Kayode Kasum: How A Yabatech Graduate Made Nigeria’s Biggest Comedy Movie

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Kayode Kasum is only 28-years-old but he has already directed Nigeria’s first live-action animated movie and Nigeria’s fourth highest-grossing film ever. How does a graduate of the Yaba College of Technology (YabaTech) go from an obscure motion graphics designer to creating one of Nollywood’s most successful movies? 

Kasum’s first film came in 2017 but his career started after he landed a motion graphic designer job at Wale Adenuga Productions, makers of the popular Super Story TV series. He had just finished school and spent the next two years honing his skills as a motion graphic designer as well as other aspects of post-production. 

In 2015, he took on another role at African Cable Television, a Direct to Home pay TV service that was incorporated in 2013, as a channel manager/producer. In his second year, he took up another role as head of production at ad agency Neuklous. In this role, Kasum supervised the production of about 12 short films. He learned and grew with each project but feature films were where he had his eyes on. 

He also created and directed music videos, television series and shot campaigns for brands like Clover Industries Tanzania, Manchester United, DHL, Fela The Concert, ART X and Techplus.

He saved up for two years and in 2017, he made his first feature film, Dognapped. It was the first of its kind in Nigeria and starred Odunlade Adekola, Julius Agwu, Wofai fada, Tope Tedela, Lota Chukwu, Funny Bone, comedian Ebiye and Brutus Richard.  “I was working for an ad agency and also for a television decoder company. I saved money for 2 years and shot dognapped which took like a year in post-production because we had to animate the dog to talk. It was a very challenging year in my life but I do not regret making that film because it paved the way for other films. God is great,” Kasum said in a 2019 interview. 

His break out film, however, was Oga Bolaji, a feature film that follows a 40-year-old retired musician in Lagos, Nigeria as he meets a young girl who just got into the country from Ghana with her mother. This film cost Kasum another year of savings and he decided that if it didn’t work, he was going to Canada to study economics, live a life and get married. Thankfully, the film got rave reviews, going to over 20 film festivals across the world, screened on six continents in various events, and translated into two languages; French and Italian.

Since then he has also directed Love is Yellow, Sweet face, Killing Jade and Sugar Rush. Kasum is also a director on Unbroken, an Africa Magic original series that premiered in October 2019. Kayode Kasum is the youngest director of an Africa magic series yet. He also directs Phases, an original web series by Ndani TV. 

In 2019, Kayode Kasum was nominated for The Future Awards Africa Prize for Filmmaking, another endorsement of his talent. With the projects he has in the works and the track record he has shown so far, the future is looking very bright for this young man. Nollywood, watch out!

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