Funke Akindele, popularly known as “Jenifa,” is a 46-years-old Nigeria actress and one of the richest actresses in Nigeria with a net worth estimated at $7.6 million. Having the highest-grossing movie ever in the country – Omo Ghetto: The Saga, she has a lasting career in the Nigerian film industry that started in the late 1990s. She maintains a standing position as a Nollywood multi-award-winning actress, producer, director, and CEO of SceneOne Film Production.
In her career in the movie industry, Akindele has performed several roles in Chief Daddy, Isoken, Jenifa, Jenifa’s Diary, A Trip to Jamaica, Your Excellency, and a host of others. Apart from movie roles, she is famous for reaching out to society through activism and running a nongovernmental organization called Jenifa Foundation.
Funke Akindele was Born and Raised in Lagos
She was born on August 24, 1977, in Ikorodu, Lagos State, as one of the 3 children of a late school principal father and a medical doctor mother. In Lagos, she started her educational pursuit up until she reached a higher level when she moved to Ondo State to obtain an Ordinary National Diploma in Mass Communication from Moshood Abiola Polytechnic. Subsequently, she moved to the University of Lagos, where she obtained a degree in Law. However, instead of practicing the profession, she opted for a showbiz career.
She Started to Gain Fame in 1998 at The Age of 21
It was in a TV series, I Need to Know, which aired from 1998 to 2002, that Akindele started to draw attention to herself in the movie industry, where she played the role of an inquisitive secondary school student. In 2000, she appeared in Final Whistle and later played minor roles in Egg of Life (2002) and Kadiri Mi (2003). Her career breakthrough came in 2008 when she appeared in the Yoruba film, Jenifa, where she played the role of a comedian (Jenifa) who came to town from the village. The movie became so popular even among non-speaking Yoruba people, and not only did it win her awards, she soon adopted the movie’s title as a pseudonym.
How Her $7.6 Million Net Worth Made Her One of the Richest Actresses in Nigeria
Even though it is certain that the actress may have earned hugely in her acting career and is one of the richest in the industry, her exact net worth has been debatable as numerous sources report differently. The reports claim her worth to be as low as $1 million and as high as $7.6 million. Let’s see how she made such a huge net worth.
She Has Appeared on Some of Nigeria’s Highest Rated Films
Akindele has appeared in movies that may count up to 100 in Nigeria. Although it is difficult to say exactly how much she receives for playing roles in movies, it is not far-fetched that she is on the list of highest earners. Also, many actors of her pedigree receive payment for movie roles in millions.
In her acting career, she has played major and minor roles in some of the most highly rated Nigerian films, such as 30 Days in Atlanta, which became the highest-grossing film at the time of its release in 2016. The movie also won awards, including Best Cinema Film of 2016 at the Africa Entertainment Legends Award (AELA).
Also, she played a role in another critically reviewed film by Omoni Oboli called Moms at War (2018). The comedy-drama made ₦40 million at the box office. She further made a striking appearance in Chief Daddy, among others.
She Has Written, Produced, and Directed the Highest-Grossing Movie Ever in Nigeria
Apart from being an actress, Funke Akindele is a producer, director, and writer famous for series such as Jenifa’s Diary and Aiyetoro Town. She wrote and produced The Return of Jenifa, among other English and Yoruba movies.
In addition, the actress has written, produced, and directed the highest-grossing film ever in Nigeria, Omo Ghetto: The Saga. The film was released through her company, SceneOne Productions. It made a domestic grossing of more than ₦636 million to become the first Nigerian movie to reach ₦500 million. The film made about ₦183 million above The Wedding Party, which made ₦453 million domestic gross from 2016 to the release of Omo Ghetto in 2020.
Before that, she produced Your Excellency in 2019, which also made it to the list of highest-grossing Nigerian films. It made ₦186 million at the box office. Also, as a director and producer, Funke Akindele had another towering film, The Return of Jenifa, which generated ₦35 million domestic grossing.
Selected Works of Funke Akindele
- Dwindle (2021)
- Omo Ghetto: The Sage (2020)
- Who’s the Boss (2020)
- Chief Daddy (2018)
- Moms at War (2018)
- Industreet (2017)
- A Trip to Jamaica (2016)
- Jenifa’s Diary (2015-present)
- Married But Living Single (2012)
- Maami (2011)
- Farayola (2009)
- Ika Ola (2009)
- Aje Metta (2008)
- Jenifa (2008)
- Edunjobi (2007)
- Odun Baku (2006)
- The Narrow Path (2006)
- Egg of Life (2003)
- Final Whistle (2000)
- I Need to Know (1998-2002)
Awards and Achievements of Funke Akindele
- 3x Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for Best TV Series; Best Actress in a Comedy Movie or TV Series (2017), Best Actress in a Comedy (2020)
- 2x Naija FM Awards for Sitcom of the Year; Best Actress (2016)
- Africa Entertainment Legend Awards for Best Actress of the Year (2016)
- Ghana Movies Awards for Best Actress Africa Collaboration (2016)
- Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for Best Actress in Comedy Role (2016)
- Nigeria Entertainment Awards for Best Actress (Leading, 2014), Best Lead Actress (2017)
- ELOY Awards for Brand Ambassador of Year (2014)
- Nollywood Movies Awards for Best Actress (Indigenous, 2013)
- Nigeria Entertainment Awards for Best Actress (2012)
- Nollywood Movies Awards for Best Actress (Indigenous, 2012)
- Zulu African Film Academy Awards for Best Actress (2012)
- Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress Leading Role (2009)
- Nigeria Entertainment Awards for Best Actress (2009)
Funke Akindele Earns From a Movie Academy, Production Company, and Endorsement Deals
Funke Akindele is the CEO of SceneOne, a company that deals with movie production. The actress also has a drama school called the SceneOne School of Drama, where people get trained in drama, traditional and contemporary dance, and music, to mention a few.
