While we find ourselves doubting several ages in the Nigerian entertainment industry nowadays, we at least know the ones that are telling the truth. As the young actors continue to feel the need to reduce their real ages for reasons best known to them, we have legendary actors who are forever proud of their current ages and the impact they have made in the movie industry over the years. See our list of Veteran Nollywood Actors Who Are Still Active In The Movie Industry.
1. Pete Edochie:
This Nollywood icon is known to be one of Africa’s most talented actors, and we absolutely agree. Edochie was recently honoured with an “Industry Merit Award” by Africa Magic and “Lifetime Achievement” by Africa Film Academy, and this proves that the movie star remains unstoppable despite advancing in age.
Pete Edochie is still bagging roles even at an old age, and he recently featured in Genevieve Nnaji’s “Lionheart” before gracing “Unroyal” with his presence in 2020.
2. Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett:
Taiwo is an 81-year-old veteran actor, journalist and presenter who remains active in the Nollywood industry. She is the first editor of Africa Woman magazine in the 1970s and she considers herself a feminist. If you are wondering when last she featured in a movie, this legend actually played her role perfectly in Kemi Adetiba’s “King of Boys 2: The Return of The King.”
3. Adebayo Salami:
Also known as Oga Bello, this movie star is another veteran Nigerian actor, filmmaker, movie producer and director who has definitely paid his dues in the Nollywood industry. At 70, Oga Bello remains very active in our movie industry, and he recently featured in hit movie, “King of Thieves,” with his son, Femi Adebayo acting the lead role.
4. Kareem Adepoju:
Believe it or not, this legendary movie star, producer, and writer also called Baba Wande is still active in the industry at 72. When he was much younger, Baba Wande ruled the industry with his 1993 and 1994 classics, “Ti Oluwa Nile,” and “Ayo Ni Mofe,” and he has not looked back ever since.
As far as his recent credits are concerned, “Fate of Alakada” and “Oba Bi Olorun.” are 2 movies to check out.
5. Lanre Hassan:
Popularly known as Iya Awero, Lanre Hassan is another elderly talent we are not willing to lose on screen anytime soon. She has been gracing our screens with quality acting for so many years, and many citizens have appreciated this talented legend for her dedication and consistency.
At 71, one would say all she needs is rest at this stage of her life, but Iya Awero still prefers to sit in front of a camera and display her acting skills. She also featured in Kemi Adetiba’s “King of Boys,” where she played Iya Loja.
Richard Mofe Damijo, popularly known as RMD, is a Nigerian actor, writer, producer, lawyer and ex-journalist. Born in Delta State, he studied Theatre Arts at the University of Benin and went back to school to study Law at the University of Lagos.
After graduating from the university, the movie star began to feature in the popular soap, “Ripples,” but his fame grew when he played a villain role as Segun Kadiri in a rival soap, “Checkmate.” “Out of Bounds,” went on to become the 1st major film RMD received a writer/producer credit for, and it ended up earning him the “Best Actor In A Leading Role” award at the maiden edition of the African Movie Academy Awards.
If you are not aware, RMD is actually the first actor to be paid a million naira for a movie role. Let’s highlight the movies that shaped this icon’s Nollywood career:
Out of Bounds (Directed by Tade Ogidan/1997):
The storyline revolves around RMD (Pastor Voke) who caught the attention of 2 women who were desperate to get in bed with him.
This pastor eventually slipped out of his marriage and find himself battling several lies and deceit that changed his life for the worse. The movie features other talented actors like Bimbo Akintola, Rachael Oniga, Steve Rhodes e.t.c.
It became an instant hit in 1997 and it has not stopped being a reference point for RMD’s ever-rising legacy in the Nigerian movie industry.
Diamond Ring (Directed by Tade Ogidan/1998):
A spoilt brat named Chidi was sent to a University very early by his parents, but when he got on campus, he eventually joins a gang that later went on to rob a morgue. However, unknown to Chidi and his gang mates, a stolen item from the tomb will only attract very life harsh lessons. And even Chidi’s father (RMD) had to suffer for something he knew nothing about.
Other actors involved in the project were Liz Benson, Bimbo Akintola, Bukky Ajayi, Tunji Bamishigbin, Sola Sobowale, Teju Gbade-Oyelakin and so on.
Keeping Faith (Directed by Steve Gukas/2002):
This is a romantic movie that is centred around the length people will go to keep their relationship going. The film highlights the role of black magic in relationships and it tells the story of Nadine who does everything possible to keep her man, Princewill (RMD), including using charms.
Other actors that featured were Genevieve Nnaji, Joke Silva, Bimbo Akintola, Fred Amata, Ego Boyo, Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi and so on.
Suicide Mission (Directed by Fred Amata/1998):
This is a regular Nollywood storyline nowadays, but it was still unique back then.
The movie was all about a seduction queen, Monique who comes in between Austin (RMD) and his wife, Winnie, and she ended up using spiritual means to control the poor man. This film is a very memorable one because we actually got to see RMD locked in a bottle thanks to hilarious special effects.
