Prince Jide Kosoko is a notable face in the Nigerian Entertainment Industry. He’s no doubt an encyclopedia of acting, because he’s an all round actor. The former President of Association of Nigeria Theatre Practitioners (ANTP), as a creative and versatile thespian, has starred in several movies, and has produced many movies, both in Yoruba and English languages respectively.
He has also participated in soap operas (TV drama series). Prince Jide Kosoko as a visionary artiste has trained and still training many young potential actors, through his theatre academy called ‘Jide Kosoko Films and Art Academy’. As a co-pioneer in the movie industry, he spoke about the right measures that the industry is putting in place to curb piracy challenge,his involvement with Western Lotto and other relevant issues, in an exclusive interview with Rasaq Odunlami of brandcampaign.com.ng
Brand Campaign: As a veteran and icon in the Nigerian entertainment industry, you are in best position to assess the industry. So, how would you assess the level of improvement in the movie industry in particular?
Jide Kosoko :From all ramifications, we are moving and moving ahead. Whatever the situation is, not that we don’t have our challenges, which primarily is the issue of piracy, which we all realize as a major cause affecting our market, and we are now showing more interest to addressing the situation. I said this because we are now showing more interest in cinemas, which obviously, we used in those days. You know in those days we used to rely on cinemas, especially the Yoruba movies sector. So for us to limit the extent of piracy, most producers should endeavour to produce for cinemas, at least not only to take us to a level that will get rid of piracy, it will also make us ensure quality production, because when you to the cinema definitely you must produce something super and good. It is really a good step in the right direction, and I’m very happy about it. So the future of the industry is as bright as shinning. The truth is that we have our challenges and we are putting more efforts to tackle the problem.
Brand Campaign: What are those things you think must be changed in the industry?
Kosoko :If there are things to change I think they are not things the association can change, it is not what individuals can change. But at the same time, as a person, you can decide to have a policy that you will no longer join them in shooting bad films. You can decide that henceforth, you will be producing for cinemas. You can equally decide that even if you are shooting for direct online films or to home videos, you can do that as well. But if we are talking about collective efforts , which will move us further, I think the passing into law of our Motion Picture Council, well we have a council which remains our regulatory body, and it is the one to ensure that the ethics of the profession are ideally maintained by recognised practitioners.
Brand Campaign: As an accomplished thespian, can we say you have attained the peak of your acting career?
Kosoko :Well, it depends on what you call peak. I’m still going stronger and stronger, ageing with grace, and I really thank God for that. So, peak or no peak is not the issue right now, because the best is yet to come. That means, I am still going to do more in my acting career.
Brand Campaign: Can you tell us about your pre-occupation?
I have nothing else doing, that is why you are seeing me doing nothing apart from acting and branding products.
Brand Campaign: Have you ever taken any bold step?
Kosoko :For being a co-pioneer in the industry that is a big bold step. Also for me to have started acting at age of 10, was nothing but a great bold step. Similarly as a leader in the industry, so many activities I have acted on for being a president of one of the associations in the industry, have always been a bold step. In a situation where you are enforcing people to upgrade the standard of what they are doing, in order to live up to expectation. I thank God that all my efforts in ensuring that we go the right path are not in vain, because I won all the battles I mean facing confrontation to battle some sets of people who were not ready to comply with the normal routine of the profession. Gradually, people are now beginning to see the need to do things right in the industry. I’m really glad about this achievement. I’m very sure that others that have not seen the light, will now see it and follow suit.
Brand Campaign: As a fulfilled actor, what plan do you have for aspiring actors?
Kosoko :I’m already training youths at Jide Kosoko Films and Art Academy. In December, 40 students would be graduating from the academy, and we are picking some sets of people in January too. It is usually a six month course. Like I always say, whoever is coming into the industry, must be ready to be well trained, because training is the key. If you find yourself in the industry, be a producer, production manager, director, actor and so on, you must get trained, continuous training and re-training. This is paramount in whatever profession you chose to do. Am sure you are aware or remember when I finished at Olabisi Onabanjo University last year, even at my age, I went to study Performing Arts t and Filming. There is no knowledge that is a waste. So it is quite ideal to get trained in whatever you are doing because that is how you can get to the top.
Brand Campaign: You are known as a very versatile actor, due to the fact that you starred in Yoruba and English movies and you do interpret your roles effectively. Can you tell us the secret ?
Kosoko :There is no secret about this. I’m educated, I can speak and read English. I’m also a Yoruba by birth. But at any rate I have acted in Igbo films. If you are a good actor, you can easily act in whatever language you are given to act in. We do watch Chinese films . The only thing is that once teleprompter is given to you I know that is my line and also interpretation is mine.
Brand Campaign: You are well known as an ambassador of many brands in Nigeria, but your recent contract is Western Lotto. Can you tell us more about it?
Kosoko :Western Lotto is the latest lotto game in town. It a game beyond gambling, you cannot actually call it gambling because by the time you are playing it, you are not only playing the game but also empowering yourself and people. Why I am involved in Western Lotto as an organization is that it endeavours to support people in education. That is, the scholarship and helping the less-privilege. So, if you pay one naira and your money is counting it applied in constant pay in prompt winning. You know we have many lotto games, but Western Lotto is now the one to choose when it comes to playing lotto game.
Brand Campaign: Would you like to tell us your best car and food?
Kosoko :A lot of people know that I love cars. If I tell you how many cars I have, you might be able to know that not only one brand of car that I like. I have Lexus Jeep, Hummer 3 Jeep, latest Toyota Avalon and Toyota Sienna. Because I am not fantastically rich, I do go for only what I am capable of getting. The truth is that some of them are given to me. But talking about my best food, many people also know that I like fresh fish and rice, being a Lagosian. And if the fish is not a fresh one it must be fried one with plantain put together on rice. I don’t eat any food put in the freezer.
Brand Campaign: Would you like to reveal your likes?
Kosoko :I was a lady’s man in my youthful days, but now as I am ageing gradually one has to drop that way of life.
Brand Campaign: How do you unwind ?
I do take more of rest now, like in those days I don’t take rest up to five hours, but now I take up to eight hours to rest.