Our Nollywood veterans deserve to be celebrated because they tilled the soil for the present generation to sow successfully.
By Oludara Egerton Shyngle
My desire to be an actor had for the longest years been a well hidden one. Even though, as a young girl I was always called a drama queen by my parents, it was with regards to my behaviour and not what they hoped I would be in future.
We did however watch movies at home and I remember watching films and TV shows like Checkmate, Fuji House of Commotion, Violated and much more by Filmmaker, Amaka Igwe. These productions definitely stoked my desire to act. I would watch those shows and imagine myself as one of the kids running around the Fuji house. In 2016, while volunteering at the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF), I watched “Amaka’s Kin” by Tope Oshin and realised I wasn’t the only one who was inspired by the work of this icon. Though she is late now, her work is relevant and alive in the work of all those she inspired.
Everyone remembers Toyin Tomato from Super story, and it’s with great awe that I watch Sola Sobowale as she continues to “kill” all her current roles in recent times, from “Hustle” to “Wedding Party 1&2” to “Wives on Strike” and now to even just the trailer of the anticipated “King of Boys”. Her performances, though not as regular as some of her colleagues, continue to stand out, blow minds away and are definitely worth the wait in my opinion.
Aunty Joke Silva and Uncle Olu Jacobs have given stellar performances from day one and continue to do so, and somehow still find ways to stay “ fresh” (case in point, Aunty Jokes’ recent Genevieve interview and photos. Did I hear you say HOT!!!!!)
I watched them both growing up, went to school with their son and its beyond my wildest dreams that I get to be in the same industry with them now and that there is even a possibility of us some day working together (Baba God, do it for your girl)
I have to mention the hottest granddaddy in town, RMD. I think I’m especially inspired by him because he took a hiatus and came back to an industry that welcomed him. It’s not every day you get to see someone take a break from any career, let alone the entertainment industry and still be as successful when they get back.
As I journey on my own path professionally, I’m thankful that I have the stories of those that have gone ahead of me as a beacon to guide. The names are, by no means, not limited to the ones listed above as there is a plethora of talented and successful actors and filmmakers that have walked and are still walking this path. I’m thankful than on the days where I have doubts about my ability to do this, on the days that I worry about being a “late comer” to this industry and on days that I worry about the longevity of my chosen career path, I don’t have to look to far for a reminder that with handwork and dedication, it is possible. “
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read other articles.