Listen to article

The Nigeria movie industry has come of age. Judging from picture quality, storyline and even characters, one would agree that the industry has improved tremendously from what it was a decade ago. But it is of more interest that most of the practitioners that contributed to this development are controversial, either in the industry or in their private lives. This week, NFC writes about some of these stars who have at one time or the other been controversial.

•Jim Iyke: One of the most loved Nollywood actors popularly perceived as a sex-symbol, has a spectacular way of delivering his roles, especially when it has to do with love or emotion. Despite this versatility, he has disappointed his teeming fans several times by getting enmeshed in some avoidable controversies.

Apart from the rumour that he was dating Halima, daughter of former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar and actress Rita Dominic, Jim, who was also banned alongside Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Genevieve Nnaji by the movie marketers in 2005, has been enmeshed in many controversies.

There was a time he was reported to have engaged a commercial taxi driver in a brawl under Ojuelegba bridge. That was sometime last year. He also engaged Victor Obodo, a journalist working with the now rested Fame weekly magazine in fisticuffs. All these have made talented Jim one of the most controversial actors in the country.

•Baba Suwe: Having received many laurels through his comic roles in movies, Babatunde Omodina a.k.a Baba Suwe, needs no formal introduction in Nollywood, as he is always in the news.

The Igbogbo-Ife-Ikorodu-born comedian has not only earned fame through his style of comedy, but has also ruled the comedy genre of moviedom for many years. However, despite his success in the make-believe industry, the current National Treasurer of the Association of Nigeria Theatre-Art Practitioners (ANTP), has always received bad press here in Nigeria each time he travelled out of the country.

Baba Suwe, who has travelled far and wide in Europe usually has a hectic task denying his involvement in the illegal business and alleged arrest, as reported in the media. But the bottomline is that the vile and unsubstanciated rumour still persists because Baba Suwe often eulogises suspected notorious drug barons in his movies.

•Opeyemi Ayeola: Until she exchanged marital vows with her UK-based boyfriend, Olayiwola Babatunde recently, star actress, Opeyemi Ayeola, had been enmeshed in controversies.
Expectedly for a pretty actress of the Accountancy graduate's status, she is believed to have attained the peak of her career through the help of some successful practitioners in the movie industry.

The controversy over her alleged affair with celebrated Corporate Pictures boss, Rasaq Abdullahi, however became rife when she disclosed to a soft sell magazine that she regretted dating Abdullahi.
Currently, Opeyemi is said to be facing a tough-time from her in-laws because of the controversy.

•Stella Damasus-Aboderin: The name of this widow of Jaiyejeje Aboderin is also on the long-list of actresses that are trailed by controversies.
Since the death of her husband who was the leader of the defunct Synergy Musical Group, Stella had been in and out of one controversy or another.

Although not confirmed, gist-bearers still allege that she had a swell-time, dating gospel artiste and ace sound track performer, Sammy Okposo for a long time. Apart from that, there are indications that she's set to sign the dotted lines with model and Gulder Ultimate Search II contestant, Lanre Oluborode.

However, the most disturbing of all the controversies was that occassioned by a movie in which she featured barely six months before the death of her husband. The controversy, it was gathered portrayed a wrong impression about to her in-laws.

•Bisi Ibidapo-Obe: The light complexion, beautifully endowed actress, is always in and out of controversies. Sometime ago, Bisi was said to be romantically linked with revolutionary rap artiste, Ruggedman.

•Fathia Balogun: Apart from the fact that she is the estranged wife of Saheed Balogun, she is yet to extricate herself from some controversies trailing her breakup with the actor.

According to what gist-bearers say, Fathia's sudden divorce from Saheed may not be unconnected with an alleged romance between her and Rasaq Abdullahi, the boss of Corporate Pictures. Even her newly produced film is said to have been shot amid controversy.

Meanwhile, it is being alleged in some quarters that Fathia's current residence was acquired through the help of Rasaq Abdullahi.