The JIDE KOSOKO 70th Birthday Interview

Jan 17, 2024 | Entertainment, News

Movie icon, Prince Jide Kosoko is 70. And that is the big news  that hit the industry early this week. And everyone is excited about the good news. He is one of the industry leaders. He is a living legend, having started acting in 1964 at the age of 10 in Lagos. He will be having a thanksgiving service for his 70th birthday on Sunday 14th January 2023 at Embrace International Assembly Church, Awolowo Road, (Ota Ona-Hamaga  Road), opposite NNPC Petrol Station, Alabukun, Erunwen Junction, Ikorodu.

And reception will follow thereafter at his residence in Ikorodu. It makes me happy. What is the secret. “It is only God that can make you keep fit. Of course, as much as possible I try to keep my mind out of stress. That is why if you look at my phone I play a lot of games. I have dull moments. I try as much as possible to make myself happy at all times even when there are issues. I still keep all that and more ahead.”

At 70, how does he still keep very active. He has still continued to act. Now, he has been on location for the past 4 days? “Bercause that is the only job I know. I have tried my hands on some other businesses in the past but in most cases they failed. I have come to realise that I am fashioned out for this. And  he has also balanced out acting in English & Yoruba movies.

“Well, so far so good. That is what people say, that I am the first cross-over actor, what that means I don’t know. Like I always say what we are talking about here is the Langugage. Any role I need to act in Igbo or Hausa, all I need is someone just taking me through the langugage. That is just it, prompting me. It will be done. We do a lot of cheating with camera. If it is on stage people can easily get me that I can’t speak the language promptly”.

He has been doing this for how long now, we asked him. “I started precisely when I was 10 years old in 1964. My 1st Television appearance was in the same year, 1964, in a production titled  Makanjuola, by the Ifelodun Travelling Theatre. I was still a student of Hoares Methodist Primary School at Sabo, Yaba. I used to gather children of my age and I will start training them, on whatever we want to do as Entertainment in school.”

“There is this Uncle who was a member of that group. I never knew he was watching until that day that he called me. He said he needs a boy of my age to participate in a production titled Makanjuola. He said can I do it? I said yes, this is something I have been looking forward to, more so that some of Hubert Ogunde’s sons are my friends and we live a stone’s throw to ourselves. We are not far from each other. I have access to their studio and their house and see what they do. And I developed my interest along that line. So, when they invited me I was so happy. I went there. We were about 6 to 7 children of my age and the audition was done and I won the  role. So that was how we went for the Television and Stage of the same play, Makanjuola. I played Alabi. Alabi, yes he is a small boy, but he played the lead character in that production.”

How does he feel being part of Stage, Travelling theatre, the various phases that the industry has witnessed? “That is where we started from, the Stage, Television….that is why the kind of orientation we have is very strong. Even then, in those days, when we are going on film production, rehearsals still takes place. In those days we go for rehearsals and this rehearsals can go on for weeks or months before the production proper.”

Where does he get the energy and strength to still be part of all these, we asked him? “I wouldn’t say I know that myself. It is something I do on a daily basis. One thing I realise is that it also helps to maintain my body. Apart from the stress, whenever I am doing production that is not stressful, but I have cause to move around, I enjoy it, because it is part of what I ought to take time to do as an exercise.

For this ongoing production, how many days will he spend. I have been here for 4 days and I am finishing today. This is the 4th day.”

How does he plan to celebrate his 70th? “Actually it is a low key thing. I will be 70 on January 12. I have a Muslim background, so the Muslims will come home to give me some prayers in the morning. But on Sunday, 14th we will go to the Church at Grace Assembly, where we would make some Thanksgiving to Almighty God for his mercy. And from the Church I will take people home for reception. That is just it. I must also say my colleagues, in the industry are willing to celebrate me come April 21 with Wasiu Ayinde on the Band stand. That is also there. I will  also have my book launch, titled Warriors Lamentations. It is not an autobiography perse, it is about my sojour in the entertainment industry, my efforts, the fights, the quarrels, the wars we had. For us to have this industry, some of us played some key roles. I am proud to say I am one of them, that played a very strong role to ensure that we have an industry like this in this country. There is the need to share my wealth of experience with the young ones and whoever is interested to know how it all started, the challenges we had and the sacrifices by the pioneers, to make this happen, because if there is no yesterday, we can’t have today. So, those are the things I put together in Warriors Lamentation.

– Seye Kehinde

The JIDE KOSOKO 70th Birthday Interview was last modified: January 16th, 2024 by Seye Kehinde

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