A graduate of Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Manchester, having even spent her first year studying Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and working as a Software Developer for almost a year after graduation, Jadesola Osiberu took a pivot and finally returned to her first love – filmmaking.
Jadesola Osiberu grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, had her secondary school in Ibadan, then left Nigeria for the University of Manchester where she studied Computer Systems Engineering. Jadesola had known from a young age that she wanted to be a filmmaker, but it took a number of detours to get to the point of actually making films.
At the completion of her education at University of Manchester, Jadesola returned to her family in Nigeria, and as her parents would have it, she started working in a Telecommunications company. This was far from her filmmaking dreams and it would take some back and forth with her parents for them to finally agree to let her pursue her film making career.
After a compromise had been made, Jadesola began a Master’s Programme in Media and Communications at the Pan-African University in Lagos. It was after the completion of this programme, she began working at Guaranty Trust Bank, bringing her closer to actualizing her dreams. At the beginning of her journey at GTB, the path was not clear, with Jade working at the Digital Marketing arm of the bank. As fate would have it, due to a change in management, Jadesola found herself on a team tasked to achieve a strategy project for the new MD of Guaranty Trust Bank, Segun Agbaje. This experience created an opportunity for Jadesola to finally bring her filmmaking dreams to reality.
This was the birth of Ndani TV. The team started with Ndani Sessions, The Juice and Young CEO. Through all of this, Jadesola never attended film school, you might call her a self-taught producer and director. When asked if she went to any film school during an interview, she was quoted to have said “Google and Youtube have been my film school. Try, fail, try again”. Then Gidi Up was created in 2013. Jadesola created the first season of Gidi Up out of her own pocket and borrowing from friends and family before pitching the idea to GT Bank for Ndani TV. It was a risk that paid off as the show resonated with the audience. Her next production project was Rumour Has It in 2016, which reached an even bigger audience and was widely acclaimed. Ndani TV was gradually becoming a household name and Jade Osiberu was established as a Producer.
After Rumour Has It, Jadesola was ready to move to the big screen. She wanted to create Isoken. After taking out a loan with Bank of Industry that took 2 years to be approved, and the movie taking 3 years to make – from script to production, with the project still not ready 3 weeks to premiere, Isoken was finally released in 2017. Isoken features Dakore Akande, Funke Akindele, Joseph Benjamin amongst other blockbuster actors – the movie showcases the challenges that single women face from their family and society in general. The movie finally made 100 million naira at the box office.
Isoken went on to gather several nominations and awards, winning the 2018 AMVCA Best Film West African and for best Best Director, Best Foreign Film at BronzeLens Film Festival 2018 in Atlanta and Prix du Public at Nollywood Week Paris also in 2018. Isoken established Jadesola as not just a film Director, but an award-winning director.
Sugar Rush – which featured Adesua Etomi, Bisola Aiyeola and Bimbo Ademoye as its lead actresses, is a colourful, funny, feel-good movie about three sisters who rob off the wrong end of some powerful people and their over the top escape-, was released in December 2019, and it was a blockbuster hit in the cinemas, grossing 110 million in its first week. Sugar Rush was co-written and co-produced by Jadesola, clearly showing that she is committed to every process of filmmaking.
Jadesola is already an award-winning director, will there be more awards in the near future?