Arts & Entertainment

Meet the Cast of Slum King – Tobi Bakre, Teniola Aladese, Gideon Okeke, Swanky JKA, Kanayo O. Kanaya, Elvina Ibru, Others

Slum King is an intriguing story of Edafe ‘Majemijesu’ Umukoro, who witnessed the massacre of his family by armed robbers at age 11. The sad events force ambition on an indifferent Edafe, causing him to detest his lowly status and develop an appetite for power. Trapped in the cycle of guilt and trauma, Slum King takes us on Edafe’s journey from a disturbed tout in the slums to become MAJE, the charismatic king of the slums. Check out all the cast members on the highly-anticipated project Slum King:

Tobi Bakre: Tobi is a 29-year-old TV presenter, actor, and model who rose to fame in 2018 as a Big Brother Naija ‘Double Wahala’ housemate. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Lagos. However, Tobi began a prolific career in TV after leaving the Biggieverse in third place, starting with his feature in Africa Magic’s Hustle. He also worked as the TV host on MTN Yello Star, Honeywell Cook-Off, MBGN 2018, and more.

After appearing in Hustle, Bakre embraced his passion for acting and has since appeared in several Nollywood movies and web series, showcasing his versatile acting skills. Some notable projects include Fix Us, Mokalik, and Sugar Rush. Since starring in Brotherhood, Gangs of Lagos, and Blood Covenant, he has received the title of Nollywood’s action hero. He takes on that cap again as he stars in Slum King as the lead cast – Maje Edafe Umukoro. The multi-talented star hopes to take home yet another ‘Best Actor’ win from the show after winning the 2023 AMVCA ‘Best Actor in a Drama’ award.

Sonia Irabor: Sonia started her career as a classically trained stage actor in the UK. She received her first onscreen credit in 2017 as ‘Uju’ in the hit comedy web series Inspector K, for which she served as co-head writer for two of its three seasons. Since then, she’s starred as ‘Kari’ in the hit web series Man of Her Dreams and featured in Blood Sisters, Castle and Castle, MTV Shuga and Aki and Paw Paw. She now takes on a key role in Slum King as Dr. Kate Okonkwo, the lead doctor at the Oro Lede Health Center.

Beyond acting, Sonia has taken many roles behind the camera. In 2020/21, she wrote, directed, starred in, and composed the music for her first short film, I Am an Easy One to Forget. The filmmaker was the Associate Producer of King of Boys: Return of the King. Afterwards, she wrote, directed, and starred in two short films: Steady Darling, We’re Gaining Balance, and If I Stop, I May Explode, the latter of which went on to win Best Experimental Short at the “Emberlight Film Festival” in Michigan in 2022. She also penned episodes five and seven of the latest MTV Shuga! Season.

Teniola Aladese: Born September 18, 1993, she is a versatile and relentless actor who describes herself as a TV and film aficionado. After bagging a BSc. in Mass Communication from the prestigious Covenant University in 2013, she held different roles at Africa Magic Original Films for about six years. During that time, she had various behind-the-scene titles on over 80 television movies for Africa Magic. Teniola first appeared in front of the camera in 2015 on Perfectly Flawed.

She started to gain prominence after starring in LowlaDee’s web series, This Is It, but her breakout role was ‘Akweyon/Sejro’ on the Africa Magic telenovela Jemeji. She has since appeared in films like The Men in Her Life, Reaching Heights, Drift; Beyond Conscience, Fade, Two Wrongs,  Her (short film), On Board to Love, Déjà Vu, Unbroken, and Anita. Some of her more popular appearances were in Ricordi, Little Black Book, Superstar, Loving Amanda, Soólè, Lara of Lagos, and Domitilla. She won the Trailblazer award at the 2022 AMVCAs. She plays a vital role in the upcoming Slum King as Yagazie Obi.

Olarotimi Fakunle: He is an actor, director, and producer, best known for his roles in Ajoche, Paper Boat, Last Days, Omoye, Fallen  Angel, Game Plan, Kada River, Blood of Enogie, Hush, and Ranti. Although recently gaining mainstream popularity after his brilliant performance in Riona and Gangs of Lagos, Fakunle has held a revered position in Nigerian theatre.

