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Lion Heart – The Kanu Story: Nigerian Football Legend Kanu Nwankwo set to tell all in new book and movie



Kanu Nwankwo Lion HeartAfrica’s most decorated football player, Kanu Nwankwo has joined the ranks of global figures whose compelling stories have been immortalized on the silver screen. Kanu takes it a notch further as his feature is to be released simultaneously with his biography, after the World Cup in South Africa. Kanu considers this movie and book to be his heartfelt gift to Nigeria on her fiftieth anniversary, to Africa and indeed the world.

Lion Heart: The Kanu Story, the movie is a documentary feature directed by BBC London-trained Nigerian director Bayo Awolaja, and produced by Neil Oyenekan. The Executive Producers include Kanu Nwankwo, Lighthouse, IBST Media, Worldwide Management Ltd. and Connect Marketing. The movie is currently being filmed in Nigeria, London, Amsterdam, the USA, South Africa and India, and has a plot that chronicles Kanu’s inspiring rags to riches story from a unique perspective that delves into his journey into the world of soccer from his humble beginnings in Owerri, to his struggle with a near fatal heart condition at the peak of his football career, to his heart surgery in Cleveland, Ohio, and back to his tribulations and triumph at Arsenal, Ajax, Portsmouth etc. In addition to his exploits on the football pitch, the movie also unveils one of the most recognizable UNICEF ambassadors as a mentor, business man, husband, and friend.

According to the Lighthouse Productions CCO, “ this film isn’t just about Kanu the footballer, we intend to reveal the Kanu story through interviews with all the world renowned players , coaches, administrators, including his wife, his childhood friends, his doctors and those people that played very important roles in his life – it’s going to be a three dimensional documentation of Kanu’s story according to Kanu, his fans, and his critics too – it’s definitely going to be compelling and well –balanced, because we intend to highlight the challenges he’s encountered and how he overcame them, in order to inspire many young Africans with his exceptional story of hope, determination and success”

Explaining the plot a step further, the film director, added that “it’s not just about Kanu and his story, but Lion Heart: The Kanu Story is a film with a strong message that will greatly touch audiences across the globe, because despite the fact that his role as a great sportsman is emphasized, yet the salient themes in the movie revolve around determination, overcoming tribulations, triumphing over life-threatening obstacles and circumstances in life to soar to heights of iconic greatness”

Kanu expressed his excitement when he spoke about the project, saying, “I’m a very private person, but it has been a very interesting experience to watch my colleagues, team mates, coaches, doctors, fans, friends and family telling my story in a very passionate manner – this movie humbles me – I can see the aspects of my life that the world identifies with, and it’s not easy to open up your life to the world, but then it is very noble to do so in order to inspire those who wish to do the things you have done – at least so that they can see how you did it”

But why do we have to wait until after the World Cup to see this movie? And to this Kanu replied, “the producers have been working tirelessly for a very long time now, but I believe this World Cup should be part of the film, whether I play or not, I definitely want the experience to be part of the film…”

Lion Heart: The Kanu Story is scheduled for a global premiere in September 2010.

Source: James Amuta PR


  1. tbn

    February 21, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Wow this is indeed laudable, Kanu is an admirable person and an inspiration to a lot of people. I still remember the time he was diagnosed with a heart problem and the whole world prayed for him to recover, and how happy I was when his operation was successful. I’ve never met him before but I think he’s one of the people I think its worth meeting, because of his humility, its just in his face merely looking at him, unlike some other successful people went from rags to riches, who you can smell arrogance all over them from a mile away. I wish Kanu well always and I cant wait to see the documentary, my tissue box will be by my side when watching because I know it would be touching and inspiring which I know will definitely bring me to tears, as movies like that always do. Viva Kanu! 🙂

  2. az in...

    February 22, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Aww… bless him.

  3. silkywave

    February 22, 2010 at 1:55 am

    sounds interesting.. i would to see it

  4. Tess

    February 22, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Kanu Nwankwo: be determined!
    Hope we wont get to hear that ‘igbotic’ grammer of urs again.
    Anyway, I’m a big fan of urs and like it when u fall and get us a penal.
    Good job peak boy.

