Nollywood Spotlight: Ireti Doyle

320 views November 27, 2017 9:00 AM

image: Nollywood by Mindspace
Written by: Karen Cryer

In this week's Nollywood Spotlight, we're talking about Ireti Doyle! With a career that has spanned over 20 years in the film industry, whether she is acting, producing, presenting or writing, Doyle is a true Nollywood legend. Not to mention the fact that she is starring in the upcoming and highly anticipated "The Wedding Party 2"!  There are no signs of this incredible talent slowing down, so we wanted to take a look at what got this stunner to where she is today.

Doyle was born Iretiola Olusola Ayinke in Akure, Ondo State on May 3, 1967. She spent her early years living in the United States, in Boston, but her family returned to Nigeria when she was eleven years old. She has an older sister and her brother is seven years younger, so a for several years she felt like an only child - her sister had moved out and her brother wasn't born yet - and she enjoyed the undivided attention of both her parents. She describes her upbringing as strict, but she overall had a happy, comfortable childhood. 

After attending Christ School Ado Ekiti and Apostlic Church Grammar School, she graduated with a degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Jos. At time, she already felt destined to act and landed her first role on the popular TV series "Riddles and Hope" in 1995. Since then, she has also played a recurring character, Illa, in the TV series "Gidi Up". Of course, the TV role we all know and love her for is the strong matriarch, Sheila Ade Williams, in the hit soap opera, "Tinsel".   

Ireti has, of course, been extremely successful on the big screen too; she is known for her roles in "Across the Niger" in 2004, set in the midst of the Biafra War; the critically acclaimed "Sitanda" in 2007; the gripping psychological thriller "Torn" in 2013; her intelligent performance in "The Arbitration", a film whose commentary on the subject of rape was extremely well-received by critics; and as the sassy professional, Elizabeth, in "Fifty".  She has also performed on stage in The Vagina Monologues, Oloronbi: The Musical, Hear Word! and The Wives.

However, we can't write about Ireti Doyle without mentioning the massive success of "The Wedding Party".  Released in cinemas last year, it is the highest-grossing film in Nigeria to date. Doyle shines as Lady Obianuju Onwuka, the impossible-to-please, intimidating Mother of the Groom.  "The Wedding Party 2", comes to cinemas in just a few weeks, where she will reprise her role as Lady Onwuka, who is, once again,  the Mother of the Groom and, once again, mightily displeased!


In addition to acting, Doyle is also a presenter and producer. She hosted and produced the fashion and lifestyle TV show "Oge" for ten years, as well as being a presenter on "Morning Ride", "Today on STV" and "Nimasa This Week".

Furthermore,  Doyle is an accomplished writer, her credits include Season One of Amaka Igwe's "Tempest".  She has also written popular columns in This Day Newspaper,  City People and the Saturday Vanguard.

Throughout her impressive career, Doyle has been nominated twice at the  City People Movie Awards (for Best Actress of the Year and for Face of Nollywood), twice at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (for Best Actress in a Leading Role and for Best Actress in a Supporting Role), and for Best Actress at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards. She also won the Late Ambassador Segun Olusola NBMA for Actress of the Year in 2016 and the 2014 Nollywood Movie Award for Best Actress.

Doyle married fellow actor and producer, Patrick Doyle, back in 1999.  The couple had six children, but sadly lost a child to sickle cell anaemia a few years ago. She had her first child at nineteen, before meeting Patrick, and her experience as a single mother pushed her to be strong and independent. 

Despite being criticised by her family at the time, she never gave up on her dream of being an actress and, in 2014, she gave her beautiful daughter, Bimbo, away in her wedding ceremony. Currently, it has been reported that Doyle and her husband have separated. However, typical of both Ireti and Patrick, the couple remain amicable and have refrained from talking to gossip columns about the situation, showing mutual respect for one another.

The successful actress is currently living in Lagos and, on the rare occasions when she isn't working, she chooses to chill out with her family at home.

Here are some more fun facts about Ireti Doyle:
  • She met her husband while working - he was her boss.
  • She wakes up at 4am every day, regardless of whether she's working or not.
  • Being a mother and having a large family keeps her grounded.
  • She got involved in broadcasting by chance; she was asked to design a TV show, which turned out to be "Oge".
  • She describes herself as laid-back, independent and peace loving.
  • She is fluent in Hausa.
  • Her 50th birthday was this year.
  • Her biggest fear is failure.
  • She believes education is one of the most important things in a person's life.
  • Her birthday is on May 3, making her a Taurus.
Check out Doyle's fantastic performance in "The Wedding Party 2", coming to cinemas across Nigeria on December 15!

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