By Opeyemi Omotosho
Not many of her fans are aware of some things about one of the most talented and award winning Nollywood actresses that have graced the screen of most homes. She is an accomplished producer and scriptwriter. She is Funke Akindele-Bello, and has been in the forefront of bringing foremost entertainment to teeming Nollywood fans across the globe. Here are some of the things you may not have known about the one popularly known as Jenifa.
- Her first movie was Unclad Wire (1997), and was produced by Opa Williams. Therein, she played the part of a waitress.
- Funke played the part of Bisi, a curious but highly intelligent secondary school student, in the popular United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) sponsored sitcom, I Need To Know. She eventually hit limelight from the series. The sitcom ran for four years (1998 to 2001).
- She holds a degree in Mass Communication from the former Ogun State Polytechnic, now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic. She is also a Lawyer by profession and practice. She obtained her LLB degree from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba.
- Funke’s popularity soared after the release of her self-produced movie, Jenifa in 2009. It was under her Scene One Productions company.
- Funke runs a non-governmental organisation known as The Jenifa Foundation, which nurtures talent among other things.
- Funke was married to Kenny Almaroof Oloyede between May 2012 and July 2013. Their courtship, marriage and subsequent divorce were filled with controversy. In August 2016, she remarried to Abdul Bello alias JJC in a private ceremony in London.
- Since the first Jenifa movie, the actress has produced two others: Jenifa 2 and The Return of Jenifa. In January 2015, the actress announced a TV series called Jenifa’s Diary based on the popular character.
- Funke has starred in several other Nollywood blockbusters including the Tunde Kelani directed Maami; Omo Ghetto and Married But Living Single.
- Funke’s mum is a medical doctor while her father is a retired school principal.
- Funke has two sisters and one bother. She is the second child.
- Funke has won many awards for acting and producing. In 2009, she won the African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Other awards include: AfroHollywood Awards for Best Supporting Actress; Future Awards – Best Actress; Dynamix Awards – Best Actress; City People – Best Actress; City People – Best Movie of the Year for Jenifa, among others.
- She was once pregnant for twins but lost the pregnancy to miscarriage after a few months. The lost became obvious when her baby bump was no longer noticed.