‘Losing two wives in one year was a sad episode in my life’
ON Saturday, January 11, 2014, veteran actor, Jide Kosoko clocked 60. Friends and family have been celebrating him since then, but the grand finale will take place on March 30, 2014. He will be launching his book, Warriors Lamentation and his foundation, Jide Kosoko Foundation, the same day.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with him on life at 60 and his upcoming celebration. We also took him on sundry issues.
I feel so happy and I thank God for sparing my life and making me relevant in my chosen profession.
What lessons will you say life has taught you at 60?
One has gone through so many challenges, especially for someone like me who is part of the management of the industry I belong to. I thank God for it. It has been tough but God has been seeing us through.
What is the significance of the age to you?
Eldership starts from 60. With the nature of our job, we get involved in so many things. From 60, whatever happens to a person, people will say that God has tried for him. The most important thing is the gift of life and good health. A lot of people have gone, I thank God for the gift of life.
What are the things you were doing before getting to 60 that perhaps you can no longer do?
Thank you so much for that question. I said that I am deeply involved in the administration of the industry. It is high time to be at the background, give out responsibilities to the younger ones and watch in order to give them advise. If not for the crisis the association had (ANTP), my tenure would have ended four years ago. Thank God the court will soon resolve everything. I know it was arranged by God, I will step down in February and stay as an observer.
I want to give the rest of my life to projects, historical activities. I will be shooting a lot of films based on historical facts very soon.
Were there great mistakes you made that are still taking its toll on your life till date?
There are things you don’t shy away from so that others can learn. I have a major weakness, I find it difficult to say no, irrespective of what is brought my way. Most times, I end up dissatisfying myself and not satisfying some people as well. At times, I will even burn my money unnecessarily. I think one should learn how to say no atimes. I always try to satisfy everybody. I also keep too many friends. I will advice the up and coming to reduce the number of friends they keep.
Can you recall your happiest moment?
I have so many, especially when my work receives so much appreciation. I am happy when my children get into the industry and are doing well. When good things happen to me and people around me, I am happy.
Your saddest moment?
When I lost two wives in a year. It was not easy but God gave me the opportunity to overcome it. It happened between October 1992 and November 1993.
Another sad moment was when people you are leading fail to understand the importance of reforms that will improve our work. It gets worse when the same set of people come back telling you they regret their actions. By then, a lot of things would have gone wrong. If the association had allowed a lot of reforms to take place, we wouldn’t be where we are today. I am not bitter about it though, I thank God they have realized their mistakes now. That is one of the reasons I am writing a book, Warriors Lamentation. It will be launched on March 30, 2014.
What inspired the book?
The book is about my sojourn in the entertainment industry as a leader. The things I did, achieved, those that have contributed their quota to the industry, the things we did wrong, the role government played in the industry, what we need from the government, what the leaders of the association should do.
A lot of celebrations have been going on. Yinka Aiyefele and some of my friends in the industry have celebrated me. Some very close friends hosted me but on the 30th, we will not concentrate on the birthday, rather, we will celebrate the book and my foundation that day.
Tell us about your foundation.
Jide Kosoko Foundation will concentrate on mental health. I have attended seminars and workshops about mental health, so I want people to know the importance of taking care of your mental health. We hope to create a rehabilitation centre for the mentally sick. A lot of people are mentally sick and they are walking the streets.
What will you say has shaped your life and career till date?
You cannot run away from passion. When I started, the industry was a no-go area for people that come from decent homes. I started from age 10 and was steadfast till date.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
We are pioneers of the industry. It goes a long way to show that we have participated in no small measure to the development of the industry. One is able to keep the industry and association together till date. We have participated in no small measure in government policy for the industry, to have a national merit award for my profession. It shows we have tried.
Tell us about your family, number of children and wives.
I have two wives, Karimat Abimbola Kosoko and Henrietta Kosoko. God blessed me with children as well.
How are you coping with polygamy?
There are so many things in this life. Some people are born with silver spoon, they have everything at their beck and call. It is only God that can stamp whatever you do. There are things that will happen between a husband and his wife that will be worse than what is happening in a polygamous setting. If I have to be frank with you, it is better to stay out of polygamy. I am not regretting it, anyway. I am lucky with the kind of wives I have. I have nothing to regret. I have seen a man with problems despite the fact that he has just one wife. I don’t regret being a polygamist at all.
– SHADE WESELY-METIBOGUN