They made us laugh, they made us sigh …We love web/tv series the most – we feel a certain connection to them – when the actors look out from that small screen they make us believe that they’re the people they’re playing. This year, Nollywood stepped up in terms of the quality and quantity of content available for TV and web. With the addition of players like Accelerate TV, Red TV… there was a lot of content online and offline (TV) as well.
We have reviews of TV/ Web Series on Nollywood Observer, and with every show, we experienced actors that showed dedication and won us over, as fans. 2017 has been a better year for TV/Web Series. We had two seasons of “This is It,” “Africa Magic’s: Battleground” dominated social media, Ebony Life’s movie, “Fifty” returned as a series, Red TV’s “Inspector K” drew interesting reviews from critics, and while “Lagos Big Boy” left us disappointed, Ndani TV is squaring up with “Skinny Girl in Transit.”
Here are the performances that are at the top of our heads, with exceptional actors that struck a chord:
Nick Mutumi: The finest performance to come out of a web series for 2017 was not from a Nigerian, but he played in a series written and directed by a Nigerian. Without overdoing it, Nick was absolutely endearing in “This is it.” He played Tomide without overdramatizing the role and without losing the essence of the character he was given to play. Nick stood out and his talent is worth commendation.
Yakubu Mohammed, Mofe Duncan, Rahama Sadau, Paul Sambo: Night time TV got more interesting with the return of ‘Sons of the Caliphate’ season 2. The quad of (Yakubu Mohammed, Mofe Duncan, Rahama Sadau, Paul Sambo) took us on a journey into the rich, cultural and flamboyant aristocratic lifestyle of Northern Nigerians. Rahama Sadau plays the role of Binta Kutigi convincingly. She is a confident, intelligent, witty and composed Northern “chick” who is uber stylish, elegant and yet traditional. But, she’s also deceptive and highly manipulative and vengeful. Yakubu Muhammad does a fantastic job playing Dikko Loko! He is entitled, corrupt and resilient. To Dikko, life is a game and not even his friends or family are untouchable, he delights in causing other pain and will stop at nothing to get what he desires. Paul Sambo plays Kalifah, the Emir of KOWA. He’s completely obsessed with power, wealth and women. Kalifah believes he has the world at his feet and does whatever he pleases. We see a softer side of Mofe Duncan who plays Nuhu Bula in the second season. With his marriage to Binta, we see a man driven by family obligation. He does all within his power to keep his wife, happy and safe. We also see him butt heads with his sister (Adunni Ade) as they struggle to impress their father and take charge of the family business.
Bimbo Ademoye: This young and vibrant actress was discovered by Uduak Isong Oguamanam, after she crashed an audition she was not invited to, and while Bimbo was able to get her start and feature in a number of iRoko TV films, she stood out for us by featuring in “5ive” and “This is it.” Her sharp-tongued character remains a highlight in “5ive” and her high-spirited turn in “This is it” made us love her some more.
Ini Dima Okojie: From the mean-spirited Hadiza on “Skinny Girl in Transit” to playing the role of Teni on “Battleground,” there were episodes that Ini gave us the chills. The actress has totally evolved before us and it is interesting to watch her take roles that continue to position her as the young actress to watch out for.
Beverly Naya: Beverly Naya is making an appearance on “Skinny Girl in Transit” and SGIT fans have been going crazy. The actress has been on a mean roll and every episode has the actress as the center of the conversation. She has shaken the series and is a reason to look forward to new episodes, especially because SGIT has been struggling with creating variety for its lead performer, Tiwa.
Chiagoziem Nwakanam: Chiagoziem is in 2017’s unforgettable web series, “This is it,” her playful role as Dede, came with as many jokes as it did with challenges. The Director did not just craft a story that was enjoyable, she had an enjoyable cast that was able to connect with her story, and Chiagoziem connected well enough to make us laugh, and sometimes cry.
Sharon Ooja: Another actor from “Skinny Girl in Transit” doing incredibly well is Sharon. This season gave the actress a little challenge that put her at the center of events. Her short break-up with Mohammed saw her acting hysterical. Sharon embodies the pampered last child so well, you cannot help but love her minutes on screen.
Oreka Godis: For her performance in “Our Best Friend’s Wedding,” Oreka settled into her role perfectly. The actress was one performer to remember from the series despite its slow development.
Ayoola: Ayoola who plays Mide on “Skinny Girl in Transit” the sweet talking lover, was given the challenge of communicating his heartbreak to us on the 10th episode of season 4, Ayoola’s performance has the full burden of our concentration, the actor has performed better than we have seen many other male actors perform in 2017. With the latest episodes, we can’t wait to watch him do more.
Maurice Sam: fast-rising actor, Maurice Sam, has been incredible on Ebony Life TV “On the Real,” and in “Hustle.” In a scene-stealing moment on “Inspector K,” the actor melts hearts. He is doing incredible, and we see it. The young actor is on our radar.
Shaffy Bello: On “Battleground” she will mesmerize you with excellent acting, excellent diction and an admirable screen presence. Shaffy has had an incredible year taking the role of the controlling matriarch on Africa Magic’s well-watched series.
Uche Odoputa (Husbands of Lagos Season 3): His character, Livinus Enyeribeyen, is a wealthy, uneducated, businessman married to Isioma aka “Ego Oyibo” (played by Peggy Ovire), an attractive young lady who he can’t let out of his sight. His attempt to take charge of her life is hilarious. He pays for her education, but he prefers she accesses her courses online rather than mingle with her course mates. He’s not one to take chances, he knows his wife is very attractive and he is crazy enough to believe that every man wants her; so he does all within his power to ensure there’s no mingling with other men, even if that means her staying at home 24/7. Uche plays this role excellently; when you think about the character, you realize no one could have done a better job. Iroko should consider doing a spinoff with just Livinus and Ego Oyibo.
Additional mentions on our list include, Koye Kekere-Ekun who played an inspector on Red TV’s “Inspector K.” The actor’s performance was laced with humor and while the last episode left us underwhelmed, Koye is one comedic actor to watch. More actors include: Baaj Adebule (5ive), Akah Nnani (On the Real), Omawumi Dada (Jemeji).