Born Dakore Omobola Egbuson, but popularly known as Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Nigerian actress, and ambassador for Amnesty International is back in the industry. Currently one of the lead actresses in EbonyLife Films Production, Fifty, one of the movies currently making waves, the mother of two speaks with DUPE AYINLA-OLASUNKANMI on her passion for women, and being part of the production among other issues.
HOW will you relate your personal experience to your role in the movie, Fifty?
I think what drew my attention to the movie is the fact that the whole experience is about women who try to balance all the parts of their lives; we are mothers, entrepreneurs, we are middle aged, all that and how it opposes to Nigeria society expectations.
The movie cuts across a whole lot of emotions that we feel in reality in Lagos, Nigeria today. Those are the things that caught my attention and the professionalism that was brought to the table.
I have been in Nollywood since inception, I have been in the industry for 20 years and I have seen the growth, and change that we have all been yielding in terms of production. Also, working with EbonyLife Films, the CEO, Mo Abudu and of course, the director Biyi Banidele was an experience. It was an amazing script. These are the people that you dream to be associated with. It is just a dream come true.
As an actress, what do you look out for in a script?
I like to see a real story; a real story journey in character. Not just something that is flashy, for the beauty of it. Yes, the story can be beautiful, but there is more to that beauty, which is substance.
So those are the things that I look out for and sometimes it is instinctive, you just know that you have to be part of this film, I can’t really explain it.
In this particular movie, all the parts fit in line; the cast fit, the elements fit, I find myself being drawn to films that are all about empowerment, and using my act to speak positively; I saw that opportunity in my character.
Did you find your role in the movie challenging?
I was faced with the challenge of pushing myself to the extreme. That’s what I saw in the character I played. Seeing how far I can go with the character which I got in the movie, I can say I’m proud to be part of it.
While going into acting, did you have it at the back of your mind, that you won’t be typecast?
Well, I think I was a bit stereotyped when I came in, because. at that time, they didn’t really have women who were strong-willed. So anytime they wanted a strong female who was outspoken, they would always reach out to me.
I think I came into Nollywood when women were probably being beaten and always crying. And with those types of role, I always ended up being the strong woman in movies. At a point, I had to make a conscious decision to say yes, it is great, but I would also like to play other roles. And if I don’t get the opportunity here, I could always get it somewhere else by God’s grace. So I didn’t let that determine my career; I was focused and was not appearing in all the films. I decided the projects that I wanted to be associated with. And of course as you do better in your career, you get more choices.
How were you able to stop being typecast, especially given the notion that the producers have the final say?
I didn’t have to convince anybody. It is about what you choose. I was the one who determined how far I could go. You can decide that you don’t want to do a particular movie due to any reason, be it timing, and not just because you don’t want to be part of the movie. I think for me, it is really instinctive; I feel it when it comes to the production value.
Would it be right then to say Fifty is like a comeback?
Fifty is not a comeback for me. I have been working; shooting other films. But I guess Fifty is one of the biggest films that I have done after my return to the movie scene.
I have been working since 2012, gradually just doing films and making people understand that I am serious about this. So it is interesting, but actually Fifty is the biggest production that I have been in Nigeria. So it is nice to actually be able to adapt to a new set. The recognition that the movie has gotten me so far already is a clear indication that hopefully when I want to work on a big production, I have already gotten the profile. Also the fact that the theater chose to show our film in London is another advantage.
What was your experience at the London premiere of the movie?
It was amazing, it was so real. I had to pinch myself to know that I wasn’t dreaming. The reception was amazing, as we had a diverse crowd from different countries to come watch the movie.
And the way they all responded to different aspects of the movie, from the language, which was understood and appreciated, was awesome. Being shown on the big screen and also the production value, the sound, and everything was pretty amazing.
I hadn’t seen the film, but seeing it on the big screen made my heart beat. Being able to get the responses back was just an icing on the cake for the filmmaker. Because if you are making a movie to get an impact on people, and then for them to respond positively, it is a good indication.
What is your reaction whenever you see any movie you starred in?
I react to it like a normal person watching a movie. For instance, I had not seen the movie, Fifty before it was premiered. I am always criticizing myself, but I think as an artiste, you should stop criticizing yourself because then, you will have a problem.
How do you mean?
By doing that, you will start saying you should have done a particular scene or part better. But I have learned not to be too hard on myself, but to step out of myself and just watch the film like I was watching a movie at the cinema. I am proud to be part of this particular movie; it is just epic to see it on the big screen in London.
While on break, did you yearn to return?
Of course, I did. It is something that I have always done, but there is time for everything.
But how do you balance your roles, especially as you are now saddled with other chores?
That is the reality of the whole thing. You have to look for a way to balance every aspect of your life as a mother, wife, and entrepreneur and as a career person. When you are happy and really have time for your family, I think it is all about time management too. And the movie also treats this area too, how women who are engaged with different roles try to balance these roles.
I think the reason I am part of this movie is to be able to show to the world what women go through, especially women of that age bracket because their story doesn’t often get told.
At the moment, are you working on any project?
None that I want to disclose presently, (laughs).
How do you manage to look youthful?
You just manage what you have. That is it! I try to take care of myself, watch what I eat and exercise. And try to take care of my skin because I am always on the show. I also say a lot of prayers and do a lot of meditation. Also, I try to take things easy, inasmuch as things are hectic. I try as much as I can to be happy.