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Nollywood Child Actors: A New Generation With Great Potentials

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Nollywood Child actors have been an integral part of Nollywood since its inception. Icons such as Funke Akindele, Genevive Nnaji, Destiny Etiko, and Denrele Edun, followed by Somadina Adinma, Williams Uchemba, Olumide Owuru, and then the 2000s kids: Regina Daniels and Mercy Kenneth, to mention a few, all rose to prominence at a young age.

Today, the legacy of child actors in Nollywood lives on, with a new generation of talented performers carrying the torch forward. We’ll explore the emergence of new young talent making waves in Nollywood, highlighting their remarkable contributions and giving them the recognition they deserve.

Maleek Sani and Fawaz Aina (Ikorodu Bois)

Maleek and Fawaz, members of the popular Nigerian comedy group Ikorodu Bois, rose to fame through their ingenious DIY skits and meticulous recreations of popular music videos and movie trailers. Since their formation in 2017, they’ve captivated the world with their smile-inducing content.

In 2020, their viral recreation of the movie trailer for “Extraction 2” caught the attention of Hollywood producers, leading to an invitation to the set and endorsements from platforms like Netflix. Maleek and Fawaz made their acting debut in Kunle Afolayan’s Netflix-distributed film “Aníkúlápó,” and later, Maleek landed a role in Jade Osiberu’s acclaimed film “Gangs of Lagos.”

Maleek’s portrayal of Obalola, a street kid aspiring for a brighter future, in “Gangs of Lagos” garnered acclaim, culminating in his win as the Best Young Promising Actor at the 2023 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA). This recognition underscores his talent and marks him as a promising rising star in the realm of Nollywood.

Fawaz portrayed Ọmọba in the 2023 coming-of-age film “Ijogbon,” directed by Kunle Afolayan, and got recognition from Ebony Life as one of the 100 most influential people to the growth and greatness of Nollywood. Maleek starred in the upcoming film “Aburo,” scheduled for release on May 1, 2024. They’re both making big waves in the industry and we’re happy to see them grow!

Simisola Gbadamosi

Simisola Gbadamosi, aged 12, has demonstrated a remarkable flair for and passion for the arts and storytelling. At just the mere age of 6, she clinched the Best Creative Kid Entrepreneur Award at the Bella Africana Ace Awards, a reflection of her budding talent.

However, her journey took an extraordinary turn in 2021 when she secured the lead voice role as Tola in the Disney+ and Kugali Media collaboration, “Iwájú” released in 2024. This groundbreaking animated series, produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, catapulted Simisola into the spotlight, showcasing her exceptional talent to a global audience. With her portrayal in “Iwájú,” Simisola’s star continues to rise, solidifying her as a promising talent in the entertainment industry.

Toluwanimi Olaoye

Toluwanimi Olaoye is a budding talent in Nollywood. He’s known for his performances in various projects in films like “A Chain Reaction” (2020), “Your Excellency” (2019), “5 is a Company” (2021) to voicing the character Luo in the Disney+ Kizazi Motto anthology series, “Moremi” (2023).

His upcoming role as the young Awujale in the biopic “Awujale” alongside renowned actors like Sola Sobowale, Mr. Macaroni, Yemi Sodimu, and others further cements his place as a rising star in the industry. With his talent reflecting both on-screen and on platforms like YouTube, the “Oliver and Aunty Jo Series,” Toluwanimi Olaoye is undoubtedly one to watch out for in Nollywood’s bright future.

Fiyinfoluwa Asenuga

At just 10 years old, Mofiinfoluwa Asenuga has already made big strides in the world of entertainment. Known for his roles in notable films such as “The House of Secrets” (2023), “Mikolo” (2023), and “Muri & Ko,” Fiyinfoluwa showcases his talent and versatility on the big screen.

Working alongside comedienne Kie Kie, and seasoned actors like Femi Jacobs, Kunle Remi, Bucci Franklin, Bisola Aiyeola, Kate Henshaw, among many others, Asenuga demonstrates his ability to hold his own among industry veterans. His dedication to his craft collaborations with established stars position him as a promising talent to watch in the Nigerian entertainment scene.

Diana Egwuatu

11-year-old Diana Egwuatu emerges as a standout rising star in Nollywood, showcasing her exceptional talent across a range of acclaimed films. At the age of 3, she expressed her interest in acting and modeling. Her breakthrough came with the 2018 hit “God Calling,” where she portrayed Lola, capturing audiences with her compelling performance.

