When it comes to who is who in Nollywood, a list of factors come to play. Things like popularity, number of movies starred in, number of awards and recognitions gotten, looks etc all come to mind. Top on the list perhaps is the net worth.
Money is definitely a reliable tool for determining the who is who, the “A list” actors from the “B list” (if that list exists). There are some actors who have over the years through determination and hard work made a name for themselves plus, their pockets are equally a proof of that.
We present them to you in no particular order:
Pete Edochie: Pete Edochie is undeniably a force to be reckoned with in the industry. Talk about the pioneers and veterans of the industry and he would definitely be there. He started acting in the 1980s in the NTA series adaption of “Things Fall Apart” where he acted as Okonkwo. After the movie, BBC flew down to Nigeria to interview him and he also bagged an international award.
Before going into acting, he started as a radio broadcaster at the age of 20 as a junior programmes assistant before being promoted to a director at the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS). He later quit and then went into full time acting.
His movies are too numerous with the most recent being “LionHeart” (2018). He has won several awards and is rated as one of the best actors in Africa. His net worth is put at $3.8 million.
John Okafor: It is virtually impossible to not know John Okafor popularly known as “Mr. Ibu”. He is famous for his very comic and foolish roles which he never fails to deliver on a regular basis. He was born on 17 October 1961 in Enugu State into a very poor family. He made his debut in 2004 in the film ” Mr. Ibu” and that was how the nickname stuck. This movies was what bagged him the Best Comic Actor in Nigeria at the Africa Movie Academy. Other awards include Most Prominent Actor in Nigeria.
Besides acting, he has signed several endorsement deals such as MerryBet, GOTV etc. He is counted as one of the richest and most influential actors in Nigeria with a net worth of $4.2 million.
Odunlade Adekola: He is one of the richest Nollywood actor at the moment due to his multi million naira endorsement deals and investment properties. The actor who owns a hotel, school, and several other chain of businesses currently worths 68 million Naira.
Nkem Owoh: If you want wittiness with the right dose of sarcasm and a dash of foolishness, then Nkem Owoh is your go-to-guy. He is popularly known as “Osuofia” after the movie, “Osuofia in London”. Since then, he has been riding on crests of glory.
In 2008, he won the best Performing Artist in a lead part at the African Film Foundation Award. He is married and has two daughters. His net worth is estimated to be at $4million.
Mike Ezuruonye: He is an actor, director and model. He was born on 21 September 1982 and is from Anambra State. He was a banker before quitting to join Nollywood.
Since then, he has starred in over 100 movies. He has signed some endorsement deals with Airtel and GLO. His net worth is an estimated $4.7million.
Segun Arinze: Famed for his bad guy and cabal roles, ” Black Arrow” as he is popularly called was born on 24 September 1965 in Onitsha, Anambra State to an Igbo mother and a Yoruba father. He joined Nollywood in the 1990s and starred in “Black Arrow”, a movie that earned him the nomination as “Best New Actor” at the African Movie Academy Awards and “Promising Act to Watch” at the Golden Icon Movie Academy Awards. He has won several awards such as Prominent Actor in Nigeria, Best Actor in a Supporting Role etc. His net worth is $5.1 million.
Ramsey Nouah: Often referred to as Lover Boy for his romantic roles, Ramsey is considered one of the most influential and sought-after actors in Nigeria. His acting career kicked off in the TV soap opera “Fortunes” which lasted from 1993-94. He has starred in several movies and has won numerous awards. He also owns a production house known as “Ramsey Films”. His net worth is in the range of $4.5 million.
Chidi Mokeme: He was already famous but his fame rise even higher when he became the host of Nigeria’s Reality TV show ” Gulder Ultimate Search” for the first two seasons.
He started acting in 1995 and has starred in several movies. He speaks all three major Nigerian languages and has been featured in some Yoruba movies. He has won several awards such as Best Actor in a Leading Role, Most Prominent Actor in Nigeria etc. He is a GLO ambassador and his fortune is an estimated $7.5 million.
Jim Iyke: Nollywood’s bad boy is definitely on our list. Besides acting, he also has other businesses such as a bottled water company known as “Burgeon Table Water” a clothing line – “Untamed Closet” and the Jim Iyke Foundation for Children with Special Disabilities. He is also a musician and some of his major tracks include Born to do this, Who am I? (feat. 2Baba). His net worth is a whooping $8 million.
