It was a sad day for popular Nigerian born actress, Funke Akindele Bello who joined family and friends of Olawale Micheal Oke to mourn the passing away of the ’Jenifa’s Diary’ actor who featured on several episodes of the TV soap.
Oke had appeared in two episodes in the 14th season of the family sitcom produced by Funke Akindele-Bello, who is also the lead character, Jenifa.
“Just heard this gentleman passed on yesterday. Really sad!!! Rest In Peace Olawale Micheal Oke. May the Lord comfort your loved ones. Thank you for being a part of #jenifasdiary,” she wrote in a short clip of an episode featuring the late actor.
‘Jenifa’s Diary’ has become one of the most popular sitcoms airing on national TV, NTA, AIT and cable television, Africa Magic. In 30 mins, the sitcom tells the daily activities of a school dropout, Jenifa, who struggles with life’s injustice to be a better person at all times.
A scene from “Jenifa’s Diary” season 6 episode 12
The hilarious sitcom is produced by Funke Akindele’s SceneOne Production. In its 14th season, Funke Akindele-Bello’s ‘jenifa’s Diary’ continues to amass fans across the world with its hilarious script, an interesting cast and seamless editing.
Olayode Juliana, popularly known as ‘Toyo Baby’ in Funke Akindele-Bello’s popular Television comic series, Jenifa’s Diaries has finally opened up on their rift. The relationship between Jenifa and Toyo Baby UNCENSORED!
It hurts when people spread lies about you and you cannot do anything to defend yourself. But thank God for a platform like this. I would be saying a lot of things; it would be a long read but I promise you would enjoy reading. I would be stating in clear terms the relationship I had with Aunty Funke. I used ‘had’ and would be talking in past tense because like you know, I am presently not on the Jenifa’s Diary series. And guess what? The news just broke lately, but I have been off the series since May,2016 (last year); it’s been over a year already.
My post would be in two parts; who Aunty Funke was to me (Juliana), and then, who I was to her. These are things only a few people know but I am ready to let the world know. Yes! I will start with her. Why? She’s an amazing person and I can’t wait for you to know how lovely she is on a one-on-one basis. We all have our flaws but we choose rather to celebrate our strengths. Here goes!
Aunty Funke to Juliana!
Aunty Funke met me for the first time at the auditions of Jenifa’s Diary (she did not know me prior to that day). She saw my talent and believed in me. I worked with her for years; she trained me and helped me in becoming a better actress. She would not take anything short of excellence from her cast. I honestly have not seen anyone in Nollywood more hardworking than Aunty Funke. And she made it a duty to correct me and coach me on being better.
Aunty Funke helped pay my mum’s hospital bill for a fibroid surgery, two hundred and fifty thousand naira (N250,000), because I had no money at that time. She also gave to the ministry dear to my heart, MINE Teenage Ministry when we were preparing for an event, one hundred thousand naira (N100,000) and my pastor called to appreciate her. So apart from my pay as an actress on the series (which I won’t mention), that’s all I received from her money-wise, asides from change she gave me for transport when leaving set because as at then, I used to jump bus, ‘keke’ and bike to and fro set up until I left the series…lol. But in all, God used her to meet that major need in my life at that time.
BIG SISTER AND ADVISER
I fondly remember the times Aunty Funke would call me to her room while I was staying in her house (during set), and talk to me. She would take her time to advise me and encourage me as regards life in general. One particular day I treasure was the day she came to the room I stayed and told me, in a mother’s tone that I was beautiful and she warned me sternly never to bleach. I smile whenever I remember that. God bless her kind heart!p
CHEERLEADER AND ENCOURAGER
Aunty Funke never ceased to celebrate me. Knowing how excellent she is at what she does (acting), I was shocked, elated and excited all at once the day she told me I was a good actress. She told me I would be great and celebrated. She saw years ago what is happening today. I am thankful for her words.
Juliana to Aunty Funke!
I was privileged to be the one holding Aunty Funke’s bag while on set. I ‘kept’ the money we spent on day-to-day running and was required to balance account afterwards. I don’t like Mathematics, so that was a lot of work…lol. Money was never unaccounted for in my keep. I ran errands for Aunty Funke and made sure all that was needed was supplied.
UNOFFICIAL ASSISTANT MAKE-UP ARTIST
On set, on some occasions, when I was not acting, I was fanning and dabbing the faces of other actresses (including extras). So, this is for those that have accused me of being proud. Please ask those I fanned and dabbed while preparing to go on set later. On some occasions, I also did my own makeup and that of some other cast. All I wanted to do was SERVE; I wanted every set to be a success.
UNOFFICIAL ASSISTANT CATERER
On set, there were different occasions I served cast and crew (plus extras) food and water. At some points, I joined in washing plates when the plates were not enough to go round. And times I was not acting, and I saw the ‘Mamas’ needed help, I joined them in washing plates. They are alive to bear witness.
UNOFFICIAL ASSISTANT COSTUMIER
I hardly forget things I memorised, so I knew the continuity of major characters on the set. Aunty Funke used to ask Costumiers to confirm costumes with me. On some occasions.I had to go to set earlier than others and leave later than others to sort out costumes, including wigs and other accessories. I looked forward to doing it and never once complained
UNOFFICIAL ASSISTANT DRIVER
I could not drive while on Jenifa’s Diary set, and I still cannot…lol but I woke up early on different occasions to wash Aunty Funke’s car. The times I didn’t wash, I dusted the car. She is a neat person, so I made sure the inside of the car and the boot were tidy and clean. For me, it was pleasure serving Aunty Funke.