Biography of Ayo Shonaiya: The King of my Country

Biography of Ayo Shonaiya: The King of my Country

Ayo Shonaiya is one of the men in Nigeria that sits down and designs concepts. The film, King of my Country is one of the outputs of his creative mind.

Have you ever wondered the inspiration for the song King of my Country by Nigerian artiste Sound Sultan, which was later remixed featuring Wyclef Jean?.

The film, King of my Country by Ayo Shonaiya was the inspiration.

Some artists in Nigeria can attest to his passion for developing and managing talents especially in the creative industry.

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In the hall of the entertainment industry, Ayo can never be unmentioned.

He is very popular, not just in Nigeria but internationally.

Again it might interest you to know that he’s not just a Film Producer, but a Lawyer and musical talent agent.

You can’t wait to know him better right?

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Biography of Ayo Shonaiya

Here are the things you need to know about the producer of King of my Country.

  • Early Life and Education
  • Career
  • Achievements
  • List of Artistes he Managed
  • Relationship

Early life and Education

Ayoola Olufemi Shonaiya was born on December 6, in London, United Kingdom but his parents are Nigerians. He has five siblings.

Ayo grew up in Lagos and so his early education and formation were in Nigeria. In the mid-80s, he relocated back to London.

However, to further his studies, he enrolled to study Television and Video Production at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida,

In 1992, after college, he returned to London. His intention was to start making films for a living, but instead, in 1993, he changed his mind and enrolled at the University of Westminster Law School to become a lawyer. He also attended Law School in Lagos, Nigeria.

Career

In 1997 was when Ayo decided to concentrate on a film career. He has also spent years in music management. Ayo through his career dominated the British music scene.

He has worked in the entertainment industry for over 20 years till the present. He also co-manages his Lagos-based law firm, Shonaiya & Co.

Achievements

It’s worthy to note first that Ayo founded the entertainment and communications management company RMG Company in the UK and Nigeria in 2013.

Going by his passion for film, Ayo has written, produced, directed, and acted in 5 feature films and has produced over 9 TV series for British and Nigerian television under his R70 Media Group.

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Let’s take a look at just a few of his other achievements.

In his final year at Law School, he wrote, produced, directed, and acted in his first feature film “More Blessing” which was about a dubious Nigerian Pastor in London.

In 1997 Ayo, made and starred in the film King of my Country. He played the role of a Nigerian who traveled to London to work menial jobs but soon turned to fraud.

In 1999 Ayo wrote, directed, and starred in his third feature film Spin. The film featured Caroline Chikezie, a British/Nigerian actress which was her first starring role, Chebe Azih, Deborah Asante, and Femi Houghton with the soundtrack by British/Nigerian soul singer Ola Onabule.

Spin was the first film by a Nigerian to be premiered in a cinema in the West End of London at the inaugural BFM International Film Festival.

Spin was nominated for Best New Director at the 2001 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and also for the MICA Prize at the FESPACO in Ouagadougou Burkina Faso that same year.

In 2001, he subsequently worked with and managed the careers of the Trybesmen including members of the Da Trybe such as Dr. SID, Sasha, and 2Shotz over a period of 3 years. He also directed the Trybesmen videos for Plenty Nonsense and Oya (by Da Trybe).

In 2003 he created, produced, and directed a music program called Intro, broadcast live from London, with his friend Abass Tijani (DJ Abass) as the presenter which was responsible for showcasing Nigerian and African music videos to Africans in Europe,

In 2004, Ayo Shonaiya developed and managed the early careers of these artists – D’banj, and producer Don Jazzy, under his wing who were relatively unknown then.

In 2005, Ayo wrote and directed the film “Good Evening”, which was produced by Nollywood star Jim Iyke. That became his fourth feature film in London,

In 2010 Ayo created the TV series called the United States of Nigeria, which featured exclusive interviews and features about Nigerians in America. The show was presented by Seun Maduka.

In 2019, Ayo in collaboration with three other lawyers established the law firm Shonaiya & Co. in Lagos Nigeria specializing in Entertainment, Intellectual Property, Media, and Sports Law.

List of Artistes he Managed

These artists include music producer Don Jazzy, music star Fuji Wasiu Ayinde Marshall, pop star D’banj, and rapper Eldee the Don. He also showed 2001 beauty queen and rapper Muna and world music star Akon.

Relationship

He is married to Miriam Shonaiya, and they have five children.

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