When you think Nollywood, the first thing that comes to mind is the English-speaking Nigerian stars and the films that they appear in. However, a lot of them have proved themselves versatile and proficient in languages and interpreting roles that demand for more ethnic input. These 10 stars have made the leap from English films to those in the indigenous languages and back again.
The Nollywood lover boy most famous for his roles in English speaking films was looking for a change of pace role when actress cum producer Dayo Amusa offered him the lead in her film Unforgivable released in 2013. His performance had only a few lines of Yoruba but it was considered good enough to win him the Best Yoruba Actor trophy at the 2013 Best of Nollywood Awards.
The queen of crossover, Funke Akindele started her career in television as lead in the United Nations Population Fund sponsored programme I Need To Know. After finding it difficult getting work in the English films, she crossed over to the Yoruba sector and soon became a top actress/producer. Her 2009 film Jenifa became wildly successful and its follow up Return of Jenifa was even more commercially successful.
Omosexy may reign supreme as one of Africa’s finest now but it is important to note that she has been able to successfully combine working in both English and Yoruba films. Her versatility has even
had her mumble a few Igbo words in some of her English films set in the East. She has appeared alongside Tony Umez and Shola Shobowale in films like Kosorogun and Oyato.
Story: Wilfred Okiche
Read the full article and interviews in Nolly Silver Screen (May 2014) here.