Chidi Mokeme speaks on battle with facial paralysis



Chidi Mokeme, the Nollywood actor, has attributed his months-long acting hiatus to a condition called Bell’s palsy.

In a Channels TV interview, the film star revealed that he took a break from acting to undergo treatment.

Bell’s palsy is a medical condition that causes sudden muscle weakness on one side of the face.

In most cases, the weakness, the cause of which is unclear, is temporary and significantly improves over weeks.

The weakness makes half of the face droop. Smiles are one-sided, and the eye on the affected side resists closing.

Mokeme has been somewhat off the grid but acted in ‘Shanty Town‘, a title released via Netflix on January 20.

Speaking on his hiatus, he recounted how dealing with Bell’s Palsy put him out of the acting profession for a while.

 “After we did the promotional tour for ’76’ and we were preparing to go for the Toronto International Film Festival in the UK, I came down with something called Bell’s Palsy. That was the first time I was hearing it,” he said.

“It comes like a stroke and affects one side of the face. The doctors felt it was incurable because they didn’t know what causes it. Imagine what I dealt with as an actor coming down with something that affects your face.

“I thought I could manage it and thought to come for the Lagos premiere of ’76’ but the attention was focused on the face. I knew it wasn’t something I could work with. I took time off to sort out the problem.

“I focused on doing my other business while I was trying to get my face back. Do you see what happened to Justin Bieber right in the middle of his tour? You have to cancel everything. You can’t perform with your face drooping.”


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