Funke Akindele

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

(1977-08-24) 24 August 1977 (age 45)[1]
Alma mater
  • Actress
  • film producer
  • director
Years active1998-present
Political partyPDP

Olufunke Ayotunde Akindele-Bello // (listen) (born 24 August 1977)[2][3] popularly known as Funke Akindele or Jenifa,[4] is a Nigerian filmmaker, director, actress,[5] politician[6] and producer.[7] Akindele starred in the sitcom I Need to Know from 1998 to 2002, and in 2009, she won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.[8] She rose to fame for her role in the movie titled Jenifa[9] which earned her the nickname Jenifa. The Omo Ghetto[10] trilogy contributed to her fame. Funke Akindele played the lead role in the show Jenifa's Diary,[11] for which she was named the Best Actress in a Comedy at the 2016 and 2017Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.[12] Again, at the 2020 and 2022 AMVCA, she took home the same award, making it her fifth wins for the Best Actress in a Comedy category. Akindele is the most nominated actress at the AMVCA and currently owns six AMVCA which makes her the actress with most win at the AMVCA. She is the second director to gross over a billion at the box office with movies like Your Excellency, Omo Ghetto: The Saga and most recent Battle on Buka Street. Akindele is the only Yoruba-film actress to have won an African Movie Academy Award and Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award.

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.[13]

Early life and education[edit]

Akindele was born on 24 August 1977, in Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria. [14] 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][15] 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.[16]


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.[citation needed] 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.[17][18]

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.[19] Mainstream Nigerian press reported that Jenifa was set to star in Infinity War as the guard Dora Milaje, citing IMDb.[20] Some weeks later her name was replaced with that of fellow Nigerian actress Genevieve Nnaji,[21] with Funke Akindele's upload shown to have been a hack.[22] 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.[23]

In an interview in July 2016, Funke Akindele stated she was acting less in the Yoruba film industry at that time because of piracy.[12] 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.[11] The 2018 comedy film Moms at War stars Funke Akindele and Omoni Oboli. In July 2019, Akindele started a new web series, Aiyetoro Town,[24] a spinoff from her popular TV series, Jenifa's Diary.[25] She is the CEO of Scene One Film Production.[26]

She made her directorial debut in the 2019 political drama film, Your Excellency.[27]

Political career[edit]

Akindele was nominated as the Lagos deputy governorship candidate under Peoples Democratic Party (Nigeria) in the upcoming 2023 elections.[28] 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.[29] Confirming her deputy governorship candidacy on Tuesday, the actress stated that her acting career must be “necessarily put on hold”.[30][31]

Charity initiative[edit]

Akindele runs a non-governmental organization known as the Jenifa Foundation, which aims at providing young people with vocational skills.[32][33]


Akindele has endorsement deals such as her being signed as an Ambassador to Dettol and Irokotv.[34][35] In 2018, she was signed as a brand ambassador for Keystone Bank.[36] In November 2019, she signed an endorsement deal with WAW Nigeria, a company that manufactures detergent and bar soap.[37]

Personal life[edit]

On 26 May 2012, Funke Akindele married Adeola Kehinde Oloyede.[38][39] The couple divorced in July 2013, citing irreconcilable differences.[40] Funke Akindele married Nigerian rapper JJC Skillz in London in May 2016.[41] 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.

[42] Funke Akindele gave birth to twin boys in December 2018 and has several step-children.[43][44][45]


In April 2020, Akindele was arrested along with her husband and charged to court for hosting a birthday party in honour of her husband during the period of an imposed lockdown (to tackle coronavirus).[46] She later appeared in a Nigeria Centre for Disease Control video to raise awareness about coronavirus.[47] The actress and her husband were sentenced to a 14-day community service after pleading guilty to violating the lockdown order.[48][49]

Record holdings[edit]

Funke Akindele at 2021 Africa Movie Academy Awards

Her movie Battle on Buka Street currently holds the record of becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time in Nigeria, breaking the two-year record of her movie Omo Ghetto: The Saga.

According to a statement, broadcast by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN), in February 2023, the movie grossed over N640,000,000 after maintaining its number one spot for many consecutive weeks.Funke has the most win at award shows like AMVCA and NEA Awards.

She is the producer and director of two highest grossing Nollywood movies of all time, Battle on Buka Street and Omo Ghetto: The Saga which is fourth and fifth highest-grossing film in West Africa region.


