Dakore Akande is making major moves! Our Editor In Chief, Adesuwa Onyenokwe, caught the talented actress on a flight on her way back home to her hubby, Olumide Akande, and two daughters after a two-month break working between SA and Nigeria.
She gave our Editor In Chief some scoop on what has been happening in her life recently – she has the highly anticipated movie, Isoken, coming out in June and she and her family have relocated to L.A!
And tw has some exciting news: Dakore will be gracing our cover soon, so stay tuned!
In the mean time, we went into our archives to fish out our February 2011 edition when Dakore and Olumide were on our cover. The couple took us into their world and gave us details about how they met, their first kiss and much more.
We have provided excerpts from the interview below.
The First Meeting
“It was instantaneous when we saw each other,” says Lou. Although they had dated for five years before tying the knot, Dakore Egbuson and Olumide ‘Lou’ Akande knew within months of their first real date that they were destined to spend forever with each other. Their love story reads like a fairy tale with a modern-day Nigerian twist – she was a talented, well known and well liked actress; he was a film and television producer who just happened to be the first son of one of the wealthiest men on the continent.
They met at a well-attended open mic night at the now defunct Tanija Bar & Restaurant. She sat at a table with a male companion – “my brother,” Dakore says, “but Lou didn’t know that,” – and he approached her, ostensibly to solicit her for an upcoming TV Presenter job he was head hunting for. Although nothing immediately materialised from that first meeting, the table was set for the blossoming romance.
The Start of Something Beautiful
“It’s funny, we had tried to hook up after we met at first, but I was working at the time, and I didn’t want to seem like I was blowing him off. He was a cool dude (“a really cool dude” Lou chimes in from across the room),” Dakore says about the sputtering start of their relationship. Lou was not one to give up, and found another opportunity to give it a go. “A couple of months later, I invited her for my dad’s birthday, and that day, March 3rd, is what we now celebrate as our anniversary, because that is the first time we went out on a non-platonic level,” he says. “Afterwards, we went to a fashion show, and we just had the time of our lives,” said Dakore. The attraction was instantaneous between the two of them. “She just got me. She laughed at my jokes,” Lou recollects. “Three months after that first date, I knew I wanted to marry her.”
The First Kiss
“There is nothing like the first kiss, and while some couples leap into the fray, Lou was more like a courtly prince. It happened two weeks after our first date as he dropped me off one evening after an outing. He actually asked if he could kiss me!” Dakore recalls, with a laugh and a slight blush. “He is a real gentleman,” says Dakore of Lou. “And I am not the type to rush into things like that. I am quite conservative.”
The Grand Proposal
The proposal was in 2010, but Lou first popped the question in 2007. The second time around was merely symbolic, but Lou also wanted to pull off a pretty elaborate “proposal package” designed to blow his sweetheart’s mind. He admits that the entire event was pretty tough to orchestrate. “Being so close, I knew it would be difficult to surprise her. When we arrived (at the restaurant they were to have dinner) I had the ring in my hand so I couldn’t hold her hand or open the door for her as I usually would, and I thought she would know, but somehow, she didn’t notice. Was Dakore distracted or did she suspect and just chose to stay quiet? “I did not have an inkling. Though I noticed his somewhat strange behaviour, it did not set off any alarm bells that something big was about to happen,” she said.
The Epic Wedding.
In January 2011, they finally tied the knot, the icing on a very satisfying cake. “It’s like we have been married for four years honestly. We are always together and we are each other’s best friend. The marriage was a title; I knew this was my person, and she knew I was her person,” says Lou about the marriage.
Not All Hearts & Flowers
Neither Dakore nor Lou shies away from the fact that to make their relationship work, they have both had to make some sacrifices. “You have to thank God again that you are lucky enough to find someone that you feel that passionately about. We were lucky enough to find each other and it just works,” Lou says frankly. And they definitely work at making sure that their relationship thrives. “We talk about things, we read books – psychology, religion – and we try to make sure we are on the same page all the time.”
They are lessons learnt from watching their parents’ marriage; Lou’s parents, who have enjoyed a rock-solid relationship, and Dakore’s parents who unfortunately split. “My mum was a free bird… she gave up a lot for us. She was working at the ministry of Statistics and my Dad told her to stay at home. But she had things she wanted to do, and I think that is why she encouraged me to have my own career and my own identity before I got married. I am very, very grateful for that,” says Dakore.
It is all about compromise with the both of them, down to the details of her career. They both look at the scripts and the jobs that she accepts, and she is more circumspect in the roles she accepts. “He didn’t say I shouldn’t act but there are certain conditions. He can’t tell me not to act; it’s like telling me not to breathe… to let go of acting would be very hard for me,” says Dakore.
His biggest issue? The salacious love scenes found in Nigerian movies. “Yes, o! Me I don’t play like that,” he says about seeing Dakore in a clinch with another actor. And Dakore admits that she agreed with him when she had to picture the tables being turned. She is well aware of the common practice of placing actresses in revealing positions for commercial purposes. Still having to partially pull back from acting has been a struggle, albeit one well worth it. “You have to sacrifice for everything you love. You can’t have everything in life; if you try, you will die from disappointment,” Dakore says.
Tolu Orekoya’s View Of Their Relationship (she wrote the story for the edition)
A professor of mine one said that for a relationship to work, a couple have to ‘play’ well regardless of their ups and downs, their differences, the wealth, fame and fortune and the maelstrom that can suck them in. Dakore and Lou have that in spades – a playful energy infused with happiness and satisfaction, but tempered with an absolute willingness to be grounded in reality and to work actively on their relationship. Theirs is definitely a happy ever after worth rooting for.
And though it is 2017, we are still rooting for Dakore and Lou Akande’s happily ever after!
Were you inspired by their love story?
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