Olufunke Ayotunde Akindele // (born 24 August 1977)[2][3] popularly known as Funke Akindele or Jenifa,[4] is a Nigerian filmmaker, actress,[5] director, producer and politician.[6][7][8] Akindele starred in the sitcom I Need to Know from 1998 to 2002,[9] and in 2009, she won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.[10] for her role in Jenifa,[11] which brought her into fame. Akindele reprised the role in a 2015 television series adaption titled Jenifa's Diary,[12] for which she was named the Best Actress in a Comedy at the 2016 and 2017 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.[13] Akindele won the same award in 2020 and 2022, making it her fifth win for the Best Actress in a Comedy category. Akindele is the most nominated actress/filmmaker at the AMVCA and currently owns six wins which makes her the actress with most wins.[14] She is the second director to gross over a billion naira at the Nigeria box office and currently the Highest grossing Nigerian Director in Nigerian Box Office with a total Gross of over ₦2.9 billion .

Funke Akindele
Funke Akindele at the 2020 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards
Akindele Olufunke Ayotunde

(1977-08-24) 24 August 1977 (age 46)[1]
Alma mater
  • Actress
  • film producer
  • director
Years active1998–present
Political partyPDP

In 2022, she was nominated by the People's Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate, Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran, as the running mate for the 2023 Lagos state governorship election.[15][16]

Early life and education edit

Akindele was born on 24 August 1977, in Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria.[17] She is Yoruba. She is the second of three children (two girls and one boy). Her mother is a medical doctor while her father is a retired school principal.[4][18] She attended Grace Children's School, Gbagada, Lagos State. She obtained an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Mass Communication from the former Ogun State Polytechnic, now known as Moshood Abiola Polytechnic. She earned a Law degree from the University of Lagos.[19]

Career edit

Funke Akindele at the 2014 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards

Akindele came into the limelight after starring in the popular United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)-sponsored sitcom I Need to Know, which ran from 1998 to 2002.[20] Funke Akindele played Bisi, a curious but highly intelligent secondary school student. Funke Akindele's big break came in 2008 when she appeared in the movie Jenifa.[21][22]

In January 2018, there was a controversy when it was reported that Funke Akindele would get her Hollywood debut in Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War as she was listed as a member of the cast on IMDb.[23] Mainstream Nigerian press reported that Jenifa was set to star in Infinity War as the guard Dora Milaje, citing IMDb.[24] Some weeks later her name was replaced with that of fellow Nigerian actress Genevieve Nnaji,[25] with Funke Akindele's upload shown to have been a hack.[26] In February 2018, it was reported that Senate President and chair of the National Assembly, Dr. Bukola Saraki , had advised Marvel Studios to feature Akindele in Infinity War.[27]

In an interview in July 2016, Funke Akindele stated she was acting less in the Yoruba film industry at that time because of piracy.[13] Akindele plays the lead character in the ongoing hit TV show Jenifa's Diary, alongside Fisayo Ajisola, Falz, Juliana Olayode, and Aderounmu Adejumoke. The show is an adaption of the movie Jenifa.[12] The 2018 comedy film Moms at War stars Funke Akindele and Omoni Oboli. In July 2019, Akindele started a new web series, Aiyetoro Town,[28] a spinoff from her popular TV series, Jenifa's Diary.[29] She is the former CEO of Scene One Film Production.[30]

She made her cinematic directorial debut in the 2019 political drama film, Your Excellency.[31]

Political career edit

Akindele was nominated as the Lagos deputy governorship candidate under Peoples Democratic Party (Nigeria) in the 2023 elections.[32] In justifying her nomination, Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran, popularly known as Jandor, noted that the actress will add more value to his candidacy in the 2023 general elections.[33] Confirming her deputy governorship candidacy on Tuesday, the actress stated that her acting career must be “necessarily put on hold”.[34][35]

Charity initiative edit

Akindele runs a non-governmental organization known as the Jenifa Foundation, which aims at providing young people with vocational skills.[36][37]

Endorsements edit

Akindele has endorsement deals such as her being signed as an Ambassador to Dettol and Irokotv.[38][39] In 2018, she was signed as a brand ambassador for Keystone Bank.[40] In November 2019, she signed an endorsement deal with Waw Nigeria, a company that manufactures detergent and bar soap.[41]

Personal life edit

On 26 May 2012, Funke Akindele married Adeola Kehinde Oloyede.[42][43] The couple divorced in July 2013, citing irreconcilable differences.[44] Funke Akindele married Nigerian rapper JJC Skillz in London in May 2016.[45] Her pregnancy rumours were among the top searched results on Google search engine in August 2017. JJC Skillz announced the end of the union between him and the popular actress which lasted six years via his official Instagram handle on June 30, 2022.[46] Funke Akindele gave birth to twin boys in December 2018 and has several step-children.[47][48][49]

Controversy edit

In April 2020, Akindele was arrested along with JJC Skillz, her husband at that time, and charged for having a birthday party for her husband during a mandated lockdown to tackle coronavirus.[50] She later appeared in a Nigeria Centre for Disease Control video to raise awareness about coronavirus.[51] The actress and her husband were sentenced to a 14-day community service after pleading guilty to violating the lockdown order.[52][53]

Record holdings edit

Funke Akindele at 2021 Africa Movie Academy Awards

In 2024, Her movie A Tribe Called Judah became the highest grossing Nigerian movie of all time, breaking the record of her movie Battle on Buka Street.[54]

Akindele has the most wins at award shows like AMVCA and NEA Awards.

