12 Nollywood Celebrities from the decades you must know | P.M. News

Chief Hubert Ogunde

By Funmilola Olukomaiya

The Nigerian movie industry has evolved, but this didn’t come cheap as it was achieved through a lot of hard , dedication and persistence through the efforts of the pioneers of the industry.

Most know little or nothing about how came to be and is, they really careless.

are 12 of Nigeria’s movie industry (both English and ) celebrities and pioneers from the decades you must know.

1.) Hubert Ogunde

The late Hubert Ogunde in one of his

Hubert Ogunde was a Nigerian playwright, , , and . He was a pioneer in the field of Nigerian folk (a type of in which music and dancing played a significant role). He was the of the Ogunde Concert Party (1945), the professional theatrical in Nigeria. Ogunde who was often regarded as the father of Nigerian theatre sought to reawaken interest in his country’s indigenous . He died on April 4, 1990, in London, .

2.) Duro Ladipo

Duro Ladipo

Duro Ladipọ was one of the best known and critically acclaimed Yoruba dramatists who emerged from post-colonial Africa. Writing solely in the Yoruba , he captivated the symbolic spirit of Yoruba mythologies in his plays, which were later adapted to other such as photography, and . As a in a church school at Oshogbo in 1960, Ladipo scandalized church members by including bata drums in the cantata that he had composed for the church and was thereafter obliged to seek a secular outlet for his interests. In 1962 he founded the Mbari Mbayo Club, and for its inauguration, his theatre company performed his first opera, Moro (“-Catcher King”). He premiered Oba Koso (“The King Did Not Hang”) at the club’s first anniversary in 1963 and a year later introduced Oba Waja (“The King is Dead”). three operas are based on the of the Oyo kingdom and are available in English in Three Yoruba Plays (1964). He died Mar. 11, 1978, in Oshogbo.

3.) Ola Balogun

Ola Balogun

Born 1st of August 1945, Ola Balogun is a figure in Nigerian cinema. In the 1970s and 1980s, he influenced the industry in Nigeria like no other person and paved for the Nollywood boom that began in the early 1990s. The that he is virtually forgotten outside of Nigeria nowadays is also a function of the that many copies of his films have disappeared. He also ventured into the Nigerian in 2001. Balogun studied cinematography at Institut des hautes études cinématographiques.

4.) Adeyemi Afolayan (Ade )

Adeyemi Afolayan aka Ade Love

Adeyemi Afolayan also known as Ade Love was a Nigerian film actor, and producer. He brother to actress Toyin Afolayan and father to film actors, Kunle Afolayan, Gabriel Afolayan, Moji Afolayan and Aremu Afolayan. In 1966, Afolayan joined Moses Olaiya’s drama troupe, and in 1971, he left to establish his own drama group which went on to comedic plays. He appeared in Ola Balogun’s Ajani Ogun in 1976, and later produced and starred Ija Ominira, also directed by Balogun. Kadara, ‘Destiny’ in English was the first movie he wrote, produced and also starred as the . The movie was shown at the ninth film festival for and Asian cinema. Afolayan went on to produce and in other productions such as Ija Orogun, Taxi and Iya ni Wura. He died in 1996.

5.) Loco Efe

Sam Loco Efe

Sam Loco Efe was a comic actor who was born in . His first experience with acting was at his school when a theatre group came to stage a play called ‘The In Spite of Himself’, afterwards, he discussed with members of the group about the theatre and arts. In , he was a member various groups including a drama that performed a rendition of ’s ‘Julius Caesar’ at an Eastern regional arts festival in Abakaliki,[8] the play came last in the drama competition but Efe was noted as the best actor which earned him a scholarship to complete elementary school. After finishing elementary school, he attended various secondary schools and was active in the drama society, organizing a performance of ‘The Doctor in Spite of Himself’ and a play called ‘Vendetta’. After secondary school, he was a member of a travelling theatre group and played earning the moniker locomotive later shortened as loco. He died 7th August 2011.

6.) Oyin Adejobi

Oyin Adejobi

Chief Oyin Adejobi was a very popular dramatist and seasoned actor in South-Western Nigeria. He wrote and performed in a variety of Yoruba productions on the stage, television and . He was especially well known for his autobiographical movie ‘Orogun Adedigba’. He also had a weekly television show, ‘Kootu Asipa’ meaning “Ashipa’s Court” on , . The Oyin Adejobi Popular Theatre Company is named for him. He died in the year 2000.

7.) Peller

Professor Peller

Professor Moshood Abiola Peller was a Nigerian magician and one of Africa’s most renowned magicians. He was born in 1941 at Iseyin, Oyo State and he was named Moshood Folorunsho Abiola. He later picked the stage name of ‘Professor Peller’, an appellation that has stuck to him like a second skin. He started performing illusion in 1954 travelling to Ibadan, and Oyo for performances. In 1959, he changed occupation and began work as a of G.B.O. and later moved into trading. His interest in illusion continued and in 1964, he attended a school of magical arts in , he spent 18 months at the school and after completion, settled in Liberia. In 1966, he had his first post-training show at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. He was later assassinated in 1997.

8.) Aromire

Alade Aromire

Muyideen Alade Aromire was a popular actor and producer who was also the owner and creator of Yotomi Television, a cross-cultural station with for Yoruba-based programmes. Alade was believed to have produced the first in Nigeria as he was the pioneer of Yoruba video industry. He died 4 July, 2008 in an auto crash along the Lagos/Ibadan expressway.

9.) Moses Olaiya

Late Moses Adejumo, aka Sala

Moses Olaiya, better known by his stage name “Baba Sala”, was a Nigerian , dramatist and actor. Baba Sala, regarded as the father of modern Nigerian , alongside other dramatists like Hubert Ogunde, Kola Ogunmola, Oyin Adejobi and Duro Ladipo popularized theatre and television acting in Nigeria. He was a prolific filmmaker. He started his in show as a Highlife musician, fronting in 1964 a group known as the Federal Rhythm Dandies where he tutored and guided the jùjú music maestro King Adé who was his guitar . As a young boy, Olaiya played the class clown and sometimes dressed outlandishly to please . While he chose to develop a career in his parents wanted a path that lead to a professional career such as or . Baba Sala died in October 2018.

10.) Lere Paimo

Lere Paimo

Born November 1939, Pa Lere Paimo, OFR is an ace Nigerian film actor, film-maker, producer and director. He began his acting career in 1960 after he joined the Oyin Adejobi theatre group, founded by Pa Oyinade Adejobi before he later joined Duro Ladipo’s Theatre Group where he featured in a stage play titled ‘Obamoro’ with the role of “Chief Basa”. He became popular following a lead role as Soun Ogunola played in an epic Yoruba film titled ‘Ogbori Elemosho’ which brought him into the limelight. He has featured, produced and directed several since he began acting in 1963. In 2005, in recognition of his immense contributions to the Nigerian , he was bestowed with a National award of Member of the Federal Republic alongside Zeb Ejiro by former Obasanjo. On 2013, it was reported that he had a partial stroke, an attack he survived.

11.) Funmi Martins

Funmi Martins

The legendary Funmi Martins was a shining star of the Yoruba movie industry in the ’90s. She was shot into limelight in 1993 when she starred in her first movie called ‘Nemesis’ directed by Fidelis Duker. Funmi Martins before her starred in dozens of movies. Some of her most notable works Eto Mi, Pelumi, Ija Omode, Eru Eleru. She died on May 6, 2002.

12.) Bukky

Bukky Ajayi

Zainab Bukky Ajayi was a Nigerian actress who was born and bred in Nigeria but completed her in England, courtesy of a scholarship. In 1965, she left England for Nigeria where her career began as a presenter and for Nigerian Television Authority in 1966. Bukky made her film debut in the television ‘Village Headmaster’ during the ’70s before she went on to feature in ‘Checkmate’, a Nigeria television that aired during the late 1980s to the early 1990s. During her acting career, she featured in several films and soaps including ‘Critical Assignment’, ‘Diamond Ring’, ‘’ among others. In 2016, her contributions to the Nigerian film industry was recognized after she and Sadiq Daba were awarded the Industry Merit Award at the 2016 Africa Viewers Choice Awards. Bukky Ajayi died at her residence in on 6 July 2016 at the of 82.

NOTE: This is not exhaustive, do the names of others who didn’t make our in the comment session.

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