The year 2021 was a very good one for Nollywood, especially because producers finally had the chance to release movies that were delayed due to the terrible coronavirus pandemic. Everybody was busy with staying safe during the outbreak, and we even had serious protests in between, so there was really no time to focus on any form of creativity.
Thankfully, the storm is finally over, sanity has returned, Nollywood fans have been getting amazing movie content again, and the brains behind the contents have been smiling to the bank.
Talking about the brains behind the contents, a few actors have since emerged and they are not ready to take it easy with the OGs who have built their names over the years. These fast-rising actors keep doing everything possible to win fans over with their amazing role interpretation on our TV screens and we expect them to keep evolving before our very eyes. See Best Nollywood Stars To Look Out For In 2022.
1. Erica Nlewedim:
Erica is one of Nollywood’s fast-rising stars despite getting noticed during her time on screen as a BBNaija housemate. This reality star did not let her disqualification on the show weigh her down and she has since featured in a movie titled “Secrets and Scandals,” playing a leading role.
For those who do not know, she took part in the 2014 Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MGBN) pageant where she quickly stole the show by winning the Most Photogenic award. Erica was already doing well as a model, but she quickly dumped that career and went on to study acting for the screen at Met Film School, London, despite having a B.Sc in Business Administration from Covenant University.
Her Nollywood career really took off when her biggest movie yet, “Hire a Woman,” was acquired by Netflix. This step forward made her catch the eye of other filmmakers and Erica now has roles in movies like “Devil in Agbada,” “The Wig,” “Poke Messiah,” and “Bitter Rain,” to her name. With her talent, beauty and screen skills, we expect Erica to be a household name in the nearest future.
2. Tomiwa Tegbe:
Tomiwa is a Nollywood actor most famous for his role as James in popular TV series, “My Siblings and I.” He also played Wasiu in the MTV Shuga Naija series, and he has been an admired talent ever since.
He was born on May 22 in Oyo State, and he attended the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management and Toxicology. His first stint as an actor happened about 9 years ago, in Niyi Akinmolayan’s drama film titled “Valour,” and he starred alongside Wole Ojo and Ivie Okujaye.
Tegbe has since featured in other movie projects like “Kasala”, “Kasanova”, “Psycho”, “On The Real”, “Three Is Company”, “Ehi’s Bitters”, and “How To Marry A Billionaire.” It is very safe to say that Nollywood fans are expecting great things from the talented 30-year-old this year.
3. Jemima Osunde:
Jemima has been building her brand quietly in the movie industry and her hard work and dedication are beginning to pay off. She attended Air Force School for her primary school education, went to Holy Child College for her Secondary School Education, before studying Physiotherapy at the University of Lagos.
Her first movie project was “Jungle Jewel,” produced by the popular Ufuoma McDermott, and Osunde has not looked back ever since. According to Jemima, her uncle was the one who actually encouraged her to start acting and she will remain grateful to him for the rest of her life.
Her stardom grew as an actress after she got featured on the fourth series of MTV Shuga, playing the beautiful Laila. Further taking her career to the next level, Jemima recently starred in “Lion Heart,” alongside the legend that is Genevieve Nnaji.
With the talent she is blessed with, and her consistent top-notch performances on any project she is contacted for, Jemima will surely be a Nollywood force to reckon with very soon.
4. Anthonietta Kalunta:
If you don’t know who she is, you have been missing out big time and you should do your findings.
Just one Nollywood movie made the cut for the Nigerian Oscar submission in 2021, and it was titled “Milkmaid,” a movie Anthonieta Kalunta featured as the lead character. Her character was named Aisha and she received lots of praise for her impeccable performance throughout the movie.
The talent she displayed in the film should have actually earned her more roles in 2021 if the movie was not released very late into the year. Not to worry though, 2022 is here, and we expect nothing to hold Anthonietta Kalunta back from shining as she should.
5. Sophie Alakija:
If you remember the lady who was the lead dancer in Wizkid’s “Holla at your boy” video, it’s Sophie Alakija. She, however, ditched her vixen career a long time ago to venture into acting, getting a role in the popular series “Scandal,” in 2017.
