FULL NAME: Anayo Modestus Onyekwere
STAGE NAME : Kanayo. O. Kanayo
NET WORTH : He has an estimated net worth of $2.5 million
DATE OF BIRTH/AGE : Born on the 1st of March, 1962 [56 years old]
OCCUPATION : Nigerian Nollywood actor, producer, television personality and a philanthropist.
NATIONALITY : Nigerian
ADDRESS: Surulere, Lagos.
TOWN AND STATE OF ORIGIN: Nru Umueze Oboama, Ezinihitte Mbaise LGA, Imo State.
MARITAL STATUS/WIFE : Married to Nneka Onyekwere
LANGUAGES SPOKEN: Igbo, English, and French.
EDUCATION : Saint Joseph Primary School in Mbaise, Imo State, Ahiara Boys Secondary School in Mbaise, Imo State, Technical College Aba in Abia State and University of Lagos
His given name is Anayo Modestus Onyekwere but popularly known by his Nollywood name Kanayo O. Kanayo, is a Nigerian actor who is generally labelled as one the pioneers of the Nigerian movie industry and contributed greatly to the growth of Nollywood. Kanayo O Kanayo is a veteran Nollywood actor, producer, television personality and a philanthropist who has been in the Nollywood industry for decades.
Early Life And Background
Anayo Modestus Onyekwere a.k.a Kanayo O Kanayo was born on 1st March, 1962 in Ahiara, Aboh, Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State in the south eastern part of Nigeria. The 56 years old Nigerian movie personality is the son Mr. Donatus and Mrs. Isabel Onyekwere. The Nigerian movie star had his basic education at “Saint Joseph Primary School” in Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria . After his primary school education he proceeded to Ahiara Boys Secondary School in Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria where he bagged his SSCE certificate. He obtained his secondary school certificate at Technical College Aba in Abia State, Nigeria before he studied in the higher institution.
Kanayo O Kanayo successfully completed his primary and secondary school in Imo State and in Abia State, then got admission into the University of Lagos which is one of the most popular University in Nigeria and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication. After completing his higher educational studies , young Kanayo officially became a guest artiste in NTA Enugu drama series and started appearing in soap opera.
Speaking about his childhood , this was what he said;
I was brought up under the strict guidance of Mr and Mrs Donatus and Isabella Onyekwere, my parents, with catholic tenets and Apostolic reverence for God. I have 2 sisters and an elder brother. Growing up was fun, I used to plait my hair a lot but papa never liked it.
What was the first paying job ever that you had?
”Digging pit toilets with an older relative”.
How much were you paid per month and what were the responsibilities?
I Can’t remember the payment. I was on ground receiving red sand while the older relative dug deep.
What other jobs did you do outside Acting?
I used to travel to Aba from Lagos to buy and sow shirts and suits materials which I took around to banks, NTA e.t.c to sell.
What made you go into the Acting career and when did you start Acting (year)?
I started acting in 1982. I got into acting out of a personal desire to bring smiles to the faces of people, because about 1980, there were not too many T.V sets then, characters on TV were admired greatly, and were seen as role models.
Who was/were your Idols/Models (Actors) in those days?
What was your first role in Theatre, TV or Movies?
I Can’t recall my first role on TV but on movies was Chief Omego in “Living in Bondage” in 1992.
What was your major break-through role and in what film, series or play?
My major breakthrough was No.7
When you are not working (Acting, producing, directing or making a film), what do you do or how do you pass the time?
I run a media consultancy outfit, and own a cyber cafee in Lagos. I spend some time with my family (which I take very seriously). My schedule is too tight right now for any other activities.
What kind of music do you listen to and who is your favourite musician?
Classical music, Jazz, Roots Rock Reggae, and Indigenous African music. Fela and Bob Marley.
Is there an International Actor (American, British, Australian, African, etc.) you will want to work with if the opportunity presented itself?
Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, and Al Pacino.
Kanayo O Kanayo ventured into Nollywood in the year 1992 and made his his debut film appearance in the film Living in Bondage. He instantly become famous after starring as Chief Omego in the Nollywood blockbuster movie “Living in Bondage” just immediately after identifying with the Nigerian movie industry (Nollywood). According to records, the Nollywood veteran has starred in more than 100 movies as at 2015 making him one of the most featured Nollywood actor of all time. A recent statistic states that Kanayo O Kanayo has acted in more than 250 Nollywood movies including Tears for Love, Living in Bondage, Circles of Doom, Nneka, Billionaires Club, Rituals, The Coven, Blood Money to name a few. Aside that fact, the Nollywood actor has also won several awards including African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 2006 and many others.
The spontaneous Nollywood actor who is best known for his ritualistic roles in movies has also won couple of awards and several awards nominations pointing to his name. He was crown Best Actor in Nigeria at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards and won the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the African Movie Academy Awards . The old time actor is currently a United Nations Ambassador and has been honored by the Nigerian government as a Member of the Federal Republic (MFR).
Kanayo along with Kenneth Nnebue (producer of Living in Bondage), Olu Jacobs, Enoch Adeboye, Queen Elizabeth and Fela Kuti were among Nigerians honored by the government in 2014 during the centenary celebration.
Kanayo O Kanayo is widely labelled among the richest Nollywood actors in the country. He recently completed his Mansion in his home town , several celebrities was in attendance in the house opening ceremony. His net worth is carefully estimated at $2.5 million.
Personal Life : Wife And Children
Kanayo O Kanayo is currently married to the love of his life Mrs. Nneka Onyekwere . They are both blessed with two beautiful kids namely Uloaku and Einstein Onyekwere. He is the real example of a successful man.