Dele Odule (born: 23 November 1961; Age: 62 years old) is a prominent Nigerian actor, director, producer, and politician of Yoruba descent. He has been acting for 34 years and is most notable for his roles in King of Thieves (2022), The Ghost and the Tout (2018), Suku Suku Bam Bam (2004), and Ti Oluwa Ni Ile (1993).
Odule often brings his uniqueness and versatility to bear in the movie industry. This has contributed to a rich body of work in both Yoruba and English movies. His talent has fetched him several nominations and wins, including the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the 2014 Yoruba Movie Academy Awards.
Summary of Dele Odule’s Bio
- Full Name: David Odubamidele Odule
- Nickname: Dele
- Gender: Male
- Date of birth: 23 November 1961
- Dele Odule’s Age: 62 years old
- Ethnicity: Yoruba
- Nationality: Nigerian
- Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
- Sexual Orientation: Straight
- Religion: Christianity
- Parents: Abel Odule (father) and Anike Odule (mother)
- Marital Status: Married
- Dele Odule’s Wife: Barr. Olabisi Odule
- Children: 10 (one deceased)
- Education: St. Mark Anglican Primary School, Talafomu, Oru, Ijebu, Itamerin Secondary Schoool Oru, Ijebu, Muslim Teachers Training College, Oru, Ijebu, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye,
- Dele Odule’s Net worth: Over $500,000 (estimation)
- Famous for: acting
- Dele Odule’s Instagram: @deleodule
- Twitter: @deleodule
- Facebook: Dele Odule
Dele Odule was Born in Osun State in 1961
Dele Odule is currently 62 years old. He was born David Odubamidele Odule on November 23, 1961, in the ancient Yoruba town of Ile-Ife in Osun State. He originally hails from a semi-urban town called Oru Ijebu which is located in the Ijebu North local government area of Ogun State in South-Western Nigeria.
With respect to his family, Dele Odule’s father was Abel Odule while his mother was Anike Odule. Both of them died while the actor was at a tender age. Dele Odule first lost his father and was left with only his mother to take care of him. Sadly, she also died after a short time and he had to struggle to make ends meet.
He Grew Up in Ijebu Ode Where he Underwent his Education
Dele Odule attended St. Mark Anglican Primary School, Talafomu, Oru, Ijebu for his elementary education. He then headed to Itamerin Secondary School Oru, Ijebu. He also attended Muslim Teachers Training College, Oru, Ijebu.
With respect to his University education, there are different reports. Many sources claim that Dele Odule studied Theater Arts at the prestigious University of Ibadan; the same school that graduated many literary greats and popular Nigerian actors such as Chinua Achebe, Mary Lazarus, Efa Iwara, and John Pepper Clark.
However, in an interview with The Punch, the actor revealed that he studied Mass Communication at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye. The school is the oldest university in Ogun State, the second oldest in Southwest, and the sixth oldest in Nigeria.
Dele Odule Started His Acting Career as a Stage Actor in 1977
Dele Odule began his journey to acting as a stage actor in 1977 at the age of 16. Prior to that, he was exposed to traditional artistic activities such as dance, music, and drumming. Stage drama got his attention when he realized that he knew the craft and could also get paid for doing it. Since he lost his parents early, stage acting was a good way to support himself.
Dele Odule started acting with Dele Ogunsanya. In 1978, he joined the theater group “Abaru Oloko Theater Group” which was led by Mukaila Adebisi Oloko. He took part in some plays and was able to make some money which he used to pay for his studies at the Teacher’s Training College.
Still, in the early phase of his career, Dele Odule met Deji Adenuga and Yomi Faleye (Osagie). Together, the three veterans started the Yomi-Odus Theater Group. The group however did not live to see the light of day before the founders broke up and Dele moved to Abeokuta in 1983.
The break-up of the group and subsequent relocation may have caused heartache to Dele but as fate would have it, it marked the beginning of his big break in the theater and later film industries. Dele’s major step after moving to Abeokuta was to join the Bosun Theater Group following an invitation from actor and producer, Olatubosun Odunsi.
Within a short period, his talent grew and so was his fame. This landed him roles in TV series, including Eleti-Ofe and Baba Amoye.
