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‘I used to think money was the only thing that brings happiness’


 Adeniyi Akanni

Adeniyi Akanni

Movie actor cum rapper, Adeniyi Akanni popularly known as Neyoswaggz seems determined to take his career to the top. A graduate of Civil Engineering, he has featured in over 40 movies, including Aiye Foreign, Abami Eda, Iyawo Igbo and others. In this interview with ENIOLA DANIEL, the artiste cleared the air on the rumour regarding his affair with actress Joke Jigan and his career generally.

What is your relationship with Joke Jigan?
Joke Jigan is a hardworking colleague; she’s such a wonderful and talented actress.

But it was rumoured that both of you are dating?
It’s really quite funny; we only have a working relationship like others. The speculation is false; it is the product of infantile and warped mind of rumour mongers. Please ignore such speculated piece because it is untrue and ridiculous.

Why are you often described as Nollywood Big Boy?
I used to think money was the only thing that brings happiness, but I’ve learnt it’s better to utilise it than spending it lavishly. Many rich men in Nigeria started with nothing but I come from a cool family. I think my problem is actually living in the moment and understanding everything that’s going on. So, it’s really about me trying not going back to my previous self. In other words, I do not want to be carried away by the wealth I’ve acquired. That’s like the toughest thing for me right now; I feel like I’m in my own world.

How did your journey into the make believe world begin?
It wasn’t something I had planned; one of our directors who needed my kind of ‘swaggs’ and looks for a certain role called me to a location. At first, I never wanted to honour the invite, but something kept pushing me and at the end, I really had a swell time.

What do you consider before accepting a script?
An actor is meant to interpret a writer’s script to entertain and inform an audience. The storyline, quality and the morals embedded in the script will I consider.

You are also into music?
I’m into hip-hop but do more of fluent rap.

Considering that script in movies are delivered slowly and raps are mostly taken fast, how do cope?
It’s like a sort of war for me till date but I am learning really fast.

What brought about the speculation that you left music for acting?
It is basically because I feature more in movies these days. Seriously, I have been busy lately. I’m currently working on my project Exodus, which is stealing my energy coupled with some movie shoots in and out of the country. I know my fans are worried about my disappearance from the music scene but I will drop some stuff soon.

What’s your opinion about the industry?
We are technically stagnant; some of us still use archaic equipment to produce our films. The economic crisis in the country is really hitting the industry hard; producers are scared of not losing money to piracy. We also have the problem of stereotyping and using a particular actor often thereby leaving others to suffer. As far as acting is concerned, there shouldn’t be only one particular or some set of actors all the time.

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