Funmilayo Ransom Kuti’ movie biopic hits N32M in cinema opening weekend


The Nollywood biopic “Funmilayo Ransom Kuti” has made a debut of N32 million in its opening weekend following its release on Friday, May 17, 2024.

This was disclosed by the Nigerian Box Office (NBO) via the social media platform X on Monday, May 20, 2024.

According to data from the NBO, the biopic not only topped the weekend box office charts but also set a new record for the highest-grossing opening weekend for a biopic in Nigeria.

“Another huge opening for a Nollywood movie. That makes it 11 weekends out of 21 weekends in 2024 that a Nollywood movie has topped the box office. For context, last year had 14 weeks out of 52. 2022 was just 9 weeks out of 52.”


Directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters, one of Nigeria’s most powerful female personalities in the Nollywood industry, “Funmilayo Ransom Kuti” tells the compelling life story of the late Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti.


A renowned Nigerian educator, political reformer, women’s rights activist, and mother of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti’s legacy is celebrated in this cinematic portrayal.


The biopic stars Kehinde Bankole, the 2024 best actress winner at the recently concluded African Magic Viewers Choice Award event.


The film also features a stellar ensemble cast, including veteran actors Ajoke Silva, Adebayo Salami, Omowunmi Dada, Adunni Ade, Jide Kosoko, Dele Odule, Ibrahim Suleiman, Bikiya Graham-Douglas, Yewande Osamein, and Iyimide Ayo-Olumoko.


“Funmilayo Ransom Kuti” biopic explores significant phases of Ransome-Kuti’s life, including her education at Abeokuta Grammar School, her marriage to Israel Ransome-Kuti, and her revolutionary fight against colonialism and patriarchy. The film highlights her pivotal role in creating the Abeokuta Women’s Union, which was instrumental in advocating for women’s rights and challenging colonial governance.


What to know

The film was written by Tunde Babalola, and directed and produced by Bolanle Austen Peters alongside Timi Austen Peters, Yemi Idowu, Murital Ibrahim, Osanemo Fayemiwo and Deji Alli.


At the Premiere of Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos State, former Gov Donald Duke of Cross Rivers State, the Ransome Kuti Family, actors and crew of the award-winning film: Best Movie, Best Screenplay AFRIFF 2023 Best Screenplay, AMVCA 2024 were present.


Yeni and Femi Kuti, the children of Afrobeats legend Fela Kuti, feature in the film.


Yeni is best known today for founding Felabration and co-founding the New Afrika Shrine. But she was a singer and dancer with Fela’s Egypt 80 in the 1980s. She is also one of the hosts of TVC’s ‘Your View’.


Femi, on the other hand, started his band, Positive Force, establishing himself as an artist independent of his father’s legacy.


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