The Kemi Adetiba: Renowned Storyteller

We are still documenting the lives of amazing women in commemoration of international women’s day 2022. Today, we share the story of a woman who’s broken the bias! I don’t think the name ‘Kemi Adetiba’ should be strange to you as an African. If you’ve watched ‘The Wedding Party‘, ‘King Of Boys‘, ‘King of Boys[the sequel & documentary] then you should know this woman. Prior to doing movies, she’s shot music videos, directed ads and anchored as an OAP. Breaking glass ceilings is really her forte!

Kemi Adetiba

Kemi Adetiba was born on the 8th of January, 1980 in Lagos to Dele Adetiba and Mayen Adetiba. Dele Adetiba, her father is a notable advertising and broadcasting veteran while her mother, Mayen Adetiba is the first female civil engineer to be elected into the Executive Committee of the Nigerian Society of Engineers. Kemi Adetiba is from Ekiti state but the Efik blood still runs in her veins as her mother is from Efik.

She is an alumna of Atlantic Hall High School in Nigeria. Kemi has a law degree from the University of Lagos, Akoka and was called to bar after one year at Nigeria Law School.

The Journey

Kemi Adetiba followed after her father’s footsteps in the media industry at a young age. She headlined two national television adverts for the well-known Nigeria detergent brand, OMO. Professionally, she started as a radio presenter for Silver’s Rhythm 93.7 FM. She was the voice behind the two national hit shows – Soul’d Out and Sunday at the Seaside.

Kemi Adetiba slowly moved from radio to television by presenting on TV. Afterwards, she moved to music and movie production.

The entrepreneurial spirit in her made her question her longevity in front of the camera. She felt she will make more impact to the entertainment industry if she went behind the scenes. An entrepreneur need to always evaluate their value proposition and seek ways to improve themselves. In her words (during an interview with CNN) “I was questioning my longevity in front of the camera and would be intriguing to go off for shoot with cameramen, instead of just wasting a couple of years, how about I learn a new craft while doing that; what is the thing I can do now, what is the thing that will take my career to the next level-being a director.”

To realize her dream, she enrolled in the New York Film Academy and even created a short film titled “Across a Blooded Ocean” during her study at the Academy. The film was screened at the 2009 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta.

In 2016, directed a film titled “The Wedding Party” which was premiered at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) same year. The wedding party was a great achievement and broke box office records by raking in over ₦3.5 billion. Kemi believes she will win an Oscar very soon and we believe it too!

Kemi Adetiba is also the founder of a web documentary series; King Women. King Women mentors and inspire young women. She interviews Nigeria’s powerful women in business to understand their challenges and how they have scale in business and life.

Kemi Adetiba’s Awards and Nominations

  • Nomination for the On-Air-Personality of the Year award by The Future Nigeria Awards in five years successively.
  • First double nominee in The Future Nigeria Awards for Screen Producer/ Director of the Year in 2011.
  • Best Female Video for the Song ‘Ekundayo’ by TY Bello at the 2009 SoundCity TV Music Video Awards.
  • Best Female Video for the Song ‘Today na Today’ by Omawunmi at the 2010 Nigeria Entertainment Awards in New York.
  • Nomination for the Best Music Video at 2010 SoundCity Awards.
  • Banky W’s ‘Lagos Party’ directed by Kemi Adetiba listed Best Editing & Best Male Video nomination at 2010 SoundCity Awards.
  • Bez’s “More You” won her International Critical Acclaim with a tribute in form of write-up.
  • Nomination for the Best Music Video Director of the Year by Headies awards in 2014.
  • City People Entertainment Awards for the Best Video Director of the Year 2015.

The Movie Producer

In 2016, she produced one of Nigeria’s highest grossing movies, ‘The Wedding Party’ which was her very first movie and then she went on to bless the screens with ‘King of Boys’ in October 2018. The movie revolutionized the movie industry in Nigeria. It changed the game for cinematic movies and it’s another grossing movie, breaking score boards at the cinemas. After a three- year release of King Boys, the sequel was released in 2021 as a Netflix original. Kemi Adetiba nailed it again with excellent delivery, cinematography and directing.

This is what we love to see!!!

Culled from & curated by Onozasie

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