After Winning No Award at AMVCA, Deyemi Okanlawon Talks About Awards
Deyemi Okanlawon is proudly, according to him, the highest grossing actor in Nollywood and has been for the past two years. This is not shocking news because the very talented actor has appeared in so many big Nollywood projects over the last couple of years. He starred in Nollywood’s highest grossing movie ever, Omo Ghetto: The Saga, he’s currently in Netflix’s Blood Sisters. He was in Swallow, Prophetess, Day of Destiny, King of Boys: The Return of the King, The Wildflower… to put it simply, Deyemi is a HARD WORKER.
The AMVCAs held on the 14th of May this year and Deyemi was one of the actors nominated, but unfortunately he did not win. Now, in a conversation with fellow actress Lilian Afegbai for her show Lilian’s Couch, Deyemi opens up about his thoughts on awards as well as his thoughts on stereotyping in Nollywood. Here’s what Deyemi said.
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First of all, speaking about how stereotyping is actually not bad for actors, Deyemi said:
I tell people, especially for young actors out there, don’t listen to what people are saying because this idea that stereotypes are a bad thing, being stereotyped is a bad thing, no. It’s a way into the industry. Part of paying your dues is the fact that if you find one thing that you’re naturally good at and people are willing to hire you for that thing. Then by all means embrace it, be better at it. What I taught a few young people recently was the best you can do: within a stereotype, if they put you in a box and say oh “slay mama”, your responsibility is to give them a thousand variations of slay mama within that box that they’ve given you. Like me now, you know how they used to give me bad guy role all the time, the way I will play one bad guy is different from the way I’ll play another bad guy till the point that they said “ah ah, come oh, let us try something else” and then we now tried the more romantic drama, different genres of film. That’s when they’ll start noticing that okay, you actually have the talent and you get more work. So embrace stereotypes, I think everybody should. At least, it puts food on your table and it gives you an opportunity to be seen.
Speaking on his thoughts towards awards, Deyemi said:
How relevant are these awards? For me, they’re strictly just a good to have. Awards, like clothes, don’t make a man. It’s you that makes the clothes. Like me now when I wear cloth now, the cloth go fine. It’s the same way that if I win an award today, it’s to the benefit of the award actually. People have won awards and their career died after that. I think you need to get to a point when you realize that first of all, I don’t need validation from anybody. I’m good at what I do. How do I know I’m good? Cuz I put in the work to good. I put in much more work than the average person to be good, to be excellent. So I don’t need anybody to come and tell me because we’re giving you an award, that means you’re a good actor, no. However, if you’re a good actor, what you now need is branding and an award gives you that kind of branding. So it’ll now be “award winning”, “nominee”, it helps your brand.
Do you agree with Deyemi’s thoughts about stereotyping and awards? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment either below or on my Wapstruck.com Facebook post. I’d love to see what you think.
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