Some Nollywood actors and actresses simply do not get the credit, recognition or critical respect they deserve. For whatever reason, they are overlooked even when they are the true star of the movie/ television series. No matter the role or situation, you know you’re always going to get a solid performance out of them, which makes the movie watching experience worth it. Here are the 5 most underrated actors and actresses currently working in Nollywood.
Anyone who watches the Africa Magic hit TV Show – Tinsel, would easily agree that “Brenda” (funlola aofiyebi-raimi) is the star of the show. Yet, we have watched more subtle, less convincing characters win awards for best actress on that same show. Not only is it shocking, it is ridiculous. If Funlola were to take a break from Tinsel, think of how difficult it would be to get a new “Brenda”. That is how well she plays the role. She is a star and we look forward to the day she would get the recognition she deserves.
When you see Bimbo’s name in the credits, you know you’re getting a big star performance. For those of us who began watching Nigerian movies in the 90’s, “the Gardner” was one of the best love stories – starring Bimbo Akintola, Tunde Obe, Bukky Ajayi etc. She was spectacular in that movie as she has been in several others yet she is one of the most overlooked actresses. Her delivery is flawless and you can count on her to give a stellar performance every single time.
Gideon is an impeccable actor who has been at it since “Big Brother Nigeria” and seems to go un noticed, while mediocre actors get all the attention for roles that Gideon would only improve upon. He was masterful in Tinsel and a place in the stars, and brings a quiet eloquence to every performance.
How Ada Ameh has not become a bigger star is beyond justification, if there’s any Nigerian actress who is really funny and has the ability to crack your ribs, it is Ada. Or is comedy no longer a legit genre? We were shocked not to see her name among nominees for best actress in comedy for her role in “The Johnsons”. Though nominated as best supporting actress for her role in “30 days in Atlanta”; Ada is yet to get the recognition she truly deserves.
Is there an unwritten rule somewhere in Nollywood that prevents older actors from receiving awards? Because how do we explain the snub Clarion Chukwura Abiola received for her role in “Apaye” (which by the way was a 2014 movie) that performance easily belonged to the category of best actress? No mention… nothing.
But I digress, the issue here is this, the older Nollywood actors are by far better actors yet, they’re sidelined. Ebele is always superb and wise in whatever role she is asked to play. Whether it is a queen, mother/ mother-in-law, outcast, she is capable of breakthrough performances that overshadow the top-billed star.