‘What I Went Through to Pull Off My Role as Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti’, Kehinde Bankole Reveals

by Joseph Omoniyi
0 comment

Known for her versatile performances and the depth she brings to her characters, Kehinde Bankole’s latest role as Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti in the biopic “Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti” has garnered widespread acclaim and solidified her status as a leading actress in Nollywood. Her portrayal of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti stands out as a powerful tribute to one of Nigeria’s most influential women.

Speaking with New Telegraph, the 2024 Best Actress in a Lead Role at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) shared her experiences and the challenges she faced while bringing the iconic Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti to life. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, a pioneering political leader, women’s rights activist, and the mother of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, left an unforgettable imprint on Nigeria’s history. Bankole’s portrayal of such a towering figure demanded not only exceptional acting skills but also a deep understanding of Ransome-Kuti’s legacy.

Bankole’s journey to embody Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was both surreal and challenging. Filming took place in Egbaland, Ogun State, where Ransome-Kuti’s activism began. “Was the role challenging for me? Yes, because I was playing the character of Nigeria’s first female political leader, women’s rights activist, educator, matriarch of the renowned Kuti dynasty, and mother of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti,” Bankole shared. Despite the challenges, she delivered a performance that resonated with audiences and critics alike.

Bankole revealed that she found personal resonance with Ransome-Kuti’s traits, particularly her stance against injustice and corruption. “One of such is that I detest injustice and corruption, and the late Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti equally frowned at that. The qualities she possessed were just a personal call for me to speak up more and partake in whichever area of nation-building requires our voices to be stronger,” Bankole explained.

The biopic, directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters, centers on Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti leading the Abeokuta Women’s Revolt, a resistance movement against unfair taxation by the Nigerian colonial government in the late 1940s. Bankole described the project as a significant educational tool for younger generations about the contributions of heroines like Ransome-Kuti.

Every moment on set was memorable for Bankole, from working with over 100 women to filming alongside Peter Thomas, the Deputy Head of Mission at the British High Commission in Lagos. The presence of the Kuti family and the experience of engaging in local culture in Abeokuta added layers of authenticity and joy to the production.

Bankole, who also has a strong background in stage performance, discussed the differences and challenges between stage and screen acting. “Stage is very disciplined and challenging because you don’t have a second take. What you give at that time is what the people are going to get,” she noted, contrasting it with the repetitive nature of film takes.

Despite her success in film, Bankole remains committed to her craft as an actress and is not looking to delve into production or directing. “Well, if I have the opportunity to produce something, it doesn’t have to be a film; it could be telling a serious story through a documentary,” she stated.

Kehinde Bankole’s portrayal of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti is more than just a role; it is a powerful homage to a woman who fought for justice and equality. Through her performance, Bankole not only brings history to life but also inspires future generations to understand and appreciate the sacrifices made by those who came before them.

Reflecting on her AMVCA win, Bankole expressed her gratitude, stating, “Winning the AMVCA is an indication that people are indeed watching and looking out for me. I can only appreciate the various directors and producers that have engaged me in their respective productions; it’s a collective win for all of us.”

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy
WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
Our support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
? Hi, how can we help?