In the last article, I listed the top 15 new generation Nigerian Actors, this time I will be diving into the actresses category. This post highlights the top 15 new generation Nigerian actresses. Nollywood has been blessed to have an amazing selection of actresses in the past. Women like Joke Silver, Rachael Oniga (of blessed memory), Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Genevieve Nnaji and a host of others have made great names for them in the industry. It is thrilling to see that while most of these legends are still active. New blood has come up and I can tell you that I am not disappointed with the abundance of female talent Nollywood has produced in the past decade. While the likes of Genevieve Nnaji and Dakore Egbuson ruled the screens in the 2000s, Actresses like Adesua Etomi and Jemima Osunde have taken the baton and are doing a great job with it.
Adesua Etomi is a UK trained theatre arts practitioner. She moved back to Nigeria after graduating from university to pursue a career in acting. After appearing in a few short films, Adesua landed the lead role in the film Knocking on Heaven’s Door where she played Debbie. The movie shot her into the limelight and producers and filmmakers began to take notice of the beautiful, young talent. In 2014 landed the role of Muna in the film titled Falling. Her performance in the movie landed her an Award for Best Actress in a drama at the African Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AVMCA) in 2016. It has been smooth sailing for Adesua Etomi ever since and she has appeared in different critically acclaimed movies. From Arbitration to Wedding Party, Adesua has blessed audiences with her immense talent and is one of the best new generation Nigerian actresses.
Abisola Ayeola started her journey into entertainment as a singer, she was one of the participants in the popular music reality TV show MTN Project Fame. She then went further by partaking in the reality show Big Brother Nigeria, making it to the final day. Bisola started her acting career by taking on small roles in TV shows like Skinny Girl in Transit, the opportunity to feature in a film came in 2016 with a supporting role in the film Picture Perfect. She has gone to give stellar performances in different films, showing a wild range with her acting. This is most notable in films like This Lady Called Life and Sugar Rush.
Sharon Ooja started her acting career in 2013 with appearances in tv shows like Gidi-up, Skinny Girl in Transit and The Men’s Club. Her performance as spoiled Shalewa in Skinny Girl in Transit brought her to the limelight and endeared her to fans of the show. The pretty actress has shown tremendous growth in her career and willingness to take on daring roles, her most notable performance comes in the Netflix film Oloture. In the movie, she played the role of a journalist who goes undercover to investigate the actions of a human trafficking and prostitution ring. Other notable films include Kambili, Who’s The Boss, Bad Comments, and Coming From Insanity.
The Model slash Tv presenter turned actress began her rise in Nollywood by taking on roles in a number of tv shows before getting her big break. Already a well-known model and Tv Presenter, Nancy Isime appeared on a couple of small-time films before landing the lead role in the film Disguise. She got more roles in films like Living in Bondage, Breaking Free, and Made in Heaven before landing other major lead roles in Kambili, The whole 30 yards, and The Razz Guy. Nancy Isime is definitely one of the Nigerian Actresses to look out for in Nollywood.
Super talented Actress Bimbo Ademoye made her Nollywood debut in 2015 and instantly made a good impression on film critics all over the nation. She went a step further in stunning audiences with her performance in the film Back-Up Wife, her performance in the movie gave her career a much-needed boost. However, her most impressive performance comes in the Niyi Akinmolahan directed film titled Gone. She showed a level of depth in her performance that can be likened to that of legendary Nollywood actresses. Bimbo Ademoye has gone on to feature in hit movies like Sugar Rush, Dear Affy and Breaded Life. Bimbo is indisputably one of the best new generation actresses in Nollywood.
Ade Laoye is a trained Theatre arts practitioner who made her first Nollywood film appearance in the 2014 film Knocking On Heaven’s Door. Ade Laoye has gone on to give stellar performances on different tv shows and movies. Her exemplary performance in the film Oga John remains an all-time favourite. This is closely followed by her performance on the tv show Castle & Castle and the Netflix original movie A Naija Christmas.
Dorcas Fapson is one of the New generation actresses to definitely look out for. The beautiful Actress has proven herself by giving impressive performances in shows like MTV Shuga and Castle & Castle. She has also featured in a couple of movies like My Wife & I and Banana Island Ghost. Her performance in these movies and shows have proven that when given the opportunity, Dorcas steps up and does her job excellently. She definitely deserves a spot on the list of the top new generation Nigerian actresses.
Jemima Osunde started her acting career while still schooling at the University of Lagos, she got her first role in the TV show MTV Shuga. Subsequently, she appeared on Ndani TV’s series called Rumor Has It. Her first opportunity to play the lead in a full-length film came in 2018 when she played the character Toun in New Money. This opened the door to more opportunities in Nollywood. Her performance in the film Delivery Boy earned her the Best Actress in a Leading Role nomination at the African Movies Academy Award. Jemima Osunde has gradually become one of the popular faces in the new generation of Nollywood and has the potential to become one of the greats.
Linda Ejiofor began her acting career in the Mnet series Tinsel. Her character Bimpe was very popular on the show. In 2012 she got the opportunity to play Ejura in the critically acclaimed film The Meeting. She earned Best Supporting Actress nominations for her performance in The Meeting at the African Movies Academy Award and The AMVCA, winning the latter. Since the remarkable feat in 2015, Linda has gone on to feature in hit films like Surulere, A Soldier’s Story and Kpali.
While Sophia Alakija might not have an impressive acting Resumé like some of the Actresses on our list, she has delivered every time she gets called upon. The 28-year-old actress who has appeared mostly in series like Halita, Scandal and Assistant Madams is one of the recognizable faces in today’s Nollywood. She has given stellar performances in films like Gone and My Village People. We hope to see more from Sophia Alakija in 2022.
Kehinde Bankole is a model turned Actress. She made her first appearance on TV in the TV show called Super Story. This gave her the exposure she needed in the industry. She featured in more TV shows like Papa Ajasco and This Life. Her first major film appearance came in the Kunle Afolayan hit movie October 1. She has achieved more film success with films like The Set Up, Dear Affy, Mama Drama and Love Castle.
Damilola Adegbite started her acting career alongside Linda Ejiofor on the Mnet Tv show Tinsel. She played the role of Thelma Duke on the show for four seasons before exiting the show. Damilola got her first major film appearance in the 2013 film Flower Girl. She has featured on hit films like Isoken, Merry Men 1 & 2 and Coming From Insanity.
Zainab Balogun is a London raised singer, model and actress. She appeared in various shows in England before returning to Nigeria. Upon her return to Nigeria, she appeared as a supporting actress in films like The Wedding Party, A Soldier’s Story and Ojukokoro. Her first lead role came in 2018 in the Psychological thriller Sylvia. Another opportunity to play lead came in the critically acclaimed film God Calling. The actress gave a memorable performance in the movie and earns herself a spot on our list.
Relatively new to the industry, Temi has just one film on her Resumé. She played the lead role on the Kunle Afolayan hit Netflix movie titled the Citation. Temi Otedola’s performance received a lot of praise despite being a first timer in the industry. She held her own against professionals with years of acting experience. We would definitely love to see more from Temi Otedola in 2022.
Omowunmi Dada started her acting career in 2013 in the movie Oya. Since then she has gone on to work with the best filmmakers in Nollywood. The actress has a huge number of TV show appearances and films on her Resumé. A trained Thespian, Omowunmi has dazzled both on stage and on big screens. With amazing performances in films like Oga Bolaji, Oloture and Diamond in the Sky, she is gradually becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Nigerian movie industry.