Funke Akindele and D'banj

Funke Akindele Credits D’banj for Inspiring and Supporting ‘Jenifa’ Brand

Renowned Nollywood actress and producer Funke Akindele has acknowledged the significant role musician D’banj played in launching her highly successful ‘Jenifa’ film series. Speaking at D’banj’s 20th anniversary celebration in the music industry, held in Lagos on Saturday, Akindele shared how D’banj’s encouragement and financial support were pivotal in her career.

Akindele recounted her initial encounter with D’banj after her breakthrough with the first ‘Jenifa’ movie. She explained that a club owner had invited her and her team to an event to celebrate her success. During the event, she met D’banj, who was keen to support her burgeoning career.

“After the big break with ‘Jenifa,’ I was out there, and people were celebrating me. A club owner invited me to his club then. He said, ‘I want to host you. You’re very hardworking. I love ‘Jenifa.’ Come with your cast and crew members.’ So, we went, and I saw D’banj for the first time. I was starstruck. But he said, ‘I am here to celebrate you.’ So we danced and he gave me his number,” Akindele recounted.

D’banj’s advice and support were crucial. He told Akindele, “Why did you let ‘Jenifa’ go like that? That’s a brand that you can feed on for the rest of your life.” Initially skeptical, Akindele soon realized the potential of expanding the ‘Jenifa’ brand. D’banj provided her with financial assistance, encouraging her to create more content under the ‘Jenifa’ name.

“He gave me some money and said, ‘Go and write another ‘Jenifa,’ I support you with this money.’ I was like, ‘Really? No strings attached?’ He said, ‘No.’ That was how we filmed ‘The Return of Jenifa.’ And till date, the brand is still relevant. Christmas 2024, we are coming with ‘Everybody Loves Jenifa,'” Akindele revealed.

This collaboration and support not only solidified the ‘Jenifa’ brand but also contributed to Akindele’s position as one of Nigeria’s highest-grossing filmmakers.

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