Funke Akindele, renowned Nollywood actress and producer, recently shared the pivotal role played by music icon D’banj in her career journey. At D’banj’s 20th anniversary celebration in Lagos, Akindele revealed how he financially supported her to kickstart her iconic ‘Jenifa’ film brand, which catapulted her to fame.

Recalling the encounter that changed her career trajectory, Akindele narrated how D’banj, impressed by her work in ‘Jenifa’, encouraged her to revive the character. “He said, ‘Why did you let ‘Jenifa’ go like that? That’s a brand that you can feed on for the rest of your life.’ I was astonished,” she recounted, “But he insisted that I should revive the brand and assured me of his unwavering support.”

Grateful for D’banj’s encouragement and financial backing, Akindele wasted no time in writing and producing the sequel, ‘The Return Of Jenifa’. “He gave me some money and said, ‘Go and write another ‘Jenifa’, I support you with this money.’ I was amazed by his generosity,” she added, highlighting that his support came with no strings attached.

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Since its revival, the ‘Jenifa’ brand has remained a cornerstone of Akindele’s career, consistently resonating with audiences. She expressed her excitement about the upcoming project, ‘Everybody Loves Jenifa’, slated for Christmas 2024, underscoring the enduring relevance of the beloved character.

Akindele’s success story serves as a testament to the power of collaboration and support in the entertainment industry. D’banj’s mentorship and financial aid not only revitalized her career but also solidified the ‘Jenifa’ brand as a cultural phenomenon.

Looking ahead, Akindele remains grateful to D’banj for believing in her vision and providing the crucial backing that transformed her passion into a thriving enterprise. She continues to inspire aspiring filmmakers and artists alike with her resilience and dedication to storytelling.

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