Kayode Kasum is a fervid movie director and cinematographer. He is popularly known for the movie “Oga Bolaji” which was shot in 2018. His more recent work “Sugar Rush” grossed ₦40million in its opening weekend at the cinemas. It became the fifth highest-grossing Nollywood film in 2019. It joined the list of movies to earn over ₦100million at the Nollywood Box office in January 2020. Sugar Rush received a lot of criticism from the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) for its poor portrayal of the Nigerian law enforcement agencies.
Kayode has been involved in many film projects which include a two-part documentary series for the Lagos State Internal Revenue Services (LIRS). He has created and directed music videos, TV series and even going on to shoot campaigns for brands like Ndani TV, Manchester United, Forbes, Union Bank Nigeria (UBA), DHL Shipping and lots of other organisations.
Kayode shoots most of his movies predominantly in English and different Nigerian dialects. He also shoots in pidgin because he is a firm believer in passing down cultural characteristics from one generation to another. His first movie, “Dognapped” is Nigeria’s first live-action animated comedy film and was shot in 2017. It aired in cinemas on September 29th 2017. It was his first feature film attempt after a long string of 12 short films.
Kayode Kasum’s Growing Up & Education
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Kayode Kasum was born on February 2nd, 1992. He was a very restless child with a wild imagination. He would imagine he was a Bollywood star or a cartoon character and try to live in their world. His grades were always terrible because he spent more time daydreaming instead of focusing on his school work. He claims his best homework as a kid then was composition. Kayode had loved writing as a kid because it made him feel good. He had a reserved personality as a kid with made-up conversations, characters and personalities raving in his head. Kayode took his daydreaming as a gift and has since used it as a tool in his film making.
Kayode Kasum attended Lagos State Model College Kankon, Badagry (LASMOCK). He is a graduate of Yaba College of Education (YABATECH). When film making proved difficult for him, he thought about travelling to Canada to study Economics, get married and settle down with a family. But, fate would have it otherwise.
How Kayode’s Career Started
Upon graduating from YABATECH, he landed a job as a motion graphic designer as Wale Adenuga Productions (WAP). He worked there from 2014 till 2015 when he took another job as a channel manager/producer at the African Cable Television (ACTV). In his second year in that role, he took another role as the head of production at advertising agency Neuklous. In this position, he shot 12 short films.
After saving for two years, Kayode shot his first feature film “Dognapped” in 2017. It was a very challenging ordeal for him because things did not go as planned, and he went bankrupt. Nevertheless, Dognapped paved the way for other, more successful feature films like the popular “Oga Bolaji” which, he is well known for. Oga Bolaji is 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 movie paved his road to success. It was during the production of this movie that he encountered Jade Osiberu, from which, he got to work on several other commissioned projects. Oga Bolaji made his name known worldwide and brought him to into the limelight, as it was shown in popular theatres and over 20 film festivals across the world. Oga Bolaji was even translated into two languages; French and Italian. Kayode has gone on to direct movies like Kambili: The Whole 30 Yards and Sugar Rush.
Kayode Kasum’s Career Breakthroughs
In an interview, before the debut of Sugar Rush in December 2019. Kayode voiced some of the hardships he faced in the Nollywood film making industry. He talked about not having enough money to support and create the ideas that he had—coupled with the fact that in Nigeria, actors have more leeway. Because he was a newbie in the industry, they walked all over him, and their attitude to his projects was nonchalant.
He faced a lot of challenges because the industry only recognises movie directors by how much they have and what they have achieved. Walking into the movie industry with zero naira and no feats to boast off, the road was tough for Kayode.
After saving for over two years, Kayode finally got enough money to shoot “Dognapped”. Dognapped was like a Nigerian Dr Do-little, a talking dog film. Dognapped starred a lot of Nollywood stars like; Odunlade Adekola, Tope Teleda, Julius Agwu, Lota Chukwu and comedians like Funny Bone and Comedian Ebiye. But the movie didn’t turn out as he had hoped.
Dognapped had a low grossing at the box office and left Kayode broke after its debut. Kayode didn’t despair. Instead, he saved for another year to shoot the movie “Oga Bolaji”. Before shooting the movie, he promised himself that Oga Bolaji would be his last movie in the Nollywood film making industry after which, he would go to Canada to study Economics, live a life and get married.
But with the release of Oga Bolaji, things changed drastically. In his own words, “Oga Bolaji changed everything and opened doors to new opportunities.” Upon entering Kayode Kasum’s name into the search engine; Google, the first movie noted to be associated with him is “Oga Bolaji.”
Kayode’s Memorable Moments
After the success of Oga Bolaji, Kayode got a call from Jade Osiberu, telling him that she was working on a feature film and she needed a movie director to work in conjunction with. As soon as he gave his consent, she gave him instructions, before giving him the script to read and that was it. Kayode chalks this opportunity up to the presence of the grace of God over his life.
Before this, Jade Osiberu had sent him a Direct Message (DM) asking for a link through which she could watch his previous film; Oga Bolaji. Till today, Jade Osiberu didn’t say why she gave the movie directing role of Sugar Rush to Kayode. The huge success of Sugar Rush at the Nollywood box office showcased the talents of this wonderful young cinematographer.
Kayode has been working with important organisations like WAP, ACTV and advertising agency Neuklous. Also, he shot 12 short films. Below, is a list of feature films Kayode has directed:
Oga Bolaji 2018.
Sugar Rush 2019.
Kambili: The Whole 30 Yards 2020
Fate of Alakada 2020.
Love is Yellow.
Kayode’s project “Oga Bolaji” acquired theatrical distribution in the United States and Nordic Countries. Kayode is the youngest director of an African magic TV series. He is also the director of Phases, an original web series by Ndani TV. In 2019 Kayode Kasum was nominated for The Future Award Price for Filmmaking. Another feather of achievement in his cap. However, with the projects he has embarked on in the past and the works he has in the future, there is no question to the talents of this young man.
Kayode’s films have been watched in various locations and festivals around the world and he has received several awards for his work, including Canada, France, Kenya, Serbia, Italy, United Kingdom and Nigeria.
Kayode Kasum’s Net Worth
Kayode has led a reserved and quiet life so far; he has steered his personal life away from the media’s eye. But, from the success of Oga Bolaji and Sugar Rush, we can very much ascertain that Kayode Kasum is doing very well in terms of funds.
Other interesting facts
Kayode has shot over 7,860 minutes on MNET’s Telenovela series “UNBROKEN”. Just so you know, Kayode is single and his best food is – anything with plantain.