60 garlands for jewel of the silver screen, Kate Adepegba
Garlands have continued to pour in from home and abroad for notable Nollywood diva and long-standing actress, Kate Funke Adepegba who turned 60 on Wednesday. As soon as the star of the long-rested ‘Village Headmaster’ hit the send button to share photos on her social media platform with the caption ‘I am 60 today.
Praise God’, family members, friends, her colleagues and the huge fan club she has built took to her social media handles to congratulate the delectable actress who has, in the last four decades, exhibited total commitment to the arts and the acting profession. Described by close friends as humble, friendly and God-fearing, Kate’s journey as an actress did not start with home movies.
It started during the good old days of television. Many still recall how she spiced up all the episodes of the ‘Village Headmaster’ which she featured in. Kate it was, who lived delightfully the role of Folake, one of dutiful girls who served as apprentice in Sisi Clara’s shop as long as it ran on television. Even Kate agreed that it was her role in that NTA drama that brought her fame and opened doors for other acting opportunities. Moviedom caught up with the ‘New Village Headmaster’, ‘Mirror In The Sun’, ‘Turning Wheels’ and ‘Violated’ star and she shared her story.
How it feels to be 60
It feels good. I really don’t feel any difference. Everybody is like how are you feeling, I don’t feel anything. I don’t feel different. I feel the same way I felt when I was 40. Although as human beings, we like counting numbers. It is good. But it is not about figures for me. It is about where you are at the moment. I think we should be counting progress than the figures. We should be concerned with the progress we have made and most especially that you are in good health.
The journey here
I am grateful to God for how far He Has brought me. I am overwhelmed actually because I can never thank Him enough and this is not a cliché, this is something I have been asking myself that is there any special way that one can be thankful? In what special way, how can one be extra thankful? So, I just think that thanking my creator should be a lifestyle and should not be until I turn 60 or 70. For me, it is a lifestyle. The minute I open my eyes in the morning, my first utterance is to thank God. But looking back, I want to thank God for the journey here. It has been an amazing journey. I tell people that I owe my emergence as an actor to my early school days — that is my primary and secondary schools where I did a lot of acting and was exposed to a lot of literary text. I took part in a lot of stage plays and our teachers would intermittently take us to Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Ibadan to perform plays and do different cultural dances. So, I actually started out as a child actor which is why I usually tell people that most of my life has been in front of the camera. But then I still didn’t want to be an actor. I wanted to be a diplomat or a linguist and I looked forward to work in an organization like the United Nations. But then who are we to determine what God has planned for us in life.
Village Headmaster as my first screen take
I lost my dad in 1983 and so a lot of dreams died with him because I was actually quite young- I think I was 20 then. But as a person, I like to work and earn my own money. So that passion to work and earn my own money took me to NTA in 1983 to see a neighbour who was working in NTA. That was where I met our former neighour, Chief Funsho Adeolu who played the role of Chief Eleyemi in the drama. Chief Adeolu introduced me to the cast and crew of drama series and as I stood to watch them act, I heard them say they were looking for someone to play a role in the series and that I fit the role. To cut the long story, they gave me the script and I delivered and that was how I started acting and the rest as they say now is history. I played the role of Folake until the series was rested and even when it returned recently courtesy Wale Adenuga Productions, I returned to the series. So, it was Village Headmaster and others like ‘Turning Wheel’ and ‘Mirror in the Sun’. I have been more of a television person. I pride myself as being on most of the best television drama programmes Nigeria has ever had to offer.
On my career plate
I want to produce my own content. A lot of people have asked over the years when I will wear the hat of a producer and I have always asked them how many movies our contemporaries like Julia Roberts have produced. Has their inability to produce made them any less actors? Of course, no. They are good at what they are doing and if they decide to add producing or even directing to acting, it is their personal decision. How many movies has he produced? I name a few actors, how many films have they produced? But I was thinking that before I clocked 60, I would have had one of the best series on TV. I wish I had been able to push that through but it’s in the work and by God’s grace, it’s going to happen. But when it comes to regret, I am the kind of person that doesn’t have any regret and that is because I think through before I act. So, I have a production in the works. I have been on it for close to 12 years. You couldn’t have been in this industry for this long and then you make something and it doesn’t make headlines. It has to make the headlines and it has to be worth the wait.
Secret of looking ’20 at 60’
For me, it’s peace of mind. You know, God has given a lot of us peace of mind, but you will go and be looking for what is not lost. I have a very small circle of friends. I don’t stress myself beyond my limit. So, I give myself a lot of peace and I give myself a lot of rest. I stick to whatever I like to do and when it comes to my food, I don’t compromise. I eat whatever I like to eat and I drink a lot of water. When I need to party, I party, when I am meant to be at home, I am at home. I don’t go out of my way to stress myself over anything. Whatever I cannot do with ease, I drop it. I love my peace, I love my life and I love what God is doing with me. So, any other thing is secondary.