How They Took Yoruba Movie Industry To The Next Level
It is a known fact that the Yoruba movie industry and the efforts of some of the great Yoruba actors/Filmmakers has put the Nigeria Entertainment industry on the spotlight all over the world, with its rich cultural storytelling and compelling narratives.
There is no doubt that many of these talented actors have really stepped up their game. They have not only captivated local audiences but have also garnered international recognition. They are showcasing Nigeria’s diverse and dynamic cinematic prowess back to back.
The Yoruba movie industry’s global reach has been amplified by this great actors collaborations with filmmakers and actors from other countries, co-productions with the cinema movie production outfits and online streaming sites such as AfricaMagic, Showmax, Netflix, Max, Imdb, and the likes with cross-cultural projects such as Wura, Itura, Ayinla, Jagunjagun, Orisa, Anikulapo and so many other movies that have fostered cultural exchanges and a deeper appreciation for Yoruba culture and storytelling worldwide.
Who are these exceptional actor? What has been their contributions to the growth of Yoruba movie industry?
In this week’s edition City people presents to you 10 super actors who have taken the Yoruba movie industry to the next level.
No 1 on our list is no one but this notable, fantastic Filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan. There is no doubt that Kunle Afolayan remains one of the finest Filmmakers/Producers today. He is widely credited for elevating the quality of Nollywood movies through larger budget movies, releasing in cinemas and improving Nollywood storylines for the viewers delight .
After starting his film career as an actor in a political drama named Saworoide in 1999, he has then gone on to win so many awards over the course of his career as an actor and producer/director. His first directorial debut in 2006 with Irapada won him the African Movie Academy Award for the best film in an African language. After so many achievements and honors to his name, he then got a three-picture deal with Netflix signed.
Swallow, the screen adaptation of SEFI ALTA book of the same name was the first to be released in October 2021, followed by ANIKULAPO, an epic Nigerian fantasy released in September 2022. In his biography Kunle Afolayan described the work as a Game of Thrones recreated in Nigeria but with better representation of our culture. Eleven days after its release, it was the #1most watched non-English Netflix original movie.
No 2 on our list is Femi Adebayo. Femi Adebayo’s name resonates strongly till date within the Yoruba movie industry as a versatile actor, filmmaker, and lawyer. A man who has made significant contributions to the growth and recognition of Yoruba cinema on both local and international stages. A man who recently raised his own profile and elevated his brand with his new blockbuster multimillion naira projects, Jagun Jagun. His movie, Ageshinkole also captivated audiences and leaves a lasting impact.
Femi Adebayo, whose full name is Oluwafemi Adebayo hails from a family deeply rooted in the Nigerian entertainment industry, with his father being the renowned actor, Adebayo Salami, popularly known as “Oga Bello.”
Its a known fact that star actor, Odunlade Adekola is not a small fry in the entertainment industry, having won lots of Awards home and abroad. Most of the big and reputable brands are always very eager and happy to get him to represent them. This exceptional actor, producer and director is among the most successful filmmakers in the industry, though he often conceals his huge success with his simple and humble way of life. He has also single handedly produced over 100 young stars who are doing extremely well in the industry today through his film academy. Despite his huge success in the industry, he has not relented in achieving more successes. Though he has been featuring in cinema movies back to back but has also decided to take a step further by producing an outstanding cinema movie titled “ORISA” which is not only trending but also topping the charts.
His acting career started in 1996 when he played a significant role in the movie asiri gomina wa which drew a lot of attention from movie lovers and also movie producers and has since then become one of the leading actor in the Yoruba Nollywood. He acted in numerous Nollywood movies and has times without number been rewarded for his contribution to the Nigerian entertainment space. He has been consistently featuring in movies and most blockbuster movies such as OYENUSI, SAMU DAGBORU, SAMER ALAJO which is an ongoing series that has captivated the audience.
IBRAHIM YEKINI (ITELE)
Itele d icon whose real name is Ibrahim Yekini Itele, is a Nigerian actor, filmmaker, and producer who has just joined the league of cinema movie producers with his new movie Kesari (the King), and he has proven his talent, skills, versatility and dedication to his craft.
One of Itele D’icon’s notable achievements is his ability to bring depth and authenticity to the characters he portrays on screen. His exceptional acting skills have earned him recognition and respect within the industry and among fans. Whether playing dramatic roles, action-packed characters, or comedic roles, he consistently delivers stellar performances that resonate with audiences. His involvement in producing Yoruba films has not only provided opportunities for other talented actors and crew members but has also helped raise the production quality and standards within the industry.
