Why I relocated to America – Actress Doris Simeon

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For nearly a decade, fans of actress Doris Simeon, whose roles in Yoruba films in the 2000s captivated many, continued to yearn for her on-screen brilliance.

 

In an interview with actor Kunle Afod, Doris opened up about her hiatus and journey to America, inferring that the decision to leave Nigeria six years ago was personal.

 

She said: “Many people know that my child and his father are in America, and that’s one of the reasons I relocated to America.”

 

Doris married filmmaker Daniel Ademinokan, whom he met on a movie set in 2008 but divorced in 2011. The union produced a son, David. Upon their divorce, the filmmaker moved to America, where he married Stella Damasus, whom he would later divorce.

 

Although fully settled in the US, Doris says she misses home, especially the Nigerian delicacies.

 

“I left Nigeria in 2018, and since then, I haven’t returned to the country. Even though I miss Nigeria, especially the roadside food and street vendors, I long for my family and friends and being on set, especially when I see actors and actresses sharing behind-the-scenes moments on their social media platforms.”

 

The 44-year-old actress stated that she plans to visit Nigeria within the next one to two years.

 

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After facing several denials, Doris revealed she got her visa to travel to America in 2012. The actress, who portrayed Da Grin’s girlfriend in 2010 ‘Ghetto Dreamz’ and co-produced ‘Omo Iya Kan’, said her initial attempt was in 2009 in Abuja but was denied, adding that she lost hope afterwards.

 

“I did the one I got in Lagos State, and when I wanted to go for the interview, I went to get a place to sleep on the Island to reach the embassy early because I was living on the Mainland. But I discovered I had left my passport at home. So, I decided to return to Akute on the Mainland to pick it up, but I encountered heavy traffic. When I arrived in Akute, my friend who was living there brought it for me.

 

“There was heavy traffic on the Third Mainland bridge, but I reached the embassy’s parking lot by 7:00 AM and began searching for my visa receipt. I gave up and planned to return home before finding the receipt in my wallet. Upon reaching the embassy, they only asked me what I was going for, and I said an award. They inquired if it was NEA, and I confirmed. They searched the movie online, found my name, and that’s how I obtained my visa,’’ she recalled.

 

The 2010 Zafaa Award winner for Best Indigenous Actress said she only visited America and returned to Nigeria before she decided to move in 2018 permanently.

 

The 2008 AMAA Awards’ Best Indigenous Actress noted that beginning a new life in America wasn’t easy.

 

The actress, currently a hairdresser, said: “If you’re lazy, you’ll suffer, and those who have been here for the past 20 and 50 years aren’t finding life easy. The system wasn’t designed to allow you to afford some bills without working or being given money. If you don’t work, you won’t eat or pay your bills; if the bills aren’t, the person will sleep in the cold. I have done much work since I relocated, such as a delivery job, personal shopper, and hairdresser. I currently work at ‘Heart and Home for Youths, a foster care and group home programs for youth and teen mothers in Maryland. ”

 

The actress, who received the 2015 All Youths Tush Awards AYTA Role Model (Movie) Award, added that one of the most challenging aspects for her was waking up early for work.

 

Doris, who secured her first role at an audition for a cameo in a situational comedy sitcom produced by Wale Adenuga Productions (WAP) titled ‘Papa Ajasco’ said, “The timing can vary depending on the shift, but regardless of the job, individuals still need to wake up early.”

 

Doris began her acting career with roles in three episodes of the Papa Ajasco comedy series and starred in several movies, including Oloju Ede, Alakada, Ten Million Naira, Modupe Temi, Eti Keta, and others.

 

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