Kunle Afolayan is a Nigerian film producer, director, and actor. Kunle Afolayan Productions Television (KAPTv) and Golden Effects Pictures are his companies. He is the first son of late Nollywood actor and producer Adeyemi Josiah Afolayan, also known as “Ade Love.”
Early Life and Education
Kunle Afolayan was born on September 30, 1974, in Ebutemetta, Lagos, Nigeria, to the late Adeyemi Josiah Afolayan, a notable Nollywood theatre and film director and producer. Despite his origins in Igbomina, Kwara State, Nigeria, he had his early schooling and grew up in Lagos.
Kunle earned a BSc in Economics after finishing secondary school. After quitting his banking job, he received a diploma in digital filmmaking from the New York Film Academy in 2005.
He began his his career as a part-time actor while working at a bank. He began professionally performing in Nollywood in 2005, after quitting his banking career. The same year, he founded his production firm, Golden Effects Pictures.
Since 2005, he has been involved in the Nigerian film business. He has directed several films, including The Figurine: Araromire (in Yoruba and English) and Phone Swap (with Wale Ojo, Joke Silva, Nse Ikpe Etim, and Chika Okpala). The Figurine won five major African Film Academy awards and was a box office success in Nigeria.
Afolayan and his colleague Zeb Ejiro represented the Nigerian film industry in the Subversive Film Festival in 2011. Phone Swap made its French debut in May 2013, earning the Public Choice Award at the inaugural NollywoodWeek Paris. He starred in the 2014 picture October 1, which made more than $60 million in theaters. The film was the second highest-grossing film in Nigerian cinema at the time.
Golden Effects Pictures is a film production company that was founded in July 2005. Among the company’s specialties are film production, editing, film equipment rentals, and film consulting. The company is a fully integrated film production company that has two divisions: film content development and post-production, as well as equipment rental.
The film content development branch is in charge of, among other things, film and television productions, documentary filmmaking, and television commercials. So far, this corporation’s section has produced seven successful films, including Irapada (Redemption), The Figurine – Araromire, Phone Swap, October 1, The C.E.O, Omugwo, ROTI, Mokalik, and The Tribunal.
Citation, a film featuring Temi Otedola and other foreign performers, was also released by Netflix in 2020. The film was a smash hit, dominating the box office for months. He also co-produced Swallow, A Naija Christmas, and Ayinla with Tunde Kilani, all of which grossed millions of dollars.
Afolayan married Tolu Afolayan, a Lagos businesswoman and graduate of Nigeria Business School in Lekki, Lagos. Diekoloreoluwa David Afolayan (son) and Darimisire Afolayan (daughter) are the union’s four offspring (son). He keeps his personal life private and considers himself a free thinker in terms of religious beliefs.
His marriage to his wife, on the other hand, appears to be having some troubles because they are temporarily separated. Tolu Afolayan is self-sufficient with her four children from her marriage to the filmmaker. In 2019, their marriage was on the rocks, with adultery charges at the root of the problem.
Relatives of Kule Afolayan who are also popular in the movie industry are, Moji Afolayan (sister), Gabriel Afolayan (brother), Aremu Afolayan (brother), and Toyin Afolayan (aunt) who is the junior sister of their late father.
Afolayan tweeted on April 6, 2015, that Igbos were the majority group in Nigeria responsible for copyright theft. Following the outpouring of support from fans, Afolayan apologized and stated that he was concerned about film piracy, specifically threats of the release of unlicensed versions of October 1, his most recent film at the time. Shortly after his outburst, pirated copies of October 1 hit the market on April 13, 2015.
In another controversy, he stated in an interview with Cable magazine, “Truth be told, I barely watch them because I am interested in viewing movies that will push me and shift my orientation about certain things.” As a result, he was bombarded with angry mail from fans and colleagues in the Nigerian film industry. He posted a video on social media days after the news broke, claiming that he had been misquoted and then attempting to correct the record.
- Agogo Eewo
- Ti Ala Ba Ku
- The Figurine
- Phone Swap
- Dazzling Mirage
- October 1.
- The CEO
- The Bridge
- Crazy People
- Diamonds in the Sky
- A Naija Christmas
Anikulapo’s Oscar Rejection
In October 2022, Kunle Afolayan reacted to Nigeria Oscar Selection Committee’s refusal to consider his latest movie “Anikulapo” for an award.
Afolayan’s “Anikulapo” tells the story of Saro, a zealous traveller seeking for greener pasture in the kingdom of Oyo but unfolding events and his affair with the Alaafin’s wife led to his untimely death.
His encounter with a mystical bird, which gave him power grants him a new life beyond his dreams.
As reviews continue to pour in for his newest project which was released on September 20, 2022, the award-winning movie producer expressed delight as he thanked the whole world for tagging his movie a ‘masterpiece’.
Though he seemed disappointed the Nigeria Oscar selection committee’s thought his movie wasn’t worth submitting for an Oscar award, the 48-year-old entertainment boss promised to keep giving his best shot to every of his projects.
He wrote: “I am so pleased and delighted that the whole world has decided to tag ANIKULAPO film a masterpiece even though the Nigeria Oscar selection committee thinks it’s not worth submitting for the Oscars. Will keep doing my own thing.”
- Kunle Afolayan is an ambassador of Pavillon Afriques.
- He is an ambassador of Air France.
- Pan Nigeria Ambassador.
- Kunle has an ambassador deal with Globacom Nigeria.
Awards and Nominations
- Africa Movie Academy Award nominee for Best Director – 2010
- Golden Jury award for Best Film at the Abuja International Film Festival – 2012
- Festival Prize for Outstanding Film Directing at the Abuja International Film Festival – 2012
- Nollywood Movie Award nominee for Best Director – 2013
- Nigeria Entertainment Award nominee for Actor of the Year – 2015
- Africa Movie Academy Award nominee for Best Director – 2015
- Best Movie Director at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards – 2015
- October 1 won the Best Costume Design at the 2015 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).
- Best Nigerian Film – October 1 at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) – 2015
- October 1 – Best Movie of 2014 at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards 2015.
- An Icon in the African Entertainment Industry Award at the Afro-Heritage Broadcasting and Entertainment Awards (AHBEA) – 2016
- City People Movie Award-nominated him for Best Movie Producer of the Year (English) – 2017
- Nominated for the City People’s Movie Award for Movie Director of the Year (English) – 2017
- The Best Film Award at the Durban International Film Festival (2019)
- Nominated for Director of the Year at the Best of Nollywood Awards (Diamond in the Sky), 2019.
- Nominated for the Most Searched Actor at the Net Honours, 2021.
In the Nigerian film industry, Kunle Afolayan is a success. He is well-known for his passion for classic and vintage automobiles; he owns a 1982 Jaguar XJ6, a 1929 Mercedes Benz W10 Gazelle, a Peugeot 508 and he recently purchased a Thunderbird Ford (1965). The Ford Thunderbird, a big personal luxury car built by Ford, is now in its fourth generation. To accelerate the hefty T-bird to 96 km/h, the V8 engine took approximately 11 seconds. He is said to be worth an estimate of $800,000.