2017 was a pretty good year for the Nigerian movie industry, or specifically, New Nollywood as they like to be called. For the first time, a movie made in Nigeria by Nigerians grossed over 4 million naira at the domestic box office! We saw better scripts, sleeker production values and directing that while not there yet, is a much needed improvement from what Old Nollywood has to offer.
The acting and the actors are much improved too. We saw a lot of new faces alongside the slew of old favorites that have been a constant on our screens. A lot of young Nigerians who had no interest in Nollywood are beginning to pay attention and we thought we should too. If Nollywood is going to become the movie industry that we all hope it will become, these young talents are definitely worth keeping an eye out for.
1. Sharon Ooja
Media personality and actress Sharon Ooja is most famous for her role as the dramatic sister, Salewa in the critically acclaimed and beloved web series, Skinny Girl in Transit, a role she steady delivers on. A combination of beauty, style and grace make her a stand out and we look forward to seeing her in more mainstream movies.
2. Charles Etubiebe
After his turn as lead actor in 2016’s Ojukokoro: Greed, Charles Etubiebe has set himself up as a leading man to look out for. With roles in Ndani TV’s web series, Lagos Big Boys and the stage play, No More Lies, Charles brings a versatility and charm to his roles that we are sure will take him places.
3. Hauwa Allahbura
Model, actress and TV personality, Hauwa Allahbura, rose to fame when she won the Miss FCT beauty pageant. She has featured in Nigeria’s longest running soap, Tinsel and drama series, Gidi blues. She currently stars in Africa Magic Showcase series, Battleground.
4. Bimbo Ademoye
For so recent an entry into Nollywood, Bimbo Ademoye’s acting credits are pretty impressive. From roles in series, Desperate Housegirls and This is It to movies, The Backup Wife, Diary of a Crazy Nigerian Woman, It’s about Your Husband, she has shown that she can do pretty much anything you throw at her!
5. Chike-Ezekpeazu Osebuka
The Voice alumni, Chike, was an instant hit the moment he took to the stage. He was a favorite throughout the show and went on finish as the third runner-up. He made his acting debut as Mayowa Badmus on Battleground. His raw talent and easy going charm make us hopeful about his acting future.
6. Zainab Balogun
TV personality and it-girl, Zainab Balogun had a lot to prove in 2016’s star-studded, The Wedding Party and prove herself she did. Her role as the confused wedding planner stood her out from the impressive line-up that was the cast of the movie. All her work paid off, because she plays the lead in the just released, ‘no-surprise-there’ hit The Royal Hibiscus Hotel. We are looking forward to seeing her gorgeous face in many more movies.
7. Akah Nnani
Akah Nnani is a TV host, Content Creator and YouTuber. He was known for his funny uploads on Instagram and YouTube before his foray into acting. His role as a sergeant in the 2017 movie, Banana Island Ghost, endeared Akah to Nollywood audiences and showed off his full range of talents. You can catch him alongside Zainab Balogun in The Royal Hibiscus Hotel.