‘Gangs of Lagos’ was my second chance to fame – Tayo Faniran
After a nine-year hiatus, former Big Brother Africa housemate Akintayo Faniran has returned to television screens as ‘Ninolowo’ in the riveting crime drama, ‘Gangs of Lagos.’
Mr Faniran, a runner-up in the ninth season of the Big Brother Africa reality show, has been off the screen for a while.
Unlike others who leverage the fame acquired from competing in reality shows, Tayo’s story differed as he was yet to attain superstar status.
A crime thriller capturing Isale Eko’s reality, Faniran stars alongside other star-studded cast, including Tobi Bakare, Pasuma, Zlatan, Iyabo Ojo, Yhemo Lee, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Bimbo Ademoye, and Chike in ‘Gangs of Lagos’.
At the media premiere of ‘Gangs of Lagos, Tayo, an accomplished model, spoke about his career challenges and how he snagged a role in the riveting crime thriller.
Reminiscing about his lost fame, he expressed his feelings about losing popularity and narrated how his journey became a struggle.
“You know it’s not easy to have it one time, and then it slips off your hands; you know me, I have been there but then. Another madam here asked me, Tayo, what I wanted her to do for me.
“I said, anything that would not make me stay in Nigeria because, at that time, I had been living in South Africa since 2008, and that was home for me. I just wanted to go back, I left Nigeria when I was hot, and it just looked like I vanished,” he said.
Tayo Faniran said, as a superstar, or so he thought, he expected the perks of fame to follow him around and bring him a fortune, but he wildly misjudged things.
“Even though I didn’t think it would be like that, Big Brother’s fame would make you feel like they would look for you. I thought I was on the same level with Davido and Wizkid,” he said.
However, when he returned to South Africa, he explained, perhaps the biggest culture shock he faced was knowing that their stories are written in primarily Indigenous languages, so that he couldn’t get roles as a model.
“I couldn’t do modelling like that anymore because I don’t want this brand to get me for N5 as a model when they can get me as Celebrity for like N50, so the goal stopped somehow,” Faniran added.
However, fate smiled at him as the movie led him to get noticed by Jade Osiberu.
“I was on vacation somewhere when I received a message from Jade. I knew the time had come because I had been praying, preparing, and waiting.
“I don’t want to be just a handsome actor; I want to know it, I want to do it well, and when I’m watching, I’m watching the way they are doing it when I work with other actors; I ask questions, I’m not shy to ask questions and learn. And today, you guys would see Nino and understand why I feel like I returned from the dead and the whole world is seeing Tayo again,” he said.
Before his significant return, the reality tv star announced a therapy session tagged “The Healing Zone with Tayo Faniran” through Zoom.
The Oyo-born actor, model, life coach and motivational speaker has garnered an Instagram following of over 464,000 followers.