The couple – Kehinde and Funke Oloyede
It was an all Nollywood affair on Saturday May 26, 2012, as one of Nigeria’s movie favourites Olufunke Ayotunde Akindele tied the knot with her beau Kehinde Adeola Oloyede popularly called Kenny Almaroof in a three-part wedding combo.
The build-up was massive, and the wedding touted as the next big Nollywood wedding – after Mercy Johnson‘s lavish August 27, 2011 nuptials.
And after a private Nikkai ceremony two days earlier, on May 24, the couple were determined to make up by having a grand ball.
The wedding ceremony took place at The Haven event centre as opposed to what had been announced earlier. Guests and well-wishers had made their way to the publicised venue: All Seasons Plaza, Ikeja, only to meet a shut gate. Those lucky enough to find out the new venue then made their way towards The Haven in GRA, Ikeja.
We’re told the announcement of All Seasons was a decoy to prevent media and public intrusion although the bride’s reps say they changed venues to accommodate crowd. The wedding programme (printed by KOZA, the same printers of the Invitation cards) however carried the updated venue, suggesting the decoy was planned ahead.
The events hall was carefully split into two parts with a semi-transparent drape hanging from the roof of the building. The larger part was to accommodate the white wedding ceremony and reception while the smaller part would serve as the traditional wedding venue.
The event which kicked off at about 11:30AM began with a traditional ceremony, with both parents of the couple as well as family members present. Anchored by ‘Sokoyokoto‘ TV presenter Foluke Ogunjimi, the guests were joined by the couple Funke and Kenny an hour later.
After the couple, both dressed in beautiful native attires were introduced to their parents, a quick solemnization was made. The ambience was traditionally themed. The hall was decorated with calabashes, leaves, big wooden pots with running water, hand-woven mats, and a small throne where the couple sat.
As soon as the traditional wedding ended, everyone moved to the main hall where the white wedding took place. The couple quickly changed into English attires – Kenny donned a black tuxedo with blue accessories while Funke wore a gorgeous white wedding gown with excellent make up. For a celebrity wedding, there were no popular faces on the bridal train unlike Mercy Johnson’s who had on hers, Goldie, Empress Njamah, Waje, Queen Nwokonye, and Chika Ike. Rather Funke opted for her younger sister Abimbola Akindele as the Chief Brides Maid and four other non-celebrity friends to walk down the aisle with her.
The wedding was a quick one officiated by The Very Revd. M.O Ogunsoji JP. The groom’s folks were not seen at the ceremony. Guests who were already seated were being served food and refreshments as the ceremony went on. More guests begun showing up and crowd control was a bit of a bother as people kept walking about to either find seats or to take pictures.
The ceremony ended with the couple making their way to the elevated podium where a select number of guests including Desmond Elliot, Ini Edo, Chioma Akpotha, Omoni Oboli, AY Makun and a few others sat.
The third and final ‘segment’ of the event swung into action with host of the evening Gbenga Adeyinka who had anchored a Star Trek event in Ibadan the night before handling the microphone and coordinating the order of evening.
Security was on an all-time high as the venue was filled with uniform-wearing mobile policemen who didn’t hesitate to wave their guns at guests or photographers who wanted to take photos of the bride and groom. The couple were closely followed and guarded at every time. This however did little to stop family members (especially that of the groom), well-wishers and of course press photographers who wanted to take a picture or two with their mobile phones. Funke also seemed to be aware of the whole organization and was seen often dishing out instructions during the ceremony.
Meanwhile, there was surplus food and drinks to go round twice. Cakes, toffees and others were served as desert while guests watched the couple hit the dance floor as they boogied down to music provided by DJ Spinall and alternatively the Akin Tofowohan-led Akin and Shuga band.
A truly magical moment was when the bride Funke decided not to throw her bouquet but share it among the single ladies. ‘My darling colleagues and friends I thank you so much for coming out. You are single today right? Believe in God, he will do it because I’m a testimony. It’s a big surprise I know to you all and I thank God for this. I won’t throw this, I will share it‘.
‘It’s her day, I’m happy for her, you can see I’m happy, she’s happy too‘, Funke’s younger brother, Akin said. ‘I wish you them many prosperous and fruitful years‘, Ali Baba told us.
While we all ponder where the newest celebrity couple will spend their honeymoon, Funke is more concerned about thanking her fans. She tweeted the morning after her wedding ‘Morning my Twthrts!! Tnx a lot for d luvly wishes! God bless u all. Sulia Kan! Tweethrts Kan!!‘.
Nollywood: Genevieve Nnaji, Chioma Akpotha, Omoni Oboli, Grace Amah, Ini Edo, Susan Peters, Desmond Elliot, Eniola Badmus, Halima Abubakar, Opeyemi Ayeola, Peju Ogunmola, Toyin Afolayan Kolade Ogunmola, Jide Kosoko, Muyiwa Ademola, Fausat Balogun, Sikiratu Sindodo, Iya Awero, Idowu Phillips, Abe Lanre, Damilola Adegbite, Ireti Osayemi, Femi Brainard, Odunlade Adekola.
Entertainers: eLDee, Sasha, Tiwa Savage, Kaffy, Derenle, Ms Jaie, Tosin Martins, KSB.
Comedians: Ali Baba, Julius Agwu, AY.
Nigerian Entertainment Industry: Dayo Adeneye, Cool FM’s Freeze, Seun Oloketuyi, Biodun Kupoluyi, Dele Esan, Femi Davies.