The stars, the flops and the scandals (2)
Call her the queen of the Yoruba genre of Nollywood and you won't be wrong. Funke Akindele, more than any actress, has set standards that are hard to ignore in terms of film production and acting. As at the time of writing this report, her last movie, Jenifa has sold more than any movie in 2008.
This Law graduate the from University of Lagos did not just distinguish herself production wise, she made more than just an ordinary mark acting-wise as well.
Video club rentals are still thanking their stars for Funke Akindele's effort in 2008. She made them smile to the bank.
It wasn't for nothing that Fathia calls her production outfit Power House. In 2008, she pulled her weight and demonstrated that power was one thing she proved to everyone she has. There was hardly any Yoruba movie worth its salt that did not feature Fathia Balogun. Her movie, Asa sold beyond the imagination of movie marketers. She was the real star of 2008. The only minus for her in 2008 was her separation from her actor-husband, Saheed.
She is a proof that tribalism and favouritism exists in the English genre of Nollywood. Mercy Aigbe used to ply her trade in that divides of Nollywood until she realized that the scripts were barely coming. She made a switch to Yoruba side of movie industry and instantly became fans' favourite. Her superb acting in Lolade is still a reference point in the industry. Surprisingly, some English producers have started looking her way.
The golden star of Nollywood, Tonto Dike, brought so many refreshing flavour to Nollywood and made fans' time in front of wide screen a delight. She was daring and on pint in her delivery. Little wonder producers queue to have her grace the cover of their movie jackets. She was truly golden in 2008. Grace Amah who complains that her short height is a barrier should take a cue from her.
The actress with the hottest hips got all the roles other struggled to get in 2008. In Nollywood 2008 was Mercy's year. She brushed aside her inability to continue at the Lagos State University and went on to win fans within and beyond Nigeria's border. Her rise in the year made her join a selected group to tour Europe to meet fans that have been yearning for these stars. She even went on to get an appointment as presenter for Celebrity Rumour, a TV programme by Tricia Esiegbe. Another high point of her success in 2008 was when she won 'The sexiest actress' contest organized by a newspaper. In 2008, Mercy lived in her world.
Love or hate her, Ini Edo had a good year in 2008. She was not left out of in thick of the action and to cap it all, she got married to her heartthrob, Philip late this year. Ini might miss out of Yankee Girls, a movie the producer claimed would have boosted her career, she was everywhere to get the action she missed in the movie. Her frequent travel, preparation for marriage and constantly having to defend herself over various damning allegation may have slowed her down, but she was definitely among the flops of the year.
She pulled her weight and proved to everyone that the statement, 'the older the merrier' is true. Uche is waxing stronger and she proved to everyone that she is an actress with brains by partnering with her bosom friend, Emem Isong. Uche might not have broken through to the top five in the industry, but she definitely had a presence you can't ignore in 2008.
With face that looks like that of an angel and the determination to make it in a heavily tribalised industry, Rukki Sanda has been able to make a name for herself. Rukki, a graduate of the Lagos State University featured in a number of movies and went on to shoot two movies in the year under review. Her movie, 'The lethal woman' rocked the market and her yet to be released second movie has the presence of Van Viker and another Ghanaian actress. She took to producing some of her scripts after buyers offered her some 'ridiculous fees'. In 2008, she made money and rode cars some established stars are still hoping to buy. Unconfirmed talk has it that she is one of the super rich actresses of 2008. What we don't know, however, is whether she makes all the money from standing in front of camera.
You might not like her because of her cockiness. But there is no denying the fact that Ireti rocked so many people's homes with her heavy presence, dotted-cheek and heavy bosom in 2008.
Despite breast-feeding a baby for her filmmaker-husband, Ireti has been able to establish her presence in the Yoruba genre of the film industry. As a matter of fact, Ireti will make the list of top 10 Yoruba super actresses. She is the only top-flight actress nursing a baby for now.
Kate did not make this list just because she won the best actress at AMAA this year. Though she was not so frequent in movies, she did quite a few one cannot ignore. Kate roamed the length and breadth of Nollywood obeying the command, light, camera, and action. She was a true diva of 2008. She rocked 2008 and as we write Kate is still rocking solid.
How we came about the stars and the flops
We chose the stars based on the quality and quantity of works they've done in the year under review. The truth is that rating in Nollywood is based on quantity rather than quality. But we have chosen to combine the two. Any star would make the stars' list if he or she has done at least two quality movies or up to six movies that were popular in 2008.