Wave-making comedy actor, Olaniyi Afonja, otherwise called Sanyeri, is leaving Facebook to escape antics of impersonators.
One thing that is currently occupying the mind of the new bride in Yoruba comedy, Olaniyi Afonja, is the premiere of his new film, Okola Lamerika – Man with Facial Marks in America. But there is something he wants to do urgently first. He wants to hands off anything that has got to do with Facebook.
Although he created a Facebook page a few years ago, he hardly operates it. But initially unknown to him, some people had been operating it on his behalf. The implication is that many of his unsuspecting fans deal with the intruders, thinking that it was the actor also known as Sanyeri that they were dealing with.
According to the Saki, Oyo State-born actor, whose facial marks – the type you will see on traditional poets such as Alabi Ogundepo and Yemi Elebuibon — usually cause giggles and jokes on location, in films and in real life, another set of fraudulent people opened another Facebook page for him.
He says, “Occasionally, people will just call me and begin to thank me for something I did for them through my Facebook. At times they congratulate me on something, based on the information they would have received from the ‘so-called’ Facebook page.”
Sanyeri believes that the only solution for him is to abandon the social network so that he will not be linked with whatever fraud the hackers may commit. “I know that they are doing some positive things on the page to attract people and deceive them. Later, they will begin to dupe them. So, I don’t want anyone to be caught unaware.”
The actor began to taste limelight when he took to comedy at a time that the reign of the likes of Baba Suwe and Latin appeared to have hit the climax.
Noting that he trained under an Oyo-based theatre practitioner, Oluseyi Adeoye, he has since 2004 been producing a film each year. As if to prove right the proverb that says ‘When the big rat comes of age, she feeds on the breasts of its young ones’, Sanyeri recently produced a film for his master. He says the work titled Tisa Oko – The Village Teacher — will soon be released.
While some of the works of the artiste who dropped out of school when he joined a theatre group include Aina Orosun and Adaba, it was Opa Kan, produced last year, that gave him breakthrough. Although he does not give figures, he says he made good money from it.
Besides, he discloses that his parents were very bitter that he left school. But the joy he finds in acting has somehow erased the memory.
On how he creates his stories, he notes, “Ideas usually come to me when I am alone reflecting. But at times, even if I am in a crowd, if I just see something or something happens, I tell myself, ‘Ah, I can turn this thing into a film.’ For instance, if I see a conductor fighting a passenger who fails to pay his fare, I see the opportunity of a film. If I see a hawk catching a chick, I am tempted to turn it into a story.’’
The premiere of Okola Lamerika, where singers that include Saheed Osupa and Sefiu Alao are expected to perform, will also mark Sanyeri’s return from pilgrimage to Mecca, at a programme otherwise called Sabaka Night. The actor says it will hold on December 9 at Anchor Events Centre, Ikeja.