Akin Omotoso, the Nigerian-born actor, director and producer, is the winner of the 2007 Standard Bank Young Artist award for film.

His family moved to South Africa in 1992 and shortly after Omotoso enrolled for a performers’ diploma in speech and drama, the only course at UCT that did not require a matric exemption. In 1995, Omotoso won the Fleur du Cap award for most promising student for his role in Sunjata, a play directed by Mark Fleishman. Using the money he made from acting to subsidise his directorial dreams, he completed three short films. In 1999, he wrote his first feature, God is African, and soon after started a production company called T.O.M Pictures with two other partners.

Their first project was producing Craig Freimond’s Gums and Noses, which won Best South African Film at the New York Independent Film Festival in 2004. He has since directed a short film called Rifle Road, which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005, and his documentary in tribute to his mother, Gathering the Scattered Cousins, was selected for screening at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival in 2006. Locally, Omotoso has starred in Isidingo, Generations and Big Okes. He also played opposite Nicolas Cage in Lord of War and will soon appear in the role of Paul Kagame in Shake Hands with the Devil.

Lunch Spot: Jummy's Kitchen, Corlett Drive