The Canary Icon of the Quarter: Olufemi Lateef Adebayo

Olufemi Lateef Adebayo

Olufemi Lateef Adebayo better known simply as Femi Adebayo or Jelili, was born on 31 December, 1972. He is the son of veteran Nollywood actor, Adebayo Salami known as Oga Bello. He hails from Ilorin, Kwara state but was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria.

He is an accomplished actor, director, producer, writer and trained lawyer known for his role in notable movies like Atónà (2009), Omo pupa (2008) and Ladies Gang 2 (2011).

Adebayo attended the C&S College, Ilorin for his secondary school education, then to University of Ilorin where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Law in 2001, and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2003. He proceeded to earn a master’s degree in Law at University of Ibadan in 2008 and is pursuing his PhD Law presently. He was the president of Junior Chamber International (JCI) in year 2000 at the University of Ilorin.

He started his legal practice with Uthman and Co chamber in Ibadan, before joining a Petroleum and Communication merchandise company Ibrafund Nigeria Ltd.

Before delving fully into acting, the critically acclaimed actor had his first movie role in a Tade Ogidan movie titled ‘Owoblow’ which was shot in 1995. Ever since his big break, the vibrant thespian has gone on to become a household name as far as Yoruba movies are concerned. Starred in hundreds of home videos and has won the hearts of Yoruba movie lovers. He has gone on to star in movies like: Oba Elesan, Tojo Terun, Baba Ologba, Idanwo, Shola fe Pami, Ikan, Aranbada, Agbara Obirin, Mayomi, Ole, Inu, Orija ju Ogun, Ogologo, Fitila, Ile and a host of others.

In 2006, he produced a movie titled ‘Idanwo’, and other interesting ones like Alakorun, Jelili, Sonto Alapata, Ile Alayo, Gbewiri Meta, Iron Funfun, Kodi Ologbo Aye.

Femi also founded a film school named J-15 School of Performing Arts, a subsidiary of J15 Media Network and it is located in Ibadan. The school has churned out over 1,200 graduates since inception, and boasts of graduates of Theatre Arts from other Nigerian universities as lecturers.

He has also done so many awareness campaigns, like Alima, a short movie on Cervical Cancer for Leah Foundation which won the Award for African short best movie in Ghana in 2016, and “Sheyayewo” awareness on breast cancer. He also produced awareness Campaigns on Family planning, Nutrition during pregnancy, Female mutilation for PharmAccess Foundation, a foundation funded by USAID.

In 1996, Femi Adebayo won Best Upcoming Actor of the year 1996 at The Movie Awards in Nigeria. He has won several awards including Best Yoruba actor at the 17th African Film Awards known as Afro Hollywood awards which was held at the Stratford Town Hall, London, and also the same category for the Best of Nollywood BON Awards in 2012. In 2015, he bagged the City People Entertainment Award for Best Movie Producer of the Year (Yoruba).

In 2016, Femi Adebayo was appointed as Special Assistant to the Governor of Kwara State on Arts, Culture and Tourism until the end of the administration in 2019.

He appended his signature to a multimillion naira endorsement deal with Access Bank PLC, Trophy Beer as a brand ambassador. He is also the brand ambassador for a real estate company, Kayode Obembe and Co. Located at the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos and T.Pumpy Estates Abuja.

Congratulations to our Icon of Quarter 1, 2023.

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