Kunle Afolayan (born 30 September 1975) is a Nigerian actor, producer and director. He is widely acknowledged for improving cliched Nollywood storylines, shooting on 35mm, releasing in theaters, and increasing budgets for Nollywood films in order to raise their caliber. Following his feature film debut in the 1999 political drama Saworoide, Afolayan went on to direct his first feature film, Irapada, a supernatural thriller from Nigeria that took home the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Film in an African Language in 2006. His subsequent directing credits consist of October 1, Phone Swap, The Figurine, and Citation. In addition to being the second-highest grossing Nigerian film in Nigerian theaters upon its release, 1 October took home 16 major African movie awards in 2015. Afolayan would duplicate this achievement with The CEO two years later.
Afolayan is from Kwara State and is of Igbomina-Yoruba descent. He is the son of Ade Love, a director of theater and motion pictures. Prior to choosing to pursue filmmaking full-time and enrolling in classes at the New York Film Academy, he worked as an economics major, did some part-time acting, and worked in a bank. He began working in Nigeria’s film industry in 2005. He has directed a number of movies, such as Phone Swap, which starred Wale Ojo, Joke Silva, Nse Ikpe Etim, and Chika Okpala, and The Figurine: Araromire, which was bilingual in Yoruba and English. The Figurine was a box office hit in Nigerian theaters and took home five major awards from the African Film Academy.
In 2007, Afolayan wed Tolu, and the two of them have four kids. In 2019, their marriage came to an end. He considers himself a free thinker. Golden Effects Pictures, a Nigerian film and production company founded in 2005, is led by CEO Afolayan. Irapada, The Figurine, Phone Swap, 1 October, Roti, Omugwo, The Tribunal, The CEO, and Mokalik are among the feature films produced by the company.