The Nigerian movie industry has grown over time, as it keeps producing bundles of talents with blockbuster movies.
From veteran to the new generation of actresses, Nollywood can be said to be a successful space. Over time, the women in the movie industry have become a force to reckon with as their amazing skills match their beautiful faces. They are not just beautiful but they are talented. Here we will be looking at the 25 best actresses in Nollywood, who have overwhelmed us with their incredible gifts this year. These women have been able to establish that they are experts in their forte. So here is the KOKO List for the 25 best actresses in Nollywood 2021;
25. Omawumi Dada
Omawumi Dada definitely turns heads when she steps on the big screen. She joined the movie industry during her university days by taking on minor characters, before she got a major role in the Yoruba film “Oya.” The actress once again dropped jaws when she played major roles in blockbuster movies like Oloture where she appeared as Linda and The Ghost and the Tout 2 as Janet.” Omawumi is surely on her way to getting an award for exceptional acting skills.
24. Idia Aisien
Black beauty Idia Aisien is taking all the attention this time around. She made her debut as an actress in the movie Nneka the Pretty Serpent. Playing the role of Nneka Agu, who is on a journey to avenge her mother’s death. She succeeded in wowing everyone in the epic movie and people can’t wait to see her play more roles.
23. Ego Nwosu
Fast rising Nollywood star, Ego Nwosu is already capturing the hearts of movie lovers. She came into limelight in the 2021 movie Fine Wine, where she played the role Kaima who falls in love with an older man. From the look of things, she is indeed here to stay.
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22. Bisola Aiyeola
Bisola Aiyeola started out as one of the housemates on the Big Brother Naija season 2 show in which she emerged as the first runner-up. Delving into the movie industry, her exceptional acting skills came into limelight in the movies Sugar Rush, Dwindle, This lady called life, etc. The movie Sugar Rush won her the AMVCA Trailblazer Award as the best actress in a supporting role.
21. Mercy Johnson
Charming actress Mercy Johnson Okojie is one who continues to impress us, with her ability to transition into any role that she is given. She made her acting debut in a 2004 movie titled, The Maid, where she played a minor role. After this movie, she got several roles in other movies, and some became blockbuster movies like “Dumebi the Dirty Girl”. This film earned her an AMVCA for best actress in a comedy. Though she has been off the big screen for a while, she recently made a comeback in the comic movie, The Ghost and The Tout 2, and fans are excited to see her work her magic.
20. Teniola Aladese
One fast rising star that we can’t help but make mention of is Teniola Aladese. Long before she came on the big screen, she has been doing things behind the scene, as a Production Coordinator on over 30 Africa Magic Original Films. Having her take on different characters now, is just s blissful sight. Although she entered into the entertainment industry in 2013, and one shot that boosted her career-high in that period was serving as the Production Coordinator on Africa Magic’s television drama series, ‘Hush‘. But finally, in 2015, she made the big step-up starting her acting career starring in Eneaji Chris Eneng’s “Perfectly Flawed”. Teniola then starred in the TV mini-series, “This is it” directed by Dolapo ‘LowlaDee’ Adeleke. Aladese garnered major recognition while playing the character, Akweyon on the Africa Magic television drama, ‘JEMEJI‘. She did this while also serving as Production Manager on the show. In late 2018, she starred as the protagonist, Lola in Bunmi Ajakaiye’s short film, ‘Fade‘. The film was one of the selected short films at the 2019 edition of Nollywood Week in Paris. It was also one of the official selections for the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in 2019. This bundle of talent is indeed a unique star who is a plus to the movie industry. Her role in the 2021 web series Ricordi definitely deserves some accolades.
19. Ini Edo
No one who knows a thing or two about Nollywood would say they need an introduction of who the Akwa-Ibom melanin queen of Nollywood is. Ini Edo has ruled the screens in Nollywood for over two decades now. She made her big-screen debut in the movie, “Thick Madam” in 2003, but the first big role that shot her into limelight was the movie “World Apart”. Ever since, this curvy damsel has only waxed stronger in the industry, climbing high in all works of the movie industry. In 2014 she was appointed by the United Nations as a United Nations Habitat Youth Envoy. The curvy actress is indubitable, one of the most famous actresses in the Nigerian film industry, but how well has she done this year, does she deserve the title to be named the Best Actress In Nollywood in 2021! Well maybe her role in her latest project The Ghost and the Tout 2, and in the “Tatafo” role she played in Kunle Afolayan’s “Citation” which she did execute well will give her a shot in.
18. Venita Akpofure
Ex-model and former Reality TV star, cum actress, and brand influencer Venita Akpofure definitely knows a thing or two when it comes to script interpretation. She has made the transition from being a real-life barbie into a sensational actress. Her quick growth and emergence in Nollywood have got so many on her quick grip. Venita’s ability to take on quite a number of characters and roles with so much ease, finesse, and class is definitely commendable. Venita Akpofure made her debut in Nollywood in the movie “Kambili” as a support lead role, with ace presenter Nancy Isime taking the lead role. Since making her debut, she’s gone on to cast and star in more than 10 other movies in the space of just over a year, now that’s not bad for someone who was just a rookie some 28-months ago. She is definitely making a claim to being one of the best actresses in Nollywood in 2021.
