As the saying goes, a great movie hero needs a great villain. And it is common knowledge that these bad guys are known to steal the show in a successful movie because they are popular for amazing dialogues that deliver threats and interesting jibes which eventually leads to incredible scenes and believable performances.
All this and more makes it very unsurprising when some viewers end up getting drawn to certain villain characters, and a few others even go as far as preferring them to the actors in really rare cases. To a clear majority though, these villains are nothing but evil and they deserve everything that comes to them at the end of a movie.
Want to know the Nigerian movie stars who are known to kill a wicked role when they are hired for the job? In no particular order, here is our list of Best Nollywood Villains You Should Know About (2022).
1. Margret Dele Olayinka:
This brilliant Nollywood actress features mainly in Yoruba films, and she is famously known as “Iya Gbonkan” in the Nigerian movie industry. She is popular for playing the stern, wicked, unforgiving and selfish aged woman in movies, and many have come to detest her for it, even in real life.
Mummy Margret delivers really scary looks anytime she plays the role of a witch, and she has starred in several of such movies and TV shows over the years. Her natural small stature has also helped her play her characters expertly and many have come to love and hate her for it. If you are not aware, the talented movie star embraced fame in the early 70s during the legendary “Ifa Olokun” TV series by Pa Yemi Elebu’bon.
After delivering an acting masterclass in that project, she went on to feature as Olori Emere in the popular Nollywood movie “Koto Orun.” Margret Dele Olayinka has since gone on to become an absolute legend in the game, and she still acts till now.
2. Alex Usifo:
Popular award-winning Nollywood actor, Alex Usifo Omiagbo is another bad guy that many Nigerians know and he has exhibited his fair share of evil in several Nigerian movies. He auditioned at various media houses including Radio Nigeria Lagos, Voice of Nigeria, and NTA Illorin to become an actor, and after staying unemployed for a very long time, he was forced to turn to God for a positive turnaround.
His Creator definitely heard his prayers and his acting career started in 1984 when he played a major role in the popular movie project titled “The Return of the Native.” He went on to take part in certain NTA productions like “Echoes of Life” and “Turning Wheel,” between 1984 and 1987.
Alex also participated in a few stage plays, including “Awero,” which was staged at the National Theatre, Iganmu many years ago. He also starred in Ola Rotimi’s “Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again!” which was also staged at the National Theatre. The actor did a few acting jobs for radio stations as well before finally hitting it big.
Eventually, stardom came in 1988 when he featured in Zeb Ejiro’s soap opera, “Ripples,” playing Talaab Abass. The project gained a lot of attention because of its quality and also because very few soap operas existed at the time. Tony played the role of Talaab Abass who was a scary villain, and he went on to interpret the role superbly with his cold eyes and deep voice.
Nowadays, the majority of his roles have him playing the villain because he has absolutely mastered the art over the years. In recent Nigerian films, you will most likely find Alex playing the role of a ritualist who shows everyone else the road to the evil practice. Thankfully, Usifo and his fellow culprits always get their well-deserved repercussions before the movie ends.
3. Sambasa Nzeribe:
Chiedozie Nzeribe Siztus also known as Sambasa is slowly becoming a preferred choice for most producers when it comes to villain roles in Nollywood movies. The actor made his debut in the industry in 2013, and he has never looked back since then.
Nzeribe’s role in the award-winning movie, “A Mile from Home” actually played a major role in him becoming the go-to evil guy in Nollywood right now. He has also featured in top projects like “Tatu,” “The Wedding Party,” and “Slow Country.”
Sambasa Nzeribe even clinched the prestigious AMVCA as “Best Supporting Actor” for his role in the movie, “A Soldier’s Story,” and it is nothing but a reward for his perfect interpretation of an evil character on our TV screen.
4. Patience Ozokwor:
Also known as Mama G, this movie legend is clearly a great villain Nollywood fans will never forget. The fact is that no one plays the role of a terrible and wicked mother, mother-in-law or wife like Patience Ozokwor and she is known to derive joy from physically ruining and spiritually manipulating her victims.
Thankfully, it has been established that her evil roles are not a true reflection of her personality in real life.
5. Patience Oseni:
Popular Nollywood actress, Patience Oseni is another Nollywood figure who is popular for her wicked roles in movies. Patience began her acting career in 1995 when she starred in the movie titled “Deadly Passion,” but she eventually embraced fame when she featured in the “End Of The Wicked.”
In that film, Oseni played the role of a witch and mother-in-law who grew a manhood with which she raped her daughter-in-law. Sadly, Patience died on the 17th of February, 2020 and Nollywood mourned the passing of a gem.
Before her death, however, Patience featured in projects like “Heat Of The Moment,” a few Wale Adenuga’s “Super Story” episodes and so on.