The films of Funke Akindele are listed in alphabetical order:[50]

  • Far From Home (2022 series)
  • Awards and nominations[edit]

    Year Event Prize Work Result Ref
    2009 2009 Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best Actress Jenifa Won
    Africa Movie Academy Award Best Actress Leading Role Won
    Best Nigerian Film Nominated
    Best Film in an African Language Apaadi Nominated
    2010 2010 Best of Nollywood Awards Best Actress in a Leading Role (Yoruba) Oguni Aiku Nominated
    2012 2012 Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best Actress Troj 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
    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
    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 [52]
    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 [53]
    2016 Ghana Movies Awards Best Actress Africa Collaboration A Trip to Jamaica Won [54]
    2017 2017 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards Best TV Series Jenifa's Diary Won [55]
    Best Actress in a Comedy Movie or TV Series Won [56]
    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 [57]
    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
    Best Nigerian Film Nominated
    2022 Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards Best Actress in A Comedy Won [58][59]
    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 [60]
    2023 Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards Best Actress In A Comedy Movie/TV Series Battle on Buka Street Nominated [61]
    Best Writer Nominated
    Best Overall Movie Nominated

    See also[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". Retrieved 8 October 2016.
    5. ^ "Funke Akindele celebrates 14 years of playing 'Jenifa'". Retrieved 15 March 2022.
    6. ^ Olowolagba, Fikayo (12 July 2022). "2023: Funke Akindele puts acting career on hold, confirms PDP deputy governorship nomination [VIDEO]". Daily Post Nigeria. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
    7. ^ Funsho Akinwale, Funke Akindele gives first glimpse of her twins, The Guardian
    8. ^ "AMAA Nominees and Winners 2009". African Movie Academy Award. Archived from the original on 5 April 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
    9. ^ The Return of Jenifa (2011) - IMDb, retrieved 23 September 2021
    10. ^ Omo Ghetto: The Saga (2020) - IMDb, retrieved 23 September 2021
    11. ^ a b ""Jenifa's Diary" Watch Funke Akindele in season 4 trailer". Chidumga Izuzu. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
    12. ^ a b 18 July 2016 Funke Akindele: I'm not producing Yoruba movies for now, The Cable
    13. ^ Jonathan, Oladayo (13 July 2022). "Lagos 2023: How Funke Akindele and I will defeat Sanwo-Olu, APC — PDP gov candidate - Premium Times Nigeria". Retrieved 13 July 2022.
    14. ^ Olivia Kabir, January 2019 Funke Akindele's state of origin,
    15. ^ Bodunrin, Sola (25 August 2015). "10 Things You Need To Know About Funke Akindele ▷ NAIJ.COM". Retrieved 8 October 2016.
    16. ^ "Iyabo Ojo, Funke Akindele, Toyin Abraham lifestyles". BBC News Pidgin. 12 September 2021. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
    17. ^ Akindele, Funke (11 July 2019). "Watch: Funke Akindele – My Best Friend Can Only Call My Husband On His Birthday". TheGuardian. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
    18. ^ "Nollywood's Funke Akindele turns 40 years today". 24 August 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
    19. ^ "Funke Akindele named as starring in Hollywood movie, "Avengers: Infinity War"". Premium Times Nigeria. 11 January 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
    20. ^ 11 January 2018 Funke Akindele to star in Hollywood movie “Avengers: Infinity War”, Sun News
    21. ^ "What's the Story on Funke Akindele Bello, Genevieve Nnaji & "Avengers: Infinity War"?". BellaNaija. 15 January 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
    22. ^ Nsikak Nseyen, 16 January 2018 How hackers uploaded Funke Akindele's photo as Avenger's cast – Freeze, Daily Post
    23. ^ Nasikak Nseye, 5 February 2018 ‘Avengers Infinity War’: Saraki makes case for actress, Funke Akindele, Daily Post
    24. ^ "Aiyetoro town: Funke Akindele has kicked off 'Jenifa's Diary' spinoff, and it's hilarious". Pulse Nigeria. 10 July 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
    25. ^ 24 July 2018 Here's when Omoni Oboli's new film will be released in cinemas, Pulse Nigeria
    26. ^ Mosope Olumide, 14 September 2018 Poverty And Failure: Funke Akindele Reveals Her Greatest Fears In Life, The Net
    27. ^ "'Your Excellency': Funke Akindele's directorial debut makes N17.5 million in 2 days". 17 December 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
