London-based Nigerian actress and filmmaker, Gbemisola Ikumelo is talented, rare and remarkable Yoruba storyteller who doesn’t just act, she directs and writes. Gbemi recently won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award in the Short Form Programme category for her mini-series “Brain in Gear“.
Gbemisola Ikumelo was born in Ondo State but migrated to the UK as a child. Gbemisola has a diverse storytelling background from acting to writing and directing.
This year she won a BAFTA for Best Short Form Programme for BRAIN IN GEAR; that she wrote, co-directed and starred in.
Her love for story-telling has never waned; even though her family weren’t thrilled by the idea of her becoming an actor in her early days.
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“I knew what I wanted to do with my life from a really young age and this was probably concerning to my family as they knew I would be challenged as a black woman trying to make it in this country”, she says. “They eventually realised I knew what I was doing though, and now everyone is supportive”.
She also received a BAFTA nomination for Best Female Performance in a Comedy, for her work on hit BBC sketch show FAMALAM, for which she is also a writer.As an actress, Gbemisola starred in BIFA award winning film THE LAST TREE, directed by Shola Amoo.
The feature premiered at Sundance Film Festival and had a UK Theatrical release. For the stage, her play THE DEN received an Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre award and was supported by the Barbican. Most recently she has been cast in the Sony Studios TV adaptation of Penny Marshall’s A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN and her own creation Brain in Gear has been greenlit for a series on BBC 2.
Gbemisola connects with her heritage even miles away from her place of birth. She says, “Even in the UK, the Nigerian community is a prominent one and I always find myself surrounded by Nigerian friends.” Photo Credit: Getty