9 memorable characters from Kunle Afolayan movies

Unarguably, Kunle Afolayan is an ‘artist per excellence’ who evolved over the years from being an actor to directing and producing blockbusters.

He has carved his name in gold as far as Nollywood is viewed by the outside world, as his movies always possess a touch of exceptional intelligence when it comes to movie production.

The 46-year-old actor, who himself is the son of the late theatre icon, Ade Love, broke into the limelight after starring in the movie ‘Saworo Ide’.

However, the world has come to know him more as a director and producer.

AAUA INSIDER gives a list of 9 characters who stuck to memories from some of his best-known works so far.

 Ramsey Nouah, (The Figurine: Araromire, 2009)

He was already a star before he was cast as ‘Femi’ in the thriller which marked the birth of ‘New Nollywood’, a term used to describe the evolution from mediocre Nollywood movies of previous years.

Femi was a nerd friend to Sola (Kunle Afolayan) and a secret admirer of Mona (Omoni Oboli), whose infatuation led him to devilish means of getting Sola out of the way.

The look on his face as he attempted to kill his friend when they wanted to return the stolen figurine to the shrine was one scene that endeared him, even as a villain, to the viewers.

For him to say his role in the movie was the only one he has acted in that ‘he is willing to show to his children when they grow up’, tells a lot about the movie and how well he did.

His role saw the now 50-year-old star bag ‘The Best Actor in Leading Role’ at the Africa Movie Academy in 2010.

 Ombo Gogo Ombo

Ombo Gogo Ombo in The Figurine

The veteran, now of blessed memories after his demise earlier this year, gave life to his role as the Priest to the goddess Araromire.

With his entirely changed appearance thanks to costume, watching him ‘float above the water’ made the film give a mysterious aura and add value to the plot.

Nse Ikpe Etim, (Phone Swap, 2012)

Fans are left with the burden of choosing who is the star between her and Wale Ojo, who starred as Mary Onyenokwe and Akin Cole respectively.

It tells the story of a fashion designer and a business executive who accidentally swapped phones at a busy airport, leading to the exchange of destinations, assignments, and love in impossible situations.

Nse Ikpe stood out for her adaptability to a culture she is alien to. Her command of the Igbo language at different scenes made it seem a lie to say the actress, originally from Akwa-Ibom, learnt the language within 6 months.

Ada Ameh

Ada Ameh also stood out for many reasons in her role as Cynthia, the policewoman-sister of Mary.

The Benue-born actress learnt Igbo with Nse Ikpe to fit in. She is however remembered fondly for her portrayal of a physically strong woman who overpowers her husband at will, a rare case in a typical African setting.

Picture the lanky Inspector Danladi Waziri being chased by an angry Kunle Afolayan with a machete at hand in the trailer that won the “Best Fiction Film Trailer” award at the 2013 International Movie Trailers Festival Awards.

That should say a lot about what can be expected in the movie entirely

Sadiq Daba, (October 1, 2014)

Picture the lanky Inspector Danladi Waziri being chased by an angry Kunle Afolayan with a machete at hand in the trailer that won the “Best Fiction Film Trailer” award at the 2013 International Movie Trailers Festival Awards.

That should say a lot about what can be expected in the movie entirely.

Sadiq Daba, coming from a 10-years hiatus, bagged Best Actor at the 2014 Africa International Film Festival and Best Actor in a Leading Role at the 11th Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2015 for his role as a northern police officer assigned to uncover the paedophilic killings in Akote town in South-western Colonial Nigeria.

Unfortunately, the 69-year-old actor, who also worked as a broadcaster at NTA, passed away earlier this year after being diagnosed with cancer and leukaemia in 2017.

Demola Adedoyin

Demola Adedoyin also deserved mention for his effortless carriage of his role as Prince Aderopo.

Who would believe that he is the pedophile and villain until the end when it looked more like he will be the Prince Charming for the beautiful Tawa (Kehinde Bankole)?

Wale Ojo, (The CEO, 2016)

It was one of the rare movies directed by Kunle Afolayan to receive a mixed review at the box office.

The story was a thriller, depicting the corruption of power, as 5 top members in a company, whose cordial relationship turned toxic, compete to become the company’s CEO.

Despite the criticism received by the movie, Wale Ojo was constantly praised for exceptionally interpreting his role as Mr. Kola, the executive from Nigeria.

Lateef Adedimeji, (Mokalik, 2019)

It was a first for some stars in the movie. It sold at cinemas, probably because the much-loved singer Simi blazed the trailer along with Kunle’s nephew, Toni Afolayan.

It was a story that showed the other side of life to a rich man’s son, who had to spend a day at the mechanic’s workshop to learn the dirty life he has never known.

Mokalik was Kunle’s first major movie in the Yoruba language. As such, no one else can take the shine even in the reserved role than Lateef Adedimeji despite mixed reviews on the movie.

In his role as an apprentice at the workshop, his defiant ignorance in the way he argued with Ponmile in his Egba dialect about Benz being the most expensive car among many other scenes, proved a significant comic relief for viewers. This placed him in mind, even the lead characters find it hard to compete.

Temi Otedola (Citation, 2020)

Typical of Kunle Afolayan’s previous work, he gave Nigerians a topic to discuss with the production of this blockbuster.

For Femi Otedola’s daughter, Temi, the character Moremi gave her the chance to represent an average Nigerian female student in higher institutions.

She didn’t disappoint as she shone excellently, with her impeccable command of English and French throughout the movie.

She gave life to each scene by showing the right emotions for each moment. It is hard picking a particular scene where she did better than another scene.

Each cast in Kunle Afolayan’s movies delivered above expectations.

These among others are some contributing factors that made him a trailblazer in Nollywood and its reinvention.

We hope to see more as the years go by.


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  • Phillip Anjorin

    Phillip Anjorin is a Student Journalist in Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko in Ondo state who writes for different media outfits. He's a volunteer, phonetographer and lover of nature.

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