A toast to notable Nollywood cross over kings and queens
There are very few actors in the Nollywood industry, who can speak and act fluently in local Languages other than their native tongues. Those in this category are described as ‘Cross Over Artistes’. The spotlight is on them.
Kelvin Ngozi Ikeduba
Without a doubt, Kelvin Ikeduba is a good example of a cross over artiste. The actor who is originally from Delta State, but who was born and raised in Lagos, speaks and acts in English and in Yoruba and Igbo languages fluently. In fact the Economics graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria has featured in more Yoruba movies lately than he has featured in Nollywood movies produced in English. Famous for playing gangster roles or featuring in crime movies, Kelvin’s versatility has earned the first child in a family of four children several nominations and awards including the award for in Yoruba at the City People Entertainment Award. Presently into a lot of comedy skits online, ‘Igbe Iyawo Arugbo’, ‘Omowunmi’, ‘Laroda Ojo’, ‘Ogidan’, ‘Mafi Wonmi’ ‘Esin Obirin’, ‘Atunide Leyi’ and ‘Ogidan’ are some among the many cross over movies in his pouch.
Though originally from Edo State, Mercy Aigbe is famous and best known for her remarkable performances in Yoruba language movies. In fact the actress, producer, entrepreneur and product of the Creative Arts department of the University of Lagos who has featured in a couple of English language movies, shot into limelight acting in Yoruba fluently. Recipient of a number of industry awards including the best actress in Yoruba and the 2015 Yoruba Movie Personality of the year, both of which came courtesy City People Entertainment Awards, Mercy joined the screen acting industry in 2006 and the 2010 best actress in a supporting role and 2012 best actress in an indigenous movie has featured in countless movie productions including ‘victims’, ‘ile Oko Mi’, ‘Oju Ife’, ‘Ihamo’, ‘Mafisere’, ‘Omoge Osas’, ‘Iro Funfun’, ‘Ipese’ among many others. The actress has also lit up a number of movies in English including ‘Second Acts’, ‘200 Million’, ‘and ‘Little Drops of Happy’.
Popular stage and screen actress, Ngozi Nwosu deserves to be crowned the cross over queen. The award-winning actress of Igbo stock is perhaps one of the few actresses in Nollywood who can feature conveniently in Igbo, Yoruba and English language movies. An accomplished stage and screen actress, Ngozi began her acting career featuring in stage, television and Yoruba language movies. Ardent television audience of the 90’s still recall her role as ‘Madam V-Boot’ in the long rested television soap titled ‘Ripples’. They also recall that the veteran actress was a major part of the cast of the ground breaking 1992 Igbo language movie Living In Bondage (LIB). They still recall the romantic session character she interpreted in LIB with the lead actor. She has received countless awards including the City People Movie Special Recognition award, City People Matriarch Recognition award. Famous for her role as Madam Peace in the long rested situational comedy ‘Fuji House of Commotion’. The Yoruba language movies that has benefitted from the expert portrayal of the star of critically acclaimed movies like ‘Stigma’, ‘Old Cargos’ and ‘Greatest Weapon’ include ‘Adun Ewuro’, ‘Tambolo’, and ‘Mama Okomi’.
Though originally from Cross River State, the handsome and well-built actor Rykardo Agbor has done more Yoruba movies and had featured as leading actor in them than an average actor in that sector of the Nigerian movie industry. Rykardo speaks Yoruba fluently and he revealed in an earlier interview that he is more at home acting in Yoruba movies. Star of critically acclaimed movies such as ‘King of Shita’, ‘Gold Statue’, ‘The Novelist’ and ‘Sands of Time’, Rykardo who studied Mass Communication at the University of Calabar showed stuff in popular Yoruba movies including ‘Tokotaya’ , ‘Atupa Ire’, ‘Ala’, and ‘Jenyo’
Veteran actress Clarion Chukwurah is another undisputable cross over queen. The accomplished actress acts in both English, Igbo and Yoruba movies. Though originally from Anambra State, Clarion speaks Yoruba fluently that most people often assume that she is an actress of that stock. In her filmography are Yoruba movies such as ‘Yemoja’, ‘Owo Lagba’, ‘Ogidan’, ‘O Koja Bee’, ‘Sunmibare’, ‘Abela Pupa’ and ‘Lagidigba’,
A native of Eku in Delta State, the veteran actress has lately featured in more Yoruba movies than movies in English. The television and movie star showed real stuff in critically acclaimed Yoruba movies such as ‘Ebere Adigun’, ‘Tibi Tire Laye’, ‘Farayola’, ‘Omo Pupa’, ‘Tomo Tiya’, ‘Gongo Aso’, ‘Itan’, ‘Nkan Adun’, ‘Okun Emi’, ‘Ori Oko’ and ‘Jagun Aso’.
Others in the cross over category: Doris Simeon, Faithia Williams, Tina Mba, Ibrahim Chatta, and Jide Kosoko etc etc.
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