+ Picks Sunday, December 1 for the nuptials
OLANIYI Afonja, better known as Sanyeri, has explained the reason he is just formalizing his long time relationship with his lovely wife, Hawawu Omolara, after two children, Olasunkanmi and Boluwatife. According to the popular thespian, the ceremony should have taken place long before now but then, he was nobody. The wedding which is going to take a traditional form is slated for Sunday, December 1, 2013, at the upscale event centre, Anchor on Lateef Jakande Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos and it’s expected to be very colourful.
ENCOMIUM Weekly took the Oyo born film maker up on this and sundry issues when we had an interview with him on phone on Saturday, September 28, 2013.
What’s happening to your career at the moment?
It’s going on fine. I am enjoying it, thank God about that.
What are you working on now?
That’s my new movie, Alhaji, Alhaji. It’s going to be one in town by the special grace of God. I am still shooting. It will take us sometime to be completed. But hopefully, it will be released in the second quarter of 2014.
What informed the title?
The title was informed by my experience in Saudi Arabia during last year’s Hajj. That was the time I discovered that not everybody that goes to Mecca does so for genuine purpose. A lot of people claim they are going to the holy land for religious purpose but when they get there, they turn otherwise. So, when I was opportuned to be among 2012 pilgrims to Mecca, I saw a lot of things happening which is exactly what the movie is about. It’s not only a comedy but a very serious message is in it. It’s going to be a record breaker in the industry.
Who are the stars to watch out for?
Myself, Antar Laniyan, Mr. Latin, Adekola Tijani, Fathia Balogun, Olatayo Amokade a.ka Ijebu, Wale Akorede and others.
Is it a high budget movie?
Of course, it has consumed a lot of money already and we’re still spending. I shot part of it in Saudi Arabia. So, it’s not a small thing. I can’t say exactly this is the amount I will spend until it’s completed.
What of Okola l’America?
It was released at the beginning of this year. People commended my effort on the movie. It earned me accolades, home and abroad. Its enormous success gave me the encouragement to forge ahead with this new one. It was even more acceptable than Opa kan that shot me to limelight. I really thank God about it.
We learnt you’re preparing for your wedding, is it a new wife or mother of your children?
She’s not a new wife. I am not marrying another wife, it’s still the same one that has been with me since. We have never wedded, I mean making it formal.
Does that mean you have also not paid her bride price?
No, I have done that. What we’re trying to do is to make it public and official so to speak.
What’s the name of your wife?
Her name is Hawawu Omolara Afonja.
When exactly did your relationship start?
That was sometime in 2006 but we started living together since January 2007.
How many children has the relationship produced?
God has blessed us with two children – Olasunkanmi and Boluwatife Afonja. They are both boys. Olasunkanmi is about six while Boluwatife is just going to be four soon.
Why is the marriage proper delayed till now?
You can’t do anything except it has been ordained by God. And I believe in God’s time, which is the best. Everything you’re going to do should be done when it will suit you. I couldn’t do it all this while because I believe it wasn’t yet time, but I think if I do such a thing now, I will have many people around me. And I don’t like doing things halfway.
What’s the purpose? After all, you have paid the bride price and you’re already husband and wife, bearing children?
The main purpose is to celebrate and appreciate my wife now that God has blessed us. She has always been there for me, even when I had nothing. When nobody knew Sanyeri, she was there for me. My wife has always been my pillar of support career wise. So, I really love her.
How would you describe your wife in few sentences?
She is loving, caring and very accommodating. She is God fearing and very supportive.
You’re blessed with two kids already, how many more do you expect after the wedding?
(Laughs) As God pleases. I believe He is the one taking care of the two we have presently. I believe He would continue to take care of whatever additions He blesses us with.
What are your parents’ reaction to the wedding plan?
They are very happy about it. They have been expecting such a day. They are also very supportive.
What of your wife’s parents?
They are also happy about it. They have all given us their blessings.
When exactly and where is the wedding taking place?
The wedding is taking place on Sunday, December 1, 2013 at Anchor Event Centre, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos.
How well are you prepared for the day because it’s just two months to go?
God is in charge. But at my own end, I am trying my best.
What form is it going to take?
It’s going to be traditional. Alhaji Wasiu Alabi Pasuma will be on the band stand. It’s expected to be a very colourful event by God’s grace.
Is aso ebi available?
Yes, we have Ankara which goes for N4,000 and lace material which costs N20,000 per head.
How do we rate Sanyeri now in the industry?
Who am I? I am where God has destined me to be. And I appreciate all my fans out there for their love and support. Left to me, I am yet to get there because my best is yet to come. But I thank God for who I am today.
– Stories by TADE ASIFAT