These 15 musicians ventured into Nollywood with different degrees of success and longevity.
The music industry and the movie industry in any country or place are closely intertwined, and the Nigerian sphere is no different. There have been instances over the years where Nigerian musicians have ventured into Nollywood, especially featuring in movies for cameo appearances, minor roles, or sometimes even major roles.
Here, we have a list of 15 Nigerian musicians who have featured in Nollywood works.
Falz captured the hearts of Nigerians with his unique comedic style of rapping, delivering poignant messages while maintaining his prowess as a talented actor. His outstanding performance as “Quam” in Tope Oshin’s critically acclaimed movie “New Money” earned him the prestigious “Best Supporting Actor” award, a remarkable accomplishment for a musician turned actor. This exceptional feat also bestowed upon him the distinction of being the first Nigerian musician to win the highly coveted Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards not once, but twice.
Nigerian rapper Reminisce boldly entered the world of acting, prominently appearing in Kemi Adetiba’s Netflix sensation, “King of Boys,” and its sequel, “Return of the King.” Despite being a newcomer to acting, Reminisce captivated audiences with his villainous portrayal, adding an exciting twist to the storyline.
3. Banky W
Bankole Wellington, the veteran Nigerian singer known as Banky W, successfully transitioned into acting in 2011 with his debut in Funke Akindele’s “The Return of Jenifa.” This marked the start of a remarkable acting career alongside his music. Banky W’s acting journey expanded with notable roles in blockbuster Nigerian films. His 2016 role in Kemi Adetiba’s “The Wedding Party” catapulted him to stardom, which he solidified with a reprisal in the sequel. Notably, he is married to the talented actress Adesua Etomi, adding another dimension to his dynamic career.
4. Peter Okoye (Mr. P of P-Square)
The Nigerian music scene in the 2000s was dominated by musicians like P-Square, who delivered hit after hit. Despite their temporary split, Peter Okoye, also known as Mr. P, stepped into the realm of acting, making his debut appearance in the popular Netflix series ‘Shanty Town.’ In this captivating series, he skillfully portrayed the character of Femi, leaving a lasting impression on both viewers and fans.
Oga Boss, as he is fondly called, is an OG Nigerian rapper who has also tested the waters in Nollywood. He was part of the cast in the movie “King of Boys” and its sequel, “Return of the King,” where he played the role of Odogwu Malay. His performance in the movies showcased his inborn talent for delivering a role perfectly, leaving viewers in awe.
Simi’s acting career, while still in its infancy, has earned her acclaim for her remarkable portrayal of a character. Her foray into acting began with a role in Kunle Afolayan’s 2019 masterpiece, “Mokalik.” In the film, she portrayed a character named Simi and delivered a compelling performance that left a lasting impact on audiences. It’s worth noting that “Mokalik” also starred esteemed Nollywood veterans such as Fathia Balogun and Femi Adebayo, and Simi showcased her talent alongside these seasoned actors.
Asake’s mention on this list is quite unique. While the others ventured into Nollywood after achieving significant success in music, Asake was already in movies before becoming an established music act. Various videos surfaced online showcasing the superstar’s appearances in Yoruba Nollywood movies long before he achieved fame in the music industry.
Davido has made a significant mark in the music industry, representing Afrobeats globally for over a decade. He has also expanded into acting, showcasing his talent in notable Nigerian films like “Fate of Alakada” and “Legend at Sixty.” Additionally, he ventured into Hollywood, making a groundbreaking appearance in “Coming 2 America” establishing himself as a globally recognized entertainer.
Phyno ventured into acting in the acclaimed 2018 film “Lion Heart,” directed by Genevieve Nnaji. This groundbreaking movie, Netflix’s first Nigerian entry, captivated audiences worldwide, showcasing Nigeria’s film industry talent. In the film, Phyno portrayed Genevieve Nnaji’s younger brother, demonstrating his versatility and artistic depth as he transitioned from music to acting.
The Fuji maestro, Pasuma, has been featured in a number of Yoruba movies, with notable appearances in “Flakky Ikaya” (2016), “A Naija Christmas” (2021), and his epic role as a Gang Leader in “Gangs of Lagos,” released this year. His reign as an actor is undeniably perfect and reflects his natural talent for the screen. This bond between music and films is strong, and numerous other musicians have graced the screens with their talents, promising more exciting crossovers in the future.
Ikechukwu embarked on his music journey in 2006, shortly after returning to Nigeria from the United States. His debut album, ‘Son of the Soil,’ featured tracks like “Raging,” “Niger Boy,” and “Uh Oh,” and gained significant attention, particularly for the hit single “My Name is Ikechukwu.” Subsequently, he released albums like ‘Life and Time of Killz,’ which was produced by Don Jazzy and featured artists like Dbanj and Wande Coal. In 2013, Ikechukwu made his foray into acting with the film ‘The Wages,’ marking the beginning of a successful acting career that has seen him feature in numerous movies since then.
12. Seyi Shay
In the 2018 drama film “Lara and the Beat,” Seyi Shay, the talented Nigerian singer-songwriter, took on the lead role of Lara Giwa. The movie also featured notable actors such as Vector, Wale Ojo, Shaffy Bello, and Uche Jombo. Seyi Shay’s performance in the film garnered acclaim from both movie critics and industry peers.
13. Yemi Alade
Yemi Alade is a versatile Nigerian artiste known for her Afropop music, acting, and activism. Yemi Alade made her acting debut as Mogambe in Funke Akindele’s high-grossing film “Omo Ghetto: The Saga,” which was released in 2020. The film grossed over 189 million Naira in its first week and received two Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards.
Chike rose to prominence through his participation in the Nigerian reality competition Project Fame West Africa, where he secured the second position in Season 1. He further demonstrated his talents on The Voice Nigeria, earning a noteworthy position. Expanding his career, Chike made his acting debut as Mayoma Badmus in the Africa Magic Showcase telenovela Battleground. Additionally, he was featured in the production Gang of Lagos, portraying the character Ify.
15. Efa Iwara
In 2006, Efa Iwara started his music journey as a rapper in the X-factor group with DJ Clem, Jide, Boye, and Bolaji. The group later disbanded, leading Efa to release his first single ‘EFA (11.11.11)’ in 2011 under Just Kidding Records. Efa Iwara made his music debut with the EP ‘The Waka EP’ in 2011. His acting journey began in the same year with roles in ‘Tinsel’ and ‘MTV Shuga’ in 2013.