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Why Kofi Adjorlolo walked off a movie set and called for Yvonne Nelson’s replacement



Narrating what led to her abysmal performance on set, the actress said she was given an impromptu role adding that she wasn’t given time and the needed materials to work with.

Giving a vivid account of what transpired on set that particular day, Yvonne wrote in her recently published memoir “I am not Yvonne Nelson” she recounted receiving a prompt call from a producer to play the lead role in the movie, Princess Tyra, in which Adjorlolo played the role of the king, her father.

She explained that her unpreparedness for the task became very evident on set, a situation, which led to Adjolorlo’s protest and subsequent call for a replacement.

She added that the movie producer, Frank Rajah Arase, was equally disappointed.

“My breakthrough didn’t take long to come. It came with an urgent call, again, from Abdul Salam. I was in the lecture hall and stepped out to answer the call. He needed me for a movie role. The crew and cast were already on location and I had to come straight away, he said on the phone. When I got there, my costumes were ready. I was dressed like a princess and asked to go on set. The conventional processes of being given a script, mastering it and attending script conferences or rehearsals were all side-stepped. It appeared someone had been given that role but had to be replaced. An improvised cast was expected to take her place, so the lots fell on me. With verbal instruction on who I was and what I was expected to do, I was thrust onto the set, like a fat goat being thrown into a den of ravenous hyenas.

“That was how I felt when the unmasked disapproval of my inclusion was communicated in the most unvarnished of languages. I fumbled on set. I felt uncomfortable in the costume. I had no time to psychologically prepare myself for the role. But here I was acting in a movie that had my character as the title. The movie was Princes And I was Princess Tyra. In that movie, Kofi Adjorlolo was my father, the king. He got so frustrated with my acting that he walked off the set in protest and told Abdul Salam to replace me. The director, Frank Raja Arase, did not have any hope in me either. I felt terrible, lost confidence and became anxious,” Yvonne Nelson stated.

She said, but for popular filmmaker, Abdul Salam Mumuni, who had hopes in her, she would have abandoned the project, which later turned out to be her ‘big break’.

“Princess Tyra had a number of maids. I confided in one of them that that day was going to be the last time they would see me. I had endured enough embarrassment and was not going to show up again. What I said got into the ears of Abdul Salam Mumuni, and he spent a considerable amount of time convincing me not to abandon the project. It appeared he was the only one in the production team who had confidence in my ability to act. Rooting for me sparked wild rumours that he had something to do with me, the only possible reason he wanted me around despite my abysmal performance,” she added.

However, counting her blessings, Yvonne established that years after Kofi Adjorlolo put her through that ordeal, she started producing her own movies and cast him in one of them.

“A few years later, I cast Kofi Adjorlolo in a movie I produced,” she said.




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