Magazine article New African

Nollywood's Next Generation to Watch: While It May Be Industry Icons Such as Kate Henshaw, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Rita Dominic, Ramsey Nouah and Jim Iyke Who Still Dominate Glossy African Magazine Covers and Giant Billboards on the Lagos Skyline and in Other Capitals, There Is a New Breed of Nollywood Starlets Fast on Their Way to Becoming Household Names. Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo Checks out 10 of Nollywood's Next Generation of Stars

Magazine article New African

Nollywood's Next Generation to Watch: While It May Be Industry Icons Such as Kate Henshaw, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Rita Dominic, Ramsey Nouah and Jim Iyke Who Still Dominate Glossy African Magazine Covers and Giant Billboards on the Lagos Skyline and in Other Capitals, There Is a New Breed of Nollywood Starlets Fast on Their Way to Becoming Household Names. Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo Checks out 10 of Nollywood's Next Generation of Stars

Article excerpt

1 JOSEPH BENJAMIN

Multi-talented Nigerian actor Joseph Benjamin got his first major break when he co-hosted reality TV show Project Fame West Africa, Season II, in 2009. As co-host of the show for three consecutive seasons, he has reached millions of fans across the continent with his impeccable presentational skills.

Benjamin's acting career dates back to his childhood, appearing in the popular children's programme Tales By Moonlight on NTA and later in the 1991 film Crossroads. His Nollywood break came in 2011 when he starred in box office hit Tango with Me alongside none other than Nollywood's answer to Julia Roberts, Genevieve Nnaji.

His brilliant performance earned him a supporting role in Monalisa Chinda's 2012 production Kiss And Tell, the lead in 2012 Nollywood hit Mr. & Mrs., and the lead role alongside Funke Akindele of "Jenifa" fame in Married But Single, for which he received the Best Actor Award at the 2012 Best of Nollywood Awards.

Also a voiceover artist and model, Benjamin will once again grace our screens this spring with a starring role in The Dark Side.

2 BEVERLY NAYA

It was in 2010 when Beverly Nava first appeared on. the Nollywood radar after the London-born starlet grabbed the Most Promising Talent gong. When she followed that up in 2011 with Ci0 People Magazine's Fast Rising Actress accolade, she proved she was on her way to Nollvwood fame.

Upon relocating to Nigeria to pursue her passion for acting, the Filmmaking and Scriptwriting graduate from Roehampton University got her first Nollywood part in veteran director Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen's award-winning 2008 movie Home in Exile. This was followed in quick succession by roles in The Shipped, the star-studded Alan Paza and Weekend Getaway. Her fast-growing portfolio also includes the upcoming Lotanna and Up the Creek without a Paddle, which will see her hold her own alongside Nollywood greats Omotola Jolade-Ekeinde, Van Vicker and Patience Ozokwor.

3 URU EKE

"She's got the looks, she's got the talent, she's got the glamour and I think she has got the tenacity to make a success in an industry as mad as ours," says director Obi Emelonye of the London-born IT consultant-turned-actor who appeared in the. director's 2012 offering Last Flight to Abuja.

"Good looks can only get you so far! Talent is what truly speaks for you," says Eke, echoing the director. "I believe I have been accepted, otherwise I wouldn't be getting the offers and recognition."

Nominated in the Best Upcoming Actress category at the 2011 Best of Nollywood (BON) Awards, and with a range of parts in films Ebony, Lucky Joe, Forgive Me Father, Widow's, Men, Friends in Love, Timeless Passion and popular soap Catwalq under her belt, as well as the aforementioned Last Flight to Abuja, and recently released Weekend Getaway, which sees her in an ensemble cast of Nollywood greats like Genevieve Nnaji and Desmond Elliot and newcomers such as Uti Nwachukwu, Eke is indeed recognised for her talent and is well and truly on her wav to Nollywood stardom.

4 UTI NWACHUKWU

With his good looks and screen presence, there was no doubt Uti Nwachtikwu's 2010 Big Brother Africa All Stars win would open the doors of the entertainment world for this Next Movie Star reality competition alumnus. His Nollywood foray came with a role in Ture Citizen in 2010 and since then his star has been steadily rising, with parts in Fear Not, Bursting Out, In the Cupboard, Anti Drug and most recently, Emem Isong's Weekend Getaway, which gave the young actor the opportunity he had always dreamt of--working alongside Nollywood icon Genevieve Nnaji.

Actor, model, show host and with a charity foundation to his name, Nwachukwu does have a lot on his plate, but all this is not likely to stop him from becoming one of Nollywood's leading men.

5 CHRIS ATTOH

Technically a Ghtllywood leading man, Chris Attoh is on his way to dominating the Ghanaian and Nigerian film industries alike, with eight years' experience under his belt since his first film, Life and Living and a respectable roster of work including box office hits Perfect Picture, Scorned, 6 Hours to Christmas, Sinking Sands, Single and Married and, most recently, Flower Girl. …

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