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Top 5 New Nollywood Actors To Watch Out For In 2019

In 2018, the Nigerian movie industry recorded a number of successes, and firsts.

For the first time, a Nigerian film caught the attention of the biggest streaming platform on the globe; Netflix bought Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut, “Lionheart“, for $3.8 million (₦1,385,100,000). More Nollywood films premiered internationally and it was also a year that recorded the most number of collaborations between veteran and new actors.

A number of Veterans shone brightest, some of which include

  • Nkem Owoh with his unique and effortlessly comic acting in “Chief Daddy”, “Lionheart” and “God Calling
  • Sola Sobowale’s acting in “King of Boys”, a very different role from the character stereotype she has been previously cast in.
  • Pete Edochie, although starring in a few straight to DVD films, got to be his characteristic charismatic, majestic self in “Lionheart”.
  • Patience Ozokwor featured outstandingly in a number of cinema flicks including Wedding Party 2, and Chief Daddy

Yet 2018 could most likely be said to be Genevieve Nnaji’s year, with lead role in the Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje directed British film “Farming”, and directing and starring in a Netflix Original film “Lionheart”. She has also become a household name in a number of international media, and if news making the rounds is anything to go by, we expect her to feature in some Hollywood flicks real soon, having closed a deal with United Talents Agency, same agency as Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Johnny Depp, and DJ Khaled.

However, below we take a look at the top 5 new Nollywood actors that made a significant mark in 2018, who you should watch out for this year, in no particular order.

Lilian Echelon

Although relatively a greenhorn in the movie industry, Lilian Echelon surprisingly didn’t give that vibe in Okey Oku’s “Black Rose”, in which she played the lead character. Little wonder she made it into the Nigeria Entertainment Award and Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCA) Best Actress nominations list, alongside the likes of Omotola Jalade. She also took home two awards at the Golden Movie Awards Africa.

Zainab Balogun

zainab balogun 3

Balogun delivered nothing short of stellar acting in some of the best movies of the year. There could have been no better person to play the roles of Ope in the romantic comedy – “Purple Hibiscus”, or Richard’s life-long friend Sylvia in “Sylvia” or even Dikko Nwachukwu’s wife in “God Calling”. She has The Future Awards Africa Prize for Acting 2018 among other accolades to show for all her hard work.

Jemima Osunde

jemima osunde

Jemima’s spectacular acting in “Lionheart”, “The Delivery Boy”, “New Money” and “Esohe”, her ability to interpret complex roles, beyond expectation is nothing short of amazing. She has showcased herself as an actor to reckon with, featuring on the screens of all the big film festivals in 2018, and we are sure we haven’t even seen the best of her.

Emeka Nwagbaraocha

Emeka first caught everyone attention in “MTV Shuga” and Ebony TV’s “Life 101”, even though he has appeared in other movies prior to that. In 2018 he carved a place for himself playing the lead in “Kassala”. The film premiered in Paris at the Nollywood Film Festival and got many positive reviews. He was nominated “Revelation of the Year” at the 2018 BON Awards.

Jammal Ibrahim

Jammal Ibrahim is another new name in Nollywood. His role in “Delivery Boy” was outstanding. Needless to say, the movie went on to win Best Nigerian Film at the 2018 AFRIFF Globo Awards. He also starred in the 2016 film “Green White Green” among others.

Each of these actors did exceptionally well last year, we cannot wait to see what they will do in 2019.



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Akwaowo Willie

Akwaowo Willie is a social media consultant for several businesses including SMEs and Startups. He is also an entrepreneur and writer with interests in entertainment, media, fashion, among others. He is married, with 2 adorable children.

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