Nollywood, the powerhouse of African cinema, has gained immense popularity for its distinctive and diverse array of films that portray the vivid tapestry of Nigerian life. This vibrant film industry has paved the way for iconic Nigerian actors to rise to international fame, showcasing the plethora of talent emanating from the nation. Some of these actors that have reached the iconic status are not just for their ability to breathe life into roles but also for their impactful contributions to the global film narrative.
These actors have managed to garner substantial wealth, making millions through their laudable performances, multi-faceted careers, and diverse business ventures. Their names resonate with the audience, carrying with them tales of unparalleled success, numerous accolades, and notable recognition. In this article, we will look into the lives of these iconic figures, exploring their net worth, the award-winning movies that have etched their names into the annals of film history.
Richard Mofe Damijo RMD
Richard Eyimofe Evans Damijo, globally recognized as RMD, is a multifaceted icon in Nollywood, with roles as an actor, writer, producer, and lawyer, earning accolades including the 2005 Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Gaining initial fame from the soap opera “Ripples,” he solidified his status with roles in “Checkmate” and the 2004 Guinness movie “Critical Assignment.”
His versatile portfolio includes hits like “The Wedding Party 2” and “King Of Boys: The Return Of The King.” Beyond acting, he served as Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Delta State in 2009, championing cultural initiatives. Recently, he featured in a Netflix movie Shantytown and The Black Book, a movie which became the first Nollywood movie to be Number 1 on Netflix worldwide.
Olufunke Ayotunde Akindele, widely celebrated as Funke Akindele or by her iconic character’s name, Jenifa, stands as one of Nollywood’s most industrious and versatile figures. As an actress, producer, and director, she has not only graced the screen with her captivating performances as one of the biggest Nigerian actors but has also been the force behind some of Nollywood’s highest-grossing films, including “Omo Ghetto,” “Omo Ghetto: The Saga,” and “Battle On Buka Street.”
She is renowned for breaking barriers, being the sole Yoruba actress to be honored with both an Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) and an Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award (AMVCA).
Genevieve Nnaji, a renowned iconic Nigerian actress, producer, and director, has been a trailblazer in Nollywood since her debut at age 8 in the television soap opera “Ripples.” She achieved critical acclaim with her award-winning role in 2005, securing the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress In A Leading Role. Her directorial debut, “Lionheart,” marked a milestone as the first Nollywood film acquired by Netflix and was Nigeria’s inaugural submission for the Oscars.
Dubbed the “Julia Roberts of Africa” by Oprah Winfrey, Genevieve has amassed substantial acclaim and wealth, reportedly worth $10 million. From her early roles in “Most Wanted” to her international presence in Hollywood’s “Farming,” Genevieve’s illustrious career epitomizes the global reach and transformative power of Nigerian cinema.
Femi Adebayo, a revered icon in Nollywood, has showcased his remarkable acting prowess in the recently released and critically acclaimed “Jagun Jagun.” This movie, boasting a star-studded cast, has not only topped the charts as one of the top 10 trending movies on Netflix in over eighteen countries, including Nigeria, the USA, U.K., Libya, and Canada, but has also set a historic precedent for Yoruba-language Nollywood films. The movie which came after ‘Kings of Thieves’ crossed over 2.1 million views in less than one week after its release.
Ramsey Nouah, a celebrated Nollywood actor, has seamlessly transitioned into directing, earning ‘Best Director’ at the 8th AMVCA for “Rattlesnake: The Ahanna Story.” His directorial debut, “Living in Bondage: Breaking Free,” a remarkable remake, garnered seven wins out of 11 nominations at the 2020 AMVCA, including ‘Best Director,’ showcasing his extraordinary directorial vision.
Nouah’s transformative journey from acclaimed actor to an award-winning director underscores his multifaceted talent and his significant impact on the evolving tapestry of Nollywood, bringing innovative storytelling and creative excellence to the fore.
Sola Sobowale, renowned as Toyin Tomato, has been a luminous presence in Nollywood for decades, starting with “Sura the Tailor” and gaining widespread acclaim in Super Story’s “Oh Father, Oh Daughter.” Known for embodying her iconic characters with unmatched fervor, Sola momentarily stepped back from her prolific career for family but returned with invigorated zeal in 2016.
She dazzled audiences in “The Wedding Party,” co-directing and acting alongside notable peers, and delivered a striking performance as Alhaja Eniola Salami in the 2018 political thriller, “King of Boys.” Sola’s enduring passion, versatile performances, and commitment to her craft continue to elevate the landscape of Nigerian cinema, intertwining nostalgia and contemporary brilliance.
Jim Iyke, born James Ikechukwu in Libreville, Gabon, is an iconic Nigerian actor and entrepreneur, celebrated for his dynamic and dominant roles that have etched an indelible mark on the industry. Esteemed for his compelling “rich boy” persona, Iyke has been a pivotal figure in Nollywood since 2001, featuring in over 150 films and earning the status of one of the highest-paid actors by October 2013.
With an impressive net worth of $30 million, he has delivered stellar performances in blockbusters like his debut production “Last Flight To Abuja,” and extended his versatile talent to Hollywood in “And There Was You” alongside Lynn Whitfield.
As a holiday destination, Africa stands out for its blend of natural beauty, wildlife enco…