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Despite emerging as Africa’s best actress at the recently staged African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in Bayelsa State, Nigeria, highflying actress, Funke Akindele, has said that her best is yet to come.
The Nigerian actress, who was in Ghana when crowned as the new queen of African movies, said she has not reached the peak of her career as many people presume.
“Although I feel highly elated having emerged as the best actress in Africa, my best is yet to come,” she stated, adding that she still has a long way to go as far as film making is concerned.
Akindele, whose monstrous character in the hit flick, Jenifa, earned her the nickname, Sulia Ken, declared that she is only fulfilled as the first Yoruba actress to have won the AMAA title.
“This is a turning point in my career and I’m so proud of it,” she concluded.
Considering how she started, she got her break when she was picked to play the lead role in the rested Nigerian TV drama on sex education entitled I Need To Know.
Apart from featuring in Opa William’s Naked Wire and Egg of Life, she has today through her Mass Communication and Law degree backgrounds built a unique angle to her kind of stories as a script writer and producer; investigative and crime flicks relayed in Ojo Ketala, Agbefo, Eta ‘nu and Maaku.
According to her she does not compromise excellence in her movie productions, little wonder her movies are always sold out. “Well, I wouldn’t want to call my movie just a Yoruba movie because it is well sub-titled in English and I shot it very well to suit international standard such as film festivals. Even then, if you have a good product and you put it in the market without advertisement of course it will sell. That’s what happen to my films. I shot them well, the public saw them, they felt cool about them and they are doing well in the market.
I made sure that my movie was shot on High Definition(HD) camera, I ensure that the sound is perfect, I actually went back to the studio, to check the picture and then of course they were well subtitled in English, I also intend to subtitle them in French”.
On her choice of prodicing and acting mainly Yoruba films, this is what the award winner has to say “I’ve been watching Indian films. They don’t speak English and we really get to watch their movies. It suits international standard. There is this Indian film I really watched and it was like I was watching an American movie. All the effects in it were o.k. The gun shots, the accident scenes and what have you.
Indian film is a very good example of how a film can break international barriers and I said to myself, why can’t we do something like that in Yoruba movies, it’s not compulsory that our films must be in English language. Indian films are really selling well and their industry is quite large. They didn’t start this big, but they are very big now”.
Kunle Obayun’s , Irabada is a beautiful movie I saw it, beautiful picture, Amazing Grace, beautiful film, I believe with time, we will get there. Especially with films like that, so if I give it a trial, it’s not bad”.
On why she has opted to practice acting and not law which she is qualified for, “funke Akindele says “Right from secondary school, I had this dream that I wanted to be a big actress, writer and producer. I started off writing scripts way back in secondary school. it was just about a hobby that has become a dream come true.
I have always loved Theatre Arts and Law. But you see, acting is a talent and a gift from God. Law has always been what I really wanted to do because as a girl growing up I argue a lot and never liked to lose an argument. The aspect of law that I love so much is the criminal law, and if you watch most of my movies, you find elements of crime in them.
For example in Oju-Ketala, I had rape in it, in Eta-Inu, I had murder, in Agbefo, I had armed robbery, InMaaku, I had murder with rituals in it. So, it has always been in me. I see law as a career and acting, a talent. I didn’t study Theatre Arts though but right now I want to do a course in movie directing”.
Her mentors are “ I really admire Liz Benson a lot because she is a good actress. She’s very versatile, I love Aunty Joke Silva and then Uncle Olu Jacobs and I really like Yinka Quadri too. He’s my boss, he’s been very supportive in this industry.
In terms of producing and directing, I give pass a mark to Andy Amenechi. He is really deep and Abbey Lanre is solid. He’s directed my movies. As for a producer, I will give it to Uncle Tade Ogidan, he’s a good director too.
By: Yetunde Farinloye
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