The film industry and especially Nollywood is endowed with very talented actors. 2019 has proved to be the best year for a lot of actors, old and new. From landing multiple roles or headlining in the year’s biggest blockbusters and newest entries, some actors completely won 2019 and truly made a name for themselves. As a result, they’re at the top of their game.
Clearly, most of the best and richest actors in the game are not even the ones in the cinemas. While there will always be Nollywood stars who maintain relatively strong fan bases; Nollywood is in an invariable state of fluctuation. Some of the stars that were very popular in 2019 could be quickly overtaken by fresh and promising stars in 2023. In fact, no one knows who the biggest or most outstanding Nollywood stars will be next year.
But who are FILMING AFRICA’s Top 10 Nollywood Actors of 2019?
We have always known that Jim Iyke is one of the BEST actors to ever play in this league. In 2019, he starred in a few flicks but he stood out in three major movies and we loved him. He played an older man in the movies “The Set Up” and also in “Cold Feet”. He did well interpreting the role of an ex-army colonel in “Cold Feet”, the roles were very distinct from his usual bad boy roles in Nollywood, he showed us a different layer of his talent and ability to internalize roles. He happens to be our favorite in the movie, Merry Men 2.
Chimezie is an evidence of beautiful things unseen in Nollywood. He was part of the fresh air that was brought to us by the film KASALA in 2018. He played the protagonist in the movie “Nimbe” in 2019, putting on a stellar performance and taking us through varying yet believable emotional ranges. The convincing character representation makes Chimezie a winner.
Jide-Kene Achufusi is the Nollywood breakout star of 2019. Also known as Swanky JKA, he’s earned rave reviews for his performance as Nnamdi Okeke (lead role) in Living in Bondage: Breaking Free. This isn’t Jide-Kene’s first rodeo, he has starred in a few blockbusters including Okey Oku’s 2018 “Blackrose” and Obi Emelonye’s TV series “Crazy, Lovely, Cool” currently showing on Netflix. In Living in Bondage: Breaking Free, he acted like his life depended on it. Talented Swanky is a breath of fresh air, acting alongside the legends of Nollywood we had missed so much and craved all these years.
Kate Henshaw is without question, one of the best actresses in the Nigerian film industry. A veteran in her own right, she played the character of Mabel King in the movie “4th Republic” and gave us such an intense performance that can only become the model political figure in the industry. She also made this list for her excellent performance as Officer Stainless in the movie, “The Ghost and the House of Truth”.
RAMSEY NOUAH JR.
Ramsey is certainly among the most decorated performers in Nollywood and definitely one of the best actors the industry has. His body of work justifies his accolades and in 2019, he performed just as god as we expected him to as Richard Williams in “Living in Bondage: Breaking Free” and as Ayo in “Merry Men 2”.
Rita Dominic sits on top as an actress in Nollywood and represents true definition of art. In LIGHT IN THE DARK, Rita’s delivery takes us on a rollercoaster of emotions from rage to strength and confusion as she portrays a woman who must find a way to heal not just herself but her traumatized family after suffering through a violent attack.
Anyone that read “The Bling Lagosians” script at pre-production would have believed that the character of Mopeola Holloway was created for the usual actresses known for that kind of role. Who would’ve thought that Elvina Ibru would take it to the next level and portray the character like no other can. She really was a refreshing face on the screen. Elvina has taken her spot in the one percent of the one percent of Nollywood actresses who are good. The wife of the last scion of the Holloway Dynasty, she is the quintessential Lagos woman.
Gabriel is known for his brilliant acting and for his astounding delivery in movies. In “Gold Statue” he plays Adewale, a young man driven on an adventure with his best buddy to find a prized hidden statue and unlock its powers. And like Mamazeus rightly said, Gabriel Afolayan blew the lid off this role in a stunning performance leaving all of us speechless in “Coming from Insanity”.
With a number of straight-to-DVD movie hits in 2019 she deserves a mention, “Mama of Nollwood” (as she is called sometimes) played similar roles in “Living in Bondage: Breaking Free” and “Muna” and she was sincere in her delivery as always. She has never failed, she didn’t in 2019. Glorious in her shining moments.
Hilda Dokubo is one of Africa’s most prolific actresses; she is also a veteran and an actor-trainer so it won’t be surprising if she delivers perfectly on any role she is given as an actress in Nollywood. In “Locked”, she played essentially a villain, one who commits murder when she is provoked by her husband’s infidelity. This is totally different from the roles she’s played in the past.