Popular Nollywood comic actor and film producer, Olaniyi Afonja a.k.a Sanyeri, has revealed that he was once a shoe maker before he got the opportunity to become a star, in a recent interview with with Punch News.
He said, “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.”