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Nollywood Actresses: 18 Names On The Rise

This is the Nollywood take over you've been waiting for

BY YAZA Nigeria Team

Jan 24, 2022, 10:08 AM

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We love our dramas and television shows for their vibrant, dramatic, emotional and hysterical nature that capture the elements that make you watch a movie. Nollywood female actors come and go so quickly but you can never fail to spot top talent. You will always know it whenever Nollywood has a new actress because they get to be cast in lots of movies.

New Nollywood actresses show up. Some impress, some don’t while others go completely under the radar. It’s always exciting for the viewer to have a new face once in a while and 2022 is set to toss up new and maybe not so new faces. Some actresses have already caught the eye in 2021 and might just be the big thing in the coming year.

We don’t want you to miss out. Here are some Nollywood actresses names you should watch out for.

Chioma Okafor

She is known for her role in the award-winning TV series Super Story where she plays the role of Monica. Chioma has been in the industry at least since 2018. She has acted alongside other prominent names like Kunle Remi, Bimbo Ademoye amongst others. 

She has featured in the following movies: Super Story Monica, Passion the Series, Am Brethren the series, Love Duty, From A Distance, The Rejected Stones and amongst others.

Chioma Blessing Nwaoha

Chioma Blessing made her debut in Nollywood with a role in the movie, King's Wife. Spanky Diva as she is fondly known began exploiting her acting abilities when she was young. She acted on stage plays and drama while in high school. Chioma idolizes Nollywood’s top gun, Mercy Johnson.

Directors and producers in Nollywood have taken notice of her versatile ability to interpret and execute different roles. She is believed to be in her 20s and has already acted alongside big guns like Fredrick Leonard, Luchy Donalds, Jerry Williams, Mercy McJoe and others.  

These are the movies Chioma has featured in Bishop Girls, Strong Feelings, Woman On Fire, King Of Men and Bad Blood.

Adaeze Onuigbo

If you are talking about new Nigerian actresses, Adaeze certainly fits the profile. Believe it or not, she was born in 2008 which makes her 13. She started acting when she was five years old and has already made an impact in Nollywood. She has been cast as a child actor. She is also a model.

Mercy Johnson, Regina Daniels, Patience Ozokwor and Tessy Diamond are just some of the actors that Adaeze has acted with.

Adaeze has also featured in the following shows: The Heart That Lies, Everything But A Child, Governors Kidnap, Parental Gift, Tears Of An Innocent Child, the list goes on.

In December 2020, she won the SRTV media award for the Most Famous Kid Actor.

Susan Pwajok

Susan first stepped to the stage when she was three. Her first experience was in the play Adaobi Is Getting Married. Then her first Nollywood movie was The Tunnel. On this, she acted with Patrick Doyle and Waji.

Other shows she’s acted in are The Johnsons, Tinsel, Keeping Lucy, Desperate Housewives Africa, Night Raid and others. 

In 2017, Susan was nominated for the Best Actress in a Comedy Series at the AMVCA Awards. In the same year, she won the Movie Personality of the Year Award at the Nigeria Child Awards.

Ifedi Sharon

Sharon Ifedi is projected to become one of the biggest Nollywood actresses in the years to come. Her versatility and adaptability to execute any role she’s been assigned make her a standout. In most of her films, she portrays a sorrowful role.

Some of the Nollywood actors she’s acted with include Mercy Johnson, Ngozi Ezeonu, Ebele Okaro, Ruth Kadiri, Regina Daniels and others.

Ifedi Sharon has also been part of the following movies: Little Madam Of The House, My Responsibility, Price of Wickedness, Lost Princess, Tears Of A Slave Child and Agony Of The Child.  

Mercy Kenneth

Mercy Kenneth is another who started acting young and took on several roles. Her name has already appeared on several awards lists. 

Mercy Kenneth is known for the movies Daddy’s Daughter and Princess Is Mine. She tends to play the lead role in her movies some of which are Battle Cry, Peace Maker, Just For Nothing, Arrows Of Love, Beautiful Demon and My House Rent.

Mercy Kenneth has played the character of an orphaned child. She has to live with her step-parents who mistreat her. Her co-actors have been Mercy Johnson, Zubby Michael, Queen Nwokoye, Regina Daniels, Jim Iyke, Oge Okoye and others. 

Sharon Ooja

Sharon Ooja won hearts with her performance in Skinny Girl in Transit where she was cast as Shalewa. Sharon is part of Netflix’s film Oloture. For her, she says that she stumbled into the acting industry. 

She came across Ndani TV when she was in a separate shoot. The former was there to shoot “Behind The Scenes”. It so happened that Sharon got an interview with Ndani TV. The interview did not happen but she got involved in one of their productions, “Gidi Up”. After this small role did she play “Shalewa”.

Moms at War, King of Boys, Lara and the Beat, Coming From Insanity and From Lagos with Love are just some of the movies she’s featured in.

Apart from Gidi Up and Skinny Girls in Transit, she has also played in TV Shows like The Men’s Club, Jenifa Diary and My Flatmates.

In 2018, Sharon was a nominee for the Best New Actress of the Year in the City People Award. In 2019, she was named Most Promising Actress and took home the Future Awards Africa Prize for Acting.

Adebukola Oladipupo

MTV Shuga was her gateway to Nollywood where she played the role of Faa. This was in 2015. Previously, Adebukola had featured in Truce, Mums at War and The Men’s Club. After her success in MTV Shuga, she appeared in Indigo, Inevitable and The Other Me.

Mimi Chaka

Just like many other new Nigerian actresses, Mimi Chaka started her career when she was young. She used to take part in drama in high school and in church. Her role in the Men’s Club series shot her to fame. Others that she’s been in include Marry, Ghost, Date, Kiss Scorned Finale, Halita and many more.

