By Benjain Njoku
If there’s any month of the year that multiple award-winning actress, Dakore Egbuson-Akande will not forget in a hurry, it would be January, 2020. In that fateful month, the internet was awash with rumour that her marriage to her hubby, Olumide Akande had crashed. But looking back two years after that unfortunate incident, Dakore spoke about the impact of the rumour on her and her husband as well as her journey into the world of make-believe and what marriage has taught her among other things.
Why I am not always seen in movies
I have always been on movie sets but I am not in every movie. I have always been selective about my work. And again, I have responsibilities, I am married and I have children. My oldest daughter just turned 10. I am for my family, I am for work and I am also a brand ambassador. I am also doing humanitarian work. There’s a lot that I am doing. I think this time, it’s not just about being in movies. It’s also about using the full extent of my impact as an African creative artist. I am also now into production, I just produced my first film titled “Black Out.” The film is about a young female Afro-beat singer and the challenges of getting to the top of her career.
Being a singer before delving into acting
Those who knew me before know that I was a musician before I became an actress. So, I got a chance to flex my musical muscles. I created new music for the movie and performed new songs in the movie as well. It’s a different story-line and one that people can relate with.
Celebrities making money from endorsements
I am one of them by the special grace of God. Right now, I have three endorsements running concurrently. I have a deal with 2Sure, Samsung and Amstel Malta. It’s a free blessing to be able to expand and continue to have synergy with brands that really matter. But the thing is that you don’t have to neglect one at the detriment of another. Take one opportunity at a time. I have about four movies that are going to be released before the end of the year, including my own movies. I’m still working but not at the pace we were working before now. We are aunties in the game. You have to manage your time very well and ensure that the projects you embark on are the ones that will really help to move the conversations forward.
What it was before now
It was very special back then. Special in the sense that there were not many endorsement deals from brands at a time. That was because there were a lot of fears about how the celebrities’ lifestyles can impact on the brands negatively or positively. So, you have to be of a very high standard to even get an endorsement. But now, because it happens more and more, we now have more people and less of the pressure. You can even be a reality TV star but you have something special and then brands connect. So, it’s an evolution and I have been at the forefront and I’m still here now. It’s just amazing and I am very humbled and grateful to every brand that I have ever worked with, to every film that I have ever starred in. It’s a natural evolution, which has taken me to this place which I enjoy and my colleagues have enjoyed and continue to enjoy. And we have opened doors for the next generations whether we like it or not. I’m just grateful to have been able to witness this transformation looking back to the late 1998/99, when I joined the industry. Amazon is opening us up more and more, and it’s happening right before our very eyes. This is what we have always wanted. I am proud of what’s happening now. Not like an imposing pride, but one that when people didn’t even believe in me at a time when I wanted to join the industry is now something that people want to be part of. It’s a blessing. Some people also paved the way for us, we cannot forget them. The Taiwo Ajai-Lycett of this world, the Joke Silva of this world, they really put things in place and here we are reaping the benefits of their efforts. It’s a natural flow and something that is very encouraging.
Let’s see what happens. I don’t plan things, I follow God’s will and as it comes I take it. When I sing in my movie and people love and want to hear more of it, I am happy with that. And if they are happy and want to related with the movie, I am also happy with it. At the end of the day, it’s about being truthful with the character and the character is a musician. It is just that I have the talent and I decided to showcase it in my movie.
My acting journey
I will describe my journey into the world of make-believe as a blessed journey even though it has its ups and downs. Yet it’s still ongoing. I am still coming to terms with the fullness of everything God has deposited in me to share with the world.
People didn’t believe in me
At a time Mass Communication was not very popular way back in 1998. Parents were urging their children to study medicine or law. But I was so determined that this was where I wanted to go. But people didn’t believe in that, not because they were trying to be mean, but they were worried about my future. They wanted to ensure that I found myself in a position that I could sustain my own life. And the choice I made at a time was not a popular choice, but I stayed determined, focused on following my dream. There was this still voice of the Holy Spirit telling me, Dakore keep going, you are going on the right path. If it doesn’t make sense to anybody, don’t worry. Now, it’s making sense to me.
Coming from a family of talents
I am so proud of Timini. It shows that this is not a flash in the pan situation. As God would have it, all of us are talented artists in our own right. My immediate young brother is a dancer, my other brother, Stanley is a rapper and my sister is a singer. It was just me being the first and my brother being the last to take up acting as a career. In fact, he saw me take up acting as a career so that I could make something great out of it and it encouraged him. He used to escort me to movie locations at a time. He used that opportunity to understudy the industry and to see if acting was something he wanted to do. You can imagine how he felt when I handed him that Best Actor award at last year’s AMVCA. You can imagine the emotions. I feel those butterflies, that genuine love.
What marriage has taught me in the past 16 years
Marriage has taught me that it’s about healing each other. We all came into this world wounded, having gone through rough times. Marriage can be a dumping ground for bad behaviour if you are not careful. But we need to remember that I am here to heal you and that I am here to be your friend, even when the hard times come and you have your own share of the hard time. We need to have some positive role models because when you see what’s happening around the world in terms of marriage, it’s not encouraging when you remember that you want to try your best to keep your marriage. But if it doesn’t work out, it’s okay too, it’s not the end of the world, your happiness is what is important. If you are happy with your partner, great, and if you are not happy with your partner, free each other and go find someone that will give you joy. Don’t let society force you to be inside something that you cannot bear.
Rumoured marriage breakup
This is the industry I am into and I have accepted it, I know this is welcome to the territory. It shook us a little bit. I wouldn’t lie. But we weathered the storm together, the same way we did when we started the journey. We said ‘Are you with me, are we doing this together?’ It comes with the territory and it’s the nature of the business.