Jenifa’s Diary creator and hero Funke Akindele needs little introduction. She is an award winner with more awards than most actors have lead roles. She has passed through things that have made her a popular feature in gossip blogs. Here are five not so popular things about the star entertainer.
1. A prophet once predicted that she can never have children
Having gone through her first marriage without children, Funke Akindele is bound to become a target of child-related prophesies. This is Nigeria. In December 2016, a Lagos-based prophet Olagorioye Faleyimu released a series of prophecies for the new year. One of them, perhaps the boldest, was that Ms. Akindele may never have children of her own, saying that she should pray deeply in order to break this curse. Or, she may marry a pastor who would help her fight this battle.
In April 2018, after Funke Akindele endured rumours of miscarriage and a secretly delivered twins in London, the prophet returned to the podium to talk prophecy. This time around the man of God dipped into African belief-system by claiming the actress chose “wealth and fame when she was coming to the planet earth.” He went a notch deeper by claiming that “Jenifa” is “a promised child who has a limited time to live.”
The pastor didn’t leave without a solution. He said only the actress can deliver herself with the prayers of her own month, then urged the actress to marry a gate man to break the curse.
While we understand that mysterious is the way of the Lord, this one is clear contradiction. You will never bear children. Pray against a broken home. But to have children you must marry someone else. You may bear children if you marry a pastor. No, marry a gateman. Etc.
Her husband JJC Skillz is not buying any of these. After the first prophesy, he took to Snapchat to thank his wife for bringing him peace. The peace that passeth all prophecies. Real or otherwise.
2. Funke Akindele divorce: She was abused in her first marriage
Funke Akindele got married to Adeola Kehinde Oloyede, a property deleveloper, in May 2012, in a twin ceremony of traditional and white wedding in Lagos. The marriage came to an end in just over one year. Rumours of a rocky marriage had endured throughout 2013, until the actress put a stop to the rumour. She released a statement confirming her seperation with Oloyede. “We want to inform you that after due consultation and consideration, she’s now seperated from Mr. Kehinde Oloyede as his wife,” reads the statement.
In August 2013, Funke spoke to the media. “I stooped to conquer him,” she said. “I buried my fame and name to make him my husband but it did not work.”
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It turned out that the Oloyede fellow was married to another woman in Oshodi and he has several children from several women. On top of this, he was abusive to the actress to the point of humiliation.
3. Funke is the founder of the Jenifa’s Foundation
Not only is Jenifa now one of the biggest brands in the entertainment industry in Nigeria, it is now the name of the Foundation midwived by the one who portrays the character of Jenifa. Talking to CNN African Voices in 2016, the actress says of the foundation: “We reach out to the 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.”
This is related to a TV drama she created, Industreet, which is an examination of the ins and outs of the Nigerian music industry.
4. Her mother disapproves of her second marriage
According to Information.ng, Funke’s marriage to her second husband, the rapper and TV producer, Abdulrasheed known on stage as JJc Skillz did not receive the blessing of her mother. The couple met in 2013 when the actress was looking for a director for her series Jenifa’s Diary. They met in London where Bello was resident. The two began to see a lot of each other in the cause of their work and the attraction that they had for each other blossomed. After series of rumours and denials the couple had a quiet wedding in London, in August 2016.
According to the information.ng report, her mother and indeed her whole family, disapproved of the wedding because JJC Skillz had the same personality as her erstwhile abusive husband Oloyede. Skillz has been married before and is said to have three children from three different women, something he has in common with Husband Number 1. It is for this reason that the mother and many members of her family didn’t show up at her wedding. Only one Akindele sister turned up in London to represent the whole family as Funke became Mrs. Bello.
5. Funke Akindele suffered a late miscarriage in 2017
In the first quarter of 2017, it was rumoured that Funke was pregnant, a picture of her enlarged belly even surfaced online. This rumour was taken a notch higher when she flew to London which was interpreted as her destination for delivery. Funke Akindele never returned to Nigeria with a child.
Naijagist.com was told that “Jenifa” might have gone to the UK for a D&C (Dilation and Curettage), a surgical operation usually performed to stop bleeding and infection after a late miscarriage. Wazobia FM OAP and the actress who plays Adaku in Jenifa’s Diary, Omotunde Akinbowale (Lolo1) posted her photo of herself and Funke Akindele who now had no sign of pregnancy on Instagram. The caption which further seems to confirm the ominous reads: “Nothing but joy. In all things we give thanks. Party time with my home girl @Funkeakindelebello.”
This incidence invokes memories of the prediction of the pastor who said she would never get children until she marries a pastor/gateman and pray deeply. Funke was in the verge of proving naysayers wrong but it wasn’t to be. For now. From what we can see of Jenifa, she is a fighter. She will conquer. We pray.