She is the producer and director of the three highest grossing Nollywood movies of all time, A Tribe Called Judah,[54] Battle on Buka Street and Omo Ghetto: The Saga.

Filmography edit

Year Title Role Notes
1998 I Need To Know Bisi Soap Opera
2002 Final Whistle Angela
Final Whistle 2 Angela
2002 Sharon Stone Dupe
Sharon Stone 2 Dupe
2003 Egg of Life Isioma
Egg of Life 2 Isioma
2004 Kádàrá Mi Secretary
Atlanta Kudrat
Atlanta Kudrat
Botife Bisola
2005 Agbara Ifẹ
13th Day: Ọjọ Kẹtala
13th Day: Ọjọ Kẹtala 2
2006 Narrow Path Wunmi
Kosefowora Folashade
Oṣuwọn Ẹda
Agbe Fo Yẹmisi
Agbe Fo 2 Yemisi
Oreke Mulero
Ọdún Nbaku
2007 Maku
Ẹdujọbi Taiye/ Kehinde
Ẹdujọbi 2 Taiye/ Kehinde
B'aye Ṣe Nlọ
Ọba Irawọ
Okùn Ìfẹ Yí
2008 Kàkàkí L'oku Kàkàkí's wife
Kàkàkí L'oku 2 Kàkàkí's wife
Taiwo,Taiwo T.girl
Taiwo,Taiwo 2 T.girl
Ajẹ̀ Mẹtta Molayo
Ajẹ̀ Mẹtta 2 Molayo
Apoti Orogún Bola
Jenifa Sulia Adedayo/ Jenifa
Àtànpàkò Mẹta
Ọmọ Pupa
2009 Bolode O'ku Funmi
Farayola Oyinkansola
Jenifa 2 Sulia Adedayo/ Jenifa
Anointed Liars Flora
Anointed Liars 2 Flora
Iro Funfun Tomilola
Iro Funfun 2 Tomilola
Ija Ọla
Ija Ọla 2
Ọmọ Ìyá Kan
Apaadi 2
2010 Omo Ghetto Ayomide & Shalewa/Lefty
Omo Ghetto 2 Ayomide & Shalewa/Lefty
Sherikoko Angelina
White Hunters Peggy
Ogun Àìkú
2011 Maami Maami
The Return of Jenifa Sulia Adedayo/Jenifa
Jelili Betty
The Perfect Church Sister Angela
Ladies Gang Samantha
Ladies Gang 2 Samantha
Kujenra Kujenra
Kujenra 2 Kujenra
2012 Married but Living Single Kate
A Wish
Dirty Diamond Peace/Uju
Wisdom of Thomas Ihunna
Emi Abata Tinuke
2013 Living Nightmares Monica
Oga On Top
Jujuwood Crystal
Angelina Angelina
The Fighter Monica Lewisky
Barren Women
Azonto Babes
The Return of Sherikoko
2014 New Horizons Sadie
Pretty Liars Cleo
Madam Tyson
Mr Potosky
Love Wahala
2015 Fight For Peace Aduke
Jenifa's Diary Sulia Adedayo/Jenifa Tv series
One Fine Day
Uncle Oyibo
2016 A Trip to Jamaica Bola
2017 Isoken Agnes
Industreet Francesca Web Series
Double Trouble Modebola Directional debut
2018 My Siblings and I Vivian Aberuagba Tv series
Moms at War Olaide Adetola
Chief Daddy Tinu Breecroft
2019 Aiyetoro Town Sulia Adedayo/ Jenifa Web series
Unmendable Rachael
Your Excellency Kemi Ajadi Cinematic directorial debut
2020 Who's The Boss Hauwa
Omo Ghetto: The Saga Ayomide &Shalewa/Lefty
2021 Dwindle Officer Tolani
Jenifa on Lockdown Suliat Adedayo/Jenifa Web series
2022 Chief Daddy 2: Going for Broke Tinu Breecroft
Far From Home Patricia Bello Tv Series
Battle on Buka Street Yejide
2023 She Must Be Obeyed She/Siyanbola Adewole Limited series
No Way Through Jolade Okeniyi
A Tribe Called Judah Jedidah Juadh

