To devise ways to be consistent in a particular career for years can be a tough nut to crack especially in a competitive industry like Nollywood. Yet, there are actors, though they started out when Nollywood was still young, have evolved with the industry, defying odds to still stay relevant. Their achievements can be measured by the way the movies they play key roles in, sell out millions of tickets at cinemas and the number of awards they continually rake in even in today’s Nollywood. VICTORIA NONIKE x-rays those actors who started out with Nollywood and have continued to make waves over time
Richard Mofe Damijo
Richard Mofe Damijo, also known as RMD is reputed to have made an astounding comeback to the industry after eight years. He is well known for epic movies like Amaka Igwe’s ‘Violated’ and Tade Ogidan’s ‘The wedding ring’. The veteran actor fondly referred to as the king of Nollywood surprised fans recently in the popular ‘30 Days in Atlanta’ and the popular ‘Oloibiri’. RMD has not ceased to thrill us in other successful movies.
Omotola Jalade Ekehinde
Omotola’s absence was barely felt in the industry after the release of the movie ‘Alter ego’. Although she took a break for over two years, the actress made a huge comeback with the movie that got everyone talking. Omotola, who did not really dream of acting, began her career in 1995 with the movie ‘Venom’. She recently co-starred in Kunle Afolayan’s ‘The Tribunal’ and other Nollywood movies. The 39 year old actress has also been on a couple of projects yet to be released to the public.
Jide Kosoko is highly regarded as a household name in the Nollywood industry and stands out as an accomplished thespian. He has starred in many English and Yoruba movies; with his career going way back to the 60s. He first acted in ‘Makanjuola’, by the Ifelodun travelling theatre when he was just a boy. Jide recently co-starred in new ‘Alter Ego’ featuring Omotola Jalade-Ekinde and has made appearances in other award winning films.
Genevieve Nnaji did not only break barriers with her acting, she has also gone on to become a producer, with successful movies to her credit. The star of Nollywood’s silver screen began her acting career at the age of 8 with the popular TV soap opera of the 80s, ‘Ripples’ and has also proven beyond every reasonable doubt that her comeback was not without a mission as projects are underway to give the industry a new face with her movies.
The spotlight has been on this handsome actor recently due to the role he played in the award winning ‘76’ movie, directed by Izu Ojukwu. Ramsey Tokunbo Nouah Jnr made his major feature in 1996 movie, ‘Silent night’ and is popular for his romantic character in movies. He has been nominated for numerous awards since his comeback and also co-starred in the recently premiered comic movie, ‘My wife and I’.
Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva
Often regarded as the power couple of the industry, this duo can be called successful in all sense. Their contributions to the growth of Nollywood cannot be equated and this has earned them both local and international recognitions. These veterans co-starred in numerous movies during Nollywood’s early days. They recently co-starred in Desmond Elliot and Emem Isong’s movie, ‘One Fine Day’ and raked in awards as their rare acting skills came to bare .While Olu’s doggedness and charisma distinguishes his acting skills from others, Joke is a source of inspiration to numerous people and it is obvious the power couple will be around for a long time.
I’m not in coma- Mike Okri
Mike Okri, a Nigerian singer has denied reports that he was in coma or life support.
The Omoge crooner stated this while reacting to a Facebook post by Azuka Jebose who said the singer was in a coma at an undisclosed Lagos hospital.
“An unconfirmed report from Lagos disclosed that Nigeria’s late 80s mega soul singer, Mike Okri, is on life support at an Intensive Care Unit of a Lagos Hospital. Sources close to the great singer’s family are still mute, as such, latest information is very sketchy,” Jebose had written.
Jebose later posted an update after speaking with the ‘Time Na Money’ singer.
“I spoke to Mike a few minutes ago on the phone,” the former Punch journalist wrote.
He quoted the singer as saying “I was hospitalised for few days. I had typhoid malaria. I am now home, recuperating.”
Recall that veteran reggae musician, Ras Kimono, died last week in Lagos.
