Funke Akindele-Bello, really does not need much introduction. She is a talented Nigerian actress, producer and a mother of twins who has made a name for herself in the highly competitive film industry.
You may or may not know that she almost gave up acting at a point in her career.
Here is Funke telling us her story:
“I want you to look at me and my story. When I started acting in 1998, I remember how I struggled to get up there, I got a lot of “no’s”. I was the ‘queen’ of auditions and ‘wakapass’ roles. I would read so well and people will clap, I will be so excited and would think when I get the list, I would get a supporting role. But all I got were roles like church extracts. I remember crying on those occasions.
“But my mother would tell me that I’ve got the passion and it is a God-given talent. She would give me money for my transport fare; sometimes I would trek to some places then take a bus to meet up.
“I could count the number of shoes I had then, maybe two or three. But today, the story has changed. Things changed for me positively.
“After ‘I need to know’, I didn’t get any more roles, I went down; I got back to attending auditions and lobbying, calling people and knocking on doors but none opened. I felt I had lost my chance.
“I can remember going for a project and I met an actress who spoke to the producer on my behalf. I remember going to Oshogbo for the movie, I packed all my clothes, I was so happy because I was told I was going to play a supporting role. I got there, and we were supposed to film but something happened to the generator and we couldn’t film. I was waiting to be called to film in my hotel room but they did not.
“On the fifth day, they called me and I was shocked. I was asked to play the role of a secretary in two scenes. This was after playing a major role in ‘I need to know’. It was devastating for me, I was crying but an actor advised me to take it.
“I took the stipends I was given and went back to Lagos. There were different situations like that where I could have given up but my mother’s words kept encouraging me till I got my big break to produce my own movie.”