Olaniyi ‘Sanyeri’ Afonja is a household name in Nollywood.
He has become one of the most known Yoruba actors with many films under his belt.
Sanyeri opened up in an interview about the challenges he faced before he finally made a name as an actor,
“The suffering I endured was really extreme. After I finished my secondary school education, I did not have a job so I delved into the theatre world. I did it for some time but I was not being paid even when I went everywhere with the group and was helping them carry their costume.”
“I had to learn how to repair shoes so I became a shoe cobbler. Eventually, I left Oyo town and came to Lagos to find greener pastures but still I was not earning anything from acting.”
“I became a mobile cobbler. I would put my materials in a wooden box, place it on my shoulder and start hitting it as I walked the length and breadth of Idumota.”
“I would constantly hit my wooden box as I walked about to call the attention of people. Then nobody knew me so I kept hitting my box all over Idumota.”
“I remember I had a handkerchief I used to cover my face because of my tribal marks.”
“The reason I concealed my tribal marks was because the Igbo boys at Idumota had the belief that if they did not give their shoes to a Ghanaian cobbler, no one could do a better job.”
“If they saw my tribal marks, they would think I was one of the touts that would normally come to disturb them for money for shop and they would not give me their shoes to repair.”
“When I saw that being a shoe cobbler was affecting my career as an actor, I had to quit and face acting squarely. I thank God that good fortunes have come my way.”