Artists-in-residence maiden edition holds at Alexis Galleries
Alexis Galleries has commenced the maiden edition of its Artistin- residence. The residency programme, which began on May 14, is aimed at promoting artists from across Africa and African Arts in general. In this maiden edition, six artists from Ghana, Ibadan, Abuja and Lagos, participated in the one-month programme which ended on June 14, and the works will be exhibited sometime in October this year. Speaking at a media parley recently, the CEO of Alexis Galleries and The HomeStores, Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis, said some of the artists on parade were: John Oyedemi (painter) Samuel Tete-Kancharn (painter/sculptor), Oyelusi Olasunkanmi (painter) Olorunyemi Kolapo Obadiah (painter), Sunday Isaac Effiiong (metal sculptor) and Oluwole Omofemi (painter).
She said: “We plan to organise it every three or two months as Alexis Galleries has in eight years of existence supported artists in the promotion of their works and organisation of exhibitions with them. “We are trying to see how we can put the artists on a greater pedestal with our residency programmes, workshop and lectures.
“The gallery’s line-up is hand selected with the utmost care and features emerging and established artists, who come from within and outside Nigeria, providing diversity in content, perspective and style.
“More so, the gallery has a deep appreciation for the positive role which artists, cultural institutions and nonprofit are playing in the development of African Arts. We hope to get a milestone results from this residency.” Oyedemi, who graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State with a B.A., M.F.A. Painting, PhD, has also been practising for over two decades.
His paintings are based on exerted daily human activities captured in warm colours, juxtaposition of grey and colour culminating into dynamic movements on canvas. It chronicle’s the challenges of urban and social realities.
“The paintings are imbued with much gestural energy to portray thoughts of the moment of the artist. The subject represented are market scenes, Lagos yellow buses, Polo and Durba from the Northern part of Nigeria rendered in an impressionistic tradition and textured with palette knife to create a tactile effect on canvas. Obadiah is an Abuja-based multimedia, full time studio artist. He is a graduate of Pure and Applied Physics from Kogi State University.
Kolapo is a crowned Artist of the week in AFRO-MEDIA ART (Kenya) on the first week of December 2014. He hosts a yearly solo art exhibition called smART (sentient multimedia art) exhibition since 2013. He has participated in local and international exhibitions.
Tete-Katchan was born in in Vogan, Togo and he currently resides in Accra, Ghana. Upon completion of his secondary school education, he chose to pursue a career in the Arts to express his kaleidoscopic vision of the world.
He underwent his apprenticeship in 1997 at the studio of Mr. Joseph Amedokpo, studying and developing his own style from the ‘Oshogbo Art’ from the South West of Nigeria.
Omofemi is an accomplished visual artist. He had his Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) in Fine Art at The Polytechnic Ibadan. He has participated in many group exhibitions both locally and internationally. His artistic imagination is fed by childhood experiences in the back street of Ibadan. Olasunkanmi had his early education in Lagos and higher education at the Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State in 2013.
He graduated with a HND (Upper Credit) in painting from the same school and participated in various art exhibitions within and outside Nigeria. Effiong trained under the auspices of the metal sculptor, Odogwu Fidelis, at the Universal Studios of Art, National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, completing his apprenticeship. A full-time studio artist, he has executed some commissioned works around Victoria Island and Ajah, Lagos State.
Speaking further, Chidiac-Mastrogiannis said: “In eight years, Alexis Galleries has engaged in the presentation and dissemination of contemporary art in the media of painting, drawing, mixed media and sculpture. “We have established ourselves rapidly as one of the best galleries in Nigeria, a meeting place for artists, collectors and enthusiasts of art.”
I was born to be an entertainer – Ushbebe
Comedian, Ushbebe, has said he is not in the entertainment circuit on an accidental basis. Born Justice Nuagbe, the OAP who is also an actor, said being an entertainer is his calling. Speaking at the premiere of Eniola Badmus’ new movie, Ghetto Bred, Ushbebe says being an actor/comic is more than what a job represents to him.
“It’s not just about a job for me, this is what I was born to do, so we just getting started,” he told TheCable. When asked how he also combines acting, comedy with his radio career, he said: “I’m a theatre artist, it’s what I studied. So na my work… it’s like asking someone who does business/marketing about their job.
Me, my director & A.Y were all in the same department, so it’s what we do. Ushbebe further described Ghetto Bred as “one of the most interesting movies” he has ever been involved in. “This happens to be one of the interesting movies I’ve been in,” he added of the comedy film which also features Helen Paul, Nedu, Broda Shaggi, Yaw among others
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