The Nollywood Industry is not an easy one to get into for budding actors and actresses. One of the ways to be sought after by Producers and Directors is by winning the hearts of Nigerian movie fans. Using 10 of my favourite Nollywood actors and actresses, I’ve compiled a list of the skills you need to break into Nollywood.
1. SCREEN GODDESS – Genevieve Nnaji
|Genevieve Nnaji in Weekend Getaway|
Most women want to be her and most men want to be with her. Screen goddess Genevieve Nnaji is not one of the highest paid actresses for no reason. She has sex-appeal that is classy, not trashy. Place her in a film with any male and you will definitely see a spark.
2. VERSATILITY – Desmond Elliot
|Desmond Elliot in Desperate House Girls|
Desmond Elliot is very versatile; he has never let his dreams stop growing. After gaining success as a Nollywood actor, he went on further to establish himself as a director and a producer in movies such as The Place and Desperate House Girls. He is now one of the people in the industry contributing to the new Nigerian cinema.
3. FASHION ICON – Omotola Jalade Ekeinde
|Omotola Jalade Ekeinde in Last Flight To Abuja|
Having been honoured on the 2013 Time 100 Most Influential People In The World List, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde is in a class of her own. A wife and a mother of four, “Omosexy”, as she is known to her legions of fans, has proven that you can still be in the entertainment business and have a good family life. She is a fashion icon for curvy Nigerian women; showing that curvy women can also wear glamorous clothes.
4. COMEDY – Mr Ibu
|Mr Ibu in Sherikoko Reloaded|
It is always great to go home after a hard day’s work and be able to relax. Any movie that features John Okafor, popularly known as ‘Mr Ibu’, is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud and forget the miseries of life. Being able to make lovers of Nollywood laugh will constantly enlarge your fan base.
5. TALENT – Mercy Johnson
|Mercy Johnson in Daniella|
Give Mercy Johnson a role and she will deliver. This talented actress can play any role given to her; whether it be a possessed witch, a glamorous vixen or a rapping tomboy. Mercy Johnson never leaves her fans disappointed.
6. CONNECTIONS – Yul Edochie
|Yul Edochie in Her Husband|
When you hear the name ‘Edochie’, most of us think of veteran actor Pete Edochie. The acting bug has bitten one of his sons, Yul Edochie, who is very talented and has successfully built a Nollywood career for himself. Having a mentor that is successful in the Nigerian movie industry always comes in handy.
7. RELEVANT – Tonto Dikeh
|Tonto Dikeh in My Life My Damage|
Controversy follows Tonto Dikeh everywhere but she doesn’t care; not many actresses can boast of getting a full back tattoo during a movie shoot. Tonto is not afraid to express herself or go against the ‘African norm’. She has even ventured into music and her two singles trended for three weeks. Whether you love her or not, you will always have an opinion on her. She sure knows how to keep herself current and relevant.
8. MODEL – Uti Nwachukwu
|Uti Nwachukwu in Weekend Getaway|
There seems to be a trend of Nigerian models starring in Nollywood movies. Big Brother All Stars (2010) winner Uti Nwachukwu is a model turned-actor and TV presenter. He has proven that he is more than just a pretty face by walking home with the 2013 Nollywood Movie Award for Best Rising Star Male.
9. CROSS-OVER – Funke Akindele
|Funke Akindele in The Fighter|
Funke Akindele rose to fame with her 2008 Nigerian Yoruba comedy-drama Jenifa. She is one of a few Yoruba Nollywood actresses to have successfully crossed over to English Nollywood. She has found her comedic style as an actress and has broadened her fan base in both the Yoruba and English Nigerian film industry.
10. EYE CANDY – Fredrick Leonard
|Fredrick Leonard in Message To Mary|
A movie might have the worst story-line ever written by a human being but if it features a tall, fit and handsome man that can act very well (and not act in some cases), I know it will keep the ladies glued to the screens. Let’s face it, women love to watch men who are easy on the eyes but when you have an amazing talent like Fredrick Leonard, you are bound to maximise your fan base.