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I spent 18 months in my mum’s womb”- Read Veteran Actor Antar Laniyan’s Intriguing True Life Story

I spent 18 months in my mum’s womb”- Read Veteran Actor Antar Laniyan’s Intriguing True Life Story

When it comes to acting, most especially in the Yoruba genre, one name that will ring a million bells is Antar Laniyan. He’s an actor, a stage craft person and seasoned movie director.

Though the happily married father of four is from the Laniyan royal family in Osun State, Antar was born in Lagos by a man who was a supervisor at the Federal Ministry of Education.

He grew up in Army Barack and this was the attraction that made him initially show interest in becoming a soldier but each time he mentioned it, his mother would cry.

In a chat with City People, the veteran recalled when his mum told him he stayed in the womb for 18 months, when she got pregnant for his father when he was in Oduduwa College.

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Below are excerpts from the interview…

Where were you born?

I was born here in Lagos and I remember mum said I stayed in the womb for 18 months, because she got pregnant for my father when he was in Oduduwa College.

There was another lady who was interested in my father but according to my dad, he was also not aware that the lady was in love with him. My mother was probably faster than her and she didn’t take it easy with her.

According to my mother, she almost lost her life in the process. In those days, you won’t sit and be watching a pregnant woman carry a pregnancy for 18th months, they have to go out for solution. It was during this finding that my dad was told there is somebody they have to  apologize to.

Along the line, they got the person and after many apologies, she explained my mum’s offence. Then, she recommended that they should look for an animal called Antar {Goanna}to prepare concoction. Immediately my mum ate it, I was delivered.

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As at then, does that make you a special child?

When I look at the 4 boys she had, she treats me specially. She said she will not call me any other name but that Antar. According to her, I know what I saw, I know what I went through before I had you.

How does your wife cope with the pressure of seeing you going to locations at all times?

The thing is that she knew I was into acting before she married me. She wanted me to achieve because I remember that time when she complained about a movie I did that I played the role of a husband and a woman played the role of my wife, it got to a point where we had to hug ourselves.

We did, but when the film came out, my wife was saying you didn’t hug and kiss her very well, I said really? Don’t worry.

That is why I will say I have her support. She said I didn’t do it right because I was trying to guard myself. She said it is my job and I have to do it right.

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What was the attraction when you met her?

Antar and his wife

That is another aspect of Antar, I am a very shy person. In those days, I couldn’t ask women out. I and Araosan were sitting together at the National Theater Lagos and I saw a lady going in to watch a film and I told Araosan that this babe is beautiful, he said you that you don’t know how to toast, go and sit down.

I never knew, he just stood up and approached her on my behalf and when he came back, he said the babe you said you want is very tough. She said even though you are Antar Laniyan the star, can’t you come by yourself.

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I saw that as a challenge and I walked up to her when she finished watching the film. I told her that you said can’t I come myself? She said, yes because if you are man enough, you should walk up to a woman and ask her out, not that you will send a messenger. That was all. She later found out that I am a shy person.

What is the secret behind your relevance in the industry as a veteran actor?

The secret isn’t far fetched, the only thing  I know about myself that I think has been keeping me going is self-discipline and self-control.

In life, you get to a certain stage and ask yourself what do you want, immediately you get the answer, then you can now talk about how to go about it. Some people have done it before, and this is where they are, so how do you now take your step so that you do not fall.

Then, I put 2 and 2 together and I said to myself that it is not every 2 and 2 you put together that will give you 4, it could be 22. So, what is going to be my weapon? Discipline. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, neither do I womanize. I had gotten to a certain stage that my Doctor warned me to go and have sex. What I hold on as weapon is discipline.

I don’t say because you are a beautiful woman and I know what it takes to have you lie down on my bed and I take advantage of you. I don’t do that. I say to myself that If I sleep with her, she gets what she wants and she becomes a star, how do I look at her after stardom?

What if I need her help thereafter? Of course, she wouldn’t want to help me because I didn’t just make her popular, we have done a trade by barter.

I wouldn’t want such to happen. My son met somebody in Texas and he was like this is an artiste, he walked up to the person and said my dad is Antar Laniyan.

The person was like what? Tell your dad you are with me, that is the kind of thing I want.

Having spent more than 3 decades in the industry, would you say you are fulfilled?

If you say have I achieved happiness I will say yes but monetarily no. then, Yoruba adage says “Owa Owolo, Opade Iyi Lona”, even if you have the money isn’t to earn yourself a respect? That doesn’t mean that someone appreciate what you are doing and I won’t I appreciate him in returns.

Photo credit: Instagram

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