Undoubtedly, Nollywood actors delivered impressive performances in 2019. 2019 saw the rise of new actors and the comebacks of old actors who features in the year’s biggest blockbusters.
However, some gave better performances in every film they featured in than others and that is the basis on which this list was drafted, in no particular order.
Richard Mofe Damijo
Making a guest appearance in Mtv Base Series, Shuga, took everyone by surprise not to mention his sterling performance. Also, in the movie, ‘Love is War’, where he played the role of Dr. Philips and a governorship candidate, RMD killed his role as always. ‘Love is War’ tells the story of a loving couple who were torn apart by their political inclination. The couple, Dr and Mrs.Phillips, become sworn enemies after they emerged the flag bearers of two opposition parties in the state. The arguments and steamy scenes left ladies crushing on RMD all over again. What a man!!!
Ramsey outdid himself in 2019. Not only did he direct the biggest movie of 2019 he also gave an exceptional performance in the movie, ‘‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free’. Ramsey has no doubt being an amazing actor but his ability to waltz through his characters and leave the audience wondering how he has kept at this level is one of his highlights for 2019. Aside from giving a laudable performance in his directorial debut, Ramsey also raised the bar in the sequel to Ayo Makun’s 2018 blockbuster ‘Merry Men’.
It’s a great thing to see Alexx Ekubo break free from his stereotyped roles. In 2019, the actor gave commendable performances in ‘Power of 1’, ‘Bling Lagosians’ and ‘Your Excellency’. In all three movies, Alexx played the role of a young man who was fighting for a cause – in ‘Power of 1’ he was the mouthpiece of the youth and a great threat to the government, ‘Bling Lagosians’ he fought to sync the old and new Nollywood with his character, Nnamdi and in ‘Your Excellency’ he made sure to fight for his love and privacy. Alexx continues to prove that there’s more to him than just a fine face.
If you watched ‘Baby Steps’ in cinemas then you’d agree with me that Enyinna deserves a spot on this list. ‘Baby Steps’ tells the story of a casanova who wakes up one morning and finds a baby at his doorstep. He must juggle work and lifestyle with being an emergency father. Intrigued by the comedy, Enyinna Nwigwe takes on the role and convinced the audience of his capacity to deliver. In all of the film, Enyinna’s charisma and bonding with the baby further makes the script so relatable and believable. The film sees him on a different path than what the fans are used to. We have not even scratched the surface on his performance in Living in Bondage: Breaking Free. Just leave it, he deserves a spot on this list.
Blossom Chukwujekwu is a fine talented actor. It was no surprise when he delivered brilliantly to the character Biodun Stephens saddled him within the movie, ‘Joba’. Blossom has succeeded in expressing his feelings with his face bringing suspense, intrigue, and thoughtfulness in just a scene. He played the lead male character in ‘Joba’ with such self-possession, making every gesture and word count. If you are thinking of joining the movie industry then Blossom Chukwujekwu should be one of the actors to understudy.
If there’s one young actor I absolutely love watching on my TV Screen, its Tomiwa Tegbe. Mischief never looked so good, no thanks to Tomiwa who sure knows all the facial expressions needed to sell any annoying character. Tomiwa Tegbe’s performances in the film industry in 2019 is worthy of commendation. Part of the force in his performance in Tope Oshin directed ‘MTV Naija Shuga Season 4’ has to do with why this star is getting an accolade.
Who else was wowed by Gabriel Afolayan’s acting in ‘Code Wilo’? How can one human being be so good and make every move believable? Gabriel is a walking bundle of talent. He hasn’t even scratched the surface yet. In ‘Code Wilo’, the political thriller he plays the enemy within, who leaves no trace as ruined the political dynasty built by Gbenga Titiloye. Gabriel Afolayan, who played the role of the villain played two characters that impacted the overall success of the film.
Gbenga Titiloye is a darn good actor who knows his onions. His physical appearance, charisma, and general talents are some of the commendable qualities of Gbenga. He carries himself exactly how a role or character is expected of him thereby leaving the audience in awe. In ‘Code Wilo’, Gbenga exuded ambition, power, and strength which were the themes of the movie. His character was a clear example of the consequences of unbridled lust for power.
It’s glaring that Uzor Arukwe is ready to take on Nollywood, after his performance in 2017 films, ‘Sergeant Tutu’ and ‘In Line’. He also got himself a role in Vzhun debut film, ‘Kpali,’ where he played a minor role yet vital to the success of the film. In ‘Code Wilo’ he played the role of a private investigator and son of a South-South High Chief and Arukwe carried on the role so well that it almost seemed no actor would have done justice to it.
There is no way we are leaving out “Nnamdi Okeke”. It’s one thing to be an actor, it’s another to be able to bring your character to life & make it absolutely relatable. This was exactly what Jide-Kene Achufusi popularly known as Swanky JKA did in ‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free.’ He played the role of Nnamdi Okeke, a young man with a difficult quest for the big life of glamour and opulence. Swanky JKA displayed an amazing interpretation of his role. One could feel his high and low, sadness and joy, tears and laughter, he carried on the role without faltering.
We totally enjoyed making this list and we are excited about what 2020 has in store for these talented crop of Nollywood actors.