  5. Yyt

    February 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Your comments are inappropriate.

  6. justin

    February 23, 2010 at 9:32 am

    you are indeed a true legend

  7. Strong

    February 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    This guy is one of the best inspirational icons coming out from Nigeria to the world. I wish him the best because he has inspired me a lot not as a footballer but on how not to allow your heart fail in the presence of obstacles. Bravo! Kanu

  8. Kester

    February 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Kanu is a quantum inspiration and his humility exemplifies this rare leadership aura. I like him so much and I hope this film and book inspire others to follow his footsteps. Kanu all the best!

  9. Bola #1

    February 24, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    its HIS voice, hate it if u like.
    At least, he doesn’t try to fake a foreign accent.

    i love how he seems down to earth, cant wait for the movie

  10. KOFI

    March 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    PAPILO !
    you are too much.
    I am glad to be a Nigerian, Great things start from small beginning.and Kanu has proven it.
    Carry go Kanu
    we support you

  11. Tobi Afuye

    March 12, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    God bless Kanu, Im inspired by him in various ways, wish him good luck in the next World cup.

  12. Ese Omoregie

    March 13, 2010 at 3:50 am

    To those who have a problem with Kanu’s accent.
    Learn to praise your own. I have lived in the states for 14 years, and i am very proud of my accent, this is who I am. So whether Ibo, french, korean or chinese accent. Just enjoy the beauty in it.

  13. Muraina Adewale

    April 7, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    PAPILO !
    you are simply great.
    I am glad to be a Nigerian, Great things start from small beginning.and Kanu has proven it.
    God bless you Kanu, I’m inspired by you in various ways, wish you good luck in the next World cup and a brilliant success beyond..
    we support you

  14. Chris Anya

    April 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    God bless Kanu
    He is an inspiration to young Africans
    God bless him Amen

  15. king sam

    July 16, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    hummmmmmmmmmm great ‘KANU”

  16. Obi-talker

    July 16, 2010 at 3:25 pm


  17. nnamdi moses uzoukwu

    August 16, 2010 at 5:32 am

    life will not give you what you deserve, but life will give you what you demand of it! kanu demanded from life that’s why he is the most decorated football player in africa.

  18. bj adeleye

    November 29, 2010 at 1:08 am

    u try kanu, good jjob

  19. phemy

    June 23, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    how can i get the book and the video.please can someone tell me!!!

  20. Philip Akhigbe

    July 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Good afternoon kanu foundation how is work and the family hope they are fine please kanu foundation help ma on my letter to your foundation and a tokes of you donation towards this course will make a difference in my life.

    Thank you,

    God bless you kanu foundation.

  21. nkwocha miracle

    May 6, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    I have seems to belivea that kanu was a God sent,he is made to be courageous,and made me to be come anything i want to be in life. May the Good lord continue to bless for me………,(i’m EMULATING kanu)

  22. izuchukwu sylvester okwaranawaneri

    January 21, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    I love u so much papilo kanu nwankwo, all my life I have dream and wish to be like u, ur life has inspired me since my child hood I want to be as humble as u are as geraouse as u are as compassionate as u are as succesful as u are as bless as u are and as wonderful and happy family u have, tell me the reason why GOD will not bless u when u have made him ur refuge ur souce and the reason of ur succes, I have not seen u befor but I believe on good day and very soon the infinit GOD will do it in his way, I will be very happy to see u face to face if not a hand shake,I will like to watch this movie and read this ur book, may GOD continue to bless and keep u for me and for our contry NIGERIA I love u so much and I know that I will surely gate to this ur possion to also be a blessing to our contry , I wish u and ur family a happy new year, and know this the 1.4 billion u are losing in ur hotel the GOD who knows how is bless u will inlarge ur coast and open to u the windos and doors of haeven and poure out on u in abundanse all kinds of blessings that will not be a room enough to contain it that’s my prayer for you my legend and mentor.

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