The Story Of My 45 Years In Acting

Mar 22, 2024 | Entertainment, News


  • Veteran Actress, JUMOKE ELETEKETE

 

She is still strong. She is still vibrant. And she still has a whole lot to give to Nollywood. Her name is Jumoke Eletekete, a veteran actress who has made a huge name for herself in the Yoruba movie industry. She has been around for a long while. If she didn’t tell you, you can’t possibly know Jumoke has been in the industry now for about 45 years and that’s because she still looks young and eager with desire to continue acting for as long as her legs can carry her. She was also part of the recently released movie that’s being talked about lately, titled Ojo Ale, produced by the very beautiful and talented Doyin Amodu.

City People’s Senior Editor, WALE LAWAL (08037209290) spoke with Jumoke Eletekete at the premiere of the movie, Ojo Ale and she talked about her humble beginnings in the industry and why she credits Madam Saje’s husband, Rafiu Balogun, for everything she’s become today. Enjoy excerpts.

 

How do you feel, ma, being part of this movie project, Ojo Ale, by Doyin Amodu?

Ah, you want to know how I really feel? The feeling is indescribable. No one else has ever done what Doyin has done. She brought together all the veterans that have been neglected in the industry. She brought btogether all the veterans that have acted a long time go. When we first got to location, for the first two days, we were all greeting and hugging each other, with people saying its been ten years, in some cases, over twenty years, that they’ve last seen each other. Only God can repay Doyin Amodu. And the movie is really a delight to watch with lots of lessons to learn for everyone. I am using this opportunity to plead to the younger ones to always look the way of the older actors and give us jobs. It’s not good to neglect the veterans in the industry because the younger ones too will grow old someday. If you have jobs you can give to us the old veterans, please give them to us, rather than painting a younger person up to make them play old age roles. Lets all put pride aside, God will lift up everyone of us.

Explain how you felt when you saw your mates whom you hadn’t seen in a long time on the movie set of Ojo Ale?

Oh, you can’t explain that kind of feeling. I said a bit about it earlier, it was so wonderful seeing everybody again. For two days, we were still hugging and greeting each other, gisting together and reliving the good old days when we were very active. Look at the beautiful dress we are all wearing right now, Doyin gave it to all of us free! Can you imagine the large number of us here today, wearing this dress and she gave it to us free? Only God can repay her for her for all her good deeds.

If you put a figure to it, it’s been like how many years altogether that you have been acting?

I will be exactly 45 years in the industry this year. And I thank God that till today, when people still see me on the street, they still recognise me. I hit the limelight in 1003 and God has been kind to me ever since. I thank God for this.

When you first started this job, under who did you first learn the profession?

Firstly, I saw some celestial church people doing what they called floor show and mixed with them. It was much later that I saw Rafiu Balogun, the husband of Madam Saje, he was the one that taught me thius job. Everything I am today in the industry, it is to the credit of Rafiu Balogun whose name I call with all respect. He will not die suddenly. I thank God that I passed through him. He is the one that made me who I am today.

Like how many years did you spend with him?

I have spent 43 years with him. I spent two years somewhere else before joining him.

How come you stayed that long with him?

No, its not like I was practically under him for 43 years, I became an independent actress a long time ago, but I am still very much with him. If he calls me right now and says, Jumoke, we are going to location, I doon’t ask questions, I go straight to join him.

What movie did you feature in back then that first brought you to lime light?

The movie was called MOJERE. I merely played the role of somebody’s friend in the movie, but when God says He is ready to lift you up, nobody can stop Him.

What about others that you featured in that also brought you out?

I can’t even begin to count them. I did Apaadi with Funke Akindele. I have also worked with Femi Adebayo and so many others I can’t remember now.

What gives you joy doing this job despite the fact, back then when you started, there was no money in it, unlike these days that the younger ones are making money from it, yet, once they call you for a production, you are ready to go?

I thank you very much. What people don’t know is that this acting profession goes straight into your blood. Once it becomes a part of you, it becomes difficult to leave it. Several times when I say I’m not acting again out of frustration, once I see people acting, I’m off again. But I thank God, I have used this acting job to send my children to school, I used this job to build the house I am living today, I have done great things with this job. The only thing I am yet to achueve is travel abroad through acting. I am praying to God to make this possible for me very soon.

What is the secret behind your youthful look? You don’t look your age at all?

Thank you very much. What I believe I do is that I always do my health check up. And you know, once we are on location, there I no space for thinking or depression, everyone is always happy, so I believe this has also helped me a great deal. Then, personally, just remembering that I am a popular actress simply gives me joy. If I grow old, very old, and the Lord calls me over, when I return to this life again, I will still choose to be an actor.

Do you have children who are taking after your footsteps?

Oh, yes, and he is even male. I would’ve preferred a female but you know, once a lady is married, the husband may not approve for the wife to go into acting because this happened during our own time as well. But it is the male child that is insisting he wants to be an actor. He has gone to school, graduated, but still came back to me to say acting this is what he wants to do. So, I took him to Segun Ogungbe under whom he is learning right now.

How old is he?

He is my last born, he is about 25 years. He is here with us at this movie premiere.

So, what advice do you have for the younger ones coming up behind you?

Let everybody try to learn to do good always. This profession is not one that allows for pride. A lot of the younger ones who know me call me Mummy, Mummy, so I also bring myself down to their level to be able to relate to them. That is why I am close to some of them. So, I advise the younger ones to do the same. Look at Odunlade Adekola for instance, that young man is extremely humble. There is no where you meet Odunlade, he is greeting people, yes, sir, yes, ma. Same with Doyin Amodu, she’s also very humble. May God continue to lift them up.

 

The Story Of My 45 Years In Acting was last modified: March 4th, 2024 by Wale Lawal

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