Cut out the haze hindering minds from seeing that genius that lies within, you would agree most of the influential practitioners across varying fields and industries attain a level in their career when they can finally look over their own shoulders in hindsight to marvel at how far they have come.
Such is the case with Anayo ‘Kanayo O Kanayo‘ Onyekwere, one of Nollywood’s icons, who has now turned 59.
KOK, as he is fondly called, has not only been able to exert his influence on Nigeria’s movie industry. He is, in fact, among the prominent thespians who witnessed the inception of Nollywood and saw it morph into what it is today.
In 1992, KOK had his acting debut in ‘Living in Bondage’, a two-part drama thriller that is today regarded as one of the earliest successes in Nigeria’s film production history. The Imo state-born actor would go on to star in over 100 movies.
After years of taking up movie roles, Kanayo knew he needed a change of approach. He didn’t ditch Nollywood but, to satisfy his years-long lust for the legal profession, KOK would go through the rigour of attending law school.
“It’s been a long time since I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. It’s what I wanted to study but I was given Philosophy at the University of Lagos. I decided that before I enter my grave, I must become a lawyer,” the actor recently said.
This way, KOK hopes to continue what he has always done; push for policies to help the industry break barriers.
“As in Law, what Nollywood does is also to speak. Be it to the government or citizens, we speak for the voiceless. It’s the same thing lawyers do. I’ll push for solutions to support my colleagues in fighting for truth and justice,” he also said.
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“In Nollywood, everyone is in their corner. No one want’s to push for legal backings that will favour the industry.
“Take the National Assembly for an example; a private member bill can put things in motion for the industry.”
KOK has been bugged and trolled on social media for the ritual roles he played in the past — and he clearly warned it was no joke anymore. In his capacity as a lawyer, he now looks to accept only the roles befitting of his new status.
“The thing is you won’t be able to do the two professions at a time (acting and litigation). What it means is that I will have to opt for one of the two. And I won’t disclose my decision just yet,” the veteran actor had earlier added.
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