For many years since the inception of Nollywood, we have shared laughs with some of the greatest talents in Africa, invited them into our homes as they entertained us with quality acting and have watched them develop into so much more than mere performers.
Omotola Jalede-Ekeinde, Genevieve Nnaji, Rita Dominic, Kate Henshaw, Desmond Eliot, Olu Jacobs-these are some of the most respected actors in Nigeria with over 20 years in the industry under their belts. And while we appreciate their contribution and service to the Nigerian entertainment industry, it is ridiculous to cast Kate Henshaw as an 18 year old and expect her to be convincing.
The solution is simple; it is time for our living legends to take a backseat, giving the new generation of young, vivacious and of course talented actors the opportunity to shine as they have for so long.
Here is our list of top 6 new comers that are sure to take over Nollywood in no time.
- OC Ukeje
Arguably the darling of Nollywood, OC made his début into the industry in 2007 when he emerged winner of the now defunct Amstel Malta Box Office earning him a role in the movie White Waters and has since gone on to star in blockbusters such as HoodRush, Confusion Nawa, Gone too Far, Two Brides and a Baby and Half of a Yellow. Within a short time as an actor, he has starred with Hollywood greats such as Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandi Newton and Hazeem Kae-Kazim. With impeccable acting skills, OC became the winner of the Best Actor in a Movie at the inaugural edition of the AfricaMagic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA). You can catch him in Gidi Up where he plays Obi, an On Air Personality who’s one interest is the ladies. With good looks as fierce as that and very intense delivery of his characters, it’s no wonder he is a director’s delight to work with.
- Dorcas Shola Fapson
Simply known as DSF, this ebony beauty has a degree in criminology but has since completed an intense 5 week drama course at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York where she was given a scholarship for the full time course at the American Musical & Dramatic Academy. She recently starred in the first Afrobeat musical, Oliva Tweest in London’s West End playing a lead role – Aunty Funke but the character Sophie was her début into the Nigerian entertainment space in MTV’s Shuga. Though she is not the biggest star on Shuga with the likes of Tiwa Savage, DSF’s interpretation of Sophie will keep you engrossed in the 8 part series and leave you wanting season after season. With a background in Modelling, DSF is a triple threat as she has got some serious moves on the dance floor and isn’t afraid to show off her skills on social media.
- Tope Tadela
We first saw him on MNet’s family series, Edge of Paradise in a small part as Julian, now, Tope Tadela has gone on to clinch the coveted Best Actor in a Movie award at the 2014 AMVCAs for his role as Lala in A Mile Away, a low budget movie he was hardly paid for. His hunger and drive is the reason he is the one to watch in this new generation of Nollywood.
- Adesua Etomi
At a tender age of 7, Adesua had recognized her love for the arts and it was this desire to perform that made her join the drama group at her primary school. She started her acting career in 2004 in the United Kingdom with several projects to her name such as: Knocking on heaven’s door, Anatomy Of A Woman, Crystal Slipper, The Crucible, Jesus Christ Superstar (musical), Miss Saigon(Musical), Les Miserables (musical), to mention a few. Adesua Etomi also featured in a short film titled “The Call” produced by LowlaDee but it was her performance as Sharon, the care free daddy’s girl in Gidi Up that caught the attention of Nigerians and though she is relatively new to the Nigerian scene, she is young, pretty and charming, a combination Nollywood couldn’t do without.
- Emmanuel Ikubese
The 25 year old actor, model and music artist moved to Kenya for studies but soon returned to Nigeria to feature in MTV’s award winning drama series, Shuga where he plays Femi, a Nigerian music promoter living with the HIV virus. He is currently Mr. Nigeria and emerged first-runner-up at the Mr. World Competition held in the United Kingdom. Built like a Greek god, Emmanuel is sure to dazzle female fans with his good looks and sexy smile.
- Ivie Okujaiye
Young, ambitious and extremely talented, Ivie was discovered on a now defunct talent hunt reality show, Amstel Malta Box Office where she emerged winner in 2009 and has risen rather quickly since then in the Nigerian entertainment scene producing her own movies and writing impressive scripts. Often compared to Nollywood royalty, Genevieve Nnaji, Ivie has bagged a few awards including the AMVCAs Trailblazer Award and the Africa Movie Academy Awards Best Young Actor for her role in Alero’s Symphony. Her latest work, Make a Move which she not only starred in but also produced was released this year and is currently receiving rave reviews. This PYT just could be the future of Nollywood.