I first developed love for Femi Ogedengbe several years ago after watching him in the movie titled “To Love and to Hate”. He was so good in the movie that I developed interest in him immediately, and began to see more of his movies.

He was one of the most seasoned Nollywood stars that I knew. His tough looks mainly attracted him tough roles. He was used to playing bad boy role in movies, and he was so good at what he was doing. Other films that he featured in were – She is My Sister, Onilara, She is My Sister 2, etc.

After some time, we stopped seeing him in movies, and some of us began to wonder why he had stopped acting, or what had happened to him. As we could not find answers to those questions, we decided to let them lie. Until a report emerged online that Femi was a gardener in America.

The report circulated all over social media, and it triggered a lot of conversations. Later Femi released a video to debunk the claim of him being a gardener. To set the record straight, he made everyone understand that he’s a security guard and not a gardener.
It sounded weird in the ears of millions of Nigerians, as they could not come to terms with the fact that a big Nollywood star like him was now a security guard in America.

However you want to look at it, this calls for deep reasoning. Femi revealed that as a film star, feeding was a big problem for him and his young family, and he could hardly pay his rent. He said that it was poverty that drove him to America in 2016 to work as a security guard. And a year after that, his wife and children were able to join him over there.

And he boldly said that what he had achieved as a filmmaker in Nigeria for over twenty years could not equate to what he had achieved as a security guard in America in one year.

This is a big slap on us as a system, and just like Femi said then, he said the leaders are to be blamed for failing to make the system work for Nigerian youths.

Femi Ogedengbe’s story is really a touching one, and there are really vital lessons to learn from it. Femi said that he made the decision to relocate to America because he didn’t like the way his life was going in terms of poverty. The Nollywood industry where he found himself was becoming more tribalistic, as the few financiers around were the ones who decided who they wanted to appear in films.
The tribalism forced him to switch over to the Yoruba movies, but then the money he was making in the Yoruba industry could barely sustain him and his family. And it was then he realized that he needed to move out of the country in search of greener pastures.
He was already 46 years old, and there was no tangible achievement to show for all his efforts working in the country. And according to him, there were 63 of them that left the country – some of whom were graduates, Masters Degree holders, top celebrities, musicians – but they left to take up menial jobs in America.

This alone should trigger national conversations. We need to ask ourselves why our best minds are leaving the shores of our country to take up menial jobs in other countries. Our leaders need to address this issue.

Why are our educated youths leaving the country to take up ‘houseboy’ jobs in other countries, when we are supposed to be living like kings in our own country because of our talents?

Femi Ogedengbe had to drop his name and fame aside to address the realities of his life. He refused to continue living the fake life and decided to make the sacrifices for his family. But his story is just an index of what happens every day in the country. Young people who no more have faith in the system, and are leaving for greener pastures abroad.

This should be a lesson to our leaders, to create a conducive system for the youth, a system that the youth can believe in. I believe that it is never too late to start. Our leaders need to fix our country so that we don’t continue to lose our best minds to foreign countries.

See photo of him and his family when they were in Nigeria (when he was a Nollywood star):

Now, see photos of himself and his family in America. See the huge difference. See how he and his family are enjoying life even though he’s working as a security guard over there:
You can see that the difference is clear. And I hope our leaders will learn from the story of this young man, and make the country a better place for other young people.

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