Hello Readers , fans and everyone , its been a while on Celebrity of the week column. Today we celebrating someone who is not just a celebrity but also a role model . Her story is not just one of from grass to grace but also that of persistence, hard-work etc. We are celebrating Ace actress, filmmaker and a Movie Producer Funke Akindele.
Akindele Olufunke Ayotunde ,a Native of Ikorodu in Lagos State, Nigeria was born on the 24th of August, 1976 . Funke is the second child of the Family of six, and grew up in Folagoro, Lagos State .
She started Her Basic Primary Education at the Great Children Nursery and Primary School Gbagada, Lagos state. she had her first taste of education in Calabar where her biological father resides. She then had her Secondary Education in Lagos State Model College, Igbo Kuta, Ikorodu and furthered her education first at the Ogun State Polytechnic Ojere, Abeokuta now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic where she studied Mass Communication,(OND) and a Graduate of Law from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba.
She attended Academic and Actors School after completing her basic education . The acting spirit fell or caught up with her fully in 1997 ,in which she had he first major acting role as a teenager “Bisi”, undergoing s*x education in a television series called “I need to know” which was sponsored by United Nations.
Her childhood days were full of adventures.
I was really stubborn. I was always jumping the fence, running down the stairs to go out whenever mum instructed that no one should leave home. I was always the one doing the bad things.
Her talent showed forth when she started writing drama scripts , right from her secondary school days. she was also directing the school and church drama group. Funke’s first script is Ojo Ketala. It was her first script as producer. Then later she wrote Jenifa, Agbefo, Apaadi and a lot of others.
Funke Akindele worked in television before switching to cinema.
Unlike other Nollywood actress , Funke’s choice of theme in her script writing is different she said in one of her interviews
I write to enlighten, educate, and empower the youths. I like to treat the social problems associated with life on campus. And I also make effort to proffer solutions to them. This is what I have done in Jenifa. I treated themes, such as prostitution, cultism and HIV/AIDS, among others. I am mainly inspired by the happenings around me. I have been planning to do something that would be fully committed to the cause of women and also reflect their experiences.
I can say that Funke Akindele is our own Tyler Perry. She is a rare gem and her movies have set and are raising standards in a way that is inspiring to a new generation of filmmakers and professionals across sectors. she has several created iconic pop culture characters using indigenous language. Her movies are continuously at the cutting edge and she has set upon raising standards.
Funke then went on a low key for a while then she hit the spotlight with her Yoruba comdey movie “Jenifa” . I’m sure you all have seen it but if not then you are really missing.
Jenifa which is a 2008 Nigerian Yoruba comedy-drama film starring Funke Akindele. The film received 4 nominations at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2008. Funke Akindele, the main protagonist of the film, won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in Leading Role for her role as Jenifa.
She was also part of the Torch bearers for Nigeria in the 2012 olympic games.
Her ideal man
He has to be almost everything to me, a friend, brother, father, confidant and so on. He doesn’t have to be very handsome. He should be presentable, God-fearing and understanding.
Funke is someone who enjoys making others happy , not just her self . She is also a generous person .We can definitely see that in her movies which are mostly comedy both Yoruba and English movies.
She said her recent embarrassing moment was
It was the day an old man bashed my car. Repairing the car costs much money, as it can only be done by the insurance company. The car was badly destroyed, at the back and I was really furious. The old man came down from his car and spoke in Yoruba: “ Sulia jo dakun mabinu (Sulia, please, don’t be annoyed), calling me the name of a character I played in my film, Jenifa. I just had to let the man go.
Funke participated in the reality tv show Gulder Ultimate Search , but she said she was relieved after she was evicted
Oh! It was fantastic. Yes! I felt relieved. GUS celebrity show wasn’t a child’s play. We slept on the floor in the bush. We cooked with firewood, drank water from the stream. We ate yam and palm oil. I like yam and oil, but it wasn’t really that easy. Sincerely, I liked the whole idea and would love to be selected again.
Funke has also put up a Drama Academy called Scene One productions .
Right from my childhood, I have always nursed the ambition to be a star actress. I read Law, because my father wanted it. I faced a lot of trials before getting to this present state. There were rejections from producers and directors. There were also plans by people who wanted to bring me down or dampen my spirit, but for my perseverance and resilience I wouldn’t have sailed through. So, having gone through this unpalatable encounter, I don’t want the youths interested in acting to face similar situation. There are many talents out there wasting. I want to give them a platform on which they can build themselves and realize their dreams. I am hiring professionals to teach would-be students all aspects of the performing arts in the academy. The eligibility to be a student is having an o’level certificate.
Funke was just recently appointed as a Polio Ambassador by the Rotary Club International.She was brought on board to help the Rotary Club achieve its goal of ridding the world of Polio in a new campaign themed “This Close”,
“I feel so honored to be part of a charitable cause like this. I accepted this appointment because polio kills or paralyzes children and Rotary is committed to ending this terrible disease worldwide.
“I also learned that the world has never been so close to eradication of polio since the mid 80’s thanks to the vigorous efforts of Rotary International and its partners,” she said.
She will be unveiled to the media on Tuesday 24th October 2013 as part of the activities lined up to mark the World Polio Day. With her appointment, Funke joins the likes of Microsoft boss Bill Gates, Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, movie star Jackie Chan and Pop star PSY.
The latest on Funke Akindele is that she is set to join the likes of Rihanna, Victoria Beckham, Britney Spears who also have their own line of perfumes.The award-winning actress will be launching the line called ‘Jenifa by Funke Akindele’ soon enough.Well not sure how true it is .
Read Funke’s advice to women
First, I want to advise women in politics to ensure that there is peace in our country. In Nollywood, people have erroneously believed that our women, are prostitutes, but that is sincerely not so. Many of us are virtuous. We are here to work and would not do anything that is shameful. I also advise my colleagues in the industry to use their brain and beauty to get what they want. They should not use their bodies because that is shameful.
In summary Funke Akindele is a very talented individual , generous , jovial and loving person to know . Her movies put a smile on the face of millions which includes me .So keep it up Funke !!!
Funke on set in the movie “SHERIKOKO”
Funke on set in the movie “maami” Tunde Kelani’s Mainframe Productions.