Actress Yvonne Nelson has revealed that her decision to prioritise her school over acting led to her ban from the Ghana movie industry in 2010.
In her memoir ‘I Am Not Yvonne Nelson’, the actress noted that during that period she was working on the set of ‘4Play Reloaded’ while she was in her final year at Central University.
She stated that the director Abdul Salam Mumuni who called her to join the cast knew about her commitment to her education, especially since she did not want to defer or drop out of school and miss out on her degree.
“I left campus and went to sit the whole day, but there was no show. One of the lead characters did not show up. The following day, I again abandoned class and went for the shoot, but nothing happened,” Yvonne Nelson wrote.
“One of the lead actors, we were told, was a judge in the Miss Malaika beauty pageant. Those responsibilities had kept her away and kept me at bay from academic work,” she added.
The actress said after missing many academic works in her two days on set, she informed Abdul Salam that she would not be available on set the next day.
“What I said was as if I had struck a match stick and dropped it in fuel. He flared up and started a condescending attack on me.
“I have never seen him angrier. Roger Quartey, one of the crew members, kept fueling his ego and stoking the fire that raged until I left that day,” she noted.
On Abdul Salam, she stated “he was well aware of my commitment to academic responsibilities and that I didn’t have much time to spare. But he still acted in a way that was totally unfair.”
The actress noted that she was not called back to the set and her questions as to the reason why were answered when she learnt about the ban the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG) had placed on her a week later.
Yvonne Nelson said the narrative was that she was “disrespectful” and “ungrateful” adding she was disappointed in older colleagues, especially the woman who did not lend her any support.
“One exception was Majid Michel, who stood by me in the thick of it all. He defended me and even tried to mediate with Abdul Salam, but it did not work,” Yvonne Nelson.
She noted that later that year, David Owusu of Media Five Productions defied the ban and cast her in a movie.
According to her, Abdul Salam who initiated the ban came to her to resolve their differences and subsequently shot two movies without the other producers’ knowledge.
Despite the ban and the struggles, that year turned out well for her, she said, as it opened a floodgate of opportunities for her in the Nigerian industry.
“There were times I shot multiple movies on a single Nigerian trip before I returned to Ghana. If Ghana gave me a professional breakthrough in acting, my financial breakthrough came from acting in Nigeria