A new American TV show, called Bob Hearts Abishola, has been causing a lot of buzz and conversation since it premiered in September this year. On the show, a man named Bob has a heart attack and falls in love with the Nigerian woman, Abishola, who is supposed to nurse him back to health. Folake Olowofoyeku plays the part of Abishola, and Billy Gardell (from the popular American TV show Mike & Molly) plays the part of Bob. Bob is so taken by Abishola that he is determined to win her heart regardless of the differences between their worlds.
Folake Olowofoyeku is an actress, a musician and an artist. She moved to America when she was 18, and she always wanted to practice the arts. Her parents, on the other hand, preferred professions like law and politics. While they thought that she was studying economics, Folake studied theatre at the City College of New York and graduated with honours. While there, she also studied audio engineering and developed a love for basketball. She has appeared on television in feature films and TV series like How To Get Away With Murder, Modern Family, Female Fight Club, The Bride, The Child Within, Hellbenders-3D and others.
In Bob Hearts Abishola, Abishola (Folake Olowofoyeku) is a single mother living in a small apartment in Detroit with an aunt, an uncle, and her son, Dele. Folake’s life on the show is very similar to her real-life history. Just like Folake’s parents wanted her to pursue a professional career, Abishola on the show wants her son Dele to go to Harvard and become a doctor. In an interview, Folake Olowofoyeku says:
“Abishola is parts my mom, parts my aunties, parts women I grew up with in Nigeria. My teachers, people I was surrounded with. I’m pulling from all of them to create her.”
Folake Olowofoyeku is 35 years old, the youngest of about 20 children. Folake lost both of her parents, so she will never know their reactions to the career path she finally arrived in. Earlier on in her acting career, her agent suggested that she change her Nigerian name, but Folake declined. She also has a small gap in between her two front teeth which she was pressured to close at first. She didn’t give in to the pressure, and the gap ended up getting her a lot of jobs. Perhaps because the feature is so rare to see on American TV. Now the gap is accepted. She flashes it proudly when she smiles.
Folake is a newcomer to Nigerian audiences, but not to Hollywood. She works hard, and it shows. She has won two awards for Best Actress. One at the ReelHeart International Film Festival in Toronto, for her role as Bella in the short feature film When They Could Fly, and another at the CineFashion Film Awards for her part in the fashion film Central & Broadway. Her first love was music, but her parents were completely against the idea of her becoming a musician. Folake claims she went into acting to distract her parents from her singing. As a musician, she calls herself “The.Folake!”, and her debut single, which is also called The.Folake, appeared at number one on the Afro-Pop charts in America.
The TV show, Bob Hearts Abishola, is broadcast on the American television network CBS. CBS shows are available online.
Featured Image Source: CBS