Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh, has opened up on her past struggle with depression and how music producers, Don Jazzy and Tee Billz, ‘rescued’ her from committing suicide a decade ago.
The actress revealed this in an Instagram post while reacting to the video of a Nigerian-American identified as Izuchukwu Madubueze who reportedly died by suicide after he was wrongly accused of sexual harassment.
According to the movie star, the pain got so bad that she began to believe God didn’t love her. She also revealed that “she picked the perfect day to end her life”.
Recalling the incident that led to the attempted suicide, the River-State-born actress and musician said, “This was me 9/10 years ago, I’m here because I believed there was much more to life than my situation. I wanted to badly believe God didn’t hate me, I wanted to badly stop the hurt but it just kept coming so strong. I knew I was ready, I mean the pain was excruciating.
“Today was a perfect day to die I said. God spared me, God showed me how much love he had for me that day. Shoutout to @teebillz323 @donjazzy for coming to my rescue, I honestly pray for you every day.
Thank you can never be enough but THANK YOU”.
The 35-year-old actress had also opened up on past struggles with suicidal tendencies over the weekend during an Instagram live chat with journalist and publisher, Dele Momodu, the CEO of Ovation International on Sunday.
“About 11 years ago, I was super suicidal. I talk about it ’cause I’m one person who can’t be shamed. You can’t shame a shameless person. I’ve had suicidal tendencies before,” the actress narrated.
“I fell into the wrong crowd, with the wrong people. I was just a total mess and didn’t know how to go about it. I thought that if I was no more, it would be better rather than suffer all these.
“I’ve been sick in my life but depression is the only sickness I do not wish for anybody, not even my enemy. It’s wild and crazy. It destroys you. I sought medical help, I talked to psychologists. I went to the U.S., did a six months course (therapy). Even here (in Nigeria), I have a shrink I go to every two months. Mental health is serious. If we all get diagnosed, over 85 per cent of us have mental issues.”
She also revealed plans to contest for a seat in the Senate in 2023 during the chat,
She said, “I do know that I’m going to be a senator. I think the position is going to climb up. Being a governor, I do not know. But I don’t see anything past me. Anything I put my mind to.
“I can do it. I’m in the process; I’ve started. I’ve been watching the grounds. I’m not going to be identifying with any political party at the moment until 2023.”
The controversial actress made the disclosure while explaining why she hasn’t taken on movie roles in five years.
Dikeh also spoke about the new direction of her acting career which kicked off after she partook in the now rested reality TV show, ‘The Next Movie Star’ in 2005. Before then, she was a car dealer in Port Harcourt.
She said, “I got so detached from Nollywood. I can’t remember one out of the bag. It’s not, my reality anymore. I don’t go back to rewatch my movies because I’m not Nollywood oriented anymore.
“I won’t say I’ve grown bigger than Nollywood. My dreams have rather grown bigger than Nollywood. I’ve rejected movie roles and I still do. I’m one artiste who didn’t like to be stereotyped.”
According to her, the fact that she only got stereotypical movie roles didn’t help matters too.
“If I play a bad girl, I didn’t play it again. I haven’t been on screen for over five years. But, if you’re going to call artistes, Tonto is going to be one. I chose scripts that made me stand the test of time. If you watch most of Pete Edochie’s films, it never changes. Only his name does. His character and words never even change. He’s always given the same role all the time and I wonder why he takes it.
“But he’s a veteran; I’m not going to question that. When you’re good at a role, Nollywood imposes that on you. They give it to you until the world gets tired of your talent ’cause you play just one role.”
Aside from acting, Dikeh has also had stints in the Nigerian music industry at different times.
Amaco Investment once featured her in a music video alongside Patience Ozokwor in 2012. Shortly after, she launched her music career with two singles ‘Hi’ and ‘Itz Ova’.
D’Banj would later sign her onto his record label, DB Records, on June 7, 2014. She left DB records in March 2015 to explore other business ventures.