BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
While it is as clear as day that 2017 hasn’t witnessed as many good movies as the one before it, the year hasn’t been all bad for the industry. This year has seen up and coming actors grow on our screens till they have become forces. It has seen old faces attain mastery in spite of below-par stories. It has seen actors break barriers of stereotypes and stretch themselves far from comfort. And while there is still a lot of ground to cover, these feats are noteworthy.
I have therefore compiled a list of the top female actors on the basis of skill, number of major roles especially on the big screen or TV show, the diversity of such roles and the delivery of it.
They aren’t necessarily the biggest names in film as we know it, but we can say this year has been good for these people.
10. Bimbo Ademoye
A name that has begun to create a resounding buzz is that of light-skinned actress, Bimbo Ademoye. While she hasn’t landed a lead role on the big screen yet, the actress has featured in movies all year round, including cinema films My Wife and I and Banana Island Ghost. She was also featured in Lowladee’s web/TV series This Is It where she stole the show as Kerry, as well as films Diary of a Crazy Nigerian Woman, The Personal Assistant and Back Up Wife, carefully working her way to the top.
9. Rahama Sadau
Former Kannywood actress Rahama Sadau has had a major break on the big screen since her crossover to Nollywood. With major roles in cinema movies Tatu and Hakkunde, and appearances in Light Will Come and Accidental Spy, the actress has had a terrific year.
8. Omowumi Dada
Omowunmi Dada has been flexible in her roles, explored varying characters and created a sterling reputation by them. This year, she featured in several movies that showed on the big screen such as King Invincible, Omugwo, Something Wicked and Catch.er, and also stars as a main character in Africa Magic telenovella, Jemeji.
7. Kemi Lala Akindoju
While Kemi Lala hasn’t had many lead roles this year, she has managed to remain memorable in virtually every film, and functioned in several other capacities in film and stage such as producing and directing. In 2017, the actor starred in Potato Potahto, Okafor’s Law, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel (to be released), and Alakada Reloaded.
6. Bisola Aiyeola
The year has been smiling on actress, singer and reality show star, Bisola Aiyeola. After leaving the Big Brother Naija house in April, the actress returned to filming movies and television series that became notable. Aside from playing Didi in Ndani TV’s Skinny Girl in Transit and Kofo in The Life Of A Nigerian Couple, bringing humor and great acting to the table, she also featured in highly acclaimed romantic comedy film, Picture Perfect. The movies Ovy’s Voice and Glimpse, both by Biodun Stephen, saw the actress in her A-game in lead roles, earning her a spot on this list.
5. Omoni Oboli
2017 not only saw Omoni Oboli produce and direct her own film, Okafor’s Law amidst a lot of controversy, it also saw her star in it. But the actress also featured in the Blessing Egbe film, The Women, and gave a darn brilliant performance. She, alongside Ramsey Nouah, starred in Nigeria’s first body switch film, My Wife and I.
4. Toyin Abraham
This actor was everywhere in 2017, from arguing Nollywood issues on the stage at NECLive5, to making and starring in her film, Alakada Reloaded. She was so visible this year and featured in both English and Yoruba films, as well as cinema films Hakkunde, Mentally, Okafor’s Law, Celebrity Marriage, Tatu to mention a few. Despite having a strong footing as a comedy actor, the actress took on roles that showed she was more than just repetitive over-the-top expressions.
3. Beverly Naya
Granted Beverly Naya seemed to have suffered a bit of monotony in the beginning of her career, but perhaps this isn’t entirely a bad thing seeing she has gone on to perfect the bad girl persona as seen in 2016 movie, The Wedding Party where she played the role of Rosie, a vicious seductive woman out to destroy the wedding, a role she reprised in the 2017 sequel of the film, The Wedding Party: Destination Dubai, and also played a similar role in Ndani TV’s Skinny Girl In Transit. Naya comes in third place because in spite of her villain forte, she played diverse roles in cinema films Something Wicked, and the highly acclaimed crime drama, Cath.er as lead.
2. Tina Mba
Tina Mba is undoubtedly one of Nollywood’s most versatile actresses of all time, with her ability to get into almost any character and pull it off a hundred percent. Tina Mba infuses humor and heart into her every role, and always leaves you feeling something. In 2017, she took major roles in cinema films The Bridge, Alter Ego, Okafor’s Law, Omoye, Banana Island Ghost, In Line, Isoken and the incredible short film by Ifeoma Chukwuogo, Bariga Sugar.
1. Adesua Etomi
The actor had a far better film year in 2016, but as stated, 2017 was not a bright year in general. Etomi, who bagged the award for Best African actress at the 2016 AMVCAs, played lead roles in cinema movies Ayamma (where she showed how good a singer she could be), 10 days in Sun City, Something Wicked, In Line and reprised her role in Elfike’s The Wedding Party: Destination Dubai as Dunni Coker. The actress, whose wedding to Banky W was one of the Nigerian entertainment industry highlights of 2017, also acted in MTV Shuga 4: Down South in South Africa