17. Rita Dominic
The veteran Nollywood actress, Rita Dominic is back on the big screens and she is here to dominate and rule. The actress recently revealed during an interview that she was blacklisted by directors in Nollywood, sending her into a sojourn that lasted nearly 4-years of her being away from the TV screens. Well, Rita is back, and she made the comeback like a house of fire, while also trying her hands out as a director and producer. Producing her first movie “The Therapist”. The actress who has gotten younger by the years made her debut in Nollywood in 1998, in a movie title “Children of Terror”. But got her big break, in 2003, in a movie where she was a co-lead with veteran actor Segun Arinze titled “Accidental Discharge”. She’s featured in over 100 movies to date. We can’t forget to mention that the Petite Diva has over the years won numerous awards, one of which is the AMAA’s Best Actress In A Leading Role in 2017 for her role in the movie “76”.
16. Kehinde Bankole
This melanin queen with a smile that can melt a million men’s hearts, is definitely one of the best to do it in the acting industry yet. The beautiful actress whose first big break came through when she played the role of Omoye in the Wale Adenuga’s legendary series “Super Story”. The actress since her days on the Super Story series has gone on to feature on loads of other blockbuster movies, and even box-office recording shattering movies. She isn’t known as one to go easy, but one to always deliver her roles with optimal conviction and class, best believe it, Kehinde Bankole is one of the best in the industry, and deserves every right to be on the KOKO List of the Best Actresses In Nollywood in 2021.
15. Efe Irele
She is young, charming, and a firecracker in the movies, making a fan favorite every time. Efe Irele landed her first role in the 2016 Iroko TV series, Aso Ebi. She became a fan favorite from her performance in the movie “Lagos Real Fake Life”. Recently she has climbed the success ladder via her roles in the moves, Devil in Agbada, Ifenike, etc. Efe is doing incredibly well for herself in the movie industry, and we can only wait to see her create more magic on the big screen.
14. Shaffy Bello
The name Shaffy Bello sits proudly in the Nollywood walk of fame, for her amazing talent and great acting prowess. Her first major film was Eti Keta, a Yoruba film. Her performance in the movie ” It’s Her Day” reminded us what a meticulous actor should possess. She once again reinforced this as she starred in the movies, Chief Daddy, Nneka the Pretty Serpent, etc. The vast actress has warmed her way into the heart of movie lovers, who look forward to seeing her on the big screen, delivering a mind-blowing performance.
13. Chioma Chukwuka Akpota
With a career spanning over 2 decades, Chioma Chukwuka has warmed her name into the heart of movie lovers, as a force to be reckoned with. She began her acting career with her debut in the movie “The Apple” in 2000. Her biggest movie is The Accident a 2013 Teco Benson production where she plays Chy a female lawyer who is approached by a client seeking a divorce, with low-sexual satisfaction from her partner as a reason. Her most recent movies which have got people talking include Omo Ghetto: The Saga, Nneka the Pretty Serpent, etc. Her renowned nature makes a great choice among filmmakers.
12. Ini Dima-Okojie
The dark skin screen goddess is described as one of the most painstakingly meticulous actors, who are gifted with amazing delivery. She started her career with the first television appearance on “Taste of Love” and she has featured in many films. In 2021 She featured in the Netflix original – ‘Namaste Wahala’. A multicultural romantic-comedy feature film. Ini Dima-Okojie played the role, Didi. It is considered her biggest film to date and we can only say she is just getting started.
11. Bimbo Ademoye
Bimbo Ademoye is one of Nollywood’s sweethearts that many movie lovers look forward to seeing, on the big screen. She is one versatile screen star, who has amazing role delivery and never fails to immerse herself into whatever character she’s playing. Her acting career began in 2014 when she was cast in the short film ‘Where Talent Lies’. Her biggest movie is “Looking for Baami”, where she played a local village girl, and delivered a phenomena performance, earning her an AMVCA nomination. Her recent movies include Sugar Rush, Breaded Life, Nneka the Pretty Serpent, etc. She is one of the most sought-after stars at the moment, appearing in every movie in the cinema.
10. Erica Nlewedim
Ex BBNaija housemate Erica Nlewedim did not just succeed in warming herself into the hearts of many, but she has also succeeded in taking over the movie industry. She is definitely one of Nollywood’s fast-rising stars, who began her acting career in 2015 with a lead role in Secrets and Scandals. Since leaving the BBNaija lockdown house, she has been featured in hit movies like Devil in Agbada, Bitter Rain, etc. Erica has been able to show that she is a beauty with brains and talents.
