By AYO ONIKOYI AND JULIET EBIRIM
Beautiful Nollywood actress, Doris Simeon isn’t a scandal- prone person but the issue of separation between her and her former husband, actor and director, Daniel Ademinokan got her name dragged around in a mesh-work of gossips and rumours that hasn’t really panned out.
She was chatted up by Juliet Ebirim at a recent event and here is the conversation that ensued. Excerpts: Tell us about yourself? My name is Doris Simeon. I’m from Edo State, Igbila to be precise. I’m from a family of five, though I am an orphan now.
What was growing up like for you?
It was really fun for me. Those days when my mum sent me on an errand and I didn’t it deliver well, she would flog me and I would wonder “Are you sure this is my mother? But now when I think back, I realise she was only trying to make me a better person.
Especially, when I do the same to my son. It dawned on me that all those scolding was out of love. It was really fun. I grew up in a face me, I face you kind of house where you have lots of drama. When I think about it, I laugh a lot. Funny enough, I used to tell the “Aje-butter” children that they didn’t have as much experience about life as those of us who lived in the ghettos.
What’s your take on actresses who sleep their way through for roles?
It’s their choice, they weren’t forced into it. They wanted to, that’s why they did it, or probably because they are desperate.
Have you been sexually harassed since you started acting?
I’ve not since I started acting. I’ve had the experience of people or producers toasting me and as far as I am concerned that is normal. Any man can like any woman. It is not peculiar only to Nollywood, It is either you want it or you don’t want it.
Would you say that fame has robbed you of anything?
No, fame has really favoured me in so many ways. I thank God for that.
So you don’t have any regrets?
I don’t, in any way.
I want you to talk about the recent happenings, your ex-husband and another actress, Stella Damasus?
I have nothing to say about it.
Aside your son, what else makes you happy?
Putting smiles on people’s faces, especially children. I love children a lot.
Define your style?
Simple and comfortable What has been the most memorable moment of your career? Having to present a TV talk show ‘Faaji Extra’. It’s a Yoruba talk show. I was a little bit nervous at first. But it was a dream come true for me, because I always wanted to be a TV presenter as well.
When the opportunity came, I just embraced it because it was like a prayer answered. I loved the idea and I really enjoyed the experience on that particular set.
How much were you paid for the job?
A lot of money. A lot enough to make me smile.
What is the worst rumour you’ve heard about yourself?
I think it had to do with a story that reported I attended a Fuji show. The story also claimed I was dating Saheed Osupa. It was about ten years ago and was published on a full page. The funniest thing was the writer sounded like he was so sure.
I just laughed because it was so funny; I’ve never been to a Fuji show. The only way you could catch me at such gatherings are on rare occasions when my colleagues invite me to functions where a Fuji band happens to be on stand.
And to say I was dating Saheed Osupa was a big lie that could only be laughed at.
If you have to change anything about yourself, what would that be?
I don’t want to change anything. I just thank God for creating me the way I am.
If I have to come back to this world again, I want to come back as me.
What is your greatest physical attribute?
I’ve never thought about it, but I think it’s my eyes.
If you weren’t an actress, what would you have been?
I would have been a presenter or newscaster because I love entertainment.
Besides acting, what else do you do?
I have a cosmetic store. I sell cosmetics and perfumes.
With the break-up of your marriage, do you regret ever getting married in the first place?
Are you officially divorced from your husband?
No comment! I like it when my lawyer answers such questions.
There was this rumour that you were having an affair which led to the collapse of your marriage?
When I read about all these rumours, I just laugh.
So, You mean none of that is true?
None at all, there was a time some journalists even told me that I was a lesbian, that they took my picture, a side view. I told them, I wanted to see the front view of me in the hotel with the lesbians and then I laughed.
I told myself, “this is what I chose (my career), so I have to accept it that way”.
Have you moved on?
Me? I’m after putting smiles on people’s faces.
What’s your vision and where do you see yourself in the next five years ?
I want to really affect people’s lives, put smiles on their faces. There are street kids out there suffering, we need to go out there.
I like the courage of Iyabo Ojo, Halima Abubakar for all those NGOs and the rest of them. Putting smiles on people’s faces is what I’m aspiring to do and I think that’s the only way your prayers would be answered and God would put a smile on your face too.
What’s your advice to upcoming actresses?
Don’t be desperate. Be yourself. If you have that gift and you think you can still go out there to learn, do it. Go and learn from the professionals and God will put you through. If God says it is your time, he will definitely lift you up.