Stella Dimoko Funke Akindele-Bello tells CNN's African Voices Why She's Educating the Next Generation


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Friday, May 26, 2017

Funke Akindele-Bello tells CNN's African Voices Why She's Educating the Next Generation

This week on CNN’s ‘African Voices’, Nigerian actress Funke Akindele talks through her career and why she’s focusing on the next generation of actors.

One of Nollywood’s biggest stars, Akindele has appeared in countless films and some of the biggest sitcoms in Nigeria. Despite starting acting as a young adult, ‘African Voices’ hears how she started out on a very different career path.

When Akindele was a child, her parents had differing opinions when it came to her acting dreams, as she tells CNN: “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.”

‘African Voices’ hears how she compromised and agreed to study for a degree, eventually graduating in law. Following this, Akindele began auditioning for roles and had her big break when she was cast in one of the biggest sitcoms in Lagos, called ‘I Need To Know’.

Akindele describes the time: “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.”

Akindele is best known for her portrayal of Jenifa, and she explains why the character has continued to appeal to audiences: “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.”

CNN hears that Akindele’s success as Jenifa led her to establish her own production company, Scene One Productions, as well as bringing many accolades, with her series receiving four awards since 2015.

Reflecting on this success Akindele tells the programme: “All I can say is I’m grateful, it’s not easy for you to work hard and people appreciate you.”

Now working on a new TV drama examining the music industry in Nigeria, called ‘Industreet’, Akindele has also founded ‘Jenifa’s Foundation’.

Explaining the programme’s work, she tells CNN: “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.”

When asked what her advice would be for upcoming actors and performers in Nigeria, Akindele tells the programme: “Stay focused. When you know what you want for yourself, when you are focused, you will get there.”


  1. Replies
    1. This is the true definition of female power. Feminism. Have your identity, compliment your husband's profile, and be a voice to be to be reckoned with.

      A handful few believes female power is to tackle men, paint them as the enemy while trying to find their voice. They want to be equal to men, when there is no competition in the first place. Society has created a pseudo crown that men are the head of the family, yeah. But every man in a union knows who is the boss. The truth is if your woman do not make the home front conducive there will be no palace where the man can reign.

      So to the handful few that has misconstrued female power. Don't try to be equal to men, its a sign of insecurity. Real men know their women is the boss and they treat them as such. When you align with your man, he will support your aspirations and you will reach your potential and also be a voice to be heard.

    2. You are on point pharaoh.

    3. @Pharoah... Well said

      But, when are you going down to @Egypt?

      This your ID new for my eyes


    4. Pharoah...that's true. Make your husband your KING and you'll become his QUEEN. That's where collecting his mumu button easily comes in. There's no man you TREAT WELL that doesn't know. Some women can't even give their hubby a petname talk less of soaking his feet in water. It's a terrible situation in many homes.

      Well done Funke. The sky is your limit. All thanks to Paul Emema, I wonder where he is now. Good project man.

  2. Happy Belated Birthday lafresh. Enjoy your day.

    Just know that I really admire you and some few bvs when I read sdkb without commenting.

    I need some cake ooo.

  3. Focus,determination and prayer is d key to success

  4. i love funke's movies. she makes one laugh.

  5. She has really done well for herself... She is a goal getter. .....but in the aspect of choosing a partner she has failed woefully ....@JJC na 419.....Tell will tell, Time will tell.


    1. You always have something negative to say about everyone's was Adesua nw it's Funke, that's bad

    2. @galore he might be a 419 but finally met where he finds rest

      even players finally fall in love ,even Hitler was in love .so wish her well

    3. @Nwan... I careth not about your comments

      You no reach

      So, shift Abeg

      @Diva, I hear you jarre


  6. Replies
    1. Congratulations to her. Good morning all. Ha miss this home yesterday I couldn't just open this blog on my phone not until this minute.

  7. I'm still asking. Why is it that the most known bvs are ibos. The people that make tinz hapn in this blog eg queen
    Etc etc

    1. You are a stupid fool. People who cause trouble are the ones who make things happen ba? Idiota! I'm sure you are one of those listed. You want to cause a tribal stir? Mumu.

  8. One day I will be interviewed like this... Amen

  9. hahahahahaha Galore. I look forward to your comment everytime including our Queen's own. The two of you are 5 and 6 pence.

    Abeg i dont want to laugh again.

    Congrats Funky baibay

    1. Where the @Anonymous "Orubebes " wen say I dey hype myself?

      I don't bother replying you Fools

      Na so I go type something about @SDK giving first hand info on rumour has it on @Dbanj getting married.. With my trade marked ID oo.. ..and some other people also commented using @Anonymous that yes @SDK broke the news first... Na so MUmu people say Na me again to comment as @Anonymous....

      I just dey shake my head

      Una go beat me, if I use my ID?

      Thank you @Yori... Or na me too be @Yori Yori?


    2. I find your comment very hilarious @Princess.infact I don't know when you are serious or joking.i just enjoy reading your comments.Funke is very talented and creative.

  10. You have indeed come a long way
    Keep soaring high
    God got you

  11. nice one funke yo! kidjo dat Becky Isoken abi wetin that stab her friend on her head in uniben shey na ur sis bcos Una resemble wella

  12. I love her in Jenifa's diary. I think it's the funniest comedy followed by The Johnson. Sometimes I just want to laugh and forget my worries.

    Funke nothing do you. Abeg carry go👍

  13. firstlady blessing26 May 2017 at 21:16



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