The New Faces Of The Nigerian Movie Industry

The New Faces Of The Nigerian Movie Industry

The gates of the Nigerian Movie Industry have always been flung wide open. Offering equal chances to whoever decides to come stake a claim. As a result, the Nigerian movie industry is constantly welcoming fresh crop of actors. Some of these actors take their chances and prove beyond doubt that they are deserving of it. And, as expected, there are also those actors who don’t do so well with the chance(s) handed them.

In this post, I profile five of those new faces of Nollywood to keep your eyes peeled for. Performers, who with the few chances they have gotten, proved that they deserve a seat at the table. These stars are currently on a steady rise. They are making their impact felt across the Nigerian movie industry, from television and web series to feature films.

Let me state once again, as with every other list on the blog, this is not a comprehensive list. Far from it. Without further ado, I introduce to you, five new faces of the Nigerian movie industry.


Baaj Adebule  

Baaj Adebule’s acting career kicked-off in the year 2010 when he got cast on Africa Magic’s hit television series, Tinsel. The actor, model, and film producer later revealed that his family celebrated his start with him like an Oscar win. Isn’t that just lovely?

My proper introduction to Baaj’s acting came when I saw the web series, Indigo. Baaj did an excellent job of making a super annoying Desmond character come off as likable. I actually started rooting for Desmond at some point as the series progressed. I was really impressed with Baaj’s portrayal of the character and instantly fell in love with him. Needless to say, Baaj earned my respect with that project. And, thankfully, Baaj hasn’t failed to keep impressing ever since. Bringing that same acting charisma to subsequent roles he has had to interpret. Proving he is not a one-off actor.


  • Tinsel [Television Series]
  • Hush [Television Series]
  • 5ive [Web Series]
  • Seeing Betrayal [Self-produced Short Film]
  • Indigo [Web Series]
Ini Dima-Okojie

In the year 2013, Ini Dima-Okojie took the bold step of quitting her job as an investment banker. Not minding having to forfeit the security the job offered her for the uncertainty associated with the movie industry up-and-comers. Her passion for the business of acting made her take that blind leap in faith. As further proof of her seriousness, Ini enrolled for a course in Acting For Film at the prestigious New York Film Academy. She spent the next year honing her skills and perfecting her craft. Choosing to endure the pain of training.

2014, Ini had a standout performance in the second season of NdaniTv’s web show, Skinny Girl In Transit. Her performance not only caught the attention of the industry, she also wormed her way into the audiences’ hearts. The professionalism in Ini’s interpretation of the Hadiza character clearly set her apart. Alas, her one year of training had not gone down the drain. More than a pretty face, Ini brings strong performances to the table. Subsequently, every outing has been proof of how passionate she is about her acting.


  • Skinny Girl In Transit [Web Series]
  • 5ive [Web Series]
  • It’s her Day [Feature Film]
  • North East [Feature Film]


Somkele Idhalama

Somkele Idhalama always makes acting seem extremely easy. When she acts, she has a way of making it look like it’s no big deal. Like it is a stroll in the park. Talk about a natural. Her effortless style of acting always reels you in, one of the many reasons why I love me some Somkele. Her performances are always very believable and captivating. For Somkele, a career that started in 2012 has, according to her, grown faster than she imagined it would.

Her first appearance in a feature film was in the Neville Ossai movie, Dream Walker. But it was her portrayal of fashion designer, Yvonne, in NdaniTV’s Gidi Up that drew the industry’s attention to her. Following that up with consistent performances, it would not take long for her hard work to be rewarded. Somkele won the Trailblazer Award at the 2017 edition of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, testament to her dexterity.


  • Gidi Up [Web Series]
  • The Department [Feature Film]
  • The Guest [Feature Films]
  • 93 Days [Feature Film]
  • Wedding Party [Feature Film]
  • The Arbitration [Feature Film]
  • Ojuokoro [Feature Film]
  • Dream Walker [Feature Film]


Maurice Sam

One of the things that strike me about Maurice Sam is his level of confidence and composure. With the confidence with which he carries himself, he would easily pass for an industry veteran to unsuspecting eyes.

The first time I saw Maurice Sam on screen was in the web series, On The Real. As I kept watching, I began to feel like I had known him for a long time. Trust me; Maurice Sam is one performer that you want to keep an eye out for.


  • On The Real [Web Series]
  • Hush [Television Series]
  • Hotel Majestic [Television Series]
  • Inspector K [Web Series]


Zainab Balogun

Alongside being a terrific Television presenter, the gorgeous and elegant Zainab Balogun is also a beautiful actor. Zainab doesn’t presently boast an intimidating list of movies to her credit. That notwithstanding, I can say she has made the most of every opportunity she has gotten thus far. She put in a spectacular performance, one that cannot be easily forgotten, in the 2016 hit movie, Wedding Party. Her portrayal of the character Wonu, the wedding planner, was done to taste.

But a long time before The Wedding Party, her performance as LaVena Lynn Johnson in Stanlee Ohikhuare’s short film Verdict had wowed me. It was this performance that made me fall in love with her as an actress. Interpreting the role, she did not have the luxury of dialogue. Instead, the role required her to convey the character’s emotions through her expressions alone, and Zainab nailed it. Her performance, as subtle as it was, was also very fierce and captivating.


  • Verdict [Short Film}
  • Knock, Knock [Web Series]
  • Wedding Party [Feature Film]
  • Ojukokoro [Feature Film}

It is clear to see that talent alone is not what stands these actors out in the Nigerian movie industry. Hard work, determination, perseverance, resilience, and consistency are some of those things that have gotten them this far. Hopefully, we don’t have to endure a long waiting period before we start seeing these faces consistently on our screens.

2 thoughts on “The New Faces Of The Nigerian Movie Industry

  • July 18, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Would have been nicer with pictures to go with the names . 👌

    • July 18, 2017 at 11:34 pm

      Thanks, Kay. I thought the same, but I wasn’t so sure about copyright laws as regard uploading of celebrity images, so I decided against it.


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