JJC Skillz, whose real name is Abdulrasheed Bello, is a Nigerian rapper, songwriter, record, and TV producer who became famous following his marriage to actress Funke Akindele, popularly known as Jenifa.
JJC Skillz, who was born in Kano State, has a lasting career in music, which started in 2002. He has grown in the music industry and is widely known for his 2009 hit single, ‘We are Africans,’ but has since dumped music for movies since he met his wife.
JJC Skillz was Born 45 Years Ago in Kano State
Abdulrasheed Bello was born on 4th April 1977 into the family of Mr. and Mrs. Bello in Kano State. He was born into a family of thirteen children, wherein he is in the middle. There is no information about his siblings and what they are up to.
According to Skillz, he is not too strict about religion, given that his mother was a Christian while his father was a Muslim. As a result, he never had the time to concentrate on one. He was born a Muslim, but he does go to church. While growing up, his siblings were used to arguing back and forth about both religions, and everyone eventually got away with their ideology and opinion.
Speaking further about religion, the rapper explained that he believes in God and prays in the Muslim way but has not decided which religion to adhere to. So, it will be safe to say that Bello is born into a family of free thinkers where none of the members adheres to either religion, Christianity, or Muslim.
JJC Skillz Began His Music Career at the age of 14
Mr. Bello started making music in Nigeria in 1998. However, he left the country for London at the age of fourteen, and after his high school education, he studied TV and video production at the university. Skillz lived in the UK for 25 years before he finally returned to Nigeria.
He started going by JJC Skillz because of his heavily accented English which was spectacular among the several native tongues in the UK. JJC, an acronym that means Johnny Just Come, is a term used for naive new arrivals to the megacity of London. Even though he grew up in London, Skillz always kept in touch with Nigerian music.
He developed a strong passion and appreciation for music by listening to Nigeria’s country music and juju music. He also listened to a lot of hip-hop, which extended his decision to join the music industry as a performer. Subsequently, he formed a music group with a friend, and they began to perform at several talent shows in London, from where he started gaining popularity.
He was part of the UK-based RnB and Hip-Hop Group Big Brovas
Skillz’s first major music project was co-founding a British hip-hop record company and the musical group dubbed Big Brovaz. At its inception, the Big Brovas RnB and hip-hop group comprised only three women, three men, and two producers, including Skillz himself. Big Brovaz grew and gained media acclaim in London in the early 2000s and became a multi-platinum group.
Sadly, the group dwindled when most of its members began to leave, so JJC formed another music group called JJC and 419 Squad. Under JJC and 419 Squad, he released his debut album Atide in 2014. Atide, which was influenced by hip hop, African, and salsa musical styles, is an experimental album with lyrics in English and several Nigerian languages. Skillz fully came to the African music scene with projects like Afrobeats and Afropean (Afro-European fusion).
He Had His Breakthrough After the Release of We Are Africans
Mr. Bello took a hiatus from the music scene and resurfaced in 2009, releasing the hit song, We are Africans. We are Africans, which is regarded as an afrobeat anthem, remains JJC Skillz’s biggest hit. Following its release, the song was very successful and became popular in the African diaspora. Upon release, the music video gathered over 300k views on YouTube, which was an outstanding achievement considering the limited exposure given to Nigerian artists then.
JJC Skillz has also worked as a producer on some Nigerian hits. He helped launch the career of Nigerian A-list artists like D’banj and Don Jazzy, as they were the first members of the JJC Skillz and 419 Squad. Some of his producing credits include Morile by Buoqui, Weird MC’s Ijoya, Pu Yanga by Tillaman, etc. He co-produced a television show Industreet with his wife, Funke Akindele.
Below are some of JJC Skillz’s hit tracks both as an artist and a producer:
- My Life
- African Skank
- See Us Now
- Marry Joanna
- Save the Last Dance
- We are Africans
- Where’s the Fajiat?
JJC Skillz’s Achievements and Awards So Far in the Music Industry
Throughout his career spanning more than two decades, the African singer has earned a few awards for his works and contribution to the music industry. In 2004, his music group JJC and 419 Squad won the Best African Group at the KORA Awards hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa. Alongside gospel artist Kunle Ajayi, JJC’s team were the only winners from Nigeria at the KORA award show of the year.
In the 2013 edition of the Nigerian entertainment award, Skillz won the Best International Artist. Moreover, JJC has performed before sold-out crowds in Nigeria and European countries like France, England, and Italy. He has worked with the USA and UK top charts artists, like Liberty X, Ginuwine, Jamelia, and Lemar.
He was part of the organizers of the MTV 100th LIVE in Abuja, a broadcasting program channeled worldwide to over 420 million households in 164 countries of the world. Skillz has remained relevant in the music industry even though he now focuses more on movie production.
JJC Skillz Has Been Funke Akindele’s Husband Since 2016
JJC Skillz found love within the arms of Funke Akindele, a Nollywood well-established actress and creator of the popular TV series, Jenifa’s Diary. The couple met in 2015 and tied the knot in 2016.
On answering how he met the actress, Skillz revealed that she wanted to turn a movie she had done in the past into a TV series. So, she needed someone to direct the series for her, and her sister introduced both of them because the latter earlier knew that he was a music video producer.
