Folake Olowofoyeku: Biography, Age, Career, Family And Movies
Folake Olowofoyeku (born October 26, 1983) is a Nigerian actress and musician. She currently stars in the 2019 Chuck Lorre CBS sitcom, Bob Hearts Abishola.
Early life and education
Olowofoyeku was born in Nigeria to Nigerian politician Babatunji Olowofoyeku and Felicia Olowofoyeku. She is the youngest child of 20 children. She grew up in Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria, and also spent time in London. One of her older brothers is the musician and guitarist Toby Foyeh.
Olowofoyeku attended Igbinedion Education Centre, a Montessori boarding school in Benin City. She then transferred to Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls in Ikeja, Lagos and then attended Oxbridge Tutorial College.
In 2001 at the age of 18 years old, Olowofoyeku emigrated to the United States, where she came to live with her sister.
Although initially studying economics in anticipation of becoming an attorney, Olowofoyeku received a B.A. in theater from City College of New York. During her time at City College she played NCAA Division III college basketball for the CCNY Beavers.
After graduating from college, Olowofoyeku got her start working in off-off-off-Broadway theater in New York City.
Olowofoyeku appeared in guest-starring roles on television shows that include 30 Rock, How to Get Away with Murder, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Modern Family, Westworld, and White Collar.
Olowofoyeku starred in the 2017 film, Death Race 2050, as Minerva Jefferson. The film is a remake of the 1975 cult film, Death Race 2000, and was shot in Lima, Peru.
Also in 2017, Olowofoyeku appeared opposite Gaby Hoffmann in the last season of the TV series Transparent, as her love interest, Lyfe.
In September 2019, Olowofoyeku co-stars opposite American comedian Billy Gardell in the 2019 Chuck Lorre CBS sitcom, Bob Hearts Abishola, which Lorre created with British-Nigerian comedian Gina Yashere – who writes for the show and plays Olowofoyeku’s character’s best friend, Kemi. Bob Hearts Abishola is the first American sitcom to feature a Nigerian family. Olowofoyeku plays Abishola, a Nigerian cardiac nurse who meets a compression sock businessman named Bob in Detroit. The show features a budding romance between the two, who find they have more in common than differences. Olowofoyeku has said that the show is also groundbreaking because it features cast members, including Abishola, speaking in the Yoruba language.
Olowofoyeku plays Afro-beat electronic music under the moniker The Folake. She plays guitar, piano, and has worked as a sound engineer. Olowofoyeku has a diploma in audio engineering from the Institute of Audio Research.
In 2013, Olowofoyeku appeared in two David Bowie videos as his bass guitar player: “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” and “The Next Day”. Both videos were directed by Floria Sigismondi, with Tilda Swinton portraying Bowie’s wife in “The Stars” while “Next Day” featured actors Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard. Olowofoyeku said that director Sigismondi and Bowie worked with the band so they could learn their parts musically in rehearsal, as well as portray themselves in the videos.
Olowofoyeku was named after the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Folake Solanke. Olowofoyeku has spoken about the importance of names in Yoruba culture. Her first name means to use non-monetary wealth to pamper and her surname means a rich man uses a chieftaincy title to top off their wealth.
Olowofoyeku speaks Yoruba.
Olowofoyeku is a big fan of science fiction and the work of Octavia Butler, and counts Butler’s 1980 book, Wild Seed, as a favourite.
- 2004: Protesters (Video) – as Felice Falafafull
- 2005: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series) – as Amina Asante, episode: “Night”
- 2006: When They Could Fly (Short) – as Bella
- 2008: 10,000 A.D.: The Legend of a Black Pearl (Video) – as Plaebian 3
- 2008: Staged Archive (Short) – as Judge
- 2008: In Search of Myster Ey – as Waitress
- 2009: The Child Within – as Omo
- 2010: 30 Rock (TV Series) – as Jamaican Nurse #2, episode: “Anna Howard Shaw Day”
- 2010: Law & Order: Criminal Intent (TV Series) – as Princess Timiro, 2 episodes: “Loyalty: Part 1”, “Loyalty: Part 2”
- 2010: White Collar (TV Series) – as Teller, 2 episodes: “By the Book”, “Unfinished Business”
- 2011: The Beaver – as Nurse
- 2011: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series) – as Adisa, episode: “Scorched Earth”
- 2012: Hellbenders – as Serena Venter
- 2013: The Stars (Are Out Tonight) by David Bowie (Video short) – Bassist
- 2013: The Next Day by David Bowie (Video short) – Bassist
- 2014: Gideon’s Cross (Short) – as voice of Mona Madugu (Nigerian Boss)
- 2014: Kepler X-47 (Short) – as Alien Sentinel
- 2014: Modern Family (TV Series) – as Ayoola, episode: “Marco Polo”
- 2016: How to Get Away with Murder (TV Series) – as Desk Nurse, episode: “There’s My Baby”
- 2016: Westworld (TV Series) – as Surveillance Tech, episode: “Dissonance Theory”
- 2016: Female Fight Squad – as Winter
- 2017: Death Race 2050 (Video) – as Minerva Jefferson
- 2017: Colony (TV Series) – as Redhat, episode: “Panopticon”
- 2017: Transparent (TV Series short) – as Lyfe, 3 episodes: “Pinkwashing Machine”, “Babar the Borrible”, “Desert Eagle”
- 2017: The Gifted (TV Series) – as Scar, episode: “rX”
- 2018: Central & Broadway (Short) – as Leon
- 2018: The Bride (Short)
- 2018: World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth (Video Game) (voice)
- 2018: Armed – as Frida
- 2019: Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series – Episode I (Video Game) – as Priestess (voice)
- 2019: The Filth (TV Series) – as Charlotte, episode: “Filthy Bro Day”
- 2019: Bob Hearts Abishola (TV Series) – as Abishola
- 2004: Trojan Women by Euripides at Classical Theatre of Harlem (April 2, 2004)
- 2009: Punk Roc/Love Song (Horse Trade Theater Group) at Kraine Theater (September 30-October 3, 2009)
- 2012: The.Folake! (self-released)