With a career spanning two decades in television and film; Funlola has certainly come a long way in Nollywood.
She is currently best-known as Brenda Mensah, for her role in ‘Tinsel,’ one of the most popular Nigerian TV series currently running, produced by M-NET. She plays the role of the rebellious daughter whose hatred for her father is the driving force behind her success. Her character crushes all that gets in her way and has the most sarcastic lines in a story laden with vitriol.
Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi made her entrance into Nollywood many years ago in Amaka Igwe’s “Violated” as “Ese” she featured alongside screen greats Richard Mofe-Damijo and Joke Silva. After the recognition which came from that role, it afforded her other roles as Kofoworola Baker, the lead female character in ‘Palace’, an AIT production which ran in 1998. Then came her performance as Tam Tam in ‘Keeping Faith’, followed by Doctors’ Quarters on M-NET and Vagina Monologues for the stage as well as Doctor Grace on BBC’s ‘Wetin Dey,’ to much acclaim. In addition, she went into radio broadcasting presenting and producing the aforementioned, now-defunct talk show, ‘Touch of Spice’ on Star FM in Lagos.
Now in her 20th year in the movie industry, Funlola is poised to give back to the industry which trained her. In line with this, the Tinsel star has teamed up with Royal Arts Academy to train what she describes as the next thespians.Here is what she wrote on Instagram.
“Hi All, guess I have teased and tormented you all enough about going FAR with your talent. 😂😜Ever since those red, black and white images went public, I have been bombarded with mails and messages to my box, phone and via social media from people wondering what it’s all about. ❓❓❓ Reality show? Talent hunt? Casting for a movie?? 😱😱Wow!! I give you guys A for A-fort!! (Effort). Anyways, NO, it’s none of the afore mentioned, it’s actually something simple, positive and potentially awesome for anyone who desires to work in and truly cares for the Nigerian TV and Film Industry.🎭🎬🎤📺🎥 Come 24th of November 2015, I will be celebrating the beginning of another year of life in this amazing world. (Yes that’s my birthday) This birthday also marks the 20th year since the release of the very first movie I featured in – VIOLATED which was written and directed by the amazing Amaka Igwe(RIP).😇Since Violated, there’s been Palace, Solitaire, Keeping Faith, Wetin Dey, Figurine and many more.
Instead of throwing a lavish party for colleagues who already enjoy certain industry perks, I choose to celebrate by kick starting a give-back initiative for the love of my industry – the same industry that has groomed and produced ME.👍🏽 ‘Go FAR with Talent’ is a competition that will source participation from prospective ‘industry newbies’ and through a selection process, end with 2(two) individuals as winners of a scholarship. 📚📚This edition focuses on actors for obvious reasons but with time, I will have something for writers and other departments under production. 😁😁On my birthday (24th November) and as I begin the next phase of my career, I will announce names of 2 individuals who have shown keen interest and potential in acting. 🎭🎭 Winners will be sponsored by me(Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi) on a 3 month acting course at The Royal Arts Academy under the supervision of ace Filmmaker – Emem Isong. The course begins in January 2016. I say best wishes to my future fellow thespians as I look forward to receiving your entries…………….Be Inspired!!!!👊🏽👊🏽👊🏽”