Sanyeri: Early Life & Career as a Humorous Actor

Find out everything you may not know about Olaniyi Mikail Afonja, fondly called Sanyeri.


  • Born on October 14, 1974
  • Winner of the Entertainment Movie Producer of the Year and Comic Actor of the Year in 2019.
  • Net worth of an estimated $1 million.

Who Is Sanyeri?

Sanyeri is a highly acclaimed Nigerian actor and comedian, known for his exceptional comedic performances in Yoruba movies.

He has produced several hit movies, such as Adaba, Asiwaju, Atiba, Ọkan Emi, and ‘Saworo’. Sanyeri has risen to prominence through his remarkable performances, endearing comedic timing, and versatile acting skills.

Personal Life (Early/recent)

Sanyeri, whose real name is Olaniyi Mikail Afonja, was born on October 14, 1974. He hails from Okemesi, Ekiti Local Government, Oyo State, Nigeria. Sanyeri had a modest upbringing and discovered his passion for acting at an early age.

He is the first child of his parents, and he had his formal education at St. Michael Primary School, Òkè-èbó, Oyo State. Sanyeri further went to Durbar Grammar School, Oyo Town, in Oyo State, where he finished his secondary school education.

Rather than proceeding to the university for his degree in a desired course, he opted to join a threat group. This was how his acting career started in 1992; his friend had introduced him to the Theatre group.

Sanyeri’s mom did all she could to get him to go to a university, even to the point of embarrassing him, but to no avail. He remained adamant about pursuing his passion despite facing several setbacks and mockings.

Sanyeri wasn’t born with a silver spoon, as his dad was a carpenter while his mom worked as a trader. Before he went to pursue a career in acting, he used to work as a cobbler in the Idumota axis of Lagos State.

Furthermore, Sanyeri is married to Omolara Afonja. The duo got married on December 1st, 2013, and are blessed with two sons, Olasunkanmi and Boluwatife; they reside in Canada.

Career and Rise to Fame

Olaniyi Mikail Afonja started featuring in minor movie roles shortly after joining the Theatre group. He featured in several stage plays in his village and the towns around him. After doing this for three years, he relocated to Lagos with his friend, Adekola Tijani, popularly known as Kamilu Compo, in 1996.

Oluseyi Adeoye trained him and his friend when he relocated, and he soon started landing major roles. While he was still trying to stand on his feet as an actor, he received several insults from colleagues.

Many suggest he focuses on staying behind the camera because of his tribal marks. However, his natural talents soon gave way, and he became the face everyone wanted to see in Yoruba movies.

One of Sanyeri’s distinguishing characteristics is his ability to infuse humor into his roles. He used this to attract audiences, thus earning him a place in the hearts of Yoruba movie enthusiasts. His ability to effortlessly portray comedic characters and deliver humorous dialogue has made him a beloved figure in Nollywood.

Related: Nancy Isime – Biography of a Multi-talented Media Personality.

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