Desmond Elliot: He is an actor, director and politician. He has starred in several movies. He has also directed some movies. He is married and has four children. Besides acting, other avenues of generating income include movie directing, endorsements and of course, politics. He won the Surulere Constituency in the 2015 Nigerian General Elections. His net worth is put at $ 10 million.
Richard Mofe-Damijo: He is a veteran actor and has signed several deals worth millions and millions of Naira. He was once the Commissioner of Culture and Tourism, Delta State. Some of his movies include: Hostages, Scores to Settle, Diamond Ring etc.
He has won some awards including Best Actor in a Leading Role and Most Prominent Actor in Nigeria. He is considered one of the most influential actors in Nigeria and his net worth is a jaw-breaking $ 15 million.
Zack Orji: He was born on 10 October, 1960 in Gabon. He grew up in Cameroon, Togo and Benin Republic. In 1991, he starred in his first movie, “Unforgiven Sin” which brought him to limelight. He is often referred to as one iyf Nollywood’s pioneers. Besides acting, he is also involved in real estate business and entrepreneurship. His net worth is put at $ 3 million.
Yul Edochie: He is the son of veteran actor Pete Edochie. His first movie is titled “The Exquirers”. He got his first break was in 2007 in the movie ” Wind of Glory”. As a way of giving back to the society, he opened a film academy in Lagos in 2015 to train upcoming actors and actresses. He declared his interest to run for gubernatorial election in Anambra state. He is the official flag bearer and gubernatorial candidate for the “Democratic People’s Congress”. His net worth is estimated to be about $1.85 million.
Osita Iheme: He is a popular Nigerian actor known for his trickery in movies. He became popular after playing ” Pawpaw” alongside Chinedu Ikedieze (Aki). He founded the Inspired Movement Africa.
He joined the industry in 2001 and is always cast as a child due to his diminutive stature. His net worth is being put at $ 3.5 million.
Chinedu Ikedieze: Alongside Osita Iheme, they are usually referred to as the “Midget Duo”. He is popularly known as “Aki”and has starred in several movies such as I Think Twice, Young Masters, Cain and Abel etc. He got married in 2011 and his net worth is $ 3.5 million.
Kanayo O. Kanayo: If you are naming Nollywood pioneers, then Kanayo O. Kanayo is definitely on that list. He was born on 1 March 1962. He is an actor, producer, TV personality and a philanthropist. He is popularly known for his ritualistic roles in movies. His net worth is put at $ 2.5 million.
Uti Nwachukwu: This beau first hit our screens when he won Big Brother Africa 2010. Since then, he has starred in movies such as In the Cupboard, The Weekend Getaway, Broken Silence etc. Aside acting, he is a model, fashion designer and the TV host of MNET’s Africa Magic show ” Jara”. His net worth is an estimated $ 1 million.
Nonso Diobi: This handsome actor is not hard to miss. He was born on 17 July 1976 in Enugu. He studied Theatre Arts at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). His debut movies was “Border Line”. Since then, he has been in several movies such as Palace Slave, Makers of Justice, Too Much etc. His net worth is put to be around $ 3 million.
Kenneth Okonkwo: He is a barrister, evangelist and actor. He has acted in over 250 movies. His debut was the movie ” Living in Bondage”- a movie that birthed Nollywood. So he is one of the pioneers of Nollywood. His net worth is around $ 5.5 million.
Van Vicker: He was born on 1 August 1977. He is one of the most talented actors. His father is a Dutch while his mother is a Liberian Ghanian. He won the Afro-Hollywood awards for best actor (African film category). He also runs a foundation that aims at building future talents in the industry. He is also a producer, and has several endorsement deals. His net worth is put at $ 4 million.
Although he is not a Nigerian, he takes part in more Nollywood movies than most Ghanaian actors.
Joseph Benjamin: We wrap our list with the fashion-forward Joseph Benjamin. He is a TV presenter, director, voice over artist and a philanthropist. He started acting in 1995 and starred in “Cross Roads”. He is one of the highest paid actors in Nigeria and also an MTN ambassador. His net worth is $ 2.8 million.