ON Saturday, December 20, 2014, veteran actor cum film maker, Dele Odule was unanimously elected president of Theatre and Motion Pictures Practitioners of Nigeria (TAMPPAN), a new body carved out of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), sometime in the second quarter of 2014.
The election at Glory View Hotel, Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo State also saw Antar Laniyan, Yomi Fash-Lanso and others been elected as executive members.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with the Oru, Ijebu born entertainer on this and much more on Monday, January 19, 2015.
On Saturday, December 20, 2014, you emerged President, Theatre and Motion Pictures Practitioners of Nigeria (TAMPPAN), the association carved out of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Art Practitioners (ANTP). How does that make you feel?
I feel great and good. It’s a good development for me and it’s a mission accomplished.
We learnt nobody contested with you, why?
Nothing. I think people just deemed it fit to honour me with the post, maybe because of my previous struggle to lead the Yoruba sector of the industry. Although, nobody was disallowed from contesting for the seat. However, as the first President of the association, there is a lot of work for me to do, which I alone can’t accomplish without the support of other members of the executive.
How many of you are saddled with the responsibilities of paddling the canoe of the association at the national level?
We’re 18 with Antar Laniyan as Deputy National President and Yomi Fash Lanso as Director of Publicity and Research, among others who are also very vibrant and ready to serve.
Can you unveil your agenda?
My first priority is to standardize the industry, especially the Yoruba sector. Also, to regularly look into the welfare of our members, home and abroad. Not until when someone is dying that we will start running around to solicit support in order to get the person back on his feet. Also, we need to look for means of assisting the aged among us when they are still very much alive and relevant in the industry, not until they have exhausted their creative energy that we will be looking for money to rehabilitate them. They deserve to reap the fruits of their labour at the right time.
A lot of people out there believe that with the exit of those of you in TAMPPAN, ANTP is dead. Do you subscribe to that?
If some believe ANTP is dead, yes, it is because all the theatre art practitioners that make up the body had dumped the association to form TAMPPAN so there is nothing again in ANTP technically. And if some still believe it’s alive, so be it. It all depends on their perception. So, they may also be right. But left to me, ANTP is supposed to be an artistic body and when all artistes that formed the body are no longer there, then what are we saying?
ANTP leader, Victor Asaolu once reportedly referred to those of you in TAMPPAN as bastards for dumping ANTP, your original home. What’s your reaction to this?
I will say that’s Asaolu’s level of mental dispensation. The reason is if you think you’re larger than a house, the next thing is to build a bigger one. There shouldn’t be any quarrel about that. And I don’t think that has anyway made anybody a bastard.
Would you now like to refer to ANTP as your home again?
No, because of the situation that warranted our exit. There is no need claiming ownership of a house you’re bigger than. And if you have a person who does not want to align with you and he believes his working with you won’t allow him to achieve his personal agenda, the best is for you to move out of that house and move forward. That’s exactly what those of us in TAMPPAN have done. We have moved forward.
Would you now say forming TAMPPAN is the best and most workable solution to the problems in the sector?
Yes, of course. It’s by the grace of God.
How do you now intend to achieve transformation of the arm?
I believe with the kind of people on board as national executive members and with God on our side, we will definitely get there. I am always happy anytime I see the caliber of people we have as executive members, their level of education and exposure and all that, I feel great. And by the special grace of God, we won’t disappoint.
What’s the relationship between you and Yinka Quadri right now?
Very cordial. In fact, he is in total support our administration and the association at large.