Dami Adeyeye is a 28 year old, British Nigerian actor, director and producer.
He grew up in Northwest London with his parents and three siblings, studied Mathematics at the University of Leeds but he knew from his second year in Uni that all he wanted to do was be in and make films.
He finished his BSc and moved back to London where he attended the acclaimed Identity School of Acting (alumni include Letitia Wright [Black Panther], Zackary Momoh [Harriett] and John Boyega [Star Wars]).
In 2018 whilst juggling working part time, studying acting, paying bills and building his career, he found himself struggling with depression.
Mental Health was not something spoken about in his community which left him feeling isolated.
Whilst he still wasn’t quite ready to follow the more conservative approach dealing with his situation, he decided to channel his emotions in learning more about mental health, by interviewing people from his environment about their mental health struggles and also get input from mental health professionals.
‘A Dark Mind’ was born.
Dami puts it this way: “I found myself in my kitchen on one of those really low days, cooking two sachets of Indomie, when I felt God tell me to make a film on mental health in the Black Community. Not just any film, but I felt it needed to be a documentary, so the stories in it were real people others like me could connect with. I hardly knew anything about mental health, let alone making films, but I knew what I felt and knew I had to give it a go. Even just to learn more about it all myself.
After months of research, I spoke to my friend Moses Moloi and asked him to whether he was interested in filming it with me – he was in and brought his friend Jed Camara on board. Once we found the individuals to share their stories all we had to do was fund the film. As I didn’t have investment for the project, I funded the film myself with the help of a small crowdfunding campaign.”
On the 16th May 2019, over 100 people came out to watch ‘A Dark Mind’ as the film was screened to a public audience for the first time at the Rio Cinema in Dalston.
Since then the film was screened to a sold out audience at Genesis Cinema during Black History Month in October 2020 and the team are currently working on a virtual and another live screening in 2021 .
Dami’s hope is that the film would contribute to changing narrative around mental ill health and the importance of proactively maintaining mental health among the Black Community and beyond as well as challenge the systemic racism present in the health care system in the UK and elsewhere.
He says: ‘1 in 4 people suffer from mental ill health and it’s time that we talked about it, so prevention can happen.
It’s time to remove the taboo, challenge the stigma and initiate change. I myself have started the journey of seeking help for my depression and I can only urge everyone else to do the same. It doesn’t have to be done alone and we don’t have to wait until it’s too late. That’s what I want the film to say and that’s the change I want to see.’
Whilst he is actively working on the next steps for this film, Dami is also busy setting up his production company Elysium Pictures.