This post highlights 5 Nigerian rappers who became Nollywood actors. The Nigerian entertainment industry has proven to be a versatile one as creatives are constantly exploring different aspects of it to see which segment suits them most and generates more income. Several transitions have been made over the years, we’ve seen cases where actors become artists, artists become actors, OAPs become actors, comedians turn into actors and so on. These transitions have helped in the expansion of the Nigerian entertainment industry, especially in filmmaking.
Below are 5 Nigerian rappers who became Nollywood actors:
Your AMVCA 7 and 8 nominee was once a rapper, I know it’s hard to believe that Efa was once a rap lord giving us songs back to back on a regular.
He started out as a rapper in 2006 with a group named X-factor alongside DJ clem, Jide, Boye, and Bolaji. The group was later dissolved with everyone going their separate ways. His first single ‘EFA (11.11.11)’ was released in 2011 under Just Kidding records, a record label he was signed to at that time.
Efa Iwara released an EP named ‘The waka EP’ in 2011 which contained 5 tracks. Later on, he released several songs such as; Over You featuring Praiz, Open and Close featuring Dammy Krane, Fall in Love featuring Plantashun Boiz and a host of others. Recently he released a song for the soundtrack of The Men’s Club titled ‘Safe With Me’.
Efa’s acting career started in 2011 when he starred in Tinsel. Later on, in 2013, he was also on MTV Shuga. After a break, he made a full comeback in 2016 when he starred in Ebonylife’s Life 101, Put A Ring On It. Since then, he has been on our TV screens. He has stared in several movies and series such as Isoken, The Eve, Rumor Has it Season 2, The Men’s Club, Ajoche, Forbidden, Seven, This lady called Life and so on.
Efa Iwara hails from cross river state, he graduated from the prestigious University of Ibadan with a bachelor’s degree in geography.
Anytime I see this guy on screen, what pops into my head is him ‘my name is Ikechukwuuu!’, a popular phrase from one of his songs back in the days. Before his role in Wedding Party which shot him into the limelight, he was known as a singer and rapper.
Ikechukwu’s music career started in 2006 shortly after he returned to Nigeria from the United States. His first album ‘Son of the Soil’ had songs like; Raging, Niger Boy, Uh Oh with the most popular hit being ‘My Name is Ikechukwu’. His other albums include; Life and Time of Killz produced by Don Jazzy and featured Dbanj and Wande coal, Alliance reconstructed. Singles released by him are Balabala, Bu Lie Oto, Carry Me and so on.
His acting career started in 2013 with the movie ‘The Wages’, and since then he has starred in several movies and series such as;
- Gidi Up
- Gbomogbomo Express
- Wedding Party 1&2, Oloture
- Men, Money and Marriage
- Your Excellency
- Little Black Book
The popular Makanaki from King of Boys movie is a well-known rapper in the Nigerian music industry.
Remilekun Khalid Safaru known as Reminisce is a popular Nigerian singer who started his career in music in 2006 before taking a break. He returned in 2008 when he performed a rap verse on a song titled ‘Bachelor’s Life’ by 9ice. His first single featured 9ice and it was titled ‘Ever Since’, the music told a story of his life at that point. He took a step up by releasing a love song titled ‘If Only’ and since then he has been on a rollercoaster making waves in the music industry.
He made his acting debut in the movie ‘King of Boys’ where he interpreted his roles excellently. He also starred in ‘City of Dreams’ released in 2021.
Reminisce hails from Ogun state and he studied Purchasing and Supply at Kwara State Polytechnic.
Olubankole Wellington known as Banky W is a singer, rapper, songwriter, actor, director, and politician. He started his singing career as far back as 2002 when he started his record label ‘Empire Mates Entertainment’, he released an EP titled ‘Undeniable’ in 2003. His first album ‘Back in the Building’ was released in 2006, followed by ‘Mr Capable’ in 2008 and he has been releasing hits after hits since then.
His debut in the movie industry was in Wedding Party 1 in 2016 where he acted alongside Ikechukwu, Adesua Etomi among others. He has moved on to starring and directing movies such as Up North and Sugar Rush.
Which musician do you know is having an AMVCA… This list wouldn’t be complete without Folarin Falana, popularly known as Falz the Bhad Guy. He came into the limelight with songs such as Marry Me featuring Yemi Alade, Soldier featuring Simi and so on. His fame in the movie industry started with Jenifa’s Diary and since then he has managed to remain relevant in both careers.
Falz began his professional career as an artist in 2009. His first album ‘Wazup Guy’ was released in 2014, followed by his second album in 2015 ‘Stories That Touch’. Since then, he has been serving us good music on a regular. His songs include Elli Bae, Jamb Question, Bhad Baddo Baddest, Wehdone Sir, and Something Light to name a few.
Falz’s debut in the movie industry was in Jenifa’s diary which won him an award at the AMVCA. He has starred in countless movies such as Tinsel, Merry Men 1&2, 10 Days in Sun City, Chief Daddy, Your Excellency, Quam’s Money and so on. He unveiled his film production company ‘House21TV’ in August 2020, he also unveiled a new comedy series ‘Therapy’ where he acts alongside Toke Makinwa.
Falz was born in Lagos state and he obtained a degree in Law from the University of Reading England. He graduated from the Nigerian Law School and was called to the bar in 2012.
Let me know your thoughts on any of these Nigerian rappers who became Nollywood actors in the comment section.