The Nigerian entertainment industry is fluid. Stars try their hands-on art forms that are unrelated to what they are primarily known for. They might succeed. . .or fail. In any case, it is always exciting to see fan favourites expanding their creative scope.
Below are some Nigerian stars stepping out from sectors they are generally known for to carve a niche for themselves in the theatre industry.
- Osas Ighodaro: Ighodaro is Jack of all trades and master of all. She is an actress, producer, host, model and humanitarian. Since her screen debut in 2006 as an actress, Ighodaro has gone on to make over 30 screen appearances in acting and hosting gigs, including King of Boys and Bling Lagosians.
Osas has also shown versatility by acting in more than ten stage plays including the MTN Foundation-sponsored Fela and the Kalakuta Queens. Most recently, she played Tonia in the Tony Wants to Marry drive-in theatre performance, also sponsored by the MTN Foundation, and was hailed by the audience for her iconic performance.
- CeeC: CeeC took the reality-TV-verse by storm while participating in the Big Brother Naija show as a contestant in 2018. She has since then gone on to make a name for herself as a fitness influencer, owner of a clothing line, brand ambassador, fashion icon and actress.
In 2019, the lawyer made her Nollywood debut in Fake Liars, alongside Nkem Owoh aka Osuofia and Brother Shaggi. In April 2021, CeeC stepped into the world of theatre with Tony Wants to Marry where she plays Perpetual aka Hot Pepper, a University of Abuja student who goes on a date with the lead character. Her interpretation of the role drew praise from their audience who praised her for her fierceness and brilliant delivery.
- Bambam: Talk about RANGE! Oluwabamike Olawunmi-Adenibuyan does it all. While she is best known for being a contestant of the third edition of the Big Brother Naija show in 2018, she is also a gifted singer and appeared in the eighth season of MTN Project Fame and made it up to the semi-finals.
Bambam made her Nollywood debut in 2017 while starring in The Backup Wife, by Uduak Isong, alongside Seun Akindele and Bimbo Ademoye. She went on to feature in more movies, including Foreigners God, Bling Lagosians and The Gift. Bambam made her mark in the theatre when she played Abebi, one of the foremost female characters in the play Jagaba.
- Norbert Young: Norbert Young is undeniably one of the legends in Nollywood. For several years, he has told stories of several characters with his regal persona and polished voice. He is well-known for his roles in Tinsel, Family Circle and Third Eye.
While the veteran actor’s screen projects and accomplishments are known and celebrated, many are unfamiliar with his long history and success in theatre. In May, 2021, Norbert Young featured in the MTN Foundation-sponsored Tony Wants to Marry where he played Tony’s father. The audience was pleasantly excited to see one of their favourite actors on stage.
- Francis Duru: Francis Duru is one of the most recognisable faces in old Nollywood. The seasoned actor made his debut in the Nigerian movie industry in 1989 with a movie titled Missing Mark. He, however, rose to prominence in 1994 after featuring in an action-comedy movie titled RattleSnake where he played the character called Ahanna.
Despite being best associated with his TV projects, Francis Duru has an even longer history in theatre and had been dominating the scene before his movie debut. Francis Duru also recently starred in the Abuja edition of Tony Wants to Marry, where he played Tony’s father.