Dare Ogungbe: Herbert Ogunde is my role model

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Dare Ogungbe: Herbert Ogunde is my role model

Budding actor, Oludare Ogungbe is a son of veteran actor and filmmaker, the late Akin Ogungbe. In this interview with OLATUNDUN ELIZABETH, he speaks about his late father, his life experience and inspiration, among other issues.

 TELL us about yourself?

My name is Oluwadamilare Omobolaji Akanni Ogungbe. I was born in Lagos Island Maternity in the 1980s into the family of late Pa Claudius Olaseinde Ogungbe, aka Baba Paragon. I grew up in Abeokuta but I am a native of Ilesha in Osun State. I attended primary and secondary schools in Abeokuta. Then I proceeded to Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education and graduated in 2007.

Can you share your grass-to-grace story?

Ha! I have been through a lot. If they talk about sufferness, I am the definition of sufferness then; because I suffered to the extent that I had to work as a head porter (Alabaru) to pay my school fees.  I also worked in a sawmill to pay for NECO. I ran away from home sometimes to work in a quarry in Ibadan when things got harder. But I thank God today things have changed. Though I’m not rich, I do not beg to survive.

What inspired you to start acting?

Actually, nothing inspired me. I can’t say this is when I started acting because I was born into acting. I’ve been acting without understanding what acting really is. I have a brother, my biological brother, who started acting when he was born. Then they used him as ‘Omo inu oku’ (Ghost child). So, since then I enjoyed it; I really liked it. I did not grow up before I started acting. I’ve been acting since I was a kid. Back then, we did follow my dad to school plays. Also my brother, Shina Ogungbe, produced a movie “Mama” in 1992 and I acted in the movie. So, I had my inspiration from the fact that I grew up into acting because my dad taught me.

Which of the movies you acted in shot you into limelight?

The movie that shot me into limelight is “Ibi giga”, written and produced by Segun Ogungbe. I took the role of Olasunkanmi, the younger brother of Opeyemi Onitiata’s wife.

Can you mention some of the movies you have produced?

I produced “Oriki”, which is currently online though it is not a purely secular film; it is a Christian film. Also, I produced “Korede”, “Karma”, “Ajara” and “Omobolaji”.

What is your inspiration?

I gain inspiration from anything traditional. For instance, whenever I see a masquerade, a festival of Osun sengese, anything oracle or maybe a traditional movie. Aside that, whenever I hear any traditional story or I see where they make kampala, I do get inspired. I get inspiration from modern stories too. Also, merely looking at my wife eyes, I get inspired.

How profitable has it been?

Thanks to God, it has been profitable and I am very happy that my effort is fruitful.

Are you currently working on any project?

Yes, I’m working on a project but still at the pre-production stage.

Aside acting, what else do you do?

(Sighs) I’m a man of God. I have a call, so I’m a prophet and I thank God. He is really helping me through my ministration.

How do you handle female fans?

Well…I don’t have problem with them; they are fans so I handle them normally, either female or male fans. Although I handle female fans with care, because someone needs to be very careful. But I don’t have problem with anyone.

What is the craziest thing a fan has ever done to you?

We have different fans with different characters. I have seen someone who called on phone and said, “Hello, were ni yin o” and dropped the call. Another one called and cursed me but they call themselves fans. But the craziest I experienced was when I travelled to Ibadan for work. I told a fan in a chat that I would be in Ibadan. The guy came looking for me, so when we met, we exchanged greetings normally. But to my surprise, the guy stayed with me till the day I left Ibadan. I even I asked him if someone might not be looking for him. We slept together in the same room; in fact, he treated me specially.

What can you say about the late Pa Akinola Ogungbe and how has it been working with Segun Ogungbe?

(Laughs) Ah! I can say a lot. Late Pa Akin Ogungbe was my father, although he was my father’s elder brother. He and my dad were biological brothers. He started acting before my father and he has really good to us. We called him ‘Oga’, both adult and children in my family. Whenever we say “Daddy, oga seeks your attention or oga is calling you, they already knew we were referring to Pa Akin. Also, working with Segun Ogungbe is a sweet experience for me; I really enjoy it.

Who are your role models in the movie Industry?

I have a lot of role models. First, the late Pa Akinola Ogungbe and Pa Herbert Ogunde; may their souls rest in peace. They are my role models in terms of production. I want to produce like Pa Herbert because his works exist till today. Speaking about people that are alive, I admire Segun Ogungbe, in terms of production.

What’s your comparison between today’s film industry with the past?

I think the industry of today is better than the ancient one. In the olden days, they used celluloid to produce films and not everybody that could afford it. But now, we have different sets of cameras that give good quality. Today’s industry has modern equipment which makes production easier.

What are the challenges actors face?

We face a lot of challenges; is it to go to location and go home empty handed or for us to produce movie and it will be pirated? The main challenge affecting us is the marketing, which is very poor. We produce films with our individual funds and marketers will complain of piracy. I’ve never seen a producer that gains a lot from his production. As at now, the industry is facing the challenges and I am also facing it.

Any regret so far?

In this job, I have no regret because as a person, I find pleasure in it. It has become a part and parcel of me. Even when I work without gain, I always find pleasure in it because it’s in my blood. So, whatever I face now, I believe it will turn out good one day.

What is the fate of upcoming actors in the industry; is there a future for them?

Yes, there is; their future in this job is very bright. They should not relent because a day is coming when everything will be alright.

How do you think the industry can improve?

Government should intervene in our job. They should see the industry as a source of income for our country. If they can help the industry financially, the industry will improve. Also, if we as producers can produce a standard movie without allowing our country’s situation affect us, the industry will improve.

Being a TV presenter, what programmes have you worked on?

I have a programme I am working on. I’ve not transmitted it so you can’t see it online or on TV now.

What lessons has life taught you?

Life has taught me to always be grateful to God, the King of kings, in any situation I find myself.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I will be in Nigeria by God grace, but at a higher level. I don’t believe in travelling abroad before I can make it. Though I will travel to do some things, I’ll be here so we can reform this country together.

Dare Ogungbe: Herbert Ogunde is my role model

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