She has acted with Ayo Ola, Etim Effiong, Efa Iwara, Sharon Ooja, Onado Edigie and others. 

Beverly Naya

Beverly is a British-born actress. She moved to Nigeria to explore the opportunities that Nollywood has. Her entry into Nollywood was announced through the film Living in Exile in 2010. Beverly Naya has since gone on to act in movies like Brother’s Keeper, Chief Daddy, The Wedding Party, Skinny Girl In Transit, Up Creek, Make A Move and others.

Beverly has been so impressive that she has amassed a couple of awards. At the 2010 Best of Nollywood Awards, she won the Most Promising Talent. In 2011, she was named Nollywood’s Fastest Rising Actress. In 2014, she was nominated as the TV Actress of the year. 

She won the Best Documentary award at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards in 2020. 

Uzoamaka Doris Aniunoh

Uzoamaka is also an MTV Shuga product. She played the role of Cynthia. She went on to act in Rumour Has It, Stuck, Riona, Film, Ponzi. She has been cast alongside well-known names in Nollywood like Yakubu Mohammed, Helena Nelson, Timini Egubson, Bukola Oladipupo, Rahama Sadau, and others.

Erica Nlewedim

Curtains rolled up on her acting career in 2015. She played a leading role in Secrets and Scandals. She went on to feature in other shows like Hire A Woman, Poka Messiah, My Flatmates, Paternity Deal, Being Farouk, Dead Rites, Fractured, Win Or Loose and many more.

Erica studied acting and film at the MET Film and School in London. She also participated in the fifth season of Big Brother Nigeria.  

Idia Aisien

Idia Aisien is many things and one of them is an actor. She has appeared on the cover of world-renowned magazines and as an influencer. That noted, Idia made a stunning debut in Nollywood with the film The Pretty Serpent in which she plays the character of Nneka. 

The current version was well received. With her talent in acting, prepare yourself to perhaps see Idia Aisien in many more movies.

Jemimah Osunde

Jemimah Osunde also came through MTV Shuga series. She featured in three series of the show - in its fourth, sixth and seventh. She played the role of Leila and definitely got people talking because of her acting prowess.

Other movies she has played in include, Qualms Money, My Wife and I, Isoken, Lioness Heart, The Delivery Boy, Esohe, Stella and Jungle Jewel.

Apart from Shuga, she has also participated in other TV Shows - Ojays, Inspector K, The Johnsons, This is It, Papa Benji and Rumour Has It.

Her good acting skills have won her two nominations so far: Revelation of the Year during the Best of Nollywood Awards in 2019 and the Best Actress in a Leading Role at the Africa Movie Academy Award. 

Jemimah’s choice of degree is far removed from the film world. She studied Physiotherapy at the University of Lagos. 

Elma Mbadiwe

She started acting when she was young. Her passion for film was so great that she used to recreate the Nollywood movies she watched. However, after she was done with school she went on to work as a producer and production manager before she got into Nollywood. 

Although she maintains that her rise cannot be attributed to a particular film, Ndani TV’s Phases got her name out there. Her roles Laraba on E.V.E. and Unbroken also drew attention to her acting prowess. Unbroken did it for her. It caught people’s attention because of her role which saw her get involved in a love triangle. Elma says that filming Unbroken was “the best thing that’s ever happened to her career and life.”

Anthonieta Kalunta

By the time Anthonieta got into the movie business, she was not new to the stare of the camera having worked as a journalist. Thus, she would have been familiar with the workflow. What was new to her was on-screen acting, which she started doing professionally in 2018. Her first film was The Milkmaid in which she played the starring role.

She plays the character of Aisha in Milkmaid. The story is about Aisha and Zainabu’s mission to bring back peace after the two sisters got abducted by military insurgents. The film is inspired by the acts of Boko Haram insurgency.

Having played a stellar role in The Milkmaid, she was nominated for the Best Young Actor in the Africa Movie Academy Award. 

Lota Chukwu

Lota Chukwu has been in the acting scene for a while now. It’s only after she acted in Studio 113 that her name caught people’s attention. This was the first movie she was cast in, in Nollywood. This was in 2011. She went on to bag roles in other movies like Fine Girl, Iyore, Wind Chasers, The Perfect Plan and Spotlight.

It wasn’t until she featured in Funke Akindele’s comedy series Jenifa’s Diary in 2014, that Nollywood took note of Lota Chukwu. This role even landed her appearances in music videos - Reminisce’s PonMile and Araminde’s song Why So Serious.

Lota has done on to have her own show, Lota Takes, a cooking and lifestyle show. You can also watch her shows like Spotlight, Enakhe and Ajoche.

Additionally, she was nominated for the Screen Revelation of the Year in the Scream Youth All Awards in 2016. In 2017, she received another nomination. It was for the Best New Actress of the year in the City People’s Entertainment Awards.

Ebenezer Eno

Ebenezer’s love for acting started young. She performed in school plays and church dramas. Before her return to film, she worked as a software engineer. Ebenezer first got into film in 2016. She rose to the limelight because of the series Eve. She portrayed the character of Ezinne and starred alongside Michelle Dede. She is fluent in English and French, a skill that gives her an edge over her peers.

Other movies she has taken part in include At Your Service, The Lost Heir, Last Days, All Shades of Wrong, Shadows in The Dark, The Becoming of Obim and many more.

Ebenezer has shared the stage with some prominent Nollywood actors and actresses such as Daniel K Daniel, Deyemi Okanlawon, Monalisa Chinda, Chelsea Eze, Alex Ekubo amongst others.

We can't wait to watch Nollywood in 2022.

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