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Akemnji Ndifornyen: "I really look up to Ashley Walters"

Actor. Musician. Writer. BAFTA winner. Akemnji Ndifornyen is one of the most talented creatives working in Britain today. He takes us through his life and style 

Akemnji Ndifornyen
Akemnji Ndifornyen

Akemnji Ndifornyen won a BAFTA for his BBC3 sketch show Famalam. He starred in Netflix’s global hit The Queen’s Gambit. He scripted last year's MOBO Awards and recently signed a record deal with BMG. 

Yeah, life is looking good for one of the most talented men in the business. (Which business? All the businesses!) 

But a hole still exists in his life – the absence of the original pair of Nike Air Deluxe that AK foolishly threw away. 

"They got damaged," recalls AK. "I should have just used one of those sneaker repair companies but I wasn’t thinking straight!"

We all make mistakes in life – and his is shaping up pretty good nonetheless. 

Life

What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about?

I have a TV show for BBC One I’m directing and producing which will be out next year.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

There’ve been quite a few, but making Famalam stands out for me.

If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?

I wouldn’t change anything, to be fair. Everything I’ve done has lead me to where I’ve needed to be.

It’s probably the most cliched and boring answer but it’s true.

What do you hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?

I’m not telling you, ha!

Jokes aside I prefer to keep that stuff to myself, do it, then talk about it once it’s done. I think that’s a trait I get from my Mum.

Outside of your family, who is / was your biggest inspiration?

My parents and my big sister are inspirations, but I really look up to Ashley Walters. He’s a magnetic human being I’m lucky enough to call a dear friend.

I love the way he comports himself and navigates work and being a man.

Tell us something nobody knows about you…

I’m obsessed with plants and flowers. They know me well at my local florist – AG Price on Well Street.

Akemnji Ndifornyen
Akemnji Ndifornyen

Style

What’s your favourite item of clothing – and what does it mean to you?

I’d say my Timberland boots. They’re comfortable and rugged at the same time. They just work with everything.

And I wear them unlaced – NY Style!

Favourite accessory – watch / jewellery / etc – and why is it special to you?

I’ve never really worn watches or much jewellery, but I do have an initial ring which was given to me for my 18th Birthday.

I was living and working in Birmingham at the time and it just reminds me of a special moment in my life.

What items do you take on holiday and why?

I usually go to warm places, so swimming shorts and sunglasses are crucial.

Is there an item you threw away – or lost – that you really miss?

I had an original pair of Nike Air Deluxe which I threw away a few years ago when they got damaged. I should have just used one of those sneaker repair companies but I wasn’t thinking straight!

Nike reissued them but it’s not the same as having the originals!

What’s next on your shopping list?

A pair of Nike Air Deluxe!

What would you buy if money was no object?

I’d probably get a tailored suit from Turnbull and Asser. They made the original suits for the Bond films – I’m a big Bond fan.

Akemnji Ndifornyen

Famalam is available on BBC3

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