With Over 60 movies she has acted in, dazzling actress and queen of klieglight, Dakore Egbuson Akande, has blazed the trail in Nollywood on account of her skills. Dakore lighted the screen with her roles in ‘Isoken’, ‘Fifty’ and most recently ‘New Money’. The amiable actress and brand ambassador for Amnesty International and Oxfam of America speaks with SAMUEL ABULUDE
There is a rumour that Dakore only accepts Ebony Life movie jobs, would you like to clarify that?
Well, what is true is that I am a little panicky about the jobs I take. Some people had said I do only Ebony Life Movies, but that’s not totally true. I was part of ‘New Money’, which is already in the cinema. That wasn’t Ebonyi Life. I did ‘Isoken’ too. Obviously, it looks like I work more with Ebonyi Life, but I have always been very selective with the kind of scripts I accept and who I work with. That’s because it’s also part of having the spirit of excellence. I don’t want to see a film that I have been in and cringe. Maybe because I was hungry at a time and I just took a script to survive.
I’m not knocking anybody off, but I know films are forever, once it’s on celluloid, it’s there to stay. So, if I’d be in the movie, I have to make sure it’s something that intrigues me as well. I want to have fun doing it and mostly like it’s something I’d be very proud of when it comes out. Ebony Life has the spirit of excellence in bringing that quality and projecting Africa positively.
I did not give anybody the impression that I was stopping my career but people just assumed that was what I was going to do. Maybe I had a little bit to do with it in the sense that I didn’t address it, but I am in a movie now so people can see that for real, I’m back.
You were off the scene for almost five years. Why?
It just happened that way, I didn’t plan it. Life just sometimes takes over. Up until that time, I was all about my career but then I met someone who I fell in love with and that changed my whole life. I had to give more time to my relationship to make sure I nurtured it away from the public eye as much as I could. I took an inadvertent break to focus on my relationship. Being a career woman is great and I was lucky to have some success at it. But at the end of the day, family and having a stable, happy home is more important to me and I knew that something would have to give. At that time, it was my career that had to give.
You came back without your signature dreadlocks?
I didn’t actually set out to make it my signature hairstyle. I don’t call it dreads because there is nothing dreadful about it. I call it locs without a ‘K’. I had it for 12 years and from the 11th year I started getting bored. In the mirror, I’d see the same old look so I started telling myself that I would soon take it off. I cut them off last year after I had my baby. There was no pressure from anybody or from any corner, it was all me. I wanted to be more versatile with my looks.
Do you miss your former hairdo?
I’m really enjoying doing different things with my hair now. I didn’t throw them away, I kept them in a nice little chest in my house just for sentimental reasons. The locs were my natural hair that grew that long. So, African hair does grow long, believe it or not.
Your character in the TV Series Castle and Castle typifies the modern woman with multiple roles. How true to life is Remi in your opinion?
Remi is a woman who is dealing with a lot of things, she is joggling a lot as most women do. She has a succesful law firm, which runs with her husband. So, you can imagine the dynamics of that relationship. Then she is been pitted against her dad, who she loves dearly, but because the dad doesn’t like her husband. She is thus tossed between and betwixt. The work force too, comes in and all that. She has to try to maintain her sanity while running all of these. I must admit that Remi’s character stressed me, yet, it was fun.
How much of your life do you see in Remi?
For this new series I have drawn the most inspiration to play Remi from my life. As a woman that has to joggle lots of things, my children, my husband and my career, it hasn’t been easy, I must confess. Taking the kids to school, trying so hard to get to location on time, sometimes I don’t even see my kids. I get home late and they have slept off, by the time I get up early in the morning to leave, I don’t see them, it is really tough. That’s why I tend to take time off whenever I finish a production, so I can spend quality time with my family. I need to be at home, be a mother and also a wife to my husband. This is the joggling we are talking about. This is what most women do, especially if it’s a career you love, like I do. But we make it work, in every way we can. So, Remi is me, Remi is every woman.
Actually, I have never really played the role of a lawyer. I mean not as extensively as what I did in ‘Castle and Castle.’ Going to court and all that. It really opened my eyes to more about the legal profession. I give it to them. I now appreciate lawyers the more. The lots of cases they have in their heads, the court sessions. It’s not easy at all. Much respect to the lawyers.
How has this year treated you, career wise?
Very well, I must say. I’m so blessed, I thank God for the gift of life, every single day, especially when you think about what has been happening in Nigeria lately. I’m wearing black today, because I’m mourning for Nigeria and also mourning a dear friend that I lost. Entertainment seems to be the only thing that elevates and makes people happy. Our music, our films, our sports, it unites us and bring happiness. So, I keep thanking God for everyday as it comes.
In the recent TV series, you kissed RMD so passionately. How did your husband react?
Well, it comes with the job. I have really tried to stay away from those kinds of scripts, but I can’t keep avoiding them and find myself out of business. My husband and I have an understanding. He is amazing. He understands and knows that at the end of the day, he is the one I love, he is the one I’d come home to. He is the one I have children with, so of course he must count for something.
Did you give the part of kissing RMD deeply a second thought when you saw it on the script?
I did. I won’t lie, I thought about it. Then I said to myself, ‘well do you want to do this? Do you love the script?’ And my response was Yes. I went ahead. When I spoke with RMD, he said he was fine with it too, then we came on board. We have a connection. RMD and I, we have been close friends. Our first film together, Caught In The Middle, it was a very successful one. So, we are always cool together.
Do you have a new project at hand?
Yes, I’m working on my own project at the moment. It is going to be something big. Mind blowing. I obviously took a long time to get to that point. You know I like doing my things perfectly.
How did you get into acting?
After university, I wanted to explore my Gypsy spirit and I moved to London. At the time, they had just started the actor’s strike in Nigeria. This was a long time ago around 1999 but before then, I shot two movies. When I got to London, I was fortunate to find a big promoter and I started performing at some big halls like the prestigious Royal Festival Hall. I was also writing poetry. Then the strike ended back in Nigeria and those two movies I had shot were released and everybody was looking for me. People asked me to come back home to shoot more movies so that was bringing me back and forth.
What are plans for the rest part of the year?
I’m looking forward to the movie that I’m working on. Staying open for more opportunities. I’m excited and hopeful.