Right from her childhood days, Doris Akonanya had always wanted to be an actress, but when she lost one of her legs in an accident, she thought that dream would never come to pass.
She was sad after the accident, until she watched the videos of Pastor Nick Vujicic, and was motivated by his success story. She believed that if Pastor Nick could achieve success in life without legs and hands, then she could do it too. Pastor Nick is an Australian evangelist and motivational speaker who was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare medical condition that is characterized by the absence of legs and arms.
She said that when her leg was amputated, she was worried and had to ask her mother where her leg was. Her mother told her that the white people took the leg away to treat it, and that they would bring it back when they were done. Somehow Doris believed her mother and was hopeful that her leg would be returned someday, because she was still a little girl then. So one day, she decided to ask one of the nurses in the hospital when her leg would be returned, and the nurse had to tell her the truth. And that was a very sad moment for her.
She was worried that no one would give her a chance in the film industry, but she still had to give it a push for it. Doris is a graduate of Theatre Arts, and she said that it wasn’t for her then.
In an interview with BBC News Pidgin, Doris said that she was worried if any man would approach her with one leg, but that mindset has changed now because men are the ones “rushing” her. She said that she can never allow any man look down on her because of her physical challenges.
Speaking further, she said that whenever people see her dancing videos on Instagram, they always ask her what is motivating her like that. She said that she tries to make herself happy everytime, because she doesn’t want sadness to overwhelm her.
Doris has featured in several movies, and has acted alongside several top Nollywood stars, some of which are Pete Edochie, Chiwetalu Agu, Ngozi Nwosu, among others.
She said that when you refuse to give up, then nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams. And that the only one who can stop you is yourself.
Photos of Doris with some of her colleagues in Nollywood: