Interviews

Getting To Know Folake Olowofoyeku

Puff gown by BCALLA.

Photography by David Needleman; Styled by Toye Adedipe.

How the Nigerian-born actress followed her passion—and became an indomitable sitcom star.

By Lisa Kennedy

During a video call with Folake Olowofoyeku —the Nigerian American star of the hit comedy Bob ❤️ Abishola—something subtle but unmistakable occurs. Although it's two days before her birthday, a cloud drifts over her face, blocking her smile—a gap-toothed wonder of an event that can take her from serious to incandescent in a heartbeat.

Four days earlier, protests against police brutality in Nigeria (hashtagged #EndSARS for the police force's rogue Special Anti-Robbery Squad) turned deadly, with soldiers firing on peaceful protesters at a well-known toll gate in Lagos. Although Olowofoyeku just marked her 17th year in the U.S., the news of the Lekki Toll Gate Massacre was more than distressing. And a flat-footed question about her childhood led to an impassioned tutorial in contemporary Nigerian politics. Her parents would be proud.


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