August 13, 2016 – John Dumelo Talks About Journey Into Nollywood “I Have Lots Of Yoruba & Igbo Friends”
Excerpts from John Dumelo recent interview with Newton Ray Ukwuoma
My Life As An Actor
I started very early. I did my first film when I was seven years old. It was a hit in Ghana then. My first movie is titled Baby Thief. After the movie, I started developing a strong film sense. God has a purpose for everybody. I think acting is what God chose for me. I naturally developed the passion for acting.
My Journey Into Nollywood
I think at that time (2007), it wasn’t that easy. You know, we had other Nigerian actors around. Accepting me was a bit challenging. I think later we accepted the fact that we could come to Nigeria and work and Nigerians could come to Ghana and work. Things became okay.
My Personal views of Nollywood
Nigeria does good films. It always keeps Ghana on its toes. Ghana does the same thing. I think it is a healthy rivalry – Ghana copying Nigeria and Nigeria, Ghana. In the end, it is a good marketing strategy. Ghana has a lot of fan base in Nigeria and Ghanaians love Nigerian movies.
Use of Nigerian languages I have worked in the East, so I picked up a lot of Igbo language there. And because I always come to Lagos before going to the East, I‘ve picked up some Yoruba language too. And yes, I have a lot of Yoruba and Igbo friends.
Challenges working in Nigeria and Ghana
We all have similar challenges. We have challenges with financing, organisation and piracy. Piracy is also prevalent in Ghana to the extent that when people premiere films they are very care-ful about their CDs, because you can premiere a film today and find the film on the street the next morning – and that is your money gone.
I have heard people talk about the beauty of marriage. I have seen a lot of people getting into marriage early, and divorcing early. I think people just love the idea of marriage but don’t know how to stay in marriage. They like the idea of love, but don’t have the idea of how to stay in love or be in love. Since I have some following, I decided to put what I have heard and seen in writing. It is to advise people not go into marriage in a hurry, or marry because your friends or cousins are getting married or because you want to have beautiful wedding pictures. Marriage is making it work and that is what is failing a lot of marriages these days.
These reasons are also why I am taking my time before getting married. I have plans of getting married soon.
The Meaning Of My Name
Dumelo means ‘town crocodile’ or ‘crocodile in town’. You know, crocodile are not normally in the town. They are supposed to be in the water. So, this one is the crocodile who made it out of the water.