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.
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
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.
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
October 1 2014
Up North 2018
Lion Heart 2018
Living in Bondage: Breaking Free 2019
Village Headmaster 1966-88
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
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
Siblings: John Onyekwere
Wife: Nneka Onyekwere
Net Worth: $3 million