How D’Banj funded the launch of ‘Jenifa’ brand – Funke Akindele

Seasoned Nollywood actress and movie producer, Funke Akindele has revealed that her on screen comic character, ‘Jenifa’ became a brand with the help of music star D’Banj.

The box office’s highest grossing filmmaker said D’Banj supported her financially for her to officially create a sellable TV content for Jenifa, which shot her to fame.

Funke Akindele made this known during the anniversary dinner for the ‘Fall In Love’ hit-maker’s 20 years in the music industry event which held in Lagos on Saturday.

How D’Banj funded the launch of ‘Jenifa’ brand - Funke Akindele

She recalled meeting the singer at a club and he took her to a corner to advise her to milk everything she can from that brand because it is a money spinner.

According to Akindele, the money D’Banj gave her was not a loan and she was surprised that he decided to invest in the ‘Jenifa’ brand without demanding anything in return.

She said; “After the big break with ‘Jenifa’, I was out there, and people were celebrating me. A club owner invited me to his club then. He said, ‘I want to host you. You’re very hard working. I love ‘Jenifa”. Come with your cast and crew members.’ So, we went and I saw D’banj for the first time. I was starstruck. But he said, ‘I am here to celebrate you.’ So we danced and he gave me his number.

“He took me to a quiet place and 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 like, ‘What’s this guy saying? Me that was doing Yoruba movies.’ He said, ‘No, ‘Jenifa’ has to come back. Get in touch with me, any support you need I will give you.’ So I reached out to him and he said, ‘When you’ve a brand, you feed on the brand. You milk the brand very well, make money out of it.’

“He gave me some money and said, ‘Go and write another ‘Jenifa’, I support you with this money.’ I was like, ‘Really? No strings attached?’ He said, ‘No.’ That was how he filmed ‘The Return Of Jenifa.’ And till date, the brand is still relevant. Christmas 2024, we are coming with ‘Everybody Loves Jenifa’.”