Nollywood director and producer Tony Abulu has euologised late actor Olumide Bakare as a custodian of culture, who set an example for future generations.
Abulu said while the veteran actor who died on Saturday in Ibadan accomplished a lot, very few Nigerians would understand the implication of his death.
“The point is this is a major loss because the person is a repository of a particular understanding that is dying. And if we let that thing die, we are dead,” he said.
Abulu had directed Bakare in the star-studded 2013 movie Dr Bello and he explained that there were very few actors left like the late actor.
According to him, Bakare did not just understand Nigeria’s culture, but had the capacity to portray it for future generations, which is what true acting is about.
“Those actors in Nigeria today that I know personally are not up to 10. That’s to tell you how important this is,” he said.
The impact of the actor’s demise will not be felt only now or in Nigeria alone, according to Abulu.
He said, “As a director, when I direct him, I say to him, ‘Okay, you are the custodian of the culture so please give me the incantations that are unique to a particular situation’. I don’t have to write it; it is based on his understanding of that culture. You don’t have those types of guys anymore; they are very few.
“It is sad in many ways. For me, I look at it and say ‘Africa is losing its personality and the guys who would have been able to help us maintain or bring it back or teach it are all dying’.”
Although he found the news of Bakare’s death extremely saddening, the director said it was more important to preserve not just his legacy but Nigeria’s culture which was being relegated in contemporary movies.
He said, “We don’t have a clue what we are losing. When I watch contemporary Nigerian movies, when I watch Nigerians presenting themselves, we don’t understand that that’s why none of our movies – no matter how we make them – will ever be accepted in a great global film festival, not one. Not to talk about distribution…
“The first question they are going to ask is what is your culture? Can you answer that? None of the youths can do it today. None of the actors can do it. You’ve got to go back to people like Olumide Bakare, you’ve got to go back to a couple of older people who are over 60 and going to 70. And if they go as we are seeing them go now then everything is gone.”
In all, Abulu believes Bakare has set an example for others, having successfully acted his part.
“He was able to act as a custodian of culture,” he said. “That is the basis on which you judge a person. That is the ultimate judgement. Did you act as a custodian of the personality of your people? Where you able to portray it for generations to come?”
Source: Channels Tv