6. Camilla Mberekpe:
Popular for starring as the wicked one in Nigerian movies, this talented movie star also had to make this list. Camilla is popular for playing the role of a witch in most of her projects, and she eventually earned herself a “Best Actress In A Supporting Role” nomination at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.
7. Chiwetalu Agu:
According to Prof. Femi Shaka of the University of Port Harcourt, this amazing actor is definitely one of the brains behind the development of Nollywood comic genres in the Nigerian movie industry today, and we cannot disagree. Married to Nkechi and being the father of three sons and two daughters, Chiwetalu Agu is surely a force to reckon with when it comes to Nigerian entertainment.
He was born in 1956 in Enugu, Nigeria, and he featured in Nigerian Television Authority Channel 8 Enugu’s “Ikoro,” years ago, a show produced by Joe Onyekwere. Agu is known to deliver humour, wit and quality acting in any film he is featured in and Nigerians have always loved him for being an absolute professional worthy of emulation.
The Nollywood legend was the winner in the first ever Nollywood Movie Awards 2012 for his commendable role in the popular project titled “Nkwocha.” Chiwetalu also got nominated for the 4th Annual African Movie Academy Awards for his role in the movie “Across the Niger” in 2008.
The movie star has since featured in more than 150 movies, working alongside Nollywood heavyweights like Patience Ozorkwor, Pete Edochie and Olu Jacobs, while also acting with new school talents like Mercy Johnson, Yul Edochie and Jum Iyke.
He is not just hilarious and popular for using funny slangs, phrases or proverbs in most movies he features in, he is also known to play the role of a wicked man who is not scared of killing his entire family to inherit a property. Most times, you’ll find Agu snatching lands, properties and wives in movies, and he also plays the role of an evil village elder who is hell-bent on disturbing the entire village.
8. Kanayo .O. Kanayo:
If there is one Nollywood actor who needs no introduction whenever he walks into a room, it has to be Anayo Modestus Onyekwere, popularly known as Kanayo O Kanayo. He already has an everlasting legacy in the Nollywood film industry with more than a century of movies since his career kicked off in the early 1990s. Some of the popular projects he has featured in are:
1. Living In Bondage (1992):
Kanayo O Kanayo stormed the Nollywood scene when he played the role of Chief Emeka Omego in this Kenneth Nnebue movie. The project was directed by Chris Obi Rapu, and it was a drama-horror film that also featured top stars like Kenneth Okonkwo, Francis Agu, and Grace Ayozie. The movie was about a down-and-out businessman who uses witchcraft to get ahead.
2. Nneka The Pretty Serpent (1994):
2 years after grabbing the limelight with “Living in Bondage,” the actor featured in this drama horror film that was released in 1994. The project also starred Ndidi Obi James Iroha, and it was directed by the popular Zeb Ejiro. The movie was centred around a traumatized woman who gained supernatural powers that helped in her quest to seek revenge against the killers of her parents.
3. Billionaires Club (2003):
Around the early-mid-2000s, Kanayo O Kanayo had featured in projects like “Festival of Fire (2002),” “The Suitors (2000),” and the “Fire on the Mountain films (2002),” but 2023 was when his star shone brightly again. Featuring alongside Fabian Adibe, Pete Edochie, and Patience Ozokwor in “Billionaires Club,” Kanayo sealed his status as one of the best actors Nigeria has ever seen. It tells the story of a secret society of men who use occult powers to manipulate people and make blood money.
4. Across The Niger (2004):
This was another much-celebrated movie that increased the respect many had for Kanayo O Kanayo. It was directed by Izu Ojukwu, and its storyline was based on the moral dilemma of the Nigerian Civil War. This project even earned him an African Movie Academy Awards nomination, and he starred alongside Chiwetalu Agu, Segun Arinze and Ireti Doyle.
Kanayo .O. Kanayo became famous for playing the role of a ritualist, cult member or a mean uncle in movies. He mostly features as a rich man whose source of wealth is money ritual and his wickedness can always go as far as him recruiting his friends into the cult without telling them about the future consequences.
9. Pete Edochie:
Nollywood legend, Pete Edochie is currently a household name after several years in the Nigerian movie industry. Known for his roles as an evil king, father or husband, Pete has since gone on to become a symbol of evil who never stops till he gets money and power via another wicked means. He plays such roles to perfection that you might argue he is indeed an evil man in real life. He isn’t.
10. Emeka Ani:
This is another talented actor who interpretes his role as a ritualist or herbalist aptly. He began his career in the 90s and he currently embodies the image of a Nollywood cult leader. The list of projects he has starred in include “Last Wedding,” “666 (Beware the End Is at Hand,) “Signs of Endtime”, “Evil Melody,” “Adoration Power? and “Cash and Carry.”