Respected actor and filmmaker, Jide Kosoko, doesn’t agree with the notion that actors often have health crisis because they lead reckless lives. In a chat with Sunday Scoop, he said, “It isn’t totally correct that actors have health issues because of the vices they indulge in. As much as I agree that there are some of our colleagues who smoke and drink, it is only a percentage in the industry.  Not everybody does that. Just like in every field, there are people who do these things. Even some doctors drink and smoke; our industry is not an exception. I wouldn’t say that is the reason artistes are having health issues. Artistes have issues because they are human beings and Nigerians too. But it becomes public knowledge because they are popular. As we wake each day, several hundreds of people have died, and many have just been diagnosed with one sickness or the other.”

Sharing his thoughts on sexual harassment in the industry, the veteran actor said, “That is a normal situation in any industry. You tend to see people trying to fight their way up by hook or crook. However, I have not really noticed sexual harassment in the industry. Yes, I have seen artistes dating one another; but harassment is another issue. I always tell the young girls in the industry that if you gatecrash, they will harass you. If you want to lobby yourself and sell your body to become famous without passing through the normal training, things like that will happen to you. If you are a trained actor (male or female), nobody can harass you because you would know your rights, and have some good qualities. Good producers and directors would rather go for talented individuals that can interpret roles properly. It is only ‘mad’ and unprofessional directors that would do otherwise.”

It is common knowledge that some of Kosoko’s children also practice the make-believe profession but the actor maintained that he did not actively influence any of them to toe his path. He stated, “Influence comes in various dimensions. When they were growing up, they saw me acting, and they are bound to love their father and what he does. They grew up seeing me act, and along the line, they showed interest. It is like a movie family. One way or the other, when they were kids, I must have used them to do one or two things for me. My children are well trained. I have a very standard group and they participated in our programmes and rehearsals, even when they were not acting yet. In a way, you could also call that influence. However, one of them in particular (Sola Kosoko) didn’t really show interest in acting but I saw the potential in her and I persuaded her to develop. She tried it and today, she loves it.”

<<Punch>>