She continued to impress in “Her Dark Past,” the film currently nominated for the 2024 AMVCA Best Multichoice Talent Factory Movie Category, where she acted as Lotanna Nwosu.

Adding to her impressive resume, Egwuatu delivered captivating performances in films like “Friends Only” (2021), “Dead of Night” (2024), and “She” (2022). Beyond the silver screen, Diana’s talent extends beyond acting, as she showcased her versatility by featuring in Burna Boy’s music video “Common Person” in 2022.

She excels not only as a child actor but also as a model, kid host, and voice-over artist. With a career spanning over five years, she has amassed numerous accolades and achievements, surpassing many of her peers.

Kosisochukwu Samuel Ogboruche

Kosisochukwu Samuel Ogboruche, known affectionately as Kosi, emerges as a promising newcomer in Nollywood. With his breakout role as Elijah in the anticipated film “Kill Boro,” set for release on Prime Video on May 30th, 2024, alongside fellow child actor, Beloved Osagie Kosi as Orabere, they’re both set to carve out their place in the spotlight.

Before his role in “Kill Boro,” Kosi showcased his acting chops in “Strain” (2020), where he portrayed the character of Young Ekene.

Darasimi Nadi

Darasimi Nadi is one of the most-sought after nollywood child actors. Her talent garnered recognition with a nomination at the 2023 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) for her portrayal of Ihunaya in the 2022 film “Obara’M,” competing in the Best Young/Promising Actor category. Directed by Kayode Kasum and featuring notable actors like Nancy Isime, “Obara’M” adds a prestigious accolade to Nadi’s growing portfolio, solidifying her reputation as a promising talent in the industry.

Nadi’s versatility shines through in her roles in films like “A Green Fever”, “Aburo”, “Ègún” (2023), “Smokescreen” (2023), and her portrayal of Bihi in the 2021 film “The Pretty Ones Are the Loneliest.” Beyond her accomplishments as a child actor, Darasimi also excels as a television personality, further expanding her influence on both children and the film industry.

Pamilerin Ayodeji

Pamilerin Ayodeji, a 13-year-old powerhouse of talent, stands out in Nollywood with her exceptional acting skills and academic achievements. Since her professional debut in August 2019, Pamilerin has graced several remarkable projects, including “Mikolo,” “Gangs of Lagos,” and “Lizard.” Notably, her role in “Mikolo,” directed by Niyi Akinmolayan in 2023, marked a significant milestone as the first CGI film released from Nollywood, showcasing her versatility alongside co-star Mofiinfoluwa Asenuga.

Beyond the borders of Nigeria, Pamilerin’s talent has garnered international recognition, notably starring in the first Nigerian short film to win at Sundance. Her stellar performances have earned her prestigious awards such as Best Actor at the Kids’ Can Act 2019 and Best Young Actor at the Kaduna Film Festival 2022. With her recent accolade as Best Young Talent at the African Film Festival in Texas, USA, Pamilerin Ayodeji continues to inspire as a shining example of young talent in the world of Nigerian cinema.

These young talents, among many others, are making a positive and groundbreaking impact in the Nollywood space, showcasing their remarkable skills and promising potential. As they continue to grow and evolve, we eagerly anticipate their future contributions to the industry. We can’t wait to see them blossom into even greater actors in the future.

4 responses to “Nollywood Child Actors: A New Generation With Great Potentials”
  1. […] Mide (played by Efa Iwara), a former professional athlete facing setbacks, and Aburo (portrayed by Maleek Sani), a street urchin under the employ of Pompei (Yomi Cregx), a local crime boss. Their paths […]

  2. […] Kosisochukwu Ogboruche delivers a solid performance as Elijah, though his strength varies across scenes. Ini Dima-Okojie steps into the role of Boma, and once we moved past our initial typecasting of her, her nuanced performance became evident. Philip Asaya’s portrayal of Boro is particularly noteworthy, as he fully embodies the character’s complex nature. […]

  3. […] chemistry and emotional exchanges add a significant layer of depth to the film. The child actors, Beloved Osagie and Darasimi Nadi, portraying Kauna and Tani, respectively, though not prominently […]

  4. […] actor Fiyinfoluwa Asenuga, who portrays Cole, delivers a performance marked by an endearing charm and natural flair. Asenuga […]

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