Mr Oluwemimo Ogunde, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and former Attorney General of Ogun State, is one of the children of the late theatre maestro, Chief Hubert Ogunde. Oluwemimo takes EMMANUEL OJO down the memory lane on the life and times of his dad
Your dad was a strong force in the Nigerian theatre art space. How will you describe him?
I will look at my father from three aspects. As a family man, he was a very compassionate husband and in-law. He took care of his in-laws, he respected them and as a result, he gained the respect of his wives. He was a polygamist but at the same time he was able to coordinate his home and was able to show to all of us that he cared for us, particularly because his wives were linked to his business. They (his wives) were also actresses. So, they were useful to him in two respects. They were giving him children and they were also helping him make money. So as a result, he had to take care of them. In the family house, he was a very large-hearted and compassionate man.
On the professional side, he was a workaholic and when I mean workaholic, he also found time to rest and he concentrated all his energy during the time of conception of a film to be acted as a play. So, during the time of conception, he looked like a lazy man. You won’t find him waking up until 12 noon. You won’t find him beginning any activity until 1pm or 2pm. So, he was a very late riser but he slept very late too. At 2am or 3am, you could still be hearing his voice. He had a very loud voice, so, when he was speaking upstairs, you could clearly hear him downstairs. He slept late and he woke up late but as soon as the film was conceived and it was about to be stretched out as a play, he would change his personality. At that time, he became a very early riser and still a late sleeper. So, my father could work easily for 17 hours a day and sleep for just five hours, if not four hours sometimes and he could do that for a month and a half, even two months until the play was done.
He was also a coordinator because at that time when it happened that there was no coordination of theatre practitioners, he gathered them together and he formed what is called the Association of National Theatre Practitioners, which today is known as ANTP. My father was the founder and it was in that group that he brought together Kola Ogunmola, Duro …….