Nollywood's Actors & Actresses
Nollywood's Actors & Actresses
Nollywood is an adaptable word that best describes films made in Ghana and Nigeria, and collectively they make up the majority of what is considered to be Nollywood.
Nollywood’s typical actors and actresses can be seen in hundreds of African movies. To us, in comparative to Hollywood, we would consider them to be an ensemble group, but they aren’t. They are a handful of a small group of multitalented, attractive performing artists who play a variety of unusual roles. Each one is better than the last. And after seeing them in action, you’ll witness and comprehend just how good they are, when they spark and ignite some of your untapped human emotions.
To be a great actor, one must be convincing in different roles without having to be a carbon copy of another character. In fact, all movies released by Nollywood, contains at least two or three of their finest artists, and these actors and actresses make you feel what they feel.
As we watch and understand why the story plays out as such, their reactions would be typical of our human understanding and that is what makes their films so moving. Whatever it is they are depicting, you can best believe, you’d believe them.
But I think besides a great story, they also will mesmerize you because they are so beautiful, attractive and handsome to look at. And to see the same beautiful people, convey a wide array of emotions in stories that everyone can relate too, illustrates the enormity of their talents and this industry. A few of them have even gone as far as creating their own production companies and have directed several films, so they are ever expanding and growing in their field.
Now Hollywood actors and actresses are fortunate if they get to star in five films in their career. In the African film industry, these actors star in hundreds of films each. They have a large fan base, and are treated just as we treat our finest thespians.
One of the Nollywood actresses Stephanie Okekere, who studied at NYU, was laughed at when she tried to break into this western Hollywood market. She stated, no one understood that she made 100 legitimate films in the African film industry, but her and works was treated as being illegitimate, consequently she returned back to Nollywood.
Hollywood tries to hold the world standards on beauty, fanfare and luster, but as you can see, with the beginning ceremony of the Olympic games in Beijing, the Chinese proved they too can executed the finest, awe stricken program as well. The overwhelming accolades they received for their unforeseen creativity has now glorified them. Not even Hollywood could have derived such a vision or be that inclusive of its citizens.
This is why we have these industries like Nollywood and Bollywood surpassing Hollywood, because they offer fresh and new ideas. They change with the times, while Hollywood still sells the same old stuff just revised, remade, making that shiny penny look real dull these days.
Now I have to admit, being my western self, had a hard time with the African names at first, but that only lasted for about a minute. But I assure you, if you forget the about the pronunciations for now, in due time, you will become familiar with them as I did, and their exotic names will roll off your tongue with ease.
But in the meantime, let’s recognize Nollywood, in some ways like Hollywood is about designer clothes, high fashion, and big money. But most importantly for them it is their traditional African garments, customs, and education and family relationships. But remember, Nollywood films are in English, and contain no subtitles. So there is no reason why you can’t open your mind a little and check out a great film. There is no language barrier, just an accent barrier, but that is no barrier.
If you would like to know more, you can check out my book, Valerie Howard’s Guide to African Movies & Nollywood, I have a chapter dedicated to these wonderful actors and actresses, and I give you the full scoop on each of them individually, as well as the producers, and information on other key players.
If you’re looking for something different and refreshing, don’t miss an opportunity to see some of their works. Great actors and actresses can be found in a lot of countries, and I tell you, they found some of the great ones there in Africa…Grab a copy of Chelsea, Dirty Little Secret or Excess Money today. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.