• Entertainment - Featured
  • Updated: August 27, 2022

How I Was Shot By Robbers After Audition — Actor Deyemi Okanlawon

Nollywood star Deyemi Okanlawon has shared the frightening experience of how he was shot by robbers while on his way from an audition.

The actor who is one of the most sought-after thespians in the movie industry revealed the encounter in an interview with Daily Trust.

In the exclusive chat, the Blood Sisters star opened up on how he started performing as a child and said he sees himself as still "up and coming" in the movie industry.

Okanlawon said he was not discouraged in his quest to make it big in Nollywood after surviving the experience.

Deyemi Okanlawon | Photo Credit: INSTAGRAM

"I will insist that I am still up and coming. The reason why is that, if you put me side by side with Denzel Washington, I still have a long way to go.

"My very first memory of acting was when I was five years old. I played every kind of role during those Christmas plays and I really enjoyed them.

"I enjoyed reading story books too. I have always had this storytelling performance thing right from childhood.

"My mother was a good baker and my father an aircraft engineer. I would pick up not just story books but also his engineering books and that’s how I got interested in sciences.


"I studied chemical engineering at the University of Lagos and was also selling cake and bread from my mum’s bakery.

“One day in university, I bumped into this group of young performers who were doing faith-based drama production and joined them. That reignited my love for drama.

"I was about nine years old when I did my first TV commercial about family planning. Sola Sobowale was my mom and even that experience I remember vividly while the other kids struggled with their performance, for me, it was a breeze.  

"So fast forward, I continued doing drama after graduation, with a much bigger church and what I didn’t realise was that I was being trained.

"I became the head of the youth drama group at that time and doing all these things. I also had a 9-5 job I was attending to.

"Sometime in 2010, a random conversation with a business contact of mine asked what I was studying, and I told him, he asked what I would like to do, and I told him acting.

"He said he had some friends in Texas and are back in Nigeria to shoot a film and if I am interested, he could let me audition.

"I went to the audition, and I got two film roles in my first ever audition. That’s how it started; someone saw the trailer for the feature film that I did then Tolu Ajayi of lucid productions.

"He called after seeing the trailer and said we should have a conversation about his own film ‘blink’.

"Blink is on YouTube for anyone who wants to watch it. It became my call card to the industry.

“Every night, before going to bed, I would tweet at every Nollywood name that I knew, and I would drop the link to the movie.

"Somehow, the movie got on Nairaland and it just went viral and from that point, 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 invited me for an audition, and I got the part and this was before these streaming platforms.

"People saw Gidi up and were drawn to Nigerian filmmaking again because it just set a new standard.

"One of those nights coming back from the audition, I got waylaid by armed robbers and I got shot. I survived the accident, but I wasn’t discouraged.…", he said.

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Deyemi started acting at age 5, when he featured in an end-of-year play during his primary education

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