In the last six years – between 2014 and 2020 – filmmaker and producer, Kunle Afolayan has given two Nigerian billionaire daughters their first acting roles.
As Kunle Afolayan strives to always make an impact on the Nigerian film industry, he has become one of the filmmakers that are registering their names as pioneers.
As at 2020, Kunle Afolayan remains the only Nigerian filmmaker that has given movie roles to two daughters of Nigerian billionaires no have no prior training in acting.
Meet the two Nigerian billionaire daughters who got their first acting roles from Kunle Afolayan.
Billionaire dad: Chief Michael Ade-Ojo
Deola, the founder of fashion outfit, Deola Sagoe, is the daughter of Nigerian billionaire, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, who sits atop Elizade Motors.
How she got the role
In 2012, Kunle Afolayan had set out for the production of another film and it was to be called ‘Dust’ until Tunde Babalola finished the script and it landed on the name ‘October 1’. In 2013, Afolayan had the casting for the film but the character of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti became a challenging aspect of casting.
Afolayan had to research on the Kutis for some time to learn about some dominant physical features that might be common with the family. Unsuccessful at his search, Afolayan took to Twitter to announce that he was looking for an actress with close resemblance to the late Funmilayo Kuti, but to no avail. Then, the filmmaker met the leading designer, Deola Sagoe for the costume design of the film and the search was laid to rest.
Afolayan said he would always “see this round face like the Kutis” and he eventually asked her out on the role. She agreed to the role after three weeks of Afolayan’s persistence and convincing.
Deola got her first acting role – and only acting gig since then – playing the character of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti in the film, ‘October 1’.
Billionaire dad: Femi Otedola
Temi, the founder of fashion outfit, JTO Fashion, is the daughter of Nigerian billionaire, Femi Otedola, who is the chairman of Geregu Power Plc, Zenon Petroleum and Gas and former chairman of Forte Oil.
How she got the role
In 2019, Kunle Afolayan announced his readiness for another blockbuster that will shake the roots of Africa and deal with sex for grades scandals in universities.
This time, the film will be shot across three different continents and will be a pan African production yet Afolayan needed someone to play the role of Moremi.
And a meeting with Temi Otedola convinced the filmmaker that she was right for the role. After casting and through grilling, Temi got her first acting role, playing the role of Moremi, in Kunle Afolayan’s upcoming feature, ‘Citation.’ Temi