E-X-C-L-U-S-I-V-E: My Drug Story–Taiwo Akinwande (Wunmi)

Source: KEHINDE ADEREMI - Nigeriafilms.com

In the ears of many a movie fan, the name, Taiwo Akinwande would hardly ring an immediate bell. But mention her stage name, Yetunde Wunmi, and a lot of faces would light-up instantly. In the Yoruba film industry, Yetunde Wunmi has earned a name for herself. For over three decades, the pretty actress enjoyed tremendous popularity.

That was until about six years ago when she was nabbed with hard drugs at the airport on her way to Europe. She was convicted and sentenced to a two-year jail term which she has served.

Getting her side of the sad experience was very difficult. It was like engaging a two-year-old kindergarten pupil in a difficult mathematical question. In this interview, Wunmi confessed that the drug incident is her only regret in life.

“That was the bitter pill that would remain in my system for the rest of my life, and it's my only regret in life,” she tells The Entertainer. Excerpts:

How I was arrested

It was on September 19, 2006. I was billed to travel to the United Kingdom. So I got to the airport early enough to catch my plane. But then, I was arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at the Murtala International Airport in Lagos. I was arrested on drug related offences. Initially, I thought I was in a dream, but it later turned out to be a reality.

It was a sad experience for me to remember because that event almost cost me my life. I ended up serving a two-year-jail term. Really, I lost so many things to that incident. And it did a lot of damage to my image as an actress and even among my colleagues in the industry.

It's my only regret in life that I had to get involved in drugs. But I thank God that I came out of the mess after serving a two-year jail term. I also thank God that though the situation I found myself was that bad, the news of my drug offence wasn't that of my obituary. Truly, I have learnt my lessons the hard way.

Lessons learnt

I have said it earlier that I have learnt my lessons the hard way. I learnt that nothing in life is permanent, that there are no permanent friends and enemies. During my travails, I learnt lessons about the ups and downs of life. For instance, a rich man today can become poor tomorrow, and a poor man today can become rich tomorrow. Even, I learnt my lessons about death.

That, though life is good and worthy to live, death remains the end of all souls. It's the end, no matter who you are. It was really, a sad story to tell, but I thank God I am still alive to tell the story.