Dakore Akande: I will never bleach my skin
Dakore Akande is a multiple award-winning screen and stage actor, television host, singer, dancer and humanitarian. She is also the founder of Dakore Beauty, a skincare organic brand launched recently. Born in Bayelsa State as the first child of her parents, she attended Corona School, Gbagada, Lagos and the Federal Government Girls’ College, Bauchi. She studied Mass Communication in the University of Lagos but had to drop out due to incessant strikes. Although she started out as a musician, she has since created her niche in the movie industry with over 50 movies to her credit. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, she talks about her passion for taking care of the skin and her debut into producing her own movie, among other projects.
You haven’t been very active on sets recently. Why?
I’ve been on sets, the issue is that I’m not in everything. I’ve always been selective about my work. Again I have responsibilities. I’m married, I have children, my oldest just turned 10 and I’ve got work. I do ambassadorial work, humanitarian work so there’s a lot I’m doing. I think at this period it’s not only about just being informed, there’s also using the full extent of my impact. I’m also in production now. I just produced my first film called Blackout, which is about a young Afrobeats singer and the challenges of getting to the top of the industry. So, being a musician before I became an actor, I got the chance to flex my musical muscle. I created new music for the film and I performed these songs in the film. It is a little different storyline, but it’s one that people can relate to.
How have things changed since you started?
It was very special back then in the sense that not many endorsements were being given at the time. There was fear of how a celebrity’s life can influence the brand negatively or positively, so you had to be of a very high standard to even get an endorsement. It has been amazing and I’m very humbled and grateful for every brand that I’ve ever worked with and every film that I’ve worked on. It is a natural evolution and it has taken me to this place that my colleagues and I enjoy, and so we open doors for the next generation whether we like it or not. I am grateful coming into the industry from the late 1999/2000, and now its 2022. The industry keeps expanding with the likes of Netflix and Amazon. I am very proud, especially of the people who paved the way for us like the Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Joke Silva and Olu Jacobs. These people really put things in place and here we are reaping the benefits of that, which is very encouraging to see.
Will you be going back to your music anytime soon?
We’ll see what happens. I don’t plan things; I just follow God’s will. And as it comes, I take it. If the music comes and people love it and want to hear more of it, I’m here for that. If they’re happy and also want to keep it where it is in the film, I’m also here for that.
How would you describe your journey here today?
It is a blessed journey. It has a lot of ups and downs because it is still ongoing. I’m still coming to terms with the fullness of everything that God has deposited in me to share to the world. I’m just very grateful that I’m chosen to walk this path as an artist at this time in Nigeria.
What motivated your skincare brand?
Everyone tends to complement my skin and ask me how I mange to look good, even after having babies. And so I decided I would stop keeping this to myself because it is natural and organic. My ethos has always been about being natural. I am conscious of what to put on, not just my hair but on my skin. I adopted a more holistic lifestyle, which is as close to nature as possible, because what you put in your mouth is as important as what you put on your skin. I don’t bleach my skin and I never will. If I did, it was without knowing and when I did, I stop. I am more conscious of the ingredients in the product I use.
What would you say marriage has taught you in the last 16 years of your journey?
It has taught that it is about healing each other. We all come into this world wounded; marriage can be a dumping ground for bad behaviours if you are not careful. It is the determination, commitment that keeps you going. We need to have some positive role models who can constantly remind you to stick it out, but if it doesn’t work out, it is okay too.
How would you describe your style?
My style is very eclectic and bold. I always love to wear and represent Nigeria in my fashion. This is another layer of creativity and expression for me beyond being an actor.
What message do you have for women in the industry?
If you are authentic, you will go far and you can do it in a way that is very organic. Keep refreshing yourself. Take care of today, make good choices in your project and that way you build a body of work that speaks for you. Take the craft seriously, it is a gift you have to nurture it.
What key lessons have you learnt being in the industry?
Hardwork pays, consistency pays, being passionate about what you are doing pays; it may not make sense to a lot of people but you feel alive to this calling. Don’t come into it for fame alone.