Akindele Olufunke Ayotunde (popularly known as Funke Akindele/Jenifa, born August 24, 1977 in Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria) is a Nigerian actress. In 2009 she won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Funke Akindele is the 2nd from a family of four (4) Children, three girls and a guy. She started her education at Grace Children Schools Gbagada, after which she completed her secondary education at Lagos State Model College, Igbokuta.
A graduate, with a Diploma in Mass Communication from Moshood Abiola Polytechnic and a Degree in Law from the University of Lagos, Funke’s foray in to Movies started at an early age.
Funke had an Audition for Charly Boy Show for a cameo character, one of the ladies that attended the audition was surprised she wasn’t chosen even though she was very good. The lady told Funke about another audition at Swift Studios Ikeja owned by Lord Weaver. The lady encouraged her to audition and it later turned out she was Lord Weaver’s wife. She was chosen and played the role of a teenager which although she was past, it was still challenging having to talk and act as a teenager. Funke featured in some English movies and then crossed over to the Yoruba movies genre.
Funke Akindele worked in television before switching to cinema, becoming known for her starring role in the family-oriented Nigerian television show ‘I Need to Know’.
FORAY INTO MOVIES
- Naked Wire produced by Opa Williams – A waitress, 1997
- MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH – I NEED TO KNOW, UNFPA, 4 years, 1998 – 2001
IRU OKA (COBRA TAIL), minor role, I later started producing my own movies including OJO KETALA (13TH DAY) which was my big break as a Producer; I wrote the script, acted the lead role and produced. There were three (3) more movies which I produced before the very popular Jenifa.
The Inspiration to write Jenifa came from my beloved sister who told a true life story which was dramatised in the movie. I decided to make a movie out of it when I realised that the story was indeed real and was growing trend amongst ladies in their quest for insatiable wealth. It was my own contribution to curb the dreaded HIV AIDS in supporting the campaign for awareness and also reach out to parents and guardians to keep tabs on their wards to ward off peer pressure.
The idea was to impact peoples’ lives which I believe has been successful and I hope to continue to do that.
- In LONDON, AFRO – HOLLYWOOD AWARDS 2007 for best Supporting Actress
- AMAA AWARDS 2009 – BEST ACTRESS
- FUTURE AWARDS – BEST ACTRESS
- DYNAMIX AWARDS – BEST ACTRESS
- CITY PEOPLE – BEST ACTRESS
- CITY PEOPLE – BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR
- AMVCA 2014 – BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
- NAIJA FM AWARDS 2016 – BEST ACTRESS IN COMEDY
- AFRICA ENTERTAINMENT LEGEND 2016 – BEST ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
- 2016 GHANA MOVIES AWARDS – BEST ACTRESS AFRICA COLLABORATION
- 2017 AFRICA MAGIC VIEWERS CHOICE AWARDS – BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY OR TV SERIES
Funke akindele currently supports the following institutions
- Motherless Babies Home(Heart of Gold)
- Pacelli School for the Blind
- Lagos Empowerment and Resource Network
- LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT – Inland Revenue Service
- Omo Detergent,
- Glo Telecommunication
- Sports betting company 1960Bet
- Klin Detergent
- Iroko TV
- Western Lotto
On May 26, 2012 Funke got married to Adeola Kehinde Oloyede.
A year later in July 2013, she got divorced citing irreconcilable difference for her separation from Oloyede (now ex-husband).
Funke married Nigerian rapper Abdul Rasheed Bello known as JJC Skillz in London on 23rd August 2016.
She is currently pregnant with her first child.