Not long after, Skillz and Funke started working together, one thing led to another, and today, the rest has become history. For JJC, it was love at first sight; even though they managed to keep everything professional as much as possible, their emotions eventually ran higher.
In May 2016, the duo walked down the aisle in a private wedding ceremony in London. The ceremony had in attendance only a few close family members and friends. Speaking about how their union came about, JJC Skillz said that he got the revelation from God in a dream.
Before Meeting JJC Skillz, Funke Akindele was Involved in a Shortlived Marriage
Funke Akindele is a well-known Nollywood actress most popular for her famous comic series Jenifa’s Diary. In 2012, the actress married a famous Nigerian politician and chairman of the Oshodi-Isolo local government of Lagos State, Kehinde Almaroof Oleyede. However, the marriage crashed a year later in 2013, citing “irreconcilable differences” as their reason for divorce. Shortly after the end of her first marriage, she met JJC Skillz.
Funke Akindele is JJC Skillz’s First and Only Wife
On his part, JJC Skillz had not been married before meeting actress Funke. Although he has three children with three different women, the rapper is not known to have married any of them. One of his baby mamas is a beautiful lady named Taiye Fajemisin.
Taiye, who is the mother of Skillz’s oldest daughter, is often rumored to be his first wife, but neither of the two responded to the rumor. Hence, there is no evidence to prove the truth in it. Meanwhile, Taiye Fajemisin is now happily married with children.
The Actress’ Family was not in Support of Her Marriage to Skillz
According to reports, Funke Akindele’s family, particularly her mother, strongly kicked against her marriage to the African music producer, JJC Skillz. They believe that the rapper has the same profile as Funke’s first husband, Kehinde; thus, her mother opposed the union and did not give her blessing to the actress.
The latter has several children from 3 – 4 different women, which, according to the rumor mill, was a part of what led to the end of their marriage. Apart from Funke’s sister that stood in for her during the wedding ceremony, no other person in her family witnessed the occasion.
The bride must have put on a brave and seeming cheerful face, but we know that she could have made away with many staged moves on that day to make sure the occasion was a success. Her mother kept a long-distance, given her disapproval of the relationship right from the outset.
JJC Skillz Has a Total of 5 Children
In December 2018, celebrity couple Skillz and Funke welcomed a set of twin boys. Although it is believed that the babies were born by a surrogate mother, Funke does not shy away from referring to herself as “Mama Ibeji,” which means mother of twins.
Meanwhile, before the arrival of her babies, a Lagos-based prophet prophesied that the actress would find it difficult to bear her children because she chose wealth over having kids when he came into the world.
Nevertheless, the actress seems not to be bothered about that but uses every opportunity she has to flaunt her adorable twins to the world. As a result of how the couple chooses to keep their personal life private, no information about the twins is available to the public.
Besides the twin boys, JJC Skillz is also a father to three children; a daughter and two sons, which he had from his previous relationships. Their names are Tamiro, Benito, and Josiah. Apart from Taiye Fajemisin, the mother of his daughter, we do not know anything about his other two baby mamas.
His wife, Funke is a proud stepmother to the children, and together, they have made one big family. JJC and his wife are very close to their kids even though they are away in the UK receiving their studies. They had met with the actress a couple of times in Nigeria, and they all have a good relationship.
The Couple Had Sometime Clashed with the Nigerian Government
In April 2020, amid the covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, JJC Skillz’s wife Funke Akindele flaunted the covid-19 rule by throwing a birthday party for her husband at their home in Lagos. Videos from the party were uploaded all over the internet and it attracted the attention of the Lagos State government.
According to reports, Nigerian authorities contacted the actress beforehand not to go ahead with the party, but she ignored all warning and eventually hosted it. A few days after the occasion, the Nollywood star and her husband, JJC Skillz, were arraigned in court, and they pleaded guilty to the violation of the covid-19 social distancing rule. Funke ended up regretting her actions and begged for mercy.
Both of them were each fined N100,000 plus 14 days of isolation. Also, the court ruled that the couple shall visit 10 important public places within Lagos State to educate the people on the consequences of non-compliance with the restriction orders and stress the importance of maintaining social distancing.
The couple was further asked to mention the names of those present at the birthday party to follow necessary measures on them. Some of the prominent guests present include Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, the owner of Amen Estate, Babatunde Gbadamosi, his wife, Folashade, and others. They were all reprimanded by the Lagos State government.
Further Questions About JJC Skillz
How Old is JJC Skillz?
JJC Skillz is currently 45 years old. He was born on 4th April 1977 in Kano State, Nigeria
What is JJC Skillz Real Name?
JJC Skillz’s real name is Abdulrasheed Bello. He adopted the nickname JJC Skillz at the launch of his music career in London.
What is JJC Skillz Net Worth?
JJC Skillz has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million. He made his wealth through his exploits as a rapper, songwriter, and TV producer.
Does JJC Skillz Have Children With Funke Akindele?
Yes, JJC Skillz welcomed a set of twin boys with his wife, Funke Akindele, in December 2018. The Nigerian rapper has three other children from his previous relationships.