The Nigerian film industry witnessed some of its biggest achievements in the last decade.
Several Nollywood female actors distinguished themselves in the decade but 10 remain unique with their role interpretations
Between 2010 and 2019, the film industry and its practitioners broke records, won awards and made a tremendous impact on the international scene just like the music industry.
Despite some hitches, the decade managed to produce some of the best films that graced our cinemas, festivals and won awards.
Nollywood female actors are some of the best at what they do and here’s why. [Instagram/ritadominic/funkejenifaakindele/solasobowale/adesuaetomi]
Some veteran actors reinvented themselves while the young new faces made serious impacts in the Nigerian cinemas. Based on commercial success, impact, critical acclaim, awards, and international acclaim, here are the top 10 female actors of the decade.
10. Toyin Abraham
Toyin Abraham worked her way to emerge one of the best actresses of the decade despite the controversies that trailed her love life. [Instagram/ToyinAbraham]
Despite the turbulence in her personal life, Toyin Abraham refused to be distracted in her career. She rose to become a cross-cultural actress by featuring in some of the biggest Nollywood films of the decades. She became the darling of the public after the release of her comedy film, ‘Alakada.’ The success of the film saw her getting a role in two big movies, ‘The Ghost and the Tout,’ and ‘Seven and a half dates’.
9. Omoni Oboli
Omoni Oboli produced several movies and featured in few that stood her out as one of the actresses that gave their best in the decade. [Instagram/omonioboli]
Omoni Oboli spent the better part of 2010 – 2019 producing several movies. Riding on the success of her role in Kunle Afolayan’s 2009 hit, ‘The Figurine’, Omoni began 2010 with her role in the critically-acclaimed film, ‘Anchor Baby’
Combining the roles of a producer and a lead actress, Omoni Oboli made the list of the best actress of the decade featuring and producing several movies including ‘Okafor’s law’, ‘wives on strike’, ‘Moms at War’, ‘Being Mrs. Elliot’ and ‘Love is War’.
8. Adesua Etomi-Wellington
Adesua Etomi-Wellington took on several challenging role this decade and one can rightly say this is her decade. [Instagram/Munathemovie]
Adesua Etomi-Wellington is another actress that made an incredible mark this dwindling decade. From taking up a major role in the highest-grossing Nollywood film to displaying her martial arts skills in ‘Muna’ and ‘The Set Up’, Adesua left made her impact on the industry felt by viewers and colleagues. Adesua’s acting abilities were recognised by Vogue as she was dubbed Nollywood’s rom-com queen. Adesua joined 14 other ‘global superstars’ from 14 countries across several film industries including Hollywood, Bollywood, and Nollywood to appear on a special cover for Vogue magazine.
7. Dakore Akande
Dakore Akande’s brief hiatus in the industry has been compensated with some of the impressive roles she played this decade. [Instagram/dakoreakande]
From 2012 to 2019, Dakore remains relevant on the scene with at least one huge project to her name. In 2012, she featured in ‘Journey To Self’ after which she took a deserved break. She returned in 2015 to feature in EbonyLife Films’ ‘Fifty’, and ‘Lunch Time Heroes’. In 2017, Akande became the talk of the town with her role as Isoken in Jade Osiberu’s ‘Isoken’. 2018 saw Akande featuring in two big films, ‘New Money’ and ‘Chief Daddy’. Akande won herself the 2018 award for Best Actress at the AMAAs while the film went on to win the 2018 Best film at the AMVCAs.
6. Ireti Doyle
Iretiola Doyle is a thorough actress and this list would have been incomplete without her inclusion owing to her achievements in the decade.
From ‘The Wedding Party,’ to ‘Fifty’ and ‘The Set Up,’ Iretiola Doyle remains relevant this decade. The screen darling didn’t limit her acting abilities to the cinemas as she remains an integral arm and part of the longest-running TV series, ‘Tinsel.’ She picked up a couple of award nominations for her roles.
5. Kate Henshaw
Kate Henshaw is an impressive actress and she made a memorable impact in the decade.
Kate Henshaw continues to make an impact on the Nigerian film industry with her abilities to beautifully interpret roles. The biggest of her films this decade is her role as one of the daughters of ‘Chief Daddy’. The EbonyLife production is touted to have grossed several million. Henshaw also featured in ‘New Money’, ‘Fourth Republic’ and ‘The Ghost and the House of Truth’ in 2019. She won herself the best female performer at the AFRIFF 2019.
4. Nse Ikpe Etim
Nse Ikpe-Etim blessed the decade with her acting prowess and she has remained distinguished in the industry. (YNaija)
After gaining prominence with her role in 2008 hit, ‘Reloaded’, Nse Ikpe Etim didn’t look back for the better part of this decade. She returned this decade featuring in Ikechukwu Onyeka’s hit film, ‘Mr. and Mrs.’ which was adjudged one of the best Nollywood films of the year. In 2014, Nse won herself the Best Actress in a Drama at the 2014 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for playing “Nse” in ‘Journey to Self’.
3. Sola Sobowale
Sola Sobowale currently occupies a that is unique and might take a long time before getting overthrown. [Kemi Adetiba]
Sola Sobowale is one of the many Nigerian actresses that has proved their worth. After ruling the last decade with her role as ‘Toyin Tomato’ and ‘Asewo To Re Mecca,’ Sobowale took over this decade by featuring in two of Nollywood’s biggest films of the decade. Her role as Tinuade Coker in the two installments of ‘The Wedding Party’ and her critically acclaimed role as Eniola Salami in ‘King Of Boys’ are some of the projects that catapulted Sobowale’s relevance in the film industry. She won the award for Best Actress at the 2019 AMAA
2. Funke Akindele-Bello
Funke Akindele-Bello has done so well for herself that she ended the decade by developing a game with her character ‘Jenifa’. This is a first for the actress and Nollywood. [Instagram/funkejenifaakindele]
Funke Akindele-Bello became a force to reckon with in the Nigerian film industry between 2010 and 2019. She leveraged on the success of her film, ‘Jenifa’ which was released in 2008 to become a leading actress and producer. She turned the film into a television series that instantly became a huge success. With teeming fans enjoying the life of Jenifa, Akindele-Bello is fast taking a cue from American actor and producer, Tyler Perry. On screen, the Nollywood superstar had prominent roles in flicks like ‘Moms at War’, ‘Maami’, ‘A Trip to Jamaica’ and ‘Married but Living Single’. She also appeared in films like ‘Isoken’ and ‘Chief Daddy’ to continue her dominance in the scene.
1. Rita Dominic
From the role as a government secretary to the pregnant wife of a soldier and an envious lady, Rita Dominic took charge of the decade to wow viewers. [Instagram/ritadominic]
Rita Dominic successfully sits on the list one of the top 10 female actors of the decade with her impeccable contributions. From co-producing one of the industry’s films, ‘The Meeting’ to playing the lead character in the critically acclaimed film, ‘76, Dominic remained outstanding between 2010 and 2019. She ended the decade on a high note by co-producing and playing the lead female role in the upcoming film, ‘La Femme Anjola’.