Akin Lewis – Five Facts About The Legend

Nigerian Actors
Akin Lewis

For a lot of people conversant with the old Nollywood, the title legend is something they use for the likes of Pete Edochie and Olu Jacobs. Press them for more name and you would get Kanayo O. Kanayo, Chinwetal Agu, and Bob Manuel Udokwe. You won’t hear the name Akin Lewis even if you stretch the list mat-length. Akin Lewis is more of a late boomer in the industry, mainstream. He became a star when Cable TV dramas and the cinema became the scale for measuring the best in the industry. Here is everything you need to know about the actor who is also a director and a producer.

Age, the beginning, and personal life

Akin Lewis was born in Ibadan, Oyo State, on April 9, 1957. He was born to educated and civil service-working parents. Not getting educated wasn’t going to be an option being a son of this couple. So we went on to be educated in Lagos to high school level, after which he proceeded to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife (then the University of Ife). Lewis went on to have his Masters, on scholarship, in Dramatic Arts at a University in Sophia, Bulgaria. It was here that he went to speak Bulgarian fluently.

Lewis got married three times and divorced twice. He is blessed with children. When asked about his divorce, he said, “they “did not understand what it means to be married to somebody like me” which we take to mean they did not understand his personality. He has admitted to the media he wished he met his present wife (whom he married in 2012) in his youth.

Akin Lewis is 63 years old.

Akin Lewis’ career

Akin Lewis began his career in 1973 when a friend of his (now deceased) introduced him to the novelist, playwright, radio and TV filmmaker Professor Bode Sowande. “I had always wanted to do this while I was in secondary school,” he said of his entry into the industry. Lewis made his debut in “Odu Themes” a weekly Television programme in Western Nigeria Television now NTA Ibadan.

His parents weren’t in support of this line of work but that was what the boy wanted. Lewis continued to study while working in the make-believe industry. He never really did only acting even after his education in Nigeria and Europe. In all, he gave twenty years of his life to the corporate industry where he rosed to become an “executive director”.

See also: Akah Nnani’s rise

Akin Lewis became a celebrity in 1980 when he starred in “Why Worry”  (The Adventures of S.K Adio the Barber) a sitcom in NTA Ibadan. He continued working for the national TV in Ibadan and in Yoruba movie industry. It was only in 2005 that he began known more nationally when he was featured in “Madam Dearest” (Aya Mi Owon), a movie that also has Bukky Ajayi, Sola Sobowale, and Gabriel Afolayan.

In 2008, he joined the cast of “Tinsel” which was his first gig for Africa Magic. He went on to work with them as the hated chief and unwanted suitor of Ivie Okujaye’s character Alero in “Hotel Majestic” (2015) and the chief of an accursed village in “Jemeji” where the character of Tope Tedela claimed to be his long-dead son.

Other of his roles include “Heroes and Zeroes” directed by Niji Akanni, “Love, Sex, and Money” (2016), the popular “Mr and Mrs, Chapter 2 in 2017 “Blood in the Lagoon” directed by Teco Benson and starring Omotola Jalade-Ekainde, “A Soldier’s Story 2: Return From The Dead” which is the sequel of the fine Frankie Ogar’s film from 2016 starring Linda Ejiofor and Daniel K. Daniel. He was in “Up North” starring Banky W and his wife Adesua Etomi.

In Kemi Adetiba‘s popular “King of Boys” from 2018, Akin Lewis played the role that could be described as reprising the character of the overreaching and corrupt Oba of Lagos. There is no end to the shows he has featured in. But one thing stands out, he was not usually in the lead. Then 2019 happened.

In 2019, Akin Lewis’ name reached household status when he became the title character of Funke Akindele-Bello’s political comedy “Your Excellency“. The movie wasn’t perfect but it stands out as an indictment of the political stage of Nigeria and a prophecy of the people’s coming victory in the cliched grand scheme of things. The show also has Osas Ighodaro, Alexx Ekubo, Shaffy Bello, and a sea of other stars.

“Your Excellency” is arguably Akin Lewis’ best performance in the industry. I expected him to be nominated for the 2020 “AMVCA”. He wasn’t which removes another feather from AMVCA as a cockerel announcer of the best performance in the new Nollywood.

When asked by Sun Newspaper which stars he enjoyed working with ( the interviewer actually specifically mentioned women which may not be without its own motives), he said he enjoyed working with Joke Sylva, Bukky Wright, Jaiye Kuti, and Omotola Ekeinde.

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Sade is a contributor with a bias on Nigerian stars