In April 2017, LIB exclusively confirmed that Olayode Juliana, popularly known as ‘Toyo Baby’ in Funke Akindele-Bello’s popular Television comic series, Jenifa’s Diaries, has been cut from production.
This was initially denied by Juliana during her reaction to our post on social media, but she has now come clean about their misunderstanding.
In a post on her website minutes ago, she opene up about their relationship, claiming that she was Funke’s unofficial; Personal Assistant, Makeup artist, Caterer, Costumier, Driver, Cleaner, Washer woman, Masseur, Prayer partner and Script adviser. Read what she wrote after the cut…
It hurts when people spread lies about you and you cannot do anything to defend yourself. But thank God for a platform like this. I would be saying a lot of things; it would be a long read but I promise you would enjoy reading. I would be stating in clear terms the relationship I had with Aunty Funke. I used ‘had’ and would be talking in past tense because like you know, I am presently not on the Jenifa’s Diary series. And guess what? The news just broke lately, but I have been off the series since May,2016 (last year); it’s been over a year already.
My post would be in two parts; who Aunty Funke was to me (Juliana), and then, who I was to her. These are things only few people know but I am ready to let the world know.
Yes! I will start with her. Why? She’s an amazing person and I can’t wait for you to know how lovely she is on a one-on-one basis. We all have our flaws but we choose rather to celebrate our strengths. Here goes!
Aunty Funke to Juliana!
Aunty Funke met me for the first time at the auditions of Jenifa’s Diary (she did not know me prior to that day). She saw my talent and believed in me. I worked with her for years; she trained me and helped me in becoming a better actress. She would not take anything short of excellence from her cast. I honestly have not seen anyone in Nollywood more hard working than Aunty Funke. And she made it a duty to correct me and coach me on being better.
Aunty Funke helped pay my mum’s hospital bill for a fibroid surgery, two hundred and fifty thousand naira (N250,000), because I had no money at that time. She also gave to the ministry dear to my heart, MINE Teenage Ministry when we were preparing for an event, one hundred thousand naira (N100,000) and my pastor called to appreciate her. So apart from my pay as an actress on the series (which I won’t mention), that’s all I received from her money-wise, asides from change she gave me for transport when leaving set because as at then, I used to jump bus, ‘keke’ and bike to and fro set up until I left the series…lol. But in all, God used her to meet that major need in my life at that time.
BIG SISTER AND ADVISER
I fondly remember the times Aunty Funke would call me to her room while I was staying in her house (during set), and talk to me. She would take her time to advise me and encourage me as regards life in general. One particular day I treasure was the day she came to the room I stayed and told me, in a mother’s tone that I was beautiful and she warned me sternly never to bleach. I smile whenever I remember that. God bless her kind heart!
CHEERLEADER AND ENCOURAGER
Aunty Funke never ceased to celebrate me. Knowing how excellent she is at what she does (acting), I was shocked, elated and excited all at once the day she told me I was a good actress. She told me I would be great and celebrated. She saw years ago what is happening today. I am thankful for her words.
Juliana to Aunty Funke!
I was privileged to be the one holding Aunty Funke’s bag while on set. I ‘kept’ the money we spent on day-to-day running and was required to balance account afterwards. I don’t like Mathematics, so that was a lot of work…lol. Money was never unaccounted for in my keep. I ran errands for Aunty Funke and made sure all that was needed was supplied.
UNOFFICIAL ASSISTANT MAKE-UP ARTIST
On set, on some occasions, when I was not acting, I was fanning and dabbing the faces of other actresses (including extras). So, this is for those that have accused me of being proud. Please ask those I fanned and dabbed while preparing to go on set later. On some occasions, I also did my own makeup and that of some other cast. All I wanted to do was SERVE; I wanted every set to be a success.