kano after that I started my own group right in Kano. It is in my blood then. When I came to Lagos after all those problems in Kano, I joined people like Oga Bello (Adebayo Salami) because we are very very close. And because acting is in my blood it didn’t take much time before they recognised my potential in me.
What is your growing up like and your educational background?
I grew up in Ibadan Western region then I started my primary school at CAC Oniyanrin inside Ibadan before I came to Lagos I finished my education in Lagos and I later went to RSS in Ishagamu, I did my HS before I travelled out to the UK.
I heard you once stayed at Kano? How true is that?
Yes, for a long time because I was transferred from National Banking in London to Kano which was 1978 and have been staying there before I decided to retire I spent almost 22 years in Kano.
How do you feel about today being your birthday and the surprise party?
I felt loved and honoured seeing good people around to celebrate with me and the surprise package was done by my lovely daughter Ashabi Olorisha. They all arranged it without my consent and moreso, I didn’t plan to celebrate it, I only invited my cleric man to come and pray for me as usual.
I am using this opportunity to thank God for adding another year to my age and this particular surprise birthday really caught me off guard but I am really happy, that I had to shed tears of joy that was why when they came in I was dumbfounded.
I want to use this opportunity to say a big thank you to my colleagues and veterans like Prince Jide Kosoko, Yinka Quadri, Iya Ereko, Madam Saje, Wunmi Yetunde, Rafiu Balogun and those that came all the way from London just to surprise me especially Ashabi Olorisha, she is a blessed child, 5 years ago when I had my 70 years birthday at Osogbo all the Nollywood actors/actresses were all there to celebrate with me.
And I pray that all that participated in this my 75th birthday, may God bless everyone despite being Ramadan but there is nothing I can do than to say thank you to everyone.
I heard during the prayer that this is not the first time Ashabi Olorisha will surprise you on your birthday?
5 years ago when I did my 70th birthday, the same Ashabi Olorisha stylishly told me she is having her location at Osogbo that I am part of her cast and I couldn’t refuse her. On April 4, she called all the artistes to do the surprise birthday they are all there, she provided everything I needed for the day clothes, cake and so on, she foot all the bills and I strongly believe God will surprise her in a very miraculous way and this is not the first time just exactly what she did 5 years ago.
What has been your relationship with Ashabi Olorisha?
Ashabi Olorisha is an Ijebu woman but I am from Ibadan when you flow naturally with someone she just chose me as her Godfather in the industry because she is someone I love so much even before she travelled to America. I can say I love her too much because there is no time she sees me that she gives me money, in fact, it is God that joined us together nothing else.
What can you say concerning the death of Dejo Tunfulu?
May his soul rest in perfect peace. We were both together at the birthday party of Gov. Bola Ahmed Tinubu for 2 to 3 days, we came together that very night surprisingly the third day was April 1st, and I was told he is no more than once again, may his soul rest in perfect peace.
And I want to use this medium to say a big thank you to Modupeola Shine Shine for the support as usual that she should not stop the good deeds that God will surely reward HER unexpectedly and she will eat the fruit of her labour and my profound gratitude goes to Remmy Shitta Bay, Coach Oko Saje.
Do you have any pending projects?
For now yes, by the grace of God, maybe after Ramadan. The real project is on the way and you know they don’t allow us to sell it at Idumota again so when it is time I will announce it to everyone because by then it will be available and by God’s grace it will be a hit.
I want to say thank you to the CEO of City People TV Magazine (Dr Seyi Kehinde). He has been with artists for a long, your company will not be burnt down and everyone working in City People shall prosper.