TRIBUTE: Dejo Tunfulu, Yoruba comic actor who blessed screens for many generations as a stammerer
We will not live forever. As leaves wither and sterms no longer stand, human lives shall expire too. Whenever the grim reaper is ready to act, it takes away everything including wealth and fame. It is in the practice of grim reapers to empty the house of treasure and introduce sorrow to the house of joy. When it was the turn of Kunle Makinde Adetokunbo popularly known as Dejo Tunfulu, grim reaper did not allow fame to rescue him from its grip. Dejo Tunfulu, Yoruba comedian and artiste had two daughters and died on 1st April, 2022 at the age of 50 due to unexpected bleeding.
Dejo Tunfulu was more than a comic character on screen. He was a comedian of many generations with a unique style. For decades, he appeared in most movies as a ‘stammerer’, consistently displayed this same style a countless times for many years and it survived every moment. Adetokunbo who started acting at a very young age had the privilege to share stage with the likes of Lukuluku, Baba Suwe, Koledowo, Ajirebi and other legendary comic actors.
He rose from stage to screen, redefining every moment with his gift and the uniqueness in his character cuts deeper into the hearts of his fans. When popular artiste and film-maker, Kunle Afod announced the passing away of Kunle Makinde Adetokunbo fondly called Dejo Tunfulu, an array of comments and condolences followed it. Colleagues of Dejo Tunfulu while expressing their sorrows described the late comic actor as a man of humility and respect. Both colleagues and other sympathizers who are very close to the late comic actor emphasised on a particular statement “he did not reap the fruits of his hard labour”.
A closer look into the lifetime of Dejo Tunfulu shows that the late comic actor really labored hard. Besides singlehandedly raising two daughters after the death of his wife, Dejo Tunfulu featured in many movies but had no major financial breakthrough. Dejo Tunfulu had his first major breakthrough and rose to fame in late 199s when he featured in the movie titled: “Omo Oran”, featuring the veteran actor Fatai Adetayo (Lalude).
EARLY YEARS OF KUNLE MAKINDE (DEJO TUNFULU)
Dejo Tunfulu real name Kunle Makinde Adetokunbo hails from Abeokuta in Ogun State, he was born on 31st of May, 1972 in Idumota, Lagos Island area of Lagos State. He is a prominent Yoruba comic actor, writer, and producer.
Dejo Tunfulu started his education when he attended the Ansar-Ud-Deen primary school at Lagos Island area of Lagos State and obtained his First School Leaving Certificate.
He had his high school education at the Dolphin High School, Ebute Elefun, Lagos Island, Lagos State, and obtained his School Certificate.
He furthered his education by attending the Modern Way Nigeria School of Printing for a certificate in printing.
HIS MARITAL LIFE
Mrs. Adesola Olakunle, Dejo’s wife, is no longer alive. She died in December 2012, according to reports, after giving up during childbirth in the early hours of the morning. Dejo has two adult children from his previous marriage.
Dejo married Deola Idowu Gunwa, a secondary school teacher near the defunct Concord Newspaper in Ikeja, after his first wife died.
HIS PROFESSIONAL LIFE
Dejo Tunfulu started off acting way back in high school when he joined the entertainment society (a school drama club) and did some stage plays in the early 1980s. He lived in close proximity to some notable stars like Fausat Balogun (Madam Saje) and Kayode Olasehinde (Baba Ajirebi) while growing up and had the opportunity to receive training from them even as a boy.
A few years later, he joined Akuko Gagara Theatre Group and Kolawole International Theatre Group, he got his first television appearance in 1987 in the drama series “Apere Ijongbon” by the Kolawole International Theatre Group.