    28. ^ "Jenifa: Funke Akindele named PDP Lagos deputy gov candidate". 12 July 2022. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
    29. ^ "Lagos PDP gov candidate justifies Funke Akindele's appointment". 12 July 2022. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
    30. ^ "Running mate: Funke Akindele suspends acting career". Punch Newspapers. 12 July 2022. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
    31. ^ "Funke Akindele: 'Jenifa as deputy gov, PDP dead in Lagos,' Nigerians react". Vanguard News. 12 July 2022. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
    32. ^ "Nollywood/ Nigeria No.1 movies/ films resources online". Archived from the original on 1 April 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
    33. ^ ""Why I am focusing on educating the next generation" – Funke Akindele-Bello tells CNN's 'African Voices'". BellaNaija. 25 May 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
    34. ^ "Actress Funke Akindele becomes brand ambassador for Dettol - The Cable". 17 April 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
    35. ^ "Actress Funke Akindele, Signed As Ambassador To Iroko TV - INFORMATION NIGERIA". 13 March 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
    36. ^ 27 August 2018 Keystone Bank signs Actress, Funke Akindele as brand ambassador, Vanguard Nigeria
    37. ^ 6 November 2019 [1], "The Nation"
    38. ^ "BN Exclusive: It's Official, "Jenifa" Star Funke Akindele is a Married Woman! Photos & Details of the Beautiful Union with Her Beau Kehinde Oloyede Only On BN". 28 May 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
    39. ^ "How I got news of my first failed marriage - Funke Akindele". 24 August 2021. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
    40. ^ "Funke Akindele: "Yes, My Marriage has Crashed" - Nollywood Star confirms Split – Read the Official Statement + Her Recent Interview". 20 July 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
    41. ^ "Marriage to Funke Akindele: JJC breaks silence". The Sun Nigeria. 28 May 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
    42. ^ "Funke Akindele's pregnancy, JAMB dominate Google searches". Vanguard News. 25 August 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
    43. ^ "JJC reveals who convinced him to marry Funke Akindele". 2 August 2017.
    44. ^ Fikayo Olowolagba, 22 December 2018. Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele defies prophecy, welcomes twins, Daily Post (Nigeria)Daily Post
    45. ^ Seun Durojaiye, 13 January 2019 Actress Funke Akindele stuns in native owambe outfit,
    46. ^ "Nigerian actress fined over lockdown party". BBC News. 6 April 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
    47. ^ "Coronavirus: Nigerian actress Funke Akindele arrested for Lagos party amid lockdown". BBC. 6 April 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
    48. ^ Press, Fellow (7 April 2020). "Coronavirus: Funke Akindele, husband sentenced to community service". Fellow Press. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
    49. ^ "Nigerian actress Funke Akindele under fire for Lagos party amid lockdown". Dateline Nigeria. 7 April 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
    50. ^ "Funke Akindele". IMDb. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
    51. ^ "How upcoming Nollywood film, 'Who's The Boss' represents the modern Nigerian woman". The Native. 14 January 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
    52. ^ "Omoni Oboli, Funke Akindele, Omawumi: All the winners from the 2014 ELOY awards - Lifestyle - Pulse" (in German). 1 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
    53. ^ "Winners List - Ael Awards (Aela)". Retrieved 17 December 2016.
    54. ^ "Ghana Movie Awards 2016: Funke Akindele wins best actress African collaboration - Movies - Pulse" (in German). 14 December 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
    55. ^ Adeleke Afolayan (4 March 2017). "AMVCA 2017: See the full list of winners". The NET.
    56. ^ Chidumga Izuzu (4 March 2017). "Funke Akindele wins Best Actress in a Comedy". Pulse.Ng.
    57. ^ "Full List Of Winners At The 7th AMVCA | Channels Television". Retrieved 13 September 2022.
    58. ^ "2022 Africa Magic Awards Nominees don land- See who dey list". BBC News Pidgin. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
    59. ^ "Stan Nze, Osas Ighodaro win big - Full list of all di winners from 2022 AMVCA". BBC News Pidgin. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
    60. ^ Abiosun, Anjolaoluwa (1 July 2022). "NET Honours: Full List of Class of 2022 Winners". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
    61. ^ "Full List: Here are all our AMVCA 9 Nominees". AMVCA - Full List: Here are all our AMVCA 9 Nominees. Retrieved 23 April 2023.

    External links[edit]