Funke Akindele has backed several endorsements, contributing to her $7.6 million net worth. Some of her endorsements include:
The actress has signed an endorsement deal with Kelloggs Nigeria, a brand with cereal products. Although there is no certainty of the time in which she signed the deal, she has appeared in commercials of the brand. She also was part of the brand’s 2021 World’s breakfast day essay competition for pupils ages 5-12.
Molfix is a leading baby diaper that Funke Akindele signed an endorsement deal with in 2020. The endorsement deal led to her becoming the first in Nigeria to be signed as an ambassador.
Waw Nigeria (2019)
The company is famous for its Waw detergent and bar soaps. Around the fall of 2019, the actress and producer, through her social media platform, shared the news about signing an endorsement deal with the company. Nonetheless, what she has kept from the public is how much money she made through the deal.
The actress has appeared in commercials of the Dettol brand. The deal with the antibacterial brand was said to have landed her multi-millions of Naira in 2019.
Keystone Bank Limited (2018)
This self-driven commercial bank in 2018 sealed an endorsement deal with Funke Akindele in the hope of strengthening its business through her large followership and fame.
Western Lotto (2017)
The Nigerian lottery company signed Funke Akindele in 2017 as its brand ambassador to join other A-list stars such as Chinedu Ikedieze, Ramsey Noah, AY, and Tuface Idibia.
irokoWorld tv (2016)
In 2016, the actress signed an ambassadorial deal with Iroko Tv – an entertainment channel. Although it is not known how much exactly she made from the deal, there are reports that she may have earned multi-millions from the deal.
In 2015, the actress signed another deal with Glo, a mobile telecommunication company. She signed this deal alongside other celebrities, including Wizkid, AY, P-Square, Ini Edo, and Patience Ozokwor. Like many other times, she won deals as an ambassador, but the actress has not disclosed how much she earned from the leading multinational company.
Jobberman is a Nigerian job website that Funke Akindele signed a multi-million endorsement deal with in 2013.
In 2013, she recorded another endorsement deal with Vita Foam that is purportedly worth 20 million. The company leads in the manufacturing of foam products in Nigeria, such as matrasses, pillows, and furniture, among others.
Funke Akindele Lost Endorsement Deals and Money in the Course of Her Career
Although the number of endorsement deals she has lost cannot be equated with those she lost, it still does not change that she recorded some losses. Here’s how it happened.
The Failure of Her First Marriage Brought About The Cancellation of Deals
Funke Akindele, in 2012, when she was 35 years old, became married to Kehinde Almaroof Oloyede, who is famous as Kenny Doo. He is a politician and chairman of the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government of Lagos State. A year into the marriage in 2013, it crashed. According to the actress, she was on the film set when she received a call that her marriage had ended.
It did not only physically break her, but it equally led to her losing a lot of deals. However, it is difficult to say how much specifically the actress lost when equating these deals to her finances. Soon, however, she gained other endorsement deals, and in 2016, she became married to her current husband, Abdulrasheed Bello “JJC Skillz” – a native of Kano State,
Bello is a rapper and music producer who has also worked alongside Akindele Bello in movies as a director in Omo Ghetto. The couple had twin boys together when Funke was 44 years old. Also, she is a stepmother to his three children from past relationships.
She Was Fined $260 in 2020 For Allegedly Breaking Covid-19 Rules
Back in 2020, at the heat of the Covid-19 lockdown in Lagos, Funke Akindele organized a birthday party for her husband, which numerous people attended. Although it remains unclear how many people attended the party, she was arraigned in court alongside her husband, JJC.
Akindele claimed that the party was not attended by anyone who was not staying at her house at that time. However, she pleaded guilty in court and was sent to 14 days of community service with a fine of $260. She was also made to raise awareness of the virus through NCDC and Dettol.
A Look At How The Actress Spends Her Wealth
Funke Akindele does not often post her spending on social media, as in the case of many other celebrities. However, it cannot be disputed that she may have spent a part of her wealth on luxury. For instance, in April 2021, the actress was said to have spent about N135 million on an SUV 2020 Lexus SuperSports LX 570.
Funke Akineleews of the car reached the public through the Instagram post of her husband, who was congratulating her for the new luxury and praising her hard work. However, it later became controversial when reports claimed that the actress disclosed that the car was a gift.
Nonetheless, days after the news of her new car broke, the couple shared on social media that JJC Skillz had also gotten a brand new Bulletproof Toyota Land Cruiser SUV which may have cost millions of Naira. In addition, Funke Akindele owns a multi-million Naira home in Amen Estate in Lekki, Lagos State.
Funke Akindele Gives Back to Society Via The Jenifa Foundation
One of the richest actors in Nigeria, Funke has also advocated for youths. As such, she has decided to give back to society through The Jenifa Foundation, which aims to provide young people with vocational skills.