Biography

FUNKE AKINDELE: AN ACTRESS, PRODUCER, DIRECTOR, FILMMAKER AND WRITER IN ONE DIVE

Another Wednesday for 15 years old me to hop around my day secretly praying and fasting that NEPA brings light so I don’t miss an episode of Jenifa’s Diary. Her witty attitude, lifestyle and fake Porsche girl lifestyle made the lead role our favorite and the reason I anticipate the series.  Jenifa and her exceptional feets is who we will be exploring her life today. How did she go from an actress to a producer, Director, Writer and actress? Let’s find out!

Funke Akindele popularly known as Jenifa due to her role in Jenifa’s diary is a writer, Actress, filmmaker, Director and producer and entrepreneur all at once. Yeah, juggling plenty of things and leaving us wondering how she does it and where she gets the plenty ideas and strength to steadily put out value and entertainment while juggling so many things.

OluFunke Ayotunde Akindele was born on the 24th of August 1977 in Ikorodu, Lagos state Nigeria, She attended Grace children school Gbagada and has a degree in Law from the University Of Lagos, but, before that, got an Ordinary National Diploma in Mass Communication from  Moshood Abiola Polytechnic and is the face and person behind the two most famous Nigerian Blockbusters.

Funke Akindele made her Debut Appearance in the popular Sitcom “I need to know” sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund where she played the role of Bisi, an intelligent and curious teen. One would have considered that her breakthrough role, but it was not.

Funke Stated in a video that even after that role which ran for about 6 years, she was back to being jobless and role-less which typically translated to going back to the streets of callings, searchings and traveling the path of Auditions and unfulfilled promises. It meant more heartbreaks and growing through the path of pain, learning and auditioning again.

After a series of minor and supporting roles like final whistle, Egg of life, etc. Funke finally landed her breakthrough role in the famous Jenifa role in 2008 which earned her the Viewers Choice Award for best actress. She later went on to make the sequel and a spin off TV show titled Jenifa’s Diary in 2015 which became a household name within Nigeria.

Major Times in her Career as an actress

Funke is an actress that is known for her versatility and fluidity in optimizing any role given to her to play. Be it comedy, drama or even action, Funke serves and seamlessly connects with her audience on an emotional level while at it. She has starred in various TV shows both those written by her or not.

A common and most popular moment for her was when in January 2018, when she was announced to be a part of the Hollywood Marvel Avengers: Infinity War because she was listed among the cast according to IMDb, this turned out to be false because Genevieve Nnaji’s Name later replaced hers and it later was announced that the action was perpetrated by hackers. It was later reported that the then Senate President, Dr. Burkola Sariki had Advised Marvel Studios to feature the actress in  Avengers: The Infinity War.

She also said randomly in an interview that she withdrew from Yoruba Movies due to the problem of Piracy and was then featuring in Jenifa Diary as the lead character. She later in 2018, played a role as a mom in the comedy movie Moms at War  and killed it which was  part of the spiral effect that took on the long ride up. But just as an Actress? One would think that with that much breakthrough especially in her movie, Jenifa’s Diary, she will take a break or stick to the acting but Funke was on a row and only just began as she later released her first Movie as a director in 2019 with the movie , Your Excellency.

Funke As an Outstanding Director and producer

The actress didn’t just take some time to stroll  through the director and producer side of the entertainment industry, she instead chose to dominate And even became a revered name in the production part of the  Nollywood industry as she produced and directed two of Nigeria’s biggest blockbusters; Omo ghetto the saga and Battle on Buka street, respectively. 

Her first Movie as a producer came to limelight in 2005 and was a Yoruba movie titled, 13th day: Ojo Ketala and since then has gone on to produce over 21 movies.

She is known to churn out only high quality and super high production value movies which always make it atop the list and her latest movie, She Must Be Obeyed was not exempted.

When asked in an interview what inspires her movies and what makes them alway do so well, Funke simply replied stating that she always tries to appeal  to the majority audience in the Nigerian society and aims to always entertain and teach morals. I truly think that these things make her story relatable and entertaining to every class in the Nigerian society.

She also has a thing for trying out, experimenting and introduction of new genres not minding the risks surrounding it. Which makes her not to be yet another star, but also to dominate and own the space.

Funke as a Filmmaker

In addition to Funke being an outstanding Movie producer, she is also a great filmmaker and has written and produced interesting films like Jenifa’s Diary, Omo ghetto, Your Excellency amongst others.

Funke’s Movies are known to directly address Important issues in the Nigerian society and this makes it applicable in everyday Nigeria.

As a Writer

“What movie role is your dream role?”

Neecee of Neecee TV had asked Funke in an interview and the actress replied with “Uhm, I don’t know, but any movie role I want to play, I will write it and play it.” What an Uncommon Flex was my first reaction after listening to that.

Funke is known to be a truly exceptional writer who writes films and TVs for shows when and where they need to be.

Her scriptwritings are often characterized by humor, realism and to a large extent, social commentaries. Actress Funke also has a knack for creating only strong and relatable characters which is super impressive and highly uncommon.

We aimed to explore the life of Funke embodying different complex and demanding roles despite being a mother, philanthropist, Politician and entrepreneur and I must say, Funke is not just Winging it, she is killing it and it shows.

In a recent interview, she was asked, “what has kept you together” and be able to navigate all these roles even with how tasking they are and she simply replied, “I am blessed with a wonderful family who make sure to look out for Zack and Zion, a great team, My PAs and almost everyone. The support and assistance made this all possible and easy and i’m grateful.”  In essence, people and family had made The actress’s journey a lot easier to her which is impressive and beautiful.

There’s also been a lot of buzz around her Recently and partly has been due to her last movie “She must be obeyed”  and Funke Akindele’s upcoming movie “The tribe of Judah”  which is set to premiere on the 15th December.

Funke is one of Nigeria’s finest actresses and I can now add producers and filmmakers  with highest grossing goodness in everything, even net worth.

By Miracle Marcus

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