Niyi Johnson is one of the established actors on the Nollywood Yoruba scene. The actor is known for his versatility and he has been in the industry for over 15 years.
Johnson was born in Lagos. He grew up in the Ikotun area of Lagos. There were many times he had to drink garri and sometimes he had to hawk coconut just to make ends meet.
The actor attended the Ibadan Polytechnic before proceeding to the Lagos State University where he bagged a Bachelor’s degree in History and International Relations.
The actor revealed that he is a workaholic and he is usually on location virtually every week.
Johnson also revealed that he is a regular guy and he can be quite playful.
Johnson started from the church where he used to feature in stage drama before proceeding to TV dramas and soap operas.
Also, he revealed that he used to go to the cyber café where he would send emails to marketers indicating his interest in acting. He finally had his breakthrough when he met Mr. Ray Austin at the Remi Star Blue where he was trained in proper acting. Additionally, he learned makeup, costume, production, directing and management alongside.
It was after his training that he started going for auditions in Lagos. The actor featured in Tinsel before delving into Yoruba films. The first soap he featured was Cynthia Okon which was produced by Fuaad Bankole. It was after this soap that he featured in Tinsel.
During his experience at Tinsel, he felt they didn’t see him as one of the major actors and that was one of the reasons why he delved into Yoruba movies.
Currently, the actor is primarily involved in Yoruba movies. His first Yoruba movie was Motaka Osi danu which was produced by Lekan Ayinde. There were two movies that shot Johnson into the limelight. It was Ojiji mi and Oritoke. In Oritoke, he played the role of an imbecile. According to him, it was quite a unique character as it wasn’t something people had seen him play before. His role in the movie got him attention and some people still call him by the name he played in the movie, Jimoh.
The actor also revealed that he is one of the few actors in the Yoruba sector that usually request for his scripts prior to acting. Johnson disclosed that he needs to read his scripts before going on set because he needs to know how to fit into the character.
Johnson revealed in an interview that he often unwinds by playing games and watching movies and. For instance, when he is at home, he plays games like Ayo Olopon and Ludo. Also, he loves to read and he does this by going on the internet.
Overall, Johnson is a homely person as he doesn’t go to parties and he doesn’t know how to dance.
The actor revealed that there are a lot of challenges in the industry. For instances, there is a lot of unhealthy rivalries when everybody should be working together as a team.
Also, there are restrictions when it comes to filming. For instance, they can’t film at the airport either can they fil, at the stadium. This is because it can take up to 6 months just to get a permission to film in these places.
More importantly, there is the problem of funding. Although the industry generates a lot of money, the government doesn’t provide the necessary support they need.
The actor revealed that Nollywood needs a Film Village where they can build their own set and make films. This will quell situations where area boys disturb them and attempt to seize their camera while they are on set. The actor recalled an occasion when they stabbed Yomi Fash-Lanso during one of such altercations.
The actor also revealed that he is vehemently against the dichotomy in the movie industry. He further disclosed that he doesn’t see himself as a Yoruba actor and he has never been a Yoruba actor. According to Johnson, he is a Nollywood actor because he has been involved in a wide range of films from English films to soap operas.
Johnson is married to a Nollywood producer, Seyi Edun. Prior to his marriage to Seyi, he was married to another Nollywood colleague, Toyin Aimakhu. They got married in 2013
They were separated following allegations of cheating. There were reports that the actor was trying to reconcile with his Toyin Aimakhu but the actor refuted the claims and indicated that it was the actress that was making moves to ensure that they got back together, and he has proof to back up his claim.
Toyin Aimakhu once confirmed in an old interview that she still loves her ex. (Toyin Aimakhu) but she does not see them getting back together.
On the part of Niyi, when asked if there were chances of them reconciling, he was not forthcoming with a response, instead, he said, “I would rather not talk about it. But I have to tell you that in a few weeks, things will unfold.”
There was a report that the actor attempted to poison his estranged wife. Johnson responded with a press release where he stated that the report was shocking and very untrue.
Also, there was another claim that Johnson has a baby mama, Sade. The actor also responded to this claim stating it wasn’t true.
The actor revealed that the origin of the rumour was an incident that happened in 2012, when the lady in question, Sade posted a merged picture of herself, the actor and a baby girl. At that time, he dispelled the rumour but it came up again in 2014 and his wife at that time was tagged along with her sister Ruth Aimakhu and his pastor.
The actor vehemently denied these claims but further rumours came up with reports that Johnson had neglected Sade and her daughter.
Johnson revealed that he was able to track down Sade via his publicist and manager; Shawttynatt Media and got some facts from her which he will publish in due time.