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Why I Quit Acting – Deyemi Okanlawon

Nollywood Actor, Deyemi Okanlawon has recounted how he quit acting because his wife, Damilola, “became uncomfortable”.

In a recent interview with Teju Babyface, Deyemi spoke about leaving his corporate job and his 10-year acting career.

According to the father of three, his wife supported him when he started acting but she became uncomfortable after a few years.

He said he agreed with his wife initially to act for one year but gigs started coming in and led to years of continuous acting, The Nation report. 

The 44-year-old said he stopped acting in 2019 but had to return in 2020 after seeking his wife’s permission.

He said: “I remember sitting my wife down. We got married in January, this was August. I sat her down and said this is what is going on. And I am scared. We talked through it and I assured her that look, we had some money here. I have invested some money over here. I am kind of good for us over one or two years,” he said.

“But I am still scared. She reminded me one night and she said ‘I have watched you shoot from 7 am to 7 am the next day and you were more alive at the end of that 24-hour shoot. This is what you obviously love to do. And I see you wake up and try to go to work dragging yourself. Maybe you should do this’. With that, I was emboldened to make that move.

“I did the first gig. The next gig came. And what I thought was going to be a year, I actually kind of said ‘babe let us try this thing for a year. So after one year, the jobs fell into the next year. It has been 10 years going to the 11th.

“In the middle of the fifth year, my wife woke me up in the middle of the night and said ‘young man, this is not the deal. What is happening?’ I was like it is working.

“I have noticed for the first, second years… I asked for some time. So in 2019, I quit acting. I picked up my resume and I went back to work. I was hired as the head of marketing for Silverbird film distribution. I go back into marketing. I did not tell anybody I was not acting anymore. People call me and I just said I am not available.

“One of the reasons why I left, apart from the fact that my wife was not comfortable, was that it felt like something was not working. It was very frustrating. She wanted the change. I saw I needed the change. Working with one international streamer was the plan moving forward.”  

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