He has worked on several projects – The Trials of Brother Jero, Madmen and Specialist, The Lion and The Jewel, Jero’s Metamorphosis, Our Husband has Gone Mad Again, The Gods are Not to Blame, and Death and the King’s Horseman. He was part of the Nigerian team that performed at the Shakespeare Olympiad in 2012 and the theatre team that performed The Waiting Room and The Tarzan Monologues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2013 and 2014, respectively. He now features as ‘Imole’ the Baale of Oro Lede in Slum King.

Gideon Okeke: Gideon Okeke became famous in 2006 as a Big Brother Nigeria housemate. He has since made a remarkable career for himself in Nollywood. Noted as one of the industry’s method actors, Okeke took the film sector by storm after appearing as ‘Phillip Ade Williams’ in Tinsel in 2008.

Since then, the 40-year-old has featured in many stage and film productions. These include A Place in the Stars, 93 Days, Loving Rona, Relentless, When Love Happens, Gbomo Gbomo Express, Before 30, Africa Magic’s Movement Japa, Palava, The Trade, The Wife, and more. He also played ‘Fela Kuti’ in Fela – Arrest The Music and starred in Saro The Musical 2, which toured London in 2017 and 2018. After growing up in Ajegunle, the method actor returns to the slums to take on the role of ‘Tequila’ in Slum King.

Idia Aisien: Idia Aisien started her TV career as a journalist in 2011 after attaining a B.A. in journalism from American University, Washington D.C. After years of working for prestigious American media companies and modelling, she earned her M.Sc in International Public Relations and Global Corporate Communications from New York University and decided to move back to Nigeria in 2016. She quickly became popular, working with Spice TV, Silverbird and Arise TV. In 2020, she made her first move in Nollywood as the titular character in Nneka The Pretty Serpent. She has since appeared in Badboys and Bridesmaids and the 2023 Twin Flame. She will take a double role on Slum King as twin sisters – ‘Elakeche and Emiene Obi’.

Jidekene Achufusi: Popularly known as Swanky JKA, Jidekene has been active in the entertainment industry since 2013 as a model and an Enugu-based actor. He kept appearing in films like Burning Bridges, Poka Messiah, A Lonely Lane, Pretty Little Thin, BlackRos, Crazy-Lovely-Cool, Lionheart, and Ofuobi till 2019, when he got his breakout role. Playing ‘Nnamdi Okeke’ in Living In Bondage: Breaking Free catapulted the 32-year-old into the limelight.

In 2020, he won the AMVCA Trailblazer award and featured in another blockbuster – Kambili: The Whole 30 Yards. He has since appeared in Dwindle,  Badboys and Bridesmaids, Money Miss Road, Brotherhood, and more. He will appear as ‘Friday Obi’ when Slum King premieres on October 8.

Bolaji Ogunmola: She is a prolific Nigerian actress known for her consummate interpretation of movie roles. Since her debut entry into Nollywood in 2013 in Okon Goes to School, the Royal Arts Academy product has starred in over 150 movies. Some of her best-known performances are in popular films such as Reach, Butterflies, Old Habits, Simple Lie, and Before Valentine’s. Bolaji won Best Actress for her role in Butterflies at the BON Awards in 2021, BON’s 2019 Revelation of the Year award, and Best Supporting Actress at TINF 2022. She plays ‘Selense’ in Slum King.

Slum King features many other brilliant actors, including Hermes Iyele, who plays Zanga, Oyinye Odokoro (Kaimaworola), Akeem Ogara (Banjo), Philip Asaya (Sapele Water), Calabar Chic, also known as Stephanie Isuma (Eka Twins), Tracey George (Tawakalitu / TKB). Others include Brutus Richard, Okoye Mary, Taiye Arimoro, Vine Ogulu, and Gregory Ojefua. The cast also features some of Nollywood’s most loved veterans. They include Kate Adepegba, Elvina Ibru, Nonso Odogwu, Charles Inojie, Toyin Alausa, Funsho Adeolu, Moyinoluwa Olutayo, and Kanayo O. Kanayo.

The all-star series, which promises to take viewers into the heart of Lagos’ slums, deal with real traumatic issues, and pronounce a war against drugs, will premiere October 8, 2023, at 8 pm on Africa Magic Showcase (DStv ch 151 and GOtv ch. 12). You can enjoy Slum King on the go and across multiple devices on DStv Stream at no additional cost. For more information about the show and other Africa Magic programming, visit www.africamagic.tv. Join the conversation on the official Africa Magic page on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #AMSlumKing.

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