Kanayo O Kanayo, the ace Nigerian actor, says getting old is not something people should be praying for again due to the situation of things in the country.


The film star spoke in a recent episode of #WithChude, the podcast hosted by Chude Jideonwo, the media personality.

The lawyer said “my heart bleeds” over happenings in Nigeria, adding that his hopes of a better nation have been dashed on numerous occasions.

“I’d be stupid, at my age, to be afraid of anybody. I’m not afraid of anybody. It breaks my heart to say. I just finished a meeting like 30 minutes ago before I came for this program, and I told them getting old in this country is not anything to be praying for again, because since we were born, we’ve been struggling with no electricity, no this and that and so on,” he said.


“And the worst-case scenario now is you go to school, make a first-class, then go and work for somebody who failed.

“Sixty is not an old age. In fact, I’m more vibrant now than I was at 40. But the thing is, when I look at what is happening around, it makes my heart bleed. You ask yourself, ‘what will happen to my son who is in his twenties in the next 10 years?’ No, it’s quite sad and disheartening.”



The actor also reflected on the criticisms that often come his way for featuring in ritual-related roles in movies.

He said featuring in such roles does not make him a ritualist — as assumed by many — but a demonstration of his flexibility as an actor.

“For me, I haven’t done any juju. The only juju I know is Jesus. All those ‘nnanyi, sacrifice’, and so on, ehn. Call me, no problem. As long as you’re paying my cheque,” he added.

“No, the ‘sacrifice’ memes don’t make me feel uncomfortable, in fact, you’re a good follower of Christ. Because what I found out along the line is I have done ‘Lion Heart’, I did ‘Professor Johnbull’; just name it! ‘Upnorth’, and so on and they had nothing to do with going to do juju and all that stuff. Because the actor has to be flexible.


“If they try you in this role as a presenter, the next one they should give you a mechanic. How well have you performed in that mechanic role is what should concern your audience.

“And I think it’s only in Nigeria – not even Africa – that this type of casting is an issue. If you look at Sylvester Stallone, he would always be the bad guy. Look at Arnold Schwarzeneggar. That’s what it is. They don’t see it as type cast.

“They look at the flexibility of the actor in that role he’s playing and not about you did a hard guy here and there. That’s how Nigerians qualify you and that’s not good for those of us in the profession.

“So for their Oscars and so on, they look at you from the role you played and not whether it’s the same thing with the other role you played. There’s always flexibility in what an actor is for this role and what he’s playing for the next role.”


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