Other actors who took part in this one were Regina Askia, Ameze Imarhiagbe, Obot Etuk, Patrick Doyle, Peter Bunor Jr and so on.
Wedding Party – (Directed by Kemi Adetiba):
What do you expect when a movie features an insecure virgin bride, a reformed playboy groom, 2 troublesome mothers who hate each other, one philandering husband, one notorious wedding planner, a thief on the run, several village gate-crashers, a best man with lots of secrets, a stunning ex-girlfriend who wants revenge, 2 loyal bridesmaids who are ever set for war, and a brother who seeks his father’s approval? You can expect chaos, exciting scenes and a very successful movie.
The film centres around the story of Dunni Coker and Dozie Onwuka’s wedding. Dunni who was a successful Art gallery owner and the only daughter of her parents was set to marry the love of her life, Dozie, but the arrival of guests came with more drama than they actually bargained for, with RMD as the father of the groom.
This movie also features Adesua Etomi, Banky W, Sola Sobowale, Ireti Doyle e.t.c.
As far as his personal business is concerned, Richard Mofe-Damijo owns one of Nigeria’s foremost PR outfits, White Water Limited, which he currently runs alongside his production company, RMD Productions Limited. He has received several brand endorsements as well, making him one of the richest celebrities that has ever come out of the Nollywood scene.
In 2017, RMD hosted the 2016 GLO-CAF Awards alongside a popular journalist, Mimi Fawaz, which further proved that he is indeed a man of many talents. As far as politics is concerned, RMD was appointed as the Special Adviser of Culture and Tourism to the then Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan in 2008, and he later went on to be appointed the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism of Delta State, Nigeria in 2009, with his tenure ending in 2015.
RMD was formerly married to journalist/publisher and talk show host, May Ellen Ezekie, but she died in 1996. This led to him settling down with a beautiful TV personality, Jumobi Adegbesan, who has birthed 2 kids for him, and they have remained together ever since.
Nollywood Veterans Who Are No Longer With Us:
1. Lari Williams:
Veteran Nollywood actor, Lari Williams passed on February 28, 2022, at the age of 81, after a protracted illness. He had his education at CMS Grammar School, Lagos and he was actually the first actor to ever perform on top of Zuma Rock in Abuja FCT, a performance he did alongside a friend who is also late.
Lari was the first president of the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria, and Nigerians remember him as a popular cast of “Village Headmaster,” Nigeria’s first soap opera. This veteran also played a role in the first home video ever made in Nigeria titled “The Witch Doctor.”
Lari Williams did not stop at acting alone during his stay on earth, he was also a Theatre Arts lecturer at 3 Nigerian universities – the University of Lagos, Lagos State University, and the University of Calabar.
2. Shade Akintalor (Oluweri):
On the 1st of March, 2022, the demise of popular Yoruba actress, Oluweri Magbojo was announced, and it shook Nollywood fans. Shade was just 59 when she passed in the United Kingdom and her family members never revealed the cause of her passing.
Shade was popular for her peculiar kind of makeup, especially her curvy brows, and her fame grew in popular movie titled “Oluweri Mabo Ojo,” a film that made her nickname “Oluweri” stick in the minds of Nollywood fans.
3. Dejo Tunfulu:
The sad news of Dejo Tunfulu’s passing hit most Nollywood fans on April 1, 2022, and most of us have not been able to recover. The fact that he was just 49 before he gave up also makes people wonder what could have led to his demise.
Dejo was a popular Yoruba comic actor, writer, and producer, and during his lifetime, he was famous for playing the role of a clown in movies, delivering excellent acting and laughter to his fans across Nigeria whenever his face pops up on the screen.
Dejo started his acting career at a very early age and one of his first features was a TV program was titled “Theatre Omode.” It is on record that the 1st film he acted in was “Aje ni Iya mi,” and playing a character named “Dejo” in the movie made the name stick.
His film career was largely inspired by Fausat Balogun (Madam Saje) and Kayode Olasehinde (Baba Ajirebi), as he worked with both legends closely while he lived. He later went on to join Akuko Gagara Theatre Group and Kolawole International Theatre Group a few years later. Most Nollywood fans will not forget how he dazzled in the drama series titled “Apere Ijongbon,” in 1987.
4. Romanus Amuta (Natty):
The demise of veteran Nollywood actor, Romanus Amuta was announced on February 10, 2022, and a long sickness took his life eventually.
He was aged 79 and he definitely earned the right to be famous after he played “Natty.” in the popular 80’s sitcom titled “New Masquerade.”
5. Tafa Oloyede:
Nollywood actor, John Adewuni Adewoye a.k.a Tafa Oloyede left this world on February 2, 2022, and he was 69 years old.
Born on 19 November 1952, he began his acting journey in 1974 after being a long student of the late Oyin Adejobi. Fans surely felt his impact in several movies like “Jaiyesimi,” “Ayanmo,” “Ekuro Oloja,” “Orogun, and “Akanji Oniposi.”