Kanayo O Kanayo, Biography and net worth

Kanayo O Kanayo

You cannot be in the entertainment sector and not hear whispers of the popular Kanayo O. Kanayo. The man behind the character has become widely recognized for his roles in occultic movies where he has to do money rituals to get wealthy. 

The popular “Chief” has become a household name in the industry and of course, a subject of many memes by users of social media platforms.

Kanayo O Kanayo, whose real name is Anayo Modestus Onyekwere, is a veteran Nigerian actor, politician, businessman, and lawyer who became famous for his roles and contributions to Nollywood. 

In 2006, he won his first award, the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his

performance in the movie Family Battle.

Early Life/Education

Born on 1st March, 1962 to Donatus and Ezinne Onyekwere, Kanayo O Kanayo is an Imo State native and hails from Nru Umueze Oboama Ezinihitte in the Mbaise Local Government Area. He grew up in Aba and went to St. Joseph primary school in Aba, Abia State.

Kanayo O Kanayo attended Boys Secondary School School and completed at Technical School in Aba. He graduated from the University of Lagos with a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy, a diploma in law, and a diploma in mass communication.

Additionally, he earned a Master’s degree in political science. He also went on to bag a law degree from the University of Abuja in 2018 and was called to Bar in 2020. He has a brother called John Onyekwere.

Kanayo O Kanayo Career

Kanayo began his acting career in 1982 by appearing in Nigerian Television Authority Enugu drama series as a guest artiste. He later joined Nollywood that same year and made his debut.

 In the 1992 film Living in Bondage as “Chief Omego” The movie brought Nollywood into the limelight and he was shot into stardom.

He has starred in more than 200 movies, and his performance in the film Across the Niger earned him a nomination for the 2008 African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor. His most recent movies are Up North and Living in Bondage: Breaking Free.

He has featured in multiple Nollywood productions, including Lion Heart and the TV sitcom Professor Johnbull. However, he is known for playing the role of a Villain in these productions especially in films relating to occultic practices.

Kanayo O Kanayo has moved from just acting to producing, directing, and Filmmaking. He now runs a media consultancy firm and has a cyber cafe in Lagos. The actor has been on set with other A-list actors like Pete Edochie, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Genevieve Nnaji, Olu Jacobs, and many others.

In 2011, he contested for the Imo State House of Representatives chair but lost. 

Mr. Kanayo O Kanayo received a political appointment from former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as a board member of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Studies in 2013.

In 2018, he contested again for a representative of Ahiazu/Ezinihitte Mbaise in the Federal House Of Representative under the political party APGA but lost. Kanayo also owns a Mentoring Academy, KOKMA, where he seeks to inspire youths to aim for greater things.

He is currently a United Nations ambassador and bears the title of MFR. Kanayo was among the many Nigerians honoured by the government in 2014 during the centenary celebration.

Kanayo O Kanayo Wife

Kanayo O Kanayo is happily married to Nneka Onyekwere and they are blessed with four children. Three Sons and a Daughter.

Mrs. Nneka Onyekwere is the matriarch of the Kanayo household. Having been married for over 20 years to the popular actor, who has always kept his family from the spotlight.

The beautiful wife of the actor is a very private person as there is no information about her family background or professional life in the media. She has supported her husband by being present during the celebrations of some of his career accomplishments.

Kanayo O Kanayo Children

Kanayo O Kanayo and his wife are blessed with four children. The first child and only daughter named Uloaku Valerie Onyekwere was born in 2000.

Clinton “Onyeze Mbaise”Onyekwere, his first son was born in 2002, Kosisochukwu Montell Onyekwere, the footballer in his house, was born in 2004. 

The last born Einstein “Sax” Onyekwere nicknamed Sax because of his love for music, especially the Saxophone, which he possesses great skills playing the instrument was born in 2008.

Age of Kanayo O Kanayo

As of 2022, Kanayo O Kanayo is 60 years old

Net Worth

Kanayo is one of the richest actors in Nigeria, owing to his successful career in the industry spanning over 2 decades. He is estimated to be worth $3 million. With businesses under his belt, it is not surprising that he has this much wealth.

Kanayo O Kanayo runs a media consultancy in Lagos and also has a cyber cafe. He is also into real estate investment. And of course, his stint in politics and other appointments by the government is enough to grow his wealth.


Movies Year

Living in Bondage 1992

Circle of Doom 1993

Nneka the pretty serpent 1994

Blood money: The vulture men 1997

Festival of Fire 1999

Battle of Love 1999

419 Connection 1999

Deadly Rose 2000

Ngene: The Mistake of the Past 2000


Billionaire’s club 2003

Across the Niger 2004

Money is Money 2005

Hot Money 2005

Apaye 2014

October 1 2014

Up North 2018

Lion Heart 2018

Living in Bondage: Breaking Free 2019

Tv Shows

Village Headmaster 1966-88

Checkmate 1991-94


New masquerade

Professor Johnbull 2016

Awards and Nominations

Awards, category and year              

Africa Movie Academy Best Actor in a Leading Role 2006

Africa Movie Academy Best Actor in a Leading Role 2008

Africa Movie Academy Special Recognition Award 2012

Africa Movie Academy Best Actor in a Leading Role 2014

Golden Icons Academy Best Actor On-Screen Duo 2014

Movie Awards

Best of Nollywood Awards Best Actor in a Leading Role 2014                                          

Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best Actor in a Lead Role 2014

Africa Movie Academy Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role 2019

Quick Facts About Kanayo O Kanayo

Real Name: Anayo Modestus Onyekwere

Stage Name: Kanayo O Kanayo

Born: 1st March 1962

Age: 60 years old

Place of Birth: Mbaise, Imo, Nigeria

State of Origin: Imo State

Nationality: Nigerian

Siblings: John Onyekwere

Wife: Nneka Onyekwere

Occupation: Actor,Politician

Net Worth: $3 million

Leave a Comment