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How my father discouraged us from filmmaking, asked us to be lawyers instead – Kunle Afolayan spills

Kunle Afolayan
Kunle Afolayan

Filmmaker Kunle Afolayan has said his father, Adeyemi Afolayan, popularly known as Ade Love, discouraged him and his siblings from going into filmmaking.

The 47-year-old in a recent interview with media personality Chude Jideonwo said his father died at a “pretty young” age, adding that he did not reap the fruits of his labour.

He also said Adeyemi’s demise is the reason why “some of us are able to do what we’re doing today”. Kunle Afolayan said in parts:

“My father completely discouraged any of us from going into filmmaking. He said there was no money, that we should just become lawyers. He asked if we want to be running around like he was, and those were the things I learnt, which helped me structure the business side of what I do, because I don’t want to end up like them.

After he passed, Nollywood grew, and I would see these films with beautiful stories and compare them to the films of my dad and Herbert Ogunde on the basis of the production quality and all of that. Of course, the films are great, stories are great, but I was always wondering why the audio was bad, and the makeup was lousy.

In trying to find what we could do about that, I became a filmmaker. But Herbert Ogunde insisted that I have to learn the art, that I had to go to school, complete my education, and I agreed. Then he told me that if they had to do anything they would let me know.

In 1998, they wanted to make a movie and he called for me. he asked that I meet with Biodun Alejaye, the casting director. I auditioned, and I got the role. I was already working in the bank at the time, but it felt good to play the role, but I still wanted to make films.”

Speaking about his father’s work in the movie industry and dying before he could reap the fruit of his labour, Kunle Afolayan said:

“Not at all, he didn’t even get close to getting his reward. He died at the age of 56, that’s pretty young. But I think he had to die, maybe for some of us to be able to do what we’re doing today.

“For me when people die, it’s because their time is up and people would take it up. So one of the reasons why there’s still continuity, why his name is still heard everywhere is because we are doing what we are doing.

”I think he lived a good life and we too, we’ll go one day. If any of our kids decide to pick the profession up and if not, that’s on them.”

In addition to acting, Ade love was also a movie director and brother of actress Toyin Afolayan.

In 1966, he joined Moses Olaiya’s drama troupe and left in 1971 to establish his own drama group which went on to stage comedic plays.

In 1976, he appeared in Ola Balogun’s Ajani Ogun and later produced and starred in Ija Ominira, also directed by Balogun.

In a tribute to his dad in 2021, Kunle commended his father’s decision to marry many wives, saying it paved way for him to be his son. He wrote:

“I miss you, Baba mi (my father), but thank you for marrying many wives because I would not have been privileged to be called your son.

“I know (he) was finer so…don’t rub it in. ADEYEMI JOSIAH AKANO AFOLAYAN (1940-1996).”


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