I don’t regret going into politics, I’ll do it again – Funke Akindele

Nigerian filmmaker Funke Akindele has revealed reasons she will re-contest for political office.

The PDP governorship candidate in Lagos, Olajide Adediran, aka Jandor, picked Ms Akindele as his running mate in the 2023 general election.

During an interview on Arise TV’s Perspectives show, shared on YouTube Saturday, the mother-of-two spoke about political career.

The 46-year-old said: “So getting into politics was a big one for me. I enjoyed it, and I will do it again. I run a studio which I’ve been running since 2000.

“I’ve been producing and working with many people, from crew members to cast. I have a Jenifa Foundation where we help nurture talent, and I bring on board many young talents.”

“We train them in filmmaking; they’re always on set, whether in the hair department, makeup, lights, or camera. It’s something I love doing—empowering young people and nurturing talent.

“Some say Auntie is so strict, but she draws you closer when she’s strict, next to me. I love to uplift people; I can do it even better if I get into a larger space.

“For me, to have been doing it for years, let me try something big. Many young people complain, ‘We don’t have this’ or ‘This is going wrong.’ Let me come in to represent the youth. That is why I wanted to do it.

“And that’s why I got into politics. Yes, I enjoyed every part of it. It was quite challenging, but I enjoyed every part of it. I felt so good representing the young people. It was challenging.”

She stated that changing Nigeria couldn’t be achieved in a day or four years, but political officeholders could plan startup initiatives.

Ms Akindele recounted how she was accused of running for deputy governor because of popularity, money, and other personal gains.

She stated that during her campaign, she learned that people were going through a lot, hence the need to stand up for them.

“I love that private sectors are coming in, supporting the government. That is why we should focus more on supporting the government.

Criticism is good, but how can you also support it? As a youth, how can you help yourself? What is that special gift in you that you have? You need to stand up and do something for yourself. So, getting into politics was a big one for me,” she said.

Reflecting on her challenges during the campaign, she said, “You had to hit the road, keep talking to people, and keep persuading them that you could do it. You had to delve into their issues and uncover the real problems people were facing—not just surface ones.

“That’s when you realize people are enduring a lot in the country. You had to jot it all down and brainstorm how to offer solutions. It wasn’t something that happened overnight. You couldn’t just come in and declare, ‘I’m this, I’m that.’”

Jenifa Foundation
Furthermore, Ms Akindele maintained that she established the Jenifa Foundation to nurture young talent and build youth skills for a better Nigeria.

“Jenifa is so passionate about young people. In Jenifa’s diary, she has a salon; she’s always bringing in people.

Jenifa believes in nurturing talent. I created the Jenifa Foundation, where we bring up young people. We train them in skills acquisition and vocational skills acquisition.

“We train them in filmmaking, which is more practical, and believing makes them believe in themselves. Confidence is essential.

When people tell you you can’t do it, you must prove you can. You’re going to get a lot of negatives, a lot of no’s. People are negative out there,” she added.

She urged young, talented individuals to focus on pursuing their dreams amidst the storm.

According to her, they needed to be more sensitive about information consumption and shun procrastination, which she described as a big problem.

The actress and director revealed that there will be a sequel to ‘A Tribe Called Judah’, her 2023 film that grossed over N1 billion at the box office.

She thanked God and her fans, acknowledging that she initially doubted the movie’s potential for broad acceptance.

Ms Akindele highlighted that her upcoming film ‘Finding Me’ explores the journey of self-discovery for individuals.

“Who are you? What do you want? How do you want to live your life? Do you want to live your life based on what people say, based on what the family says? That is what ‘Finding Me’ is all about.”

Ms Akindele, a lawyer, announced that she will be venturing into biopics and epic movies in 2026.