Chidi Mokeme reveals how facial paralysis forced him to take sabbatical from film industry

Actor Chidi Mokeme of Nollywood has said that he took time off to recover from Bell’s palsy, which he says is the reason for his extended absence from the industry.

The actor discussed his time away from performing for treatment in an interview with Channels TV.

Medically speaking, Bell’s palsy is a condition that causes an abrupt weakening of facial muscles on one side of the face.

In the majority of cases, the causeless weakness is transient and rapidly improves over the course of a few weeks.

The inability causes one side of the face to sag. Smiles are unilateral, and the eye on the affected side will not close.

Mokeme has been absent from the public eye for a while, but he did appear in the January 20 Netflix film Shanty Town.

“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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