His Big Break in Acting Came 16 Years Later in 1993
Dele recounts in an interview that his first home video was Agbe Bo Adi Ye, which was produced by Akin Ogunde. He then went on to be featured in Aribi Sibi in 1987.
Despite these earliest works in the 1980s, the actor did not gain much fame until 1993 when he featured in the notable Yoruba film, Ti Oluwa Ni Ile. Ti Oluwa Ni Ile translates in English as “The Land is the Lord’s”. The film tells the story of greedy men who sold ancestral land to a petroleum company. Since the land originally belonged to the deities, the sellers had to face the wrath of the gods.
Ti Oluwa Ni Ile was the directorial debut of legendary filmmaker Tunde Kelani. The film was a major hit with audiences and it shot Dele Odule into national stardom.
Dele Odule has Since Featured in over 100 Yoruba and English Language Films
Dele Odule may have waited long for his big break but the wait has since paid off. He has enjoyed a thriving career in the movie industry and has appeared in over 100 Yoruba and English-language films. He has worked with both older and modern actors in Nigeria.
Some of the older actors that Dele Odule has shared the screen with are Kareer Adepoju, Yomi Shodimu, and Oyin Adejobi. The great actors of recent years that Dele Odule has worked with are Toyin Abraham, Omowumi Dada, Ibrahim Chatta, Broda Shaggi, and Lateef Adedimeji.
Dele Odule has also not forgotten his theatrical roots. In 2017, 40 years after he made his debut on stage, the veteran actor produced a stage drama, Ojukelekun. The play was directed by the first professor of Choreography in Nigeria named Prof. Bakare Ojo Rasaki.
Also, to celebrate Kola Ogunmola’s 40th memorial anniversary, Dele Odule joined the stage drama Lake Omu. The ceremony was sponsored by the Ekiti State Government. Dele Odule also delivered a lecture at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife at the 2019 Faculty of Arts Distinguished Guest Lecture and Award Ceremony. This has made some people assume that he may be an academic but this is not so. Dele Odule is not a lecturer.
Select List of Dele Odule’s Movies
- Alagbara (2022)
- Anikulapo (2022)
- Elebute (2022)
- King of Thieves (2022)
- Ajibade (2021)
- The New Patriots (2021)
- Igbako (2020)
- Tenant of the House (2019)
- The Ghost and the Tout (2018)
- Meet the In-Laws (2016)
- Omo University (2015)
- Arugba (2009)
- Eewo Orisa (2007)
- Ó kojá Ofin (2007)
- Aye Ibironke (2007)
- Iku Lopin (2006)
- Iwe Akosile (2005)
- Omo Olè (2004)
- Suku Suke Bam Bam (2004)
- Ogbologbo (2003)
- Olorire (2003)
- Afonja (2002)
- Oduduwa (2000)
- Lakunle Alagbe (1997)
- Ti Oliwa Ni Ile (1993)
He has Received Several Accolades for his Work
Dele’s career has won him a number of notable recognition. In 2014 and 2020, he was nominated for Best Supporting Yoruba Actor at the Best of Nollywood Awards. Still, in 2014, the renowned actor won the award for Best Actor in Supporting Role at the Yoruba Movie Academy Awards.
Odule made history in 2015 when he became the first Yoruba actor to receive a distinguished visitor’s award from the Mayor of Miami-Dade County in Florida, the United States. His hometown, Oru in Ogun State has also praised him for projecting the community on the screen. Hence, in 2022, they awarded him with Special Recognition on Oru People’s Day.
Dele Odule has Held Multiple Positions in Actors’ Organizations
Over the course of time, Dele has held leadership positions in different organizations in the movie industry. One of his first earliest positions was in 1996 when he was 35 years old. He became the Vice President of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP) while Chief Jimoli Aliu was the president.
10 years later in 2006, he again held the same position serving as the vice under Jide Kosoko. When Kosoko’s tenure ended and Odule made a move to become the president, he was faced with much opposition. The resistance to his leadership lasted about four years before many members left.
