As an actor, there is a huge price to pay for success — Dauda Sulaimon spill

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From being a fan of movie making and watching some of his idols breathing life into scripts, actor, Dauda Sulaimon also known as GIDA Bless, is inspired to keep giving his best to the silver screen by approaching every role with grit. In this interview with SEGUN ADEBAYO, he speaks about his career.

You have been a regular name and face in the Yoruba speaking movies; how did this journey begin?

My passion for acting started from me being a huge fan of the movie industry. I had always admired the movie industry as a fan even before I joined. I would usually stayed glue to African Magic just to catch with new movies and new faces, including some of my role models. I remember my respected senior colleague, Femi Adebayo and others in his league, wondering how they cope with the rigour and demands of the job. So after leaving the University, I didn’t think twice before opting for acting. Acting for me is just a natural passion that grew with time.

Transitioning between acting and filmmaking can be challenging. How hard has it been for you to switch from one role to another, and what have you learned from this experience?

As an actor, one must learn how to evolve to stay relevant. I love challenges and I take my job serious and put my best into what I do daily. It comes with a lot demands for one to stay on top of the game. I’m open to learning everyday and strive to be the best version of myself. It’s really challenging but intriguing. The fact that it is intriguing makes it interesting and dwarfs the stress we go through. My passion for entertainment and making my fans happy outweigh the challenges I may face.

Some of your colleagues have ventured into English-speaking movies. Can you share the reasons behind your focus on the Yoruba movie industry and your choice not to feature in English-speaking films?

I guess you have missed out on some English-speaking movies that I featured in. As I said earlier, I’m open to new challenges; I’m open to featuring in different roles be it English or Yoruba speaking role. I don’t have language barriers and I can interpret any role perfectly. When the opportunity comes, I will take it just as I had taken others that came before now. It is not

Can you share some of the challenges you faced early in your career, and how you overcame them?

I don’t like talking about challenges because I believe in gradual process. There is a price to pay for success. Success doesn’t just happen overnight. People have to pay the price of sacrifice and learning the job. In this job, you can’t just jump into success, it is not possible. You must toil, grind and give your best before you begin to feel or enjoy the rewards of your hard work.

How patient are you to wait for the big break to come?

The big break is here! I have always been a patient person. I have weathered storms over the years that gave me a thick skin. I am not moved by challenges but by hard work and perseverance.

Tell us about what thrills you most about being in the faces of the people regularly?

The opportunities are enormous but that is not what thrills me about the job. Learning how to better interact with different people gives me so much joy about what I do. Of course, the opportunities are also very appealing. You are famous and people want to associate with your brand and make you feel special. That makes the job more interesting. I have had a couple of endorsement deals over the years; one of such is with Globacom. I am grateful for the grace and opportunity to keep doing what makes me happy and getting paid for it.

Yoruba cinema has a rich cultural heritage. How do you incorporate this cultural richness into your work as a filmmaker?

I agree that Yoruba is rich in culture. And there is an appetite for Yoruba culture in the entertainment industry globally. This richness of the culture actually informed many of my decisions in my recent productions.

What would you consider the most significant achievement or gain in your career as an actor in the Yoruba movie industry?

The truth is that I can’t narrow my achievements to one aspect of the job because I have achieved greatly in the industry. At least I can boldly say that the industry pays my bill.

Many actors face typecasting in their careers. Have you ever experienced this, and how did you navigate it?

Typecasting does happen sometimes. But trust me; I handle it professionally every time.

 Tell us about the project you are working on?

I have a big project in the pipeline entitled ‘FEMI’; I had produced several movies in the past but this very project is more challenging and demanding with a lot of creativity. This project is produced by me and was directed by the veteran director Oladele Matti. It features popular artists like Allwell Ademola ,Jaiye Kuti, Damola Olatunji, Mr Ladi Folarin, Peter Ijagbemi, Juliet Jatto, Peju Johnson, Olamilekan Ayinla , Razak Owooniran (wazo) and a host of others. FEMI sheds light on the rise and fall of a Casanova. It gave a detailed display of how easy and hard life can get for a player. I have scheduled the premier of the movie in London.