9. Iyabo Ojo
Nollywood Yoruba sensation, Iyabo Ojo will always be a force to reckon with on and off the big screen. Since this year, she has succeeded in being in the face of the public, if not for a good deed, it’s for her great acting talents. The diva commenced her acting career in the 1998 movie Satanic, and also made her debut in Yoruba language movies in 2002. Iyabo has featured in over 100 movies including one of her latest, Ghost and the Tout 2, Under the Carpet, etc. She is one who never disappoints when it comes to delivering in a grand style.
8. Nancy Isime
Beauty queen Nancy Isime never ceases to amaze us whenever she pops up on the big screen. She began her career as an actress in the 2011 TV series Echoes. Nancy went on to show what an amazing actress she is in the movies Kambili: The whole 30 yards, Made in Heaven, Omo Ghetto: The Saga, Mamba’s Diamond, etc. Having her own TV show just goes to show what an ambitious and versatile young star that she is, and frankly everyone always anticipates her skills on the big screen.
7. Sharon Ooja
Fashion lover and Nollywood sweetheart Sharon Ooja started her acting career in 2013, she rose to fame after fans commended her acting skills in the Web series, Skinny Girl In Transit, where she played the role of Shalewa. The talented star since then has also featured in movies like Oloture, Bad Comments, Kambili, Still Falling, etc. In the movie Oloture, she played the role of Oloture, a naïve journalist who tries to uncover the world of human trafficking. The movie got featured on Netflix and earned her a nomination at the Net Honours People’s choice award as the most popular actress.
6. Osas Ighodaro
Nollywood star Osas Ighodaro is one of the most sought after actresses in Nigeria. Her recurrent acts in movies keep on reinforcing what a great talent she is on the big screen. Osas has featured in popular 2021 movies like Rattlesnake: The Ahanna story, Ghost and the tout 2, Bad Comment, Mamba’s Diamond, etc. Never ceasing to amaze people via her unique character interpretation of each role.
5. Toyin Abraham
The movie industry is filled with many great stars but this particular one, in as unique as they come. Bundle of talent, Toyin Abraham never fails to awe fans when she is in character. A tremendous performer on the big screen, this movie star started her acting career in 2003. Since then, she has acted, directed, and produced numerous movies such Fate of Alakada (1&2), Elevator Baby, The Prophetess, Bling Lagosians, The Therapist, Day of Destiny and her latest, Ghost and the Tout 2. Of course, her great works and talent have not gone unappreciated, as she has won several awards in the industry. If there ever was an actress who defines the word, multitalented, this is she in the flesh.
4. Funke Akindele
A movie star that embodies the word accolades is the screen diva, Funke Akindele-Bello. This bundle of talent starred in the 1998 sitcom, I Need To Know where she played the role of Bisi, and since then, above the sky has been her limit. Her versatile acting skills made people see beauty in works of hands. Movies like Jenifa, which she turned into a hit series named Jenifa’s Diary, Moms at War, Her Excellency, My Siblings and I, Omo Ghetto (1&2), etc, shows that she is a wonder. Funke Akindele’s latest role-play as Lefty aka Shalewa in the blockbuster movie, Omo Ghetto: The Saga which broke box office record, got the applaud of many and she deserves a million awards in addition to the ones she has already.
3. Nse Ikpe-Etim
When we speak of actresses who were born with the acting talent in their veins, we definitely have to mention Nse Ikpe-Etim. She is an actress who deserves a standing ovation each and every time because she always delivers in grand style. The screen goddess captivates the minds of her audience in every film she is featured in like Reloaded, Mr and Mrs, Quam’s Money, King of Boys: Return of the king. Her performances in Reloaded and Mr and Mrs earned her the 2010 Nigeria entertainment awards as best actress in a short film and the 2011 Best of Nollywood awards as best actress in a lead role. Now she has come out to reinforce that she is the Taraji P. Henson of Nollywood as she overwhelmed people in the 2021 movie, King of Boys: Return of the King; Where she played the role of Jumoke Randall (wife of governor Randall). The presence she commanded with the role, deserves an accolade, no cap.
2. Sola Sobowale
This Nollywood veteran is still shaking heads and turning tables with her groundbreaking acting skills to date. Time has not watered down her uniqueness on the big screen at all. Sola Sobowale started out with Yoruba films in 1992 before transitioning to English movies. The veteran received an African movie academy awards (AMAAs) in 2019, for her outstanding performance in the 2018 movie, King of Boys 1 and it will not come as a surprise if she bags another award for her once again outstanding performance in part two, King Of Boy: The Return Of The King, because she deserves it in ace. Playing the role of Eniola Salami, she reinforced that she deserves the crown time and time again.
1. Toni Tones
One actress who is currently on the lips of many is the photographer turn actress, Toni Tones. Her exceptional performance in the 2021 hit movie King of Boys: Return of the King dropped jaws. Here she played the young Eniola Salami and she matched the tenacity and ferociousness of veteran actress, Sola Sobowale. A hard act to follow but Toni Tones ate up her role in ace and delivered exceptionally well. Though she kicked off her acting career in 2013 in the Gidi Culture TV series, since then she has been appearing in blockbuster movies like June, Quam’s Money and King of Boys 1&2.
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