"Drug Scandal In London" Funke Akindele Denies Involvement.
Olufunke Akindele is one of the most sought after actresses in the Yoruba movie genre at the moment. According to her, she attained stardom by working hard and being focused. She was alleged to have been arrested in London weeks back for a drug related offense. Here is the star actress….
How does it feel being one of the most celebrated actresses at the moment?
It feels great. I am really happy about it and me thank God about it. I really appreciate it.
When you started out, did you ever dream of coming this far?
No. All I had in mind was that I love what I am doing. That is why I keep doing it, because there is a spirit urging me on. It is a talent and God says whatever talent He gives you, do not bury it; always exhibit it and that is what I am doing. I never knew I was going to go this big.
You trained as a Lawyer, but you don't practice. When did you decide to dump law for acting?
I won't agree with the word dump. I only put it aside, just because acting is my first love. Acting is in me. I sleep it, I drink it and the urge is there to keep doing my best, entertaining people, the more you do it, the more you want to keep doing it. For now acting is the main thing in my mind, maybe later I will pick up law practice.
What took you to the top?
Its hard work, dedication and prayer. And because I always had it all at the back of my mind that this is what I want to do, and my mum always said whatever you are doing do it well because you don't know the one that will take you to the top. I was always hard working, dedicated and above all, prayerful and focused.
What is your comment on the public impression that actresses always sleep their way to the top?
It is really painful. People keep saying that they have to sleep with some one to make it. Left to me, I don't believe that and I can say it authoritatively that I did not sleep with any body to get to where I am today. What I did was to keep doing what I know how to do very well and at the end of the day, it pushed me to the top.
Have you ever regretted taking up acting?
No. Though when I started it was not easy. I was frustrated. I felt I may not have been in the right place. But something kept telling me, don't forget, this is what you love doing so don't give up. So I wouldn't say there was a time when I regretted acting but I would say there was a time when my spirit was down.
When was the first major break in your career?
That was the first movie I produced, Ojo Ketala. I just did it and it sold massively.
Have you ever experienced any embarrassing moment since you shot into limelight?
Not really. Except when my speed was low, when there were obstacles and oppressions. People felt you can't do it, that there were better people that can do it and all that. But I got my head high and I thank God I am there now.
Have you experienced any negative media report since you started out?
I experienced one lately. It was really sad. It actually broke my heart because there was no iota of truth in what I read about myself. I cried, I felt really bad because it brought down my reputation.
Where was Funke Akindele beginning from the first week of July till now?
I was in Nigeria, recording, working on my project.
But we read in a magazine that you traveled to London and you were detained for drug-related offenses?
You read about it in a magazine that does not practice journalism in the right way. I was shocked because the period they said I was arrested, I was in Nigeria. So I don't know where they got such a terrible story. I was not even contacted to find out the truth about the story before they went to press. I believe in ideal journalism. I fu get such a story, you have to call the person to confirm or debunk before going to press. So I was shocked to have read it in a magazine that Funke AKindele was arrested in London while I am still in Nigeria, hale and hearty, working hard to satisfy my fans out there.
What do you think could have informed such a weighty allegation?
I wouldn't know and I am still surprised. I have taken the right steps towards it.
How many times have you visited London recently?
I have visited London only twice. The first time was when I bagged Afro-Hollywood Award. That was in October 25th, 2007, at Hilton Metropolis Hotel. I was given an award as the Best Supporting Actress 2007.That was my first time and I spent just ten days. My second time was June 4th, 2008 and I spent just six days there.
The publication also alleged that you overstayed in London?
You can see what I am saying. They are not even sure. I was surprised when I read that I was arrested because I over stayed in London. I spent just six days. They are not even sure of them selves. It was rubbish. I am using this medium to tell my fans now, I am in Nigeria, hale and hearty, nothing happened to me. I am working hard right now to satisfy my fans and earn a living. I, Funke Akindele was never arrested or stopped and searched and I never passed through Heathrow Airport. I passed through Gatwick when I went to London. I don't know where they got their information. I am really sad about it.
Despite your denials that there is nothing to the close relationship between you and your marketer, Olasco, some people keep saying something is actually brewing between both of you?
People will keep writing or thinking of things like that, especially when they see a female and a male doing something together and they are successful. They want to know why they are so close. Why they are so successful? There must be something between them. But I keep saying it, there is nothing other than between me and Akeem Olatunji Balogun. He is my marketer, he is someone I respect so much. Without God and him, there is no Funke Akindele as far as my production is concerned.
How does his wife see you?
I don't have any relationship with his wife. I just know that he is married with children.
What is Funke's perception of men?
(Laughs) Men are necessary evil.
What is the most painful thing a man has done to you?
Let me just say I think I have a very good shock absorber. I take every thing as it comes. I believe God has a purpose for everything in life. If a man does anything terrible to me, I believe God wants him to. I believe with that God wants to take me to a greater height.
You keep telling us you will soon get married, when exactly are you settling down?
Very soon. I just have to tell my fans to keep praying for me. Man proposes, God disposes. They should just keep praying for me. All I know is that I will get married and have kids and live happily ever after.
But you have never told us about your man, is he in Nigeria or abroad?
He is a young responsible man living in Nigeria. He works here in Nigeria, he is a business man from Abeokuta, Ogun State.
What is his name?
He is simply Lanre.
How would you describe him?
He is loving, God-fearing and a friend.
What is his perception about your job?
He loves my job without bad publicity. He felt bad about what was written about me and took the right step.
That means your guy is involved in the battle?