I did not get the job but I did get the dude- Dakore

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Nollywood actress and gorgeous mum-of-two, also a screen dazzler had a heart-to-heart interview with Punch recently where she talks about her happy marriage, career and fashion. Dakore who is blessed with a wonderful husband, Olumide Akande, reveals how she balances work life with being a mum and wife. See excerpts detailed below:

“Yes, I have been off the screen for a few years now, but I am gradually working my way back. It is not easy to be away from work and everybody knows; but when you are back to work, it is still hard for everyone to know. That is partly my fault because I have not granted interviews- I am very wary of the press and my words have been taken out of context. I have been busy working on various things including working with the United Nations,” she says.

Dakore

The delectable actress became the first ambassador of Amnesty International in Nigeria in 2005. She said she chose charity and it has yielded results. But holding such positions could be challenging when she has equally tasking roles in her family.

“It is extremely difficult, I do not know how women make it happen but somehow we make it happen. I just take it one day at a time and try not to be too stressed. I learnt to plan ahead and that is the only way. I have a great support network in my nanny, mum and my husband because sometimes when I am not present with the kids, I have to make sure there is someone who is competent to do that.

“It is tough because when I am out all day and I return home, I still have to be a mum and a wife. I am thankful that there is more meaning to my life as opposed to when I was single and in the movies,” she says.

For the Bayelsa State-born actress, the picture is clearer on why she went into acting: “Before, I was doing it because it was the most natural thing for me to do and I made money from it. Though I am not where I would like to be but I’m open and aware. I know that what I have is a gift and I want to do justice to that gift. I want to touch people. My focus is a lot clearer now.”

Married to Olumide, son of Ibadan-born billionaire, Chief Harry Akande, she recounts their meeting.

“We met in Lagos. I just relocated from London and he just returned from Chicago. We got talking because he wanted me to present a television show. I did not get the job but I did get the dude. It was work-related but we found out we connected. We were friends for a while before we started dating. Then, I was not out for a date. I liked him for his confidence and he gave me my space too. He was a real gentleman and well-spoken. When it was time for the engagement, I knew it would happen, but I did not know when. I knew what it was like to make a mistake because my parents were not together and I needed to be sure. I was career driven but not driven about marriage.

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“The proposal was really nice. He got down on his knees and proposed and people were emotional. Shortly after that, we got married. We had Ayomide, our first daughter, who is now three, and Dasola, who is 10 months old now.”

Asked if her husband is camera-shy since he hardly talks to the press and she responds: “He is a little more reserved than I am and he is confident in himself. Though he understands the nature of my job, he does not feel threatened by my exposure. However, I have learnt to be more inclusive because I was in the klieglight alone. Now, I introduce him as my husband when we go out together. We have a three-way conversation and I learnt that by being with him and he also learnt that he has to step aside sometimes. He understands me, we try to stay mindful of each other and support each other. I appreciate that a lot.”

She would never forget how the rumour mill went agog with her marriage. Dakore, who has been acting for over 17 years, recalls: “They peddled all sorts of stories-His parents did not like me and that I quit acting. But it’s not possible that I would be married if my father-in-law did not like me. I was not even 40 years old yet and people started calling me an ex-actress. It was hard for me! But I decided to live my life and I stopped paying attention to maintain my sanity. How could anyone think I would quit my job because I got married? They said this because I married into a wealthy family, but I still have my purpose and goals that I want to achieve.”

With a background like hers (her parents split at the young age of 16) Akande’s idea of a successful marriage is not jaded. Listing the prerequisites for a successful marriage, she says:

“Celebrity marriages are not different. The only reason is that people are looking at you. The challenges are the same but are amplified in celebrity marriages. That puts a lot of pressure on the union. The first thing is to marry your friend. You have to marry for the right reason. I married for love; someone I am totally in awe of and respect. It is difficult, but when you have God, there is a balance that comes with it. It is fun and challenging. It is easy to get frustrated but people need to remember their vows.”

Erasing the talks that she cut her dreadlocks because of marriage, the stylish actress corrects: “I made up my mind that I wanted to wear dreadlocks, and when I was tired of it, I decided to cut it. My husband did not want me to cut my hair; he wanted our children to meet me with the hair. I dance to the beat of my own drum and my path is different from every other person’s. I have my own mind; if I let people shape my opinions of myself, I will not be authentic to myself.”

To her, style is comfort. Known to be one of the most fashionable actresses in Nollywood, she defines her dressing as: “comfortable, tasteful, modern, chic, classy and elegant. I dress the way I want to be addressed. I have a high belief in myself and I portray this everywhere I go. People have described my style as bohemian, which I agree; but now I am a little older and wiser. I like Nigerian designs and I am proud that a lot are coming up. My mood and feelings also determine the way I dress. I might feel flirty and decide to dress in a flirtatious way, or if I am doing mum runs, I wear jeans, a tank top and blazer.

“My most expensive fashion accessory? It has to be jewellery because I spend a bit on that. Also, I love shoes and purses. You can build your wardrobe when you have the right pair of shoes,” she says.

After a stressful day, Akande says she loves lounging or watching movies. “Sometimes, we go out to dinner or have lunch outside after church. We also go to the beach,” she adds. To maintain her svelte shape, this is what she does: “I work out a bit; I had to tone it down because I have achieved the weight I want, especially after the babies. I have done yoga on and off for about 10 years. My mum used to have a yoga book. I did more of that and martial arts when I went to London. Also, I set out not to look like someone who has two children,” she says.

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