Nollywood’s renowned actress and filmmaker, Funke Akindele, recently opened up about the challenges she faced in the early stages of her career. In a candid conversation on the TokeMoments podcast, hosted by Toke Makinwa, Akindele shared her experiences of being denied significant roles due to perceptions about her physical appearance.
The actress revealed that she was often labeled as “not fine” by filmmakers, leading to missed opportunities even in Yoruba indigenous movies. These rejections were not limited to her facial features but extended to her physique as well. She was frequently told that she lacked certain physical attributes, such as a curvy figure, which some believed made her unsuitable for specific roles.
Akindele’s journey was not without its supporters. Actress Iyabo Ojo emerged as a pillar of strength during these challenging times. Ojo frequently intervened when filmmakers denied Akindele roles, and when they did consider her, it was often for minor parts. Recollecting those moments, Akindele expressed the emotional toll it took on her. She said, “A lot of times I would cry, break down, get into the bathroom and cry.”
Despite these setbacks, Akindele’s determination and talent shone through. Today, she stands as a prominent figure in the Nollywood industry, inspiring many aspiring actors and filmmakers. Her story serves as a beacon of hope, highlighting the importance of perseverance, self-belief, and the value of genuine support in the face of adversity.
In light of Akindele’s revelations, discussions have sparked in the entertainment community about the industry’s standards and the need for inclusivity and acceptance. As the narrative unfolds, it is evident that talent and determination can overcome even the most deeply entrenched biases.