Funke Akindele’s Path to a Billion Naira

Funke Akindele

Funke Akindele’s Path to a Billion Naira

Being a force in an industry is a difficult position to attribute to anyone. But after producing the top three highest-grossing movies in Nollywood and being the first and only filmmaker to surpass ₦1-billion-box-office sales, Funke Akindele has cemented herself as an entertainment titan.

For many years, ‘December in Lagos’ and ‘Detty (Dirty) December’ have been the hallmark of nightlife and Christmas Holidays in Nigeria, particularly in the economic capital, Lagos State. The December phenomenon fills Lagos with diaspora Nigerians and Black people spending time in Lagos for concerts, beach life, food, culture and fun. However, in 2023, December saw a new side to it with the highlight for the first time not being about a concert or party but about a movie.  

That movie was Funke Akindele’s billion-naira grossing, A Tribe Called Judah. With theatres all around Lagos at full capacity and long waiting lines just for a chance to buy a ticket, Akindele expanded the festive spirit among family, friends and colleagues at one of Nigeria’s darkest socio-economic periods. In addition to her conquest in December, Akindele holds the top three spots for highest-grossing films ever in Nigeria. With nearly three decades since her debut, participating in multiple film movements and trends, maintaining popularity and achieving momentous gross box office numbers, Akindele is Nigeria’s most versatile filmmaker.

This essay features in our print issue, ‘An African Feminist Manifesto’ and is only available online to paying subscribers. To continue reading register for a free trial and get unlimited access to The Republic for a week!Already a subscriber? Log in.