Popular comic Yoruba actor, Olaniyi Afonja popularly known as Sanyeri in a recent interview talked about his struggles and hardship before hitting stardom.
According to him, his journey to stardom was not an easy one as the actor said he found it difficult to make a living after finishing secondary school, so he resorted to learning how to become a cobbler(shoe maker).
Sanyeri also revealed that acting in Oyo State did not give him the sort of reward he anticipated so he relocated to Lagos but unfortunately his situation remained the same.
“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.”
PS: HARD WORK, PATIENCE, CONCEPT, UNIQUENESS ABOVE ALL HAVING GOD IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS