By Jogunomi Olatunde
It is not unusual for many to believe that most of the voices heard over the radio and the faces seen on television, especially in acting capacity, are just run off the mill kind of persons. But the reverse is the case as many of them are not just well read, but have academic degrees that are really talk of the town. Below are some entertainers who can very boast of a law degree.
- RICHARD MOFE-DAMIJO
Richard Mofe Damijo, popularly known as RMD, was born on July 6, 1961. He is a prolific actor and politician. In 2005 he won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He attended Midwest College, Warri and Anglican Grammar School and was a member of the Drama Club. He enrolled into the University of Benin to continue his education and studied Theatre Arts. In 1997, Mofe-Damijo returned to the university to study Law at the University of Lagos and graduated in 2004.
After graduating from the university, Mofe-Damijo took part in a television soap opera in the late 80s called Ripples. Before then, he had a stint with Concord Newspapers and Metro Magazine as a reporter. Out of Bounds was the first film for which he received a writer/producer credit. In 2005, at the maiden edition of the African Movie Academy Awards, RMD won the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
He is a former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Delta State, Nigeria.
- EBUKA OBI UCHENDU
Ebuka Obi-Uchendu is a lawyer and media personality from Okija in Anambra State, Nigeria. Born in Benin City, Edo State to a banker father and a mum who is a nurse, he is the third of four children with an elder sister as well as one older and younger brother. He went through with his nursery and primary education in the mid-western Nigerian city of Benin, remarkably passing the Common Entrance Examination into secondary school from Primary Four. He subsequently moved to the capital city of Abuja with his family. He had his secondary education at Christ The King College Abuja, graduating in 1997, before getting his university education at the University of Abuja, up until 2004. He proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, Bwari, Abuja finishing in 2005 and then returned to school after a 5-year working gap, graduating in December 2010 from the Washington College of Law of the American University Washington DC, with Master of Laws degree specializations in Intellectual Property as well as Communications law from the Law and Government program.
In 2006, he went in as one of an eventual 14 housemates on the first and only ever season of the popular reality show Big Brother Nigeria. Although the 6 ft, 2in housemate finished in eighth place, Obi-Uchendu became popular due to his affable and easygoing nature.
- FUNKE AKINDELE [JENIFA]
Akindele Olufunke Ayotunde, popularly known as Funke Akindele, and called Jenifa by fans and admirers was born on August 24, 1976 in Ikorodu, Lagos State. She is an actress and the second of three children; two girls and one boy. Her mother is a medical doctor while her father is a retired school principal. Funke obtained an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Mass Communication from the former Ogun State Polytechnic, now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic and got a Law degree from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba. She came to limelight after featuring in popular United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) sponsored sitcom; I NEED TO KNOW, which ran from 1998 to 2002. In 2009 she won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Funke Akindele also has a TV hit show titled Jenifa diary.
- FEMI ADEBAYO
Femi Adebayo, a practicing lawyer as well as film actor, director and producer was born on December 31, 1972. He began acting in 1995, the same year he featured in a Tade Ogidan’s movie titled Owo Blow. He has starred in several Nigerian films, winning four awards as Best Yoruba actor at the 17th African Film Awards popularly known as Afro Hollywood awards at the Stratford Town Hall in London. He also won an award in the same category for the Best of Nollywood Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria Awards in 2012. He has a long list of movies to his credits which includes Sonto Alapata, Wura Ati Fadaka, Ma Wobadan and Buga (a very funny one) just to mention a few. Femi is the MD/CEO of J-15 media network Nigeria. He also has a Masters in Law.
- FOLARIN FALANA [FALZ]
Folarin Falana, better known by his stage name, Falz is a rapper, actor, and songwriter. He was born on October 27, 1990 in Lagos State, to a human rights activist and lawyer, Femi Falana. He completed his basic and secondary school education at St. Leo’s Catholic Primary School, Ikeja and Olashore International School, Osun State respectively. He is an alumnus of the University of Reading after graduating with an LLB honors degree in Law. He was also featured in world award winning comedy [jenifa dairy] as Segun. He began his career while in secondary school after forming a group called “The School Boys” with his friend before his professional career as a music artiste began in 2009. Falz shot into limelight after his song titled “Marry Me” (featuring vocals from Poe and Yemi Alade) won him a nomination in the “Best Collaboration of The Year” category at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. He was also nominated in the “Best Rap Act of The Year” and “Best New Act to Watch” categories at the same event. He currently owns an independent record label called Bahd Guys Records.
- OMAWUMI MEGBELE
Omawumi Megbele, known by her stage name Omawumi, is a singer-songwriter and actress of Itsekiri ethnic nationality. She was born on April 13, 1982 to Chief (Dr.) Frank and Mrs. Aya Megbele. She attended Nana Primary School during her pupilage, and later attended the College of Education Demonstration Secondary School. She graduated from Ambrose Ali University with a Law degree. After graduating in 2005, she moved to Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where she worked with her family’s law firm called “O.S Megbele & Associates”. She also studied French at Alliance Francaise. Omawumi rose to prominence as a contestant on Idols West Africa. Omawumi, with her strong voice and out-going personality, was voted the 1st runner-up of the competition when it ended in May 2007. Since then, she has had numerous performances on the stage with musicians such as P-Square, 2face Idibia, D’Banj, Banky W, M.I, Sasha, 9ice, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Carl Thomas, Angie Stone and Donell Jones, among others.
- OMOTUNDE ADEBOWALE [LOLO 1]
Populaly known as Lolo 1 of Wazobia, Omotunde Adebowale Davies is a graduate of Lagos State University, Ojo where she studied Law. She practiced the law profession for three years before she left her wig and gown to become an on-air-personality. She rocks the airwaves as the Lolo1 on popular Pidgin English speaking radio station, Wazobia FM. She was also featured in world award winning comedy, Jenifa dairy.
- ANTHONIA YETUNDE ALABI [SASHA P]
Born Anthonia Yetunde Alabi on May 21, 1983, Sasha P also known as the First Lady of Nigerian Hip Hop, is a female rapper, musician, businesswoman, lawyer and motivational speaker. The last of eight children, she was raised by her single mother, an educator, whom she fondly called Sisi Fadekemi, after her father died. She began her musical career as a child in Ibadan. She attended the International School, Ibadan and the University of Lagos, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Law. Sasha came into the limelight at a time when there were very few Nigerian women in Hip Hop music. Subsequently, her success helped pave the way for other female rappers and musicians in Nigerian hip hop. She began musical collaborations and was signed on to eLDee‘s Trybe Records.
- TOSIN BUCKNOR
Tosin Bucknor, sister to Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, studied Law at the University of Lagos, but knew her hearts lay elsewhere. Tosin also began to flirt with the media as an undergraduate with her weekly column in The Guardian newspaper. Asides singing, she currently works as an OAP with Top 90.9FM and also has written scripts for shows like Amstel Malta Box-office season 2&3 and The Apprentice Africa.