Kemi Adetiba is an award winning music video director, filmmaker, and television director whose works have appeared on Channel O, MTV Base, Soundcity TV, BET and Netflix.
Kemi started out professionally as a radio presenter with Rhythm 93.7 fm, for two shows: Soul’d Out and Sunday at the Seaside. She made a transition to television; producing and presenting several shows on Mnet, Soundcity and Maltina Dance All.
In 2016, Kemi Adetiba’s first feature The Wedding Party was released.
Kemi is set to release a new movie titled King of Boys and we are here for it!
Read excerpts from Kemi’s interview with our Editor Sonia Irabor to know about the King woman and her approach to filmmaking.
What films would you say have been the most influential in your style and approach to filmmaking?
The Classics!!! I loved the way they made me feel. Like it was sunny outside and there was a huge world out there. I knew a lot about other cultures and situations before I was personally exposed to them. That’s what film does. For example, you know what snow is before you actually see it. You know the name it is white, it’s cold and it falls from the sky during winter in parts of America before you personally witness this yourself. Films like “Gone with the Wind, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Coming To America, Menace to Society, The King and I (original version). They made me dream and conjure stories in my head. I was a dreamer growing up. I still am.
What women in the film industry in Nigeria and internationally have in some way inspired you and informed your own approach to filmmaking?
I don’t know if they “informed my approach” to filmmaking but I definitely respect and love their work. I respect all they’ve done for the advancement of the industry. I’m talking Amaka Igwe, Mildred Okwu, Omoni Oboli, Ava DuVernay, Kathryn Bigelow, Sofia Coppola, and many, many more who have brought down walls allowing women like me to believe that they have a place.
Why do you think it was important, and the right time, to create a show like King Women?
I don’t think I thought it was the “right time” but I thought it was important in this age where we have Instagram babysitting a lot of our young, impressionable ladies. A lot of people tend to believe in quick fixes now, and feel cheated when they actually have to do the work. This is because they see a lot of people seemingly living lavish without having to break a sweat to earn the lifestyle.
Also I wanted people going through difficult stages in their lives to know that they aren’t alone. These women have been through these moments (or worse) and they have survived… just like (other women) will too. These are accomplished women of different ages and walks of life that have genuine authentic stories, but a common thread running between them is their perseverance.
What do you hope, in the long run, that a show like this can do for Nigeria/African/Black women?
That we have to learn to commune, share stories and offer support to our fellow women. We really are all we’ve got. We need to properly understand and then learn to own our power. We need to eradicate this belief that we women are our own worst enemies, preferring to act more like crabs in a bucket.
Pressures once existed quite potently on Nigerian women to get married before 30. Do you think that the same stigma still exists surrounding a woman who is independent, successful and single after 30? Is this something that even affects you in anyway?
Of course it still exists in considerable measure, but it has never really bothered me as I’ve got parents that don’t put any pressure on me. I definitely want to be married with children but I also want to have all these things with that right person. My parents tend to preach the importance of that rather than the race to get married. While that is sorting itself out, I was to work on being the best I can be in this world. And that is being hardworking, independent, and the definition or successful.