Monday, March 8 is a day set aside to celebrate women as International Women’s day; it profile women who have contributed to the development of their various fields.
In the Nigerian entertainment sector, women are often the major players; they have taken the bull of movie production by its horns, several of the best selling movies in Nollywood were either directed or produced by a woman.
In recent years, some notable cinematographers include- Tope Oshin, Kemi Adetiba, Toyin Abraham, and Funke Akindele, to name a few. Women are breaking the status quo, building legacies that deserve both local and international accolades.
Ripples Nigeria will be appreciating several notable veterans who contributed to the development of the movie industry. Some of these women have changed career paths, others are still very much in the game; while few others have faded into obscurity.
In the meantime, here is a list of 20 women that shaped the Nigerian movie industry.
1. Joke Silva
Joke Silva is married to veteran Nollywood actor, Olu Jacobs.
She is a Nigerian actress, director, and businesswoman.
A graduate of the University of Lagos and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London, she began her career in film in the early 1990s.
2. Liz Benson
Liz Benson appeared in several late 90s blockbuster movies such as Diamond Ring, last warning, back to life.
She is a multi talented actress and businesswoman.
3. Eucharia-Anunobi Ekwu
Eucharia Anunobi, is a Nigerian actress, producer, and pastor. She is best known for her role in the movie Abuja Connection. She was nominated at 2020 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or TV Series.
4. Genevieve Nnaji
Genevieve Nnaji is an actress, producer, and director.
The 41-year-old actress won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2005, making her the first actor to win the award.
5. Sola Sobowale
Sola Sobowale had her big break in 2001, in the premiere of Nigeria’s popular television drama series Super Story: Oh Father, Oh Daughter.
6. Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde
Since her Nollywood film debut in 1995, Omotola has appeared in over 300 films, selling millions of video copies.
7. Rita Nzelu
Rita Nzelu is a renowned Nigerian actress, model, television personality and philanthropist.
She was born in Enugu State, date and year of her birth not known.
She hails from Enugu State in south eastern Nigeria.
8. Patience Ozokwo
Patience Ozokwor, born 14 September 1958, is a Nigerian musician, fashion designer, gospel singer and actress.
She won the Best Supporting Actress 2012 & 2013 award at the 10th Africa Movie Academy Awards.
9. Ego Boyo
Nwakaego Boyo is a Nigerian actress and movie producer who is popular for her role as Anne Haastrup in the late 80s soap, Checkmate.
She was the 60th president of International Women Society, an independent, non-political, non-governmental and non-profit organisation founded in 1957.
10. Tina Mba
This lady of substance is one of the few ones among her peers blessed with remarkable brain, beauty and confidence
11. Iya Rainbow
Idowu Philips, popularly known as Iya Rainbow, is a Nigerian veteran actress.
12. Binta Mogaji
Binta Ayo Mogaji is a veteran Nigerian actress. According to film critic, Shaibu Husseini, Mogaji has been a part of at least 800 film, television and theater productions.
13. Ngozi Ezeonu
She is one of the longest servings actresses in the Nigerian movie industry.
Ngozi Ezeonu is a Nigerian actress and former journalist, notable for playing maternal roles in Nollywood movies.
In 2012, she starred in Adesuwa, a role that earned her the Best Supporting Actress nomination at the 8th Africa Movie Academy Awards.
14. Sandra Achums
Sandra Achums is an actress, known for Ashanti (2003), Deadly Affair (1995) and Domitilla (1996).
15. Shan George
Shan George is a Nollywood actress, singer, film producer and director. Prior to debuting in the movie Thorns of Rose, she had previously featured in a 1997 soap opera titled Winds of Destiny. She is best known for her role in the movies Outkast and Welcome to Nollywood.
16. Grace Amah
Grace Amah is an actress, known for Last Wedding (2004), Gangster Paradise (2001) and Society Lady (2003).
17. Chinyere Winifred
She’s rated as one of the gifted, talented and highest paid actresses in Nigeria.
18. Bimbo Akintola
Akintola was born on 5 May 1970 to a father from Oyo State and a mother from Edo State. She studied at Maryland Convent Private School in Lagos State.
She proceeded to Command Day Secondary School, Lagos. She earned a degree in Theater Arts from University of Ibadan.
19. Hilda Dokunbo
Born on the 21st of October, 1974, Hilda Dokubo is a Nigerian actress, human rights activist and youth advocate.
20. Regina Askia
Regina Askia-Williams is a Nigerian-born, American-based nurse, healthcare and educational activist, television producer, writer, and public speaker, who found fame as an actress and model.