Akin Omotoso

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Akin Omotoso (197*-) Actor, director and producer of stage, film and TV.

Biography

Akin is the son of Kole Omotoso.

Youth

Born in Nigeria and grew up in the university town of Ife, where he found his first love, writing. In 1992, his family moved to South Africa after his father accepted a lectureship at the University of the Western Cape.


Training

Omotoso completed his A-levels in South Africa but struggled to get into university without a matric exemption. He enrolled for the only course at the University of Cape Town that did not require a matric exemption, the Performers Diploma in Speech and Drama.

Career

After a few professional stage performances (inter alia in ****), he became a nationally known figure for his performances in various TV series (Generations, **). In 200* he began writing and directing independent films.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

Stage roles in Sunjata, (directed by Mark Fleishman), Twelfth Night, or What You Will, The Winter's Tale, Battle of the Black and the Dogs.

The first film he made was The Night Time , followed by three short films, The Kiss of Milk, The Nightwalkers and The Caretaker and in 1999, his first feature film God is African. Omotoso directed another short film called Rifle Road, which was selected to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005. He also made a documentary in tribute to his mother called Gathering the Scattered Cousins, selected for screening at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival in 2006.

He is a familiar face on the South African small screen having starred in Isidingo: The Need, Generations and Big Okes but his acting also extends to international experience. Acted opposite Nicolas Cage in Lord of War, and in 2006, was cast in the role of Paul Kagame, in Shake Hands with the Devil.

Awards, etc

He won the Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for most promising student in 1995.

He was the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year (Film), 2007.

Sources

Various entries in the NELM catalogue.

Interview with Bonita Boni published in the Daily Dispatch, 7 July 2007.

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