Why my life is scandal free – Doris Simeon
Doris Simeon Ademinokan stands out in Nollywood. In an industry where rumour mills are regularly at work, she has managed to keep her head above waters and staying free from scandals.
Eleven years after she cut her teeth on the set of the Papa Ajasco series, Doris has since moved up the ladder of success by snatching up key roles in some major movies in the Yoruba movie genre.
With major roles in movies like Oloju Ede, Alakada, Ten Million Naira, Modupe Temi among others in the kitty, Doris has also tried out her hands as a producer.
Her first effort was a co-production effort with her husband on the set of Omo Iya kan.
Doris speaks about her career, childhood and how she strikes the balance between work and home. This is how she began her story.
Since I became part of the industry called Nollywood, it has been fun all the way and for that I'm grateful to God. I don't see the business as do or die because you do your job and I do mine. But if God says it is your job, then it is your job and not mine. I'm not in the business to compete with anyone.
Coping with family responsibilities and the acting profession
It is not easy though, but I thank God. With the good Lord on my side, I have managed to survive the ordeal.
Above all things, God gave me a husband who is also into the same line of business with me and so he understands the nitty gritty and the demands of the profession. He is also a very good helping hand because sometimes when I have to on locations I leave my son with him.
Thank God for civilization that has made things easier for career women. Today it's no longer a world of, it is only the wife that will take care of everything and all that.
Responsible fathers now know they can also be helpful in matters concerning house chores and all. I thank God for my husband.
Between my husband and another man.
I don't know but if God says this is your man, there is nothing anyone can do to reverse his decision.
In the area of movie production, I think Nollywood has made its mark. Some of the movies we have, are good while some are badly produced.
Sincerely speaking, there are some movies you watch, that is not worth your while. I saw one the other day and it was like one of these comedies stuffs called Alfa Sule. And I wondered why some producers could go to the extent of producing such sub standard movies all in the name of movies.
My response to such movies is, even if you want to do comedy, you could do that with a good script and not insult Nigerians with thrash.
In the beginning . . .
As a young girl I have always loved entertainment but I never thought it would be acting.
I have always known I would do something behind the camera, spread my name around because I'm a very shy person in nature. But I never thought I would be in front of the camera.
Because of the passion I have for the entertainment industry, I left the door open to any thing that comes my way.
I was ready for any job as long as it was in my chosen field. And that's how I found myself in the business.
I heard of an audition for Papa Ajasco comedy from the stables of Wale Adenuga productions and I went for it. I was lucky picked and that was how I joined the motion picture industry.
Watching own movies
Whenever I watch my own movies, it is actually to criticize myself, to see where I goofed and how I can improve on my shortcomings.
The content and quality of the script determines if I would accept a role or not. The script must be educative and entertaining for that is what the whole business is all about.
As entertainers, we go out to entertain our audience because people are often in bad moods especially now because of the economic situation.
Keeping off scandals
I'm very disciplined because I know the type of home I come from.
A Yoruba adage says that 'he who has no mother should not sustain a wound at the back of the head because there will be no one to help him treat it'.
Beside, my name and that of my family is very dear to me. I cherish the name because a good name as they say is better than silver or gold. I don't want to get involved in anything that could tarnish the name. Even when male fans come around, I try my best to make them understand that I'm married. I make friends with them without overstepping my boundaries.
For me, discipline has been the watch word that has helped me to stay scandal free.
Handling stubborn fans
You know men and their ego. Some of them would not want to take no for answer. But with patience, I have managed to discourage some of the stubborn ones. Even as a single, I never double dated as some of my peers did. I'm not the greedy type so that way I have been able to sail through with men.
I'm a shy person but outgoing and if I'm with my friends and family I play a lot.
I try as much as I can to be modest in everything I do so that people don't take me for granted. I hate it when people take me for granted.
My parents, my support
My parents are very liberal minded people. They are the type that will want to know every detail.
Before, I ventured into the business, they asked if I was sure of my choice of career. And when I told I love the entertainment industry, they said it's okay . . .
When I got chosen as a cast in the Papa Ajasco series, I sought their blessing which they readily gave. They only advised me on the right course to take and prayed for me.My father was one of my biggest fans. You know in most African tradition, when a child is successful in life, fathers are usually the first to want to take credit for the success story.
He talks about my exploits with his friends and would be the first to encourage them to buy my new movies.
Contrary to general believe that actors live very wayward lifestyles, my family has remained solidly behind me all of the time. They also hear all of these rumour but they have never for once discouraged me from what I'm doing.
Most memorable experience
The day, I gave birth to my first baby David, remains the most memorable experience for me. After I had been delivered of him, I vowed never to get pregnant again because of the pains associated with child birth.
But right now the pains have been forgotten and I'm looking forward to having another baby.
I was quiet as a child, but stubborn too. When I was growing up, I was closer to my mother than my father.
You know the normal Nigerian family setting. Daddy comes home from the office everybody run inside the house and all that.
But as I got older and wiser, I starting along with my father. When we got older, we started getting closer.
My father had a law in our house at the time. And it was either you spoke in our native language or you don't speak at all.
So we were always mute in the house because we didn't know how to speak the Yoruba language very well. Whenever we needed to ask him for something, it was tough as we were not fluent with the language.
But that has change with time. We no longer fear him today because, the hand of the clock has turned in our favour.
Nature made it so. Before my father passed on, he had to rap in the language we understood or there was no show.
Although my parents are both late, my mother remains my role model.
My father died two years ago while mummy passed on three years ago. It has not been easy living without them especially, my mother.
The day my mother died was the saddest day of my life. I missed her so much. It hurts more because she is no longer there as a pillar.
I always remember what my mother used to tell me in the days when I would want to scold my cousin's child and she'd intervene.
I was always accusing her of pampering the kids and she would tell me that 'we will see how you will train yours when you have one'.
Now when my son acts silly and I want to scold him, I would remember my mother's words. I missed her so much.
Advise for the youth
My advice for them is that whatever they want to do, they should learn to do it well and never give up. They should not be discouraged by challenges that come their way because if everybody runs away from challenges, nobody will make good in the industry.
Of course it has paid off. When I started years back, I was wondering if I can actually stay long in the industry, now I am wishing, praying and working toward becoming one of the persons that will help turn around the movie industry. We may not succeed like Hollywood, but we can change one or two things to make the industry become more competitive.
Ademinokan broke into acting through the popular TV comedy series, Papa Ajasco. But she is now a reputed Yoruba and English actress even though she is not a Yoruba by birth.
Doris was born and bred in Lagos by her Edo parents.
She is happily married to the handsome Daniel Ademinokan and has a beautiful son
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