STAR actor and Delta State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Richard Mofe-Damijo, popularly known as RMD, is one man that has paid his dues in the make-believe world. ENCOMIUM Weekly met him at a book launch on Wednesday, January 26, 2011, at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos and the dashing dandy opened up on some issues.
What is the significance of wealth to the development of the country?
Wealth is very important to a nation, otherwise development would be zero. But personally, I am not driven by wealth. I am driven by the passion that I have for my calling, which is creative arts, then money becomes a bonus. I am not crazy or desperate about wealth because money is not everything.
You are a politician and an actor, would you say there are success secrets in the hands of Nigerian politicians considering the challenges facing our country, Nigeria?
Certainly. But if you use the word politician in the Nigerian context, I might not be able to answer your questions in that line because in Nigeria, the word politics or politicians is derogatory. Nigerians see politicians as people who tell lies, people who say one thing and do the other. As a politician, the people I represent are new politicians, the people I represent are not people who say one thing and do another. They are trust worthy and honest people, not people who tell lies to deceive the masses. The reason why you are experiencing good governance in Lagos, Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom and so on is because the people in power there are determined to be agents of change in whatever places they find themselves. I believe I am an agent of change, I am the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Delta State, my own state, and I have affected the lives of people there and by extension, Nigeria. This is what every other young politician in my generation is trying to do. I will not dispute the fact that there are bad eggs in every profession, not just in politics, but there are also people who have qualities that are worthy of emulation.
What is your definition of success?
I don’t like being limited or giving a particular definition to success because a lot of people view success in different ways, and they are entitled to their definitions, depending on how they view things.
Everything. I enjoy the fact that I am serving the people. I enjoy the fact that I am affecting lives in various ways. I enjoy what I am doing and it feels very good.
Would we be right to say you have dropped your acting career?
Far from it, I haven’t and I don’t think I can. I am an actor and will always be an entertainer. Creative arts is my calling, so I haven’t dropped acting because whenever they talk of Nollywood, in one way or the other, my name is being mentioned.
You mean you are still coming back to the industry?
Of course. I did two movies recently and they are yet to be released.
Tell us about them.
Don’t worry, just keep your fingers crossed. Keep watching, I am going to blow your mind. I am sure you are not expecting less from me. Keep watching because I don’t want to talk about them. They will soon be out.
How challenging is it being a Commissioner?
Every profession has its challenges. Even life is full of challenges. But I am happy that I am affecting lives positively.
How do you juggle family life with your position as a Commissioner?
Everything is in place, no problem at all. You only try as much as possible to manage your life and time so that one does not clash with the other and you must make sure that none suffers. I have been able to juggle both without any problem to the glory of God.
What is your assessment of Nollywood?
Nollywood is growing. As far as I am concerned, the industry is doing fine. There has been a lot of improvement in our films in terms of technicality and we are working hard to make it better because every profession has its challenges.
Would you say the book, Tested and Trusted Success Secrets of the Rich and Famous has all it takes to encourage people to succeed?
You won’t find all the secrets of success in one single book, but from all the prose that has been highlighted, there are lots to learn from the book to achieve your personal goals and if we stick to the major highlights of hard work, determination, discipline and patience, we will surely succeed.
What do you have to say about the forthcoming elections?
People are entitled to their choices. So, they should go and register to vote for the right candidate and make sure that their votes count. I pray and hope we have a peaceful, free and fair elections.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, February 1, 2011