It is no secret that Ibrahim Chatta is also a cinema standard movie producer. He joined the league sometime ago with the release of his blockbuster movie, “Osoronga” Ibrahim Chatta is a prolific Nigerian actor, singer and a producer who rose to prominence in the Yoruba film industry despite having little formal education. His passion for acting and his ego to strive for success made him to be one of the best actors/producers in the Nigeria movie industry. His professional career started in 1985 when he joined JOSEPH LAOYE (uncle joe) a product of BABA RAY. This was his launch pad into the accomplished actor we know him to be.
Although of Tapa descent (Nupe Ethnic group), his command and use of Yoruba language are astonishing, his mastery and fluency in Yoruba have paved the way for him in his successful career as a Yoruba actor. His notable movies are AIYEKOTO, IRAWO OKE, DUDU and others which were loved nationwide.
Adedimeji Lateef is a young and very versatile actor. He’s one of the actors who have taken Yoruba movie industry to the next level due to his delivery in any role given.
He has been the face and lead actor of many blockbusters, Cinema and Netflix productions. He was recently celebrated alongside with other Nigerian films and tv stars by Netflix.
Lateef Adedimeji is very devoted to his acting work, to the extent that he broke his leg during the production of Jagunjagun.
Lateef Adedimeji gained popularity with his first major role in Yewande Adekoya’s 2013 movie titled KUDI KLEPTO and has acted in over 100 Nigerian movies since he began acting 15 years ago.
No 7. is Muyiwa Ademola popularly known as Authentic.
There is no doubt, Muyiwa ADEMOLA has made significant contributions to the industry. He’s one of the actors Yoruba movie industry is proud of any day, any time. His face has started gracing many blockbuster, Cinema and Netflix standard movies these days. You need no one to tell you that this calm and epitome of talent has really stepped up his game. He’s absolutely one of the super actors who took the Yoruba movie industry to the next level.
Muyiwa’s career in Nollywood began in the early 1990s, and he quickly gained recognition for his versatile acting skills. He is known for his ability to take on a wide range of roles, from dramatic to comedic, and has been a part of numerous successful movies. Over the years, Muyiwa Ademola has won several awards for his outstanding performances in movies and has become a respected figure in the Nigerian entertainment industry. He’s currently working on reproducing his movie Ori for Cinema standard.
Bolanle Ninalowo also known as Nino is a gifted and bright Nigerian actor with an accomplished career. He’s one of the actors making us proud all over the world. He was recently a cast in a mockumentary called “Distraction; The Extraction of Don, which was inspired by Extraction.
Ninalowo had his first film debut titled rebirth, which raises awareness about HIV and the stigma that those who have the disease face.
The movie premiered in many major cities across America and beyond which won him the Nollywood revelation of the year award and launched his career in Nollywood. He became well known after appearing in the film desperate baby mama.
Yomi Fashlanso is an exceptional talent whose acting delivery is contagious. Having spent many decades in the craft and still going strong this makes him one of our favorite actors who is doing well.
YOMI FASHLANSO’s role and delivery in “Wura”, a Nigerian Telenovela series by Showmax also keeps him relevant in the industry and it has raised his profile by no small measure.
YOMI is very creative, skillful and exceptionally talented. He’s a renowned Nollywood actor, rated as one of the best always. He has featured in many blockbuster movies.
If you’re looking for one great actor who is ageing gracefully, then look no further, talented veteran actor, Yemi Solade is your answer.
He’s one of the actors who don’t just take any role. His delivery in “Itura” an Africa Magic’s original series is very outstanding and makes him eligible to be on this list, coupled with his years of experience in acting.
Yemi Solade is a prominent Nigerian actor, director, and producer who has made significant contributions to the Yoruba movie industry. He has had a prolific career spanning several decades.
Yemi Solade began his journey in the entertainment industry in the early 1980s, initially as a stage actor. He honed his craft and transitioned into the world of film, making his debut in the Yoruba-language film “Omo Orukan” in 1995. His exceptional acting talent and versatility quickly gained him recognition and popularity among Yoruba-speaking audiences.
He has been involved in various productions, contributing to the creation of high-quality Yoruba-language films that have gained acclaim both locally and internationally. His commitment to storytelling and cinematography has elevated the standards of Yoruba filmmaking. His legacy continues to inspire the next generation of filmmakers and actors in Nigeria and beyond.
– SUNDAY ADIGUN