Awards and nominations edit

Year Event Prize Work Result Ref
2009 Africa Movie Academy Award Best Actress in a Leading Role Jenifa Won
2009 Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best Actress Won
2010 2010 Best of Nollywood Awards Best Actress in a Leading Role (Yoruba) Ogun Aiku Nominated
2012 2012 Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best Actress The Return of Jenifa Won
2012 Nollywood Movies Awards Best Actress (Indigenous) Emi Abata Won
2012 Best of Nollywood Awards Best Actress (English) Married but Living Single Nominated
Zulu African Film Academy Awards Best Actress Maami and The Return of Jenifa Won
Yoruba Movie Academy Awards Best Leading Actress Won
Screen Nation Awards Pan Africa Best Actress Nominated
2013 2013 Nollywood Movies Awards Best Actress (Leading Role) Maami Nominated
Best Actress (Indigenous) Won
2013 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards Best Actress (Drama) Maami Nominated
Best Actress (Comedy) The Return of Jenifa Nominated
Yoruba Movie Academy Awards Best Leading Actress Ife Gbona Nominated
2014 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best Actress (Leading Role) Agnetta O’Mpa Won
2014 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards Best Actress (Comedy) The Return of Sheri Koko Won
ELOY Awards Brand Ambassador of the Year Omo Won [55]
2016 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards Best Actress In Comedy Role Jenifa's Diary Won
Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best Actress Series Nominated
Naija FM Awards Sitcom Of The Year Won
Best Actress in Comedy Won
Africa Entertainment Legend Awards Best Actress of the Year Won [56]
2016 Ghana Movies Awards Best Actress Africa Collaboration A Trip to Jamaica Won [57]
2017 2017 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards Best TV Series Jenifa's Diary Won [58]
Best Actress in a Comedy Movie or TV Series Won [59]
A Trip to Jamaica Nominated
2017 Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best Lead Actress Won
2020 2020 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards Best Actress in a comedy Moms At War Won [60]
2021 Net Honours Most Popular Actress Won
Most Searched Actress Nominated
Africa Movie Academy Awards Best Actress in a Leading Role Omo Ghetto: The Saga Nominated
2022 Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards Best Actress in A Comedy Won [61][62]
Best Costume Designer Nominated
Best Movie West Africa Nominated
Best Overall Movie Nominated
Best Television Series Jenifa's Diary Nominated
Best Africa Magic Original Comedy Series My Siblings & I Nominated
NET Honours Most Popular Actress Won [63]
2023 Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards Best Actress In A Comedy Movie/TV Series Battle on Buka Street Nominated [64]
Best Writer Nominated
Best Overall Movie Nominated
Africa International Film Festival Globe Award Honoree Won
NET Honours Most Popular Actress Won
Most Searched Actress Won
Legit.ng's Readers' Choice Awards Best Actress in 2023 Won
2024 2023 Silverbird Man of The Year Award Special Achievement Award Won
Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards Best Lead Actress A Tribe Called Judah Pending
Best Writing (Movie) Pending
Best Movie Pending

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Sanusi, Hassan (11 September 2016). "Just like Funke Akindele, everyone got Eniola Badmus' age wrong". The Net. The Net. Archived from the original on 5 July 2017.
  2. ^ Njoku, Benjamin (2 January 2010). "I didn't snatch anybody's husband – Funke Akindele". Vanguard. Lagos, Nigeria. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
  3. ^ "Full name & Date of Birth". IMDb. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
  4. ^ a b "ABOUT FUNKE AKINDELE - Funke Akindele - Official Website of Olufunke Akindele". olufunkeakindele.com. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Funke Akindele celebrates 14 years of playing 'Jenifa'". thenationonlineng.net. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  6. ^ Olowolagba, Fikayo (12 July 2022). "2023: Funke Akindele puts acting career on hiatus, confirms PDP deputy governorship nomination [VIDEO]". Daily Post Nigeria. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  7. ^ "Funke Akindele Archives". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. Retrieved 10 June 2023.
  8. ^ Funsho Akinwale, Funke Akindele gives first glimpse of her twins, The Guardian
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  10. ^ "AMAA Nominees and Winners 2009". Africa Movie Academy Awards. Archived from the original on 5 April 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
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  12. ^ a b ""Jenifa's Diary" Watch Funke Akindele in season 4 trailer". Pulse.ng. Chidumga Izuzu. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  13. ^ a b 18 July 2016 Funke Akindele: I'm not producing Yoruba movies for now, The Cable
  14. ^ DailyTimesNGR (11 January 2024). "Funke Akindele, the supernova in Nigeria's film industry". DAILY TIMES Nigeria. Retrieved 24 January 2024.
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  29. ^ 24 July 2018 Here's when Omoni Oboli's new film will be released in cinemas, Pulse Nigeria
  30. ^ Mosope Olumide, 14 September 2018 Poverty And Failure: Funke Akindele Reveals Her Greatest Fears In Life, The Net
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  41. ^ 6 November 2019 [1], "The Nation"
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  54. ^ a b "Sanwo-Olu Felicitates Funke Akindele On 'A Tribe Called Judah' Box Office Record". GlitzVibes. 7 January 2024. Retrieved 7 January 2024.
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  58. ^ Adeleke Afolayan (4 March 2017). "AMVCA 2017: See the full list of winners". The NET.
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External links edit