Akindele Olufunke Ayotunde (popularly known as Funke Akindele, born August 24, 1977, in Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria) is a Nigerian actress. She entered the limelight after starring in the popular United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)-sponsored sitcom I Need to Know, which ran from 1998 to 2002. In 2009, she won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

Funke Akindele plays the lead character in the ongoing hit TV show Jenifa's Diary, alongside Fisayo Ajisola, Falz, Juliana Olayode, Aderounmu Adejumoke, Lolo and more. The show is a spin-off from the movie titled Jenifa.

Early life and education

Akindele was born on August 24, 1977, in Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria. She is the second of three children (two girls and one boy). Her mother is a medical doctor while her father is a retired school principal. She obtained an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Mass Communication from the former Ogun State Polytechnic, now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, and got a Law degree from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba.

Career

Akindele entered the limelight after starring in popular United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)-sponsored sitcom I Need to Know, which ran from 1998 to 2002. She played Bisi, a curious but highly intelligent secondary school student. Funke Akindele's big break came in 2009 when she appeared in the movie Jenifa. Funke Akindele has over 100 movies to her credit as actress, writer, and producer.

In January 2018, there was a controversy when it was reported that Funke Akindele would get her hollywood debut in Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War as she was listed as a member of the cast on imdb and then some weeks later her name was replaced with that of fellow Nigerian actress Genevieve Nnaji.. This ended up being an internet prank and neither of the actresses appeared in the movie.

Charity initiative

She runs a non-governmental organisation known as the Jenifa Foundation, which aims to nurture talents and provide young people with vocational skills.

Endorsements

Funke Akindele has a lot of endorsement deals to her name, the most recent is her being signed as Ambassador to Irokotv.

Notable awards and nominations

Year Event Prize Recipient Result
2009 Africa Movie Academy Award Best Actress Leading Role Jenifa Won
2009 Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best actress Jenifa Won
2010 2010 Best of Nollywood Awards Best Actress Leading role (Yoruba) Oguni Aiku Nominated
2012 2012 Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best Actress Troj Won
2012 Nollywood Movies Awards Best Actress (Indigenous) Emi Abata Won
2012 Best of Nollywood Awards Best Actress (English) Married But Living Single Nominated
Zulu African Film Academy Awards Best Actress Maami and The Return Of Jenifa Won
2013 2013 Nollywood Movies Awards Best Actress (Leading Role) Maami Nominated
Best Actress (Indigenous) Won
2014 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best Actress (Leading Role) Agnetta O'mmpa Won
2014 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards Best Actress (Comedy) The Return Of Sheri Koko Won
ELOY AWARDS Brand Ambassador of the Year Omo Won
2016 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards Best Actress In Comedy Role Jenifa's Diary Won
Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best Actress Series Jenifa's Diary Nominated
Naija Fm Awards Sitcom Of The Year Jenifa's Diary Won
Best Actress In Comedy Won
Africa Entertainment Legend Awards Best Actress of the Year Won
2016 Ghana Movies Awards Best Actress Africa Collaboration A Trip To Jamaica Won
2017 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards Best TV series Jenifa's Diary Won
Best Actress in a Comedy Movie or TV Series Jenifa's Diary Won
A Trip To Jamaica Nominated
2017 Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best Lead Actress Won

On May 26, 2012, Akindele married Adeola Kehinde Oloyede. Citing irreconcilable differences, the couple divorced in July 2013. Akindele married Nigerian rapper Abdul Rasheed Bello, known as JJC Skillz, in London in May 2016.