Nollywood actor Deyemi Okanlawon has revealed how he was shot dead by robbers after returning from an audition.
Okanlawon, who is among the highest-grossing Nollywood actors, made this known in an exclusive interview with Daily Trust.
The father-of-two said after surviving the crash he was undeterred.
“I will insist that I’m still up for it. The reason for that is, if you put me side by side with Denzel Washington, I still have a long way to go. I was five years old. I played all kinds of roles during those Christmas plays and really enjoyed them. I also loved reading storybooks. I always had that storytelling thing from childhood My mother was a good baker and my father was an aeronautical engineer. I took not only history books but also his engineering books and that’s how I became interested in science. I studied the chemical engineering at the University of Lagos and I also sold cakes and bread from my mother’s bakery.
“One day in college, I came across this group of young performers who were producing faith-based plays and I joined them. It rekindled my love for the theatre. I was about nine years old when I did my first family planning TV commercial, Sola Sobowale was my mother and even that experience I remember vividly while the other kids were struggling with their performance, for me, it was child’s play. So quickly I continued doing theater after graduation, with a much larger church and what I didn’t realize was that I was being trained. I became the leader of the youth theater group at that time and did all these things. I also had a 9 to 5 job that I handled.
“In 2010, a random conversation with one of my professional contacts asked me what I was studying, and I told him, he asked me what I would like to do, and I told him to act He said he had friends in Texas and he was back in Nigeria to shoot a movie and if I am interested he could let me audition I went to audition and got two film roles in my very first audition. That’s how it started; someone saw the trailer for the feature film I did then Tolu Ajayi from lucid productions. He called after he saw the trailer and said we should have a chat about his own movie “blink”. Blink is on YouTube for anyone who wants to watch it. It’s become my calling card in the industry.
“Every night before I went to bed, I would tweet every Nollywood name I knew, and drop the link to the movie. Somehow the movie got to Nairaland and it went viral and from that time a lot of filmmakers saw my work.Following that, I got a call from Lala Akindoju who was working with Jade Osiberu on this movie called Gidi up, they told me invited to audition, and I got the part and that was before those streaming platforms. People saw Gidi and were drawn to Nigerian cinema again because he had just set a new standard. One of those nights on my way home from the audition, I was attacked by armed robbers and I got shot. I survived the accident, but I was undeterred. “…One of those nights on my way home from the audition, I was attacked by armed robbers and shot. I survived the accident, but I was undeterred,” he said. -he declares.
Okanlawon is a Nigerian film, television, theater and voice actor. He is best known for his roles in ‘Omo Ghetto’, ‘The Saga’, ‘Blood Sisters’ and ‘King of Boys: The Return of the King’.