If you grew up in an West African household, you must be familiar with the Billionaire’s Club, a series of thrillers based on the relationship between business and the occult or yet Aki na Ukwa, a comedy film recounting the adventures of two young troublesome brothers. These films, which could be for some, part of childhood memories, are flagship productions of the Nigerian cinema commonly known today as Nollywood, a $3 billion film industry. According to Alex Eyengho, President of the Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP), Nollywood is “the totality of activities taking place in the Nigerian movie/film industry, be it in English, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Itsekiri, Edo, Effik, Ijaw, Urhobo or any other over 300 Nigerian languages”.
In Nigeria, the film industry is the 4th largest economic sector and a biggest employer of labour after agriculture. On an international scale, Nollywood is the world’s second biggest film industry between Bollywood (India) and Hollywood (The United States) and the number one in terms of production with roughly 1000 to 2000 films released a year. In addition, Nollywood movies such as Last flight to Abuja and Half of a Yellow Sun – a cinematographic adaption of Chimamanda Adichie’s book of the same name, are renown globally as well as its many talented actors and actresses like the beautiful Genevieve Nnaji, Chiwetalu Agu a veteran Nollywood actor and the respectable Pete Edochie known as Okonkwo in the adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.
Nollywood also has great and talented comedy actors and actresses and here is Gifted54 top 5.
We start with Funke Akindele (1), the most entertaining female comedy actress, AMVCA award winner, popular for her leading role in Jenifa and who won in 2009 the African Movie Academy Awards for Best Actress in A Leading Role. Some of her film credits include Sherikoko, Angelina and Osuofia Goes To School.
There is also Nigeria’s favourite comedians: John Okafor (2) AKA Mr Ibu, mostly popular for the film Mr Ibu hence his surname. He received from his state governor the award of Best Comedian and played in more than 70 films.
Then we have Francis Odega (3) best known for his legendary “Gerrarra Here Mehn” clip from the movie series Back From South Africa where is he is mimicking American Ebonics. He also won in 2013 Best Actor award in the “Best African Collaboration” category.
Finally, we have the explosive/hilarious duo of Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme (4 & 5) best known as Aki and Pawpaw, who are rarely seen on screen one without the other. They both received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the African Movie Academy Awards. Their notable movies are Aki na Ukwa in which they are widely know for, Cain and Abel, The Chosen Son and many more.
If you want to revisit this movies or are not familiar with Nollywood movies and want to discover, click on the links above.