Deyemi Okanlawon, the Nollywood actor, says he got N10,000 for the first movie role he played after a four-day shoot.


The movie producer spoke about “paying the dues” of hard work during his feature on the Rubbin Minds show.

Okanlawon said it took eight years of constant effort to achieve his current status but many see him as an overnight success.

“They don’t see the toiling, frustration, and sheer hard work. They don’t see the moment when you’re working for virtually nothing. The first film I ever did, I got paid N10,000 and the next, N15,000,” the actor said.


“They took me to Ilorin to shoot for four days. I had a business I was running and a career at the same time. But I’ve honed my skills all these years. I was also proving myself and adding value to the producers beyond acting.

“I also read up on anything acting so I could be better. It’s not just music or film, it takes a while to get there in any sphere of life. Looking back at all the times I was frustrated at the slow progress, I just needed to be patient.

“If I had seen what’s going to happen now, it would have been easier to just relax and not cause myself headaches.”



Deyemi, who has starred in multiple Nollywood titles, including Kemi Adetiba’s ‘King of Boys’ where he played the role of Adetola Fashina, recalled how he excelled as a sales and marketing executive despite having bad grades.

“I didn’t do too much in school. For one reason or the other, I came out with bad grades. I had to go the route of results. I could never have submitted my application for a job with how they were looking at grades,” he added.

“I had to go on the streets and prove myself. I was in sales so, every year, I could tell you what I did for one company or the other. ‘I raise this amount and sold that amount of product. That opened doors for me.


“I’ve gotten jobs from big financial institutions based on the results I had. 10,000 people could put up their applications but because I’ve proven myself, they would skip all the candidates and give me the job offer.

“I came into Nollywood with the same idea. There’s a difference between working hard and working smart. A lot of people go to auditions, thinking that’s doing the hard work. What they need to do is prove results.

“I did a lot of short films when I was coming in. I had them on my phone before approaching directors and it caught their attention. Networking with the right people and proving value did more for me than going to all auditions.”


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