Kemi Adetiba, delivering excellence on screen and beyond

Kemi Adetiba, delivering excellence on screen and beyond

If there is one movie we all looked forward watching, it was The Wedding Party. If our anxiety was at 70 Kemi’s own was certainly at 150…I say so because even though the movie had premiered outside Nigeria, Kemi knew that it was the reception her movie received at home in Nigeria that truly mattered to her. How do I know this? She expressed herself at the premier of the movie at Eko Hotels in 2016 and everyone was in awe of her mastery.

The Wedding party follows the shenanigans that go on during the planning of a wedding in Nigeria. Dunni, a 24 year old art gallery owner and only daughter of her parents, Engineer Bamidele and Tinuade Coker, is about to marry the love of her life, IT entrepreneur Dozie, the handsome son of Chief Felix and Lady Obianuju Onwuka. The couple took a vow of chastity and are looking forward to a ground -breaking first night together as a married couple.

Between matchmaking attempts on the bridal train, a wedding planner on a mission to succeed, the unruly behaviour of some ‘village’ guests much to Tinuade’s horror, Dunni’s uncertainty about her new husband’s faithfulness during the time of their courtship, amidst colourful aso-ebi, eclectic music, small chops, and souvenir drama, we begin to wonder whether Dunni and Dozie will get through their wedding reception unscathed.

Born in Lagos on January 8, 1980, Kemi Adetiba started her journey into the media as a young child where she headlined two national television commercials for the iconic detergent brand OMO, Towing the path of her father, Dele Adetiba, a veteran in the advertising and broadcast industries who played a pivotal role in the development in Nigeria. Kemi is a law school graduate.

In 2007, after years of success in front of the camera, her love of storytelling drew her to enroll in the New York Film Academy. Today, Kemi is an award-winning director, producer and cinematographer. Her body of work includes music videos, commercials, television content and films.

Shortly after its release, her short ‘Across a Bloodied Ocean’ was screened at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. That same year, her production company, K-Alpha, produced for DVD The 2009 ThisDay Music Festival featuring headline act R.Kelly.

She started out professionally as a radio presenter with Rhythm 93.7 FM, where she became the voice behind two nationally syndicated hit shows: Soul’d Out and Sunday at the Seaside.

Kemi Adetiba began to make a transition from being a voice on radio to being a face on television by producing and presenting several shows on Mnet, which includes Studio 53, Temptation Nigeria which she presented alongside Ikponmwosa Osakioduwa. Kemi was also a presenter on Soundcity TV and hosted Maltina Dance All for three consecutive seasons.

Kemi’s bodies of work as a director are spread across the African continent and beyond its borders. Kemi Adetiba’s short film “Across a Bloodied Ocean” was screened at the 2009 Pan African Film Festival and National Black Arts Festival.

For Kemi “The greatest thing you can do for yourself is every time you have the opportunity to handle someone’s project, knock it out the park, and that is what I live by every day.”

Another brilliant work by Kemi is the King Women series. King Women is in partnership with Accelerate TV, and it seeks to tell exclusive chronicles of inspiring women celebrating their trials and triumphs with life lessons for all.

In an interview with Accelerate TV, she explains the reason behind King Women “When I was about 13 years old, I remember I was in my mom’s room watching her put on her makeup. Her younger brother, the youngest of the family had just come back from The States and he was there just teasing her like brothers and sisters do. He was poking her in the ribs and he kept on going ‘Obong Awan, Obong Awan’ and my mom would go, ‘Peter stop it oh, Peter leave me alone oh’. It was like a fun thing. And then I remember he turned to me and said ‘Do you know what ‘Obong Awan’ means?’ and I said ‘no I don’t’ and he goes, ‘They are trying to give your Mom a title called Obong Awan but she doesn’t want to take it’. And he says, ‘the direct translation of Obong Awan means ‘King Woman’”.

On a recent episode of CNN’s “African Voices”, Kemi Adetiba shares about her profession, what is in her front burner and why “King Women” is so important to her.

In her words, “I was questioning my longevity in front of the camera… I’d also find it intriguing when I would go off for shoots with the cameramen… I said: ‘Instead of just wasting a couple of years, how about I learn a new craft while I’m doing that? What is the thing that I want to learn now? What is the thing that will take my career to the next level? – being a director.

“The reason why I developed King Women is because I wanted women to see these role models of the earth, these women that we draw inspiration from that we put on pedestals, I wanted them to see them in their glory, but also understand that they have also gone through life, and life for them was not easy… People need to hear these stories, and I’m so grateful to everyone who gave me their time to make this series.”

Some women Kemi has interviewed include The Publisher of TW Magazine, Adesuwa Onyenokwe, veteran actress Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett, Principal Partner AD Consulting and Founder, Awesome Treasure Foundation, Olajumoke Adenowo, Engineer Mayen Adetiba to mention a few.

Her videography includes “Last Bus-stop” by Niyola , “Dance Go (Eau de Vie)” for Hennessy Artistry ‘15 {feat. Wizkid and 2face Idibia} , “Out A Magazine” by Lindsey , “My Darlin” by Tiwa Savage , “My Place” by Lynxx, “Love to Love You” by Niyola (featuring Banky W.), “Sitting on the Throne” by Olamide, “Anifowose” by Olamide  “Onye” by Waje, “Toh Bad” by Niyola , “Say” by Bez, “If I Die” by Da Grin , “Tease Me/Bad Guys” by Wizkid, “I Believe” by Ego, “Follow You Go” by , Banky W,  The Future” by TY Bello and so much more.

Kemi Ajumobi

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