Kemi Adetiba - Woman of the Week
At Silver & Riley, our strongest value is supporting women. We do this in several ways, including our Buy 1, Give 5 program that awards 5% of revenue to women entrepreneurs. The women of the week series will highlight, celebrate and tell the story of the amazing women in our Silver & Riley community and their diverse career fields, while inspiring a community of women by showcasing what's possible. To be considered for a woman of the week feature, please email us at email@example.com.
Week of February 13th - Kemi Adetiba
Critically acclaimed filmmaker, television director and music video director, Kemi Adetiba, is our woman of the week. While many may recognize her for her first feature film, the box-office hit The Wedding Party, Kemi has been blazing the trails in the media industry for well over a decade. We sat down with Kemi to discuss her career and some words of advice for those aspiring to have a career in media.
Describe your career and what inspired you towards it?
I’m a filmmaker right now, but this is just the latest evolution in a journey that’s included being an on-air-personality (radio & TV), being a DJ and music video director for many years prior. It’s a melting pot of so many elements, and phases, so if I could use film genres to describe my career, it would be an action-thriller with a mix of comedy, and lots of suspense – simply because there are so many pulse-racing moments, and I really do not know what’s going to happen next, till it actually happens.
I’m not quite sure what inspired me towards filmmaking, as it’s been so long now. But I will say I’ve always been a director in my heart, from when I was a kid. Building stories and directing characters in my head was a constant thing when I was little. I had very low self-esteem growing up, so my imagination was my escape. In this fantasy world, I would build characters and manipulate them to do or say what I wanted them to. So I guess you could say my career is a natural progression from that.
"I’ve always been a director in my heart, from when I was a kid. My imagination was my escape""
What gets you most excited about your career?
The ability to tell stories… It is such an honor. The gift and experience of seeing people react to MY FILMS… It’s mind-blowing and humbling at the same time. I know with every blood vessel in my body, I am in the career I was born to do. So it feels exciting and such a privilege to be able to wake up every day, and do this job I love so much, having every conviction that I am walking my true purpose.
What motivates you? How do you balance it all?
I’m not sure I’m balancing it all.. LOL, but I do the best I can. I try to take breaks in-between each project because each project has a life of its own and can be emotionally/physically/mentally draining. But I love my job, and my motivation is etching my name in history stones whenever one talks about NOLLYWOOD (Nigerian Cinema Industry) and its defining moments.
What has been your biggest career lesson learned?
"Do it Afraid” – Someone could look at my career and think I’ve taken every great opportunity that has come my way with great courage. But the reality is, even I have to pep talk myself into taking risks and making bold statements in my career. It’s very natural to feel anxious about your career and evolving in it, but don’t let it cripple you. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. The world won’t give you pass for being nervous to jump off the cliff and TRUST. The key is not being afraid to fail… I’m still learning this.
"Biggest career lesson learned - Do it afraid""
What is particularly challenging about your career and how do you navigate through those obstacles?
NOLLYWOOD is still growing and making great progress while doing so, so it’s understandable that our infrastructure is not as advanced as say, HOLLYWOOD. This however makes funding, hiring skilled hands (both talent and crew), getting choice locations, distribution, and so many other things, more difficult and expensive.
What advice would you give to someone considering your career field?
Learn from the greats. Obsess over your favs and be inspired by their work… but make sure you find your own voice.
"Learn from the greats. Obsess over your favs and be inspired by their work… but make sure you find your own voice."
What is your favorite Silver & Riley product and why?
The Convertible Executive leather bag!! I have it in olive green, and eyeing few other colors… Especially that croc red. LOL. It’s seamlessly transitions from cross-body playful, to – as the name says – Executive! It’s also one of those bags that would interest the younger or older woman.