Nollywood actors, actresses to look out for in 2014

The sky is below the limit for these young talents

Efeturi Doghudje

2013 witnessed loads of changes and milestones in the Nigerian movie industry. Nollywood celebrated 20 years; new directors and directions for the industry came into play; actors and actresses decided to take risks which paid off for some and the industry witnessed the surge of iROKOtv, MTN dobox and other online streaming sites.

As we usher in 2014, we take a look at the 15 upcoming actors and actresses to look out for in the year, based on their acting style and potential as well as number of movie they have starred in.

Ikay Ogbonna

Ikay Ogbonna started out as a presenter on a music show on MITV. In 2005, he was a contestant on Amstel Malta Box Office. He followed this with modeling gigs for Glo and other brands before attending New York Film School. He is currently one of the fastest rising Nollywood actors. His performances in Love Lorn, a Rukky Sanda Production, as well as A Wish were not too shabby. Ikay shows great promise. Knowing full well that looks alone do not work in the industry, he needs to put his back into the game.

Uru Eke

This 35-year-old British born Nigerian made her debut in the Nigerian film industry in 2006 in Obi Emelonye’s Ebony, where she starred alongside Judi Shekoni and Jim Iyke. However, her acting career began with a London based acting group, The Association of Multinational Performing Artists. She has over 10 movies to her credit, including Last Flight to Abuja and Weekend Getaway. She has been featured on CNN’s Inside Africa and has her own production company. Uru is basically untapped and has not been handed a script worth her salt. Here’s hoping that 2014 would be a promising.

Yvonne Nelson

Yvonne Nelson, the 28-year-old Ghanaian actress, model, film producer, and entrepreneur was the star of Iyanya’s 2012 song, Your Waist. That’s a joke. The leggy actress in 2013 starred in her own production, The Single and Married. Although talented, she, however, does not come across as one who is seriously challenging herself.

Keira Hewatch

Keira first caught my attention as Peace, the born again, bible quoting wife who didn’t pay attention to her husband’s sexual needs, in ‘Lekki Wives.’ It was an enjoyable performance. She was, however, subpar in Uche Jumbo’s Lies Men Tell and in Two Brides and a Baby. She has been likened to Mercy Johnson in recent times, but it is doubtful if they play in the same space. In 2014, Keira should think of taking roles that require her to be loud.

Alex Okubo

Alex first caught my attention in Love Lorn, opposite Tonto Dikeh. The two actors’ on screen chemistry was palpable, although neither gave Oscar-worthy performances. His was equally lacklustre in In the Cupboard, but brought comic relief to Royal Arts’ Weekend Getaway. However, in 2014, he seriously needs to think outside the box as well work on his PR.

Kiki Omeli

This medical doctor turned actress began her professional acting career in 2011, in the television series Behind the Smile. As Lovette in Lekki Wives, she was ruthless, bitchy and funny at the same time. She also appeared in Married but Living Single. Kiki shows great promise and has been pretty selective with her roles.

Kenneth Okolie

With romantic turns in Uche Jumbo’s Mrs. Somebody, Desperate Housegirls and Love Lorn, the former Mr. Nigeria is gearing up to be Nollywood’s next lover man, ranking among Jim Iyke and Ramsey Nouah. However, it would be more refreshing in 2014 to see him take on other roles.

Belinda Effiah

Belinda joined the industry between 2005 and 2006. She has appeared in Kokomma, Belinda and Lonely Hearts. The promising actress is geared for a great year.

Uti Nwachukwu

Prior to winning Big Brother Africa (season five) Uti tried it all: The Next Movie Star, Gulder Ultimate Search etc. The multitalented star is also a model. As for his acting, he sadly can’t go through a role without screaming and that is a no, no, no. Although he has obtained an award or two for his acting, he still needs to hone his skills and become better in the 2014.

Tamara Eteimo

The University of Port Harcourt graduate of Theatre Arts is a past winner of The Next Movie Star reality show. She aspires to one day star alongside Denzel Washington. She was captivating on Desperate Housegirls. Asides a good command of English, she carried herself well and delivered her lines beautifully. Hopefully, 2014 would be a totally awesome year for this deserving actress.

OC Ukeje

OC is a force to reckon with in Nollywood, dishing out one outstanding performance after another. He began his career in acting at the University of Lagos, participated in the Amstel Malta Box Office, won and hasn’t looked back. Unlike most of his predecessors who won the reality show, OC has been the most successful and most talked about.

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