Supporters of Odule then went ahead to start another association of thespians called Theather and Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN). Odule became the first president of TAMPAN and held sway for several years
He Intends to Quit Acting for Politics Someday in the Future
In 2022, at the age of 61, Dele Odule announced his willingness to quit acting for politics if need be in order to fight for the rights of his people. The actor has not given a particular date that he intends to leave acting. He however gave an assurance that if his demands are not met in order to help his people, that would be the time that he would finally leave his longstanding position as an actor.
Before the announcement, Odule had joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State. According to him, he joined the party because their candidate Ladi Adebutu promised to look into the matter of his hometown Oru, Ijebu which is being invaded by trespassers with nothing being done about it.
Dele Odule’s move in joining partisan politics landed him criticism from some members of the public who claim that an entertainer is not supposed to align with any political group. This may not be true in its totality since several Nigerian entertainers have shown interest in politics and some others have even contested for different positions. Examples are Desmond Elliot and Banky W.
Dele Odule is Married to a Lawyer named Olabisi Odule
Dele Odule’s wife is Olabisi Odule, a Nigerian legal practitioner. The couple was said to have met in 1988 in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Dele was 27 while Bisi was in her late teens and had finished secondary school. They started dating in 1989. Dele and his wife lived together for about seven years during which they welcomed some children. They then formally got married in 1996.
Dele Odule and his wife have been married for over two decades now and their marriage has survived despite the actor’s infidelity. He has meanwhile accorded the success of his marriage to God. He also praised his wife for making the union sustainable despite the fact that they have different schools of thought.
The Actor Fathered 10 Children with Different Women
Dele Odule has a total of ten children. Some of the children were born from his union to his wife, Olabisi while others were born to other women. His oldest child, who was born to him and Olabisi in 1991 died afterward. Hence, the actor is currently a father of nine.
Dele Odule’s children maintain private lives. Regardless of this, he has a daughter named Esther Odushola Itunu. Itunu is a communicator, lecturer, and Ph.D. candidate. She got married on May 27, 2018, to an IT specialist named Raymond Aghomor. The ceremony was graced by many notable actors such as Odunlade Adekola, Fathia Balogun, Femi Adebayo Salami, and Bolaji Amosun were present.
Another of Dele’s children is Gbenga Odule, a graphic designer and animator. He is also the CEO of ODZ Studios and the co-founder of Eximus Fashion & Feetz. Dele Odule also has twins named Kehinde Odule and Taiwo Odule.
Dele Odule has Faced Multiple Controversies Including Allegations of Disrespect
Dele Odule has been involved in numerous controversies in his career. One of them has to do with his leadership of TAMPAN. They were claims that he was imposed by Jide Kosoko. Dele denied these claims and instead pointed out that Kosoko had the right to support anyone. This led to some aggrieved actors’ refusing to join the association. One of them was Lere Paimo.
Paimo recalled how Odule was disrespectful to him but Odule maintained that nothing of such happened. He claimed that he had known Paimo for over two decades and was not disrespectful to him. Given all this, it is possible that the two men only had a clash of interests.
He also Reportedly Degraded Some Colleagues in 2012
Dele Odule had a clash with Bisi Komolafe before her death in 2012. He reportedly called her out for not greeting him. Afterward, he was said to have degraded her by insisting that she and another actor Yinka Quadri were not as educated as he was.
This resulted in an exchange of words between the there actors. Following the death of Bisi, Dele claimed that he did not really have a problem with her as the media may have pointed out. Nonetheless, some sources claim that he may have had a love interest in the actress – a claim that has not been verified!
Dele Odule Has also Been Alleged to be Married to Actress, Iya Rainbow
There have been rumors that Dele Odule and actress Idowu Philips who is better known by her stage name Iya Rainbow married in secret.
The rumor started when a video surfaced on the internet in 2022 showing Iya Rainbow and Dele all loved up. Although the video turned out to be a snippet of a music video by Shola Allyson, the rumor did not die down.
People were fast to conclude that there was a relationship between the two as Iya Rainbow shared the video alongside a long epistle of her love for her “husband”. Since Dele was in the video, there were allegations that the two may have been married for years.
In any case, the allegation was never confirmed. On her own part, Iya Rainbow was previously married to Hubert Ogunde, another veteran in the Nigerian movie industry. Ogunde died in 1990 and as far as the public is aware, Rainbow has since remained a widow.