From time immemorial, the Nollywood industry have been distinctly recognised around the world for its technical, systemic, logical and stylistic presentation of movies to educate, amaze, inform and entertain not only Nigeria audience but people around the world. The works of the industry have consciously and consistently stand out as template for people in the industry, thus the multi talented producers, directors, actors and actresses in the Nigeria movie since 1990s can simply be regarded as legends in their chosen field of endeavour because they have worked exemplarily and a deviation away from quackery. It is therefore worthy to briefly examine some of these personalities that have distinguished themselves in the Nollywood industry, particularly in the 1990s.
- First, Hubert Ogunde: This is the foremost Nollywood legend of the 1990s. This actor, producer, singer and director who was born on 31st May, 1916 in Ososa, close to Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State and died on 4th April, 1990, made countless giant strides in the film industry. The scriptwriter featured several foreign artists in his albums and part of his productions include “the Garden of Eden and the Throne of God”. Among the famous theatre production of Ogunde is “the Tiger empire” where he presented the colonial era and launched an aggressive attack on their conducts. The Yoruba man also produced “J’ayesinmi” (let the world rest), “Aye” (life), very popular and horrific theatres, “Otitokoro” (truth is bitter), “Mr. Devil’s money” and “Yoruba Ronu” ( yoruba think deep), all which were widely accepted by the people. His other contemporaries were Ishola Ogunsola, Baba Sala, I show pepper, Ade love, A. B. David, P. A. Dawodu, Layeni and G.T. Onimole, among others.
- Another legend of the 1990s Nollywood is Pete Edoche, who was born on 7th March, 1947 and died on 9th January, 2013. The Nigeria born multi talented artist have bagged several awards for his role in the Nollywood industry and he partook in movies within and outside the shores of Africa.
- Similarly, the international actor, whom many described as dangerous man, dribbler and noted for his clever character in most Nigeria movies as he plays both the bad and good roles, Anayo Onyekwere also popularly called Kanayo O. Kanayo is such a talented and established actor, since the 1990s when he featured in the movie, “Bondage”.
- Worthy of mention is the one movie fans in 1990s regarded as television queen, Elizabeth Benson, popularly called Liz Benson. She acted in both soap operas and home videos. She made debut in the movie, the Glamour Girls”, among others; while Eucharia Anunobi that movie lovers usually regarded as “the wicked and self centred woman” in her movies is also a legend in the Nollywood since the 1990s and she astonished the airwaves like Liz Benson.
- Another actor is Tony Umez, who had featured in over 200 films in Nigeria, while Hilda Dokubo, a popular actress made wave when she featured in “End of the Wicked” and other movies that led to her nomination for a granny award in Africa film industry.
- Zack Orji is also a Director, Producer and established Actor in the Nigeria film industry. The bilingual actor featured in virtually most Africa movies, due to his ability to speak and understand English and French very well, while Obinna Nwafor, popularly known as Saint Obi and regarded as the lover boy in most of his movies is now mentor for actors in the Nollywood industry. He played an active part in the movie, “Sakobi, the snake girl” and many others that are enormous.
- Meanwhile, Alex Usifo, is a must mention among these legends. The film actor and producer had featured in countless movies earning him several awards, maybe this is as a result of his highly esteemed educational qualifications. He is a highly regarded actor in Africa since the 70s and has become a tutor to many in the Nollywood industry.
- Worthy of note at this time is Kenneth Okonkwo, who played a lead role in many Nigeria movies, and this gave him enormous recognition and meritorious awards. His first appearance on the screen was in ” Living in Bondage, and he partook in several soap operas.
- Olu Jacobs made lots of innovation in the Nollywood industry too and he mentored several actors and actresses. He is a worthy legend of the 1990s in this industry, as he featured in several movies home and abroad and possesses intrigue ability to interprete a script in the most accepted way on the screen. He is also a recipient of several awards.
- Meanwhile, RMD, as he is popularly called is a legend in the 1990s’ Nollywood, Richard Mofe Damijo, is a multipurpose film maker. The Delta man took part in soap operas, most of the 1990s movie and is still very active on the screen.
- Genevieve Nnaji, though now active in mostly foreign movies, built its career and made fame in the industry decades ago and thus contributed to why she is today regarded as the highest paid Nigeria actress. She began acting career at a very tender age of eight years and had since been a major star in most Nigeria and foreign movies. The internationally recognised actress has earned several awards and features in several award winning movies and this was why the Cable Network News (CNN), usually refer to her as “Julia Roberts of Africa”.
- Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, popularly called” Omosexy” is another legend in the film industry, just like Genevieve now features mostly in foreign movies. She is a multi talented legend in the industry and has began acting around 1995,though most noted among her early movie is “Mortal Inheritance”. She had also earned several awards and is presently Ondo State Cultural Ambassador.
These our our picks, did we miss out on some other Nollywood greats of that era? Let us know in the comments below