Funke Akindele-Bello, Nollywood actress and movie producer, has revealed that her father never supported her acting career when she first started.
The Jenifa’s Dairy star, in a recent interview, told CNN African Voices that her father, on several occasions, discouraged her from picking a career in acting.
“Growing up was fun for me having the support of my mum, she believed so much in my talent, though my dad never wanted me to be an actor – he wanted me to be a lawyer,” she said.
Akindele-Bello started her career in I Need to Know, a popular TV drama series, where she was one of the main characters in the 90s.
“When I started ‘I Need To Know’, I never thought I would be this celebrated. I was 20 years old then. When I shot the pilot I just wanted to do it, I wanted to showcase my God-given talent. I remember the director telling me I was overacting because I was excited about it.”
The 40-year-old actress explains the similarity she shares with the character in her TV series, Jenifa. “Jenifa is witty, she’s crazy, she’s a go getter, she doesn’t want to take no for an answer and I think I have that – I don’t want to take no for an answer.”
The actress, who got married to Abdulrasheed Bello, an artiste/producer popularly known as JJC, said the success of Jenifa led her to establish her own production company, Scene One Productions.
“All I can say is I’m grateful, it’s not easy for you to work hard and people appreciate you.”
After launching a TV drama about the Nigerian music industry, called ‘Industreet’, Akindele has also founded ‘Jenifa’s Foundation’.
“We reach out to young people, we empower them. We help them acquire skills, we help them discover their special gift, their talent in acting and music and dance,” she said.