What brought her out to the Nollywood limelight though, was her role in the popular film titled, “Halita,” and her performance in another TV series titled “Assistant Madams” in 2019. Sophie has since worked with popular actors like Chika Ike, Desmond Elliot, Nkem Owoh, Majid Michel, Zuby Michael, and Venita Akpofure, and this makes her one to look out for in the nearest future.
Other projects she has appeared in include “Drawing Strands,” “Getting Over Him,” and “Small Chops.”
6. Rotimi Salami:
Another guy that deserves a spot on this list is Rotimi Salami. This graduate of the New York Film Academy in the United States of America is quickly becoming a fan favourite in the Nollywood industry, especially in Yoruba films.
His acting career kicked off in popular TV series like “Kuti’s Career Palace,” “Tinsel,” “Emerald,” “Super Story,” “Silent Night,” “Dear Mother,” “Bella’s Place,” “Unknown Revenge,” “This life,” and “Papa Ajasco,” and his recent switch to mainstream movies has gone on to earn him lots of awards.
These awards include Best Actor in Nigeria at the Africa Movie Academy Awards, Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, and Most Promising Act to Watch at the City People Entertainment Awards. All of these and more only prove one thing, Rotimi is a star and the industry will celebrate him soon.
7. Bukunmi Oluwashina:
Popular for her very emotional storylines and her soothing voice, Bukunmi has been putting in the work since 2015 when she produced her first movie titled “Ayomi.”
The movie star actually shot this movie while studying at the Obafemi Awolowo University, and this proves that she is definitely ready to give her all for her passion. She is also a scriptwriter who has written a few movie scripts for movies like “A story like Mine,” “Ayomi,” and “Oluwere.”
Bukunmi has since featured alongside the likes of Aisha Lawal, Gabriel Afolayan, Damola Olatunji and Muyiwa Ademola in several films, sealing her status as a movie talent who is going to make lots of waves in the nearest future.
8. Ini Dima-Okojie:
Ini surely deserves a spot on our list because of her amazing consistency as an actress. She is a graduate of the New York Film Academy and she actually resigned from her job in the finance industry to pursue a career in Nollywood.
Dima used to be known for playing major roles in Nigerian TV series, but she grew from that eventually and began to feature in more prominent roles, including her appearance in the popular movie titled “The Royal Hibiscus Hotel.”
Fast forward to now, Ini Dima-Okojie is fast becoming a household and we can only wait for that final push to make it obvious to Nollywood fans.
9. Bimbo Ademoye:
If looks were all that is needed to be a superstar, Bimbo Ademoye will be the greatest superstar in Nollywood right now. She is indeed stunning, but she has never failed to remind Nollywood fans that there is an abundance of acting talent to go with the beauty.
Bimbo is an alumnus of Emem Isong’s Royal Arts Academy, and she is been doing her thing quietly in the industry for years now. It took a feature in Jade Osiberu’s “Sugar Rush.” to bring the star in her out though, and the movie premiered in December 2019 to become her biggest project yet.
Ademoye earned a lot of well-deserved praise for her role in the movie and many have been expecting more success ever since.
10. Timini Egbuson:
One would think having a popular actress as a sister should be an automatic ticket into the Nollywood industry, well, that was not the case with Timini Egbuson.
Despite his sister, Dakore Egbuson being a prominent name in the Nigerian film industry, Timini has never needed her as he has focused on creating a niche for himself and attracting attention from movie lovers all on his own.
Timini was born in Bayelsa State and he had his primary school education from Greenspring Montessori, The Afro School and St Catherine’s. After his secondary education, he went on to study psychology at the University of Lagos and graduated in 2021.
The actor has since featured in movies/TV shows like “Fifty,” “Skinny Girl in Transit,” “Tinsel,” “Isoken,” “Something Wicked,” “Room 420” and “Ajuwaya,” to seal his status as a star who is unfolding before our very eyes. In 2019, he stole the show with his role in “Elevator Baby,” where he starred alongside Toyin Abraham, and this handsome, talented and spontaneous actor has failed to look back ever since.