Funke Akindele: Actress Talks Movies, Awards, On CNN’s African Voices

Nollywood star Funke Akindele-Bello has joined other African star on CNN program featuring people who have impacted Africa in various ways.


The popular Nollywood actress opens up on her world of scripts, cameras, and awards and how she successfully created her popular ‘Jenifa’ character. Funke spoke of her humble beginnings and her first casted role in the family Sitcom, “I need to know,” a TV series which was geared at reaching out to the youths and creating awareness on sex and all its related issues.

The TV series was sponsored by UNFPA, and launched Funke’s career.

Although she agreed that her streak slowed down after that, she found her way into the movies scene and soon created the character, ‘Jenifa’ from ‘Jenifa’s Diary’, fueled by the tales that surrounded female students in her school, University of Lagos (UNILAG).


According to her, “We heard a lot of funny stories back then in school, HIV Aids, girls used for money rituals…

“My mum will tell you, ÿou have to wait”, she will check on you. And i’m like, how do i reach out to young people? That abstinence is the best. If you must do it, protect yourself.

“So i created Jenifa. Jenifa is funny. She’s gonna add humour to it. They are tired of hearing uh uh uh, HIV Aids is real, protect yourself…

“Why don’t you just make them laugh? Pass the message in a subtle way. So that’s how i created Jenifa. A movie with a strong message.”


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