Popular Nigerian actor, Joseph Benjamin has revealed that after moving to America, he started working as a taxi driver.
He recalled how he was stranded when he traveled from Nigeria to the United States in an effort to break into Hollywood after being offered movie jobs.
Benjamin, who appeared on the most recent edition of Teju Babyface’s comedy podcast, King of Talks, said he was let down by someone and had to turn to the taxi industry to support himself.
The 46-year-old actor said that the guy who took him to America informed him that the investors had backed out, leaving him stranded because he had only purchased a one-way ticket.
“I got to America on a promise that I had some gigs waiting for me. So I thought I was going to have a soft landing there. I packed up everything from Nigeria, bought a one-way ticket, and came to America.
I was put in a well-furnished house and all of that. Then two days later, the person who I was supposed to book a deal with said to me, ‘Those our financiers have pulled out. They have an issue.’ So, I said, what do I do? He was like, ‘From next month on, you will have to start paying rent in this house.’ The amount of the one-month rent was equivalent to a one-year rent in Nigeria.
I’m like, ‘I’m not earning any money so what do I do?’ I don’t know what to do. So, shot into that life, I had to figure out what to do. I had nowhere to go. Nothing to turn to. My phone was buzzing, like, ‘When are you coming back to Nigeria? We have this gig for you.’ Teju, $1,500 was all I came to America with. How do I buy a ticket to go back to Nigeria?
My life pattern then was so disorganized in the sense that I didn’t have a proper saving culture. With all the money I was making in Nigeria, my life was a m*ss. I sold my cars and gave out like 90 per cent of all my belongings in Nigeria. I was like, I’m going to America to live a good life and all of that stuff. How do I buy a ticket to go back to Nigeria? Lord, what do I do? And God said to me that ‘Welcome to the life that I arranged for you. I needed to break you away from your comfort zone so that I can build you.’
I was like, ‘No, no, no …’ He was like, ‘Yes, welcome to it. So, here you are, no way to earn a living. How do you move forward?’ Then, sometimes I will be in my room crying. I’m like, ‘Lord where do I go from here?’ And for some reason every month I get to pay the rent. I got connected to my church. And then someone gave me a car. I’m like, what do I do with the car? And they said Uber. I was driving for Uber and Lyft to pay my bills.”