Simi is the latest Nigerian singer to pitch her talent in the Nollywood. The singer who dropped one of 2017’s best albums is set to feature in Kunle Afolayan’s latest movie, Mokalik. Mokalik is about an 11-year-old sent to work at a mechanic workshop by his parents in order to develop a different perspective on life.
Of course, Simi will not be the first. In recent years, several Nigerian artistes have delved into the Nollywood world. Economically, it makes sense for Nollywood filmmakers to add popular Nigerian artistes to their cast- their popularity can be a huge boost for the film’s commercial success. An example will be Banky W, whose popularity helped sell The Wedding Party.
Naturally, a good number of the Nigerian musicians who have featured in Nollywood movies have only had cameo roles, like Peter Okoye in Genevieve’s Lionheart or M.I Abaga in Chief Daddy. For this list, we will be discussing artistes who have had significant roles.
Bank W has always had a passion for film – in 2016, he went to the New York film school to study directing – and his music videos always featured some acting in them. So, it is no surprise that he is one of the Nigerian musicians who have successfully crossed over to Nollywood.
Banky’s Nollywood debut was in the record-breaking The Wedding Party in which he played the lead character Dozie Onwuka. He reprised his role as Dozie in the movie’s sequel — The Wedding Party: Destination Dubai. More recently, he featured as the lead in Tope Oshin’s Northern-Nigerian epic Up North.
All three movies he has starred in have benefitted from his star power; the Wedding Party movies are Nigeria’s highest grossing movies and Up North is on its way to hitting the 100-million-naira mark.
The only rapper with an Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA). Falz, like Banky W, is a man with many sides to him; he studied Law, he is one of Nigeria’s best rappers and he is a comical delight. Falz’ Nollywood debut came in the hilarious Funke Akindele’s Jenifa Diaries where he plays Sege. It was for his role as Sege, he won an AMVCA.
He would go on to land supporting roles in big-budget Nollywood movies like New Money, Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons, and Chief Daddy. His acting talent has also landed him a role in Hollywood. Falz recently signed a deal with BLK Prime to play a Nigerian Billionaire, William Randolph Church.
Are you surprised? Not many would have viewed Reminisce as an actor but then he surprised everyone when he delivered one of the best debut performances we have seen in Nollywood as Makanaki in Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys.
Reminisce bit so deep into this character that you cannot see another person playing it. His performance was so good that it might end Falz’s tag as the only rapper with an AMVCA.
For those who do not know, Ikechukwu used to be one of the hottest Nigerian rappers during the mid to late 2000s; scoring hits including Wind Am Well with Naeto C and My Name is Ikechukwu. These days, though, the rapper is mostly an actor; he has had roles on both the small screen and big screen. Some of his acting roles include playing the catastrophic best man, Sola, in The Wedding Party and the recording artiste, Nino, in Gbomo Gbomo Express.
The vocal powerhouse who came into the limelight for winning the 3rd edition of MTN’s Project Fame, made her acting debut in Kunle Afolayan’s Bridge where she played Stella, a young Igbo lady whose love life with a Yoruba prince is threatened by tribal prejudice.