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Celebrities who made headlines in 2018

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Kemi Lala-Akindoju


For most celebrities, last year was a fantastic year. While some said they had it good on screen, quite a number said it was particularly a good year for them both off and on the screen. Here is a review of some of the off and on screen moments.

Those who said ‘I do’
EVIDENTLY, last year was a good year for celebrity marriages in Nollywood. There was a cast of notable Nigerian screen celebrities walking the aisle with their heartthrobs.
It was last year that Tinsel star, Linda Ejiofor, sealed her love with fellow Tinsel actor, Ibrahim Suleiman. They had their traditional and white wedding engagement in November and till date, people are still discussing the talk-of-the-town wedding between the notable screen personalities.

But it was another Tinsel star and AMAA laureate, Gideon Okeke, who set the ball rolling last year with the news of his marriage to Chidera. Gideon created quite a buzz when he took to his social media handles in April to announce that he had formally engaged Chidera traditionally. That announcement meant that he was off the unofficial list of Nollywood bachelors.

It was also last year that fast-rising actress and show host, Zainab Balogun, agreed to be wife for life to aviation guru, Dikko Nwachukwu.Although Dikko and Zainab planned for it to be some kind of surprise wedding, it eventually turned out one of the most elaborate and well- attended held in Lagos for the year. If there was any wedding that would get the award for the most kept celebrity secret last year, it would probably be that between stage and screen actress, Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju, and her bae, Chef Fregz.

Until the pre-wedding pictures started popping up on social media, not so many people could link Lala with Fregz. But they were in love and they sealed it at the surprise wedding attended by very close celebrity friends, colleagues and family members.Although this year is still young, fans of popular screen celebrities, such as Bisi Ibidapo-Obe, Ebube Nwagbo, Rita Dominic, Nkiru Sylvanus, Franca Aernam, Benita Nzeribe, Genevieve Nnaji, Lillian Bach, Empress Njamah, Jim Iyke, among others, said they would be on the look out for their pre-wedding photos.

Those Who Have Remained Separated
WHILE some took the decision to become man and wife, those whose marriages hit the rocks between 2017 and last year have remained separated. On that list are notable screen celebrities, such as Mercy Aigbe, Uche Jombo, Lilian Esoro, Damilola Adegbite and Chris Attoh, Patrick and Ireti Doyle, as well as Tonto Dikeh and Oladunni Churchill.

Those who have for a while now remained separated or have either called off their marriages, include Chika Ike, Ini Edo, Fathia Balogun, Stephnora Okere, Oge Okoye, Eucharia Anunobi, Ayo Adesanya, Ibinabo Fiberisma, Shan George and Kate Henshaw.

Those Who Quit The Stage
NOLLYWOOD lost some of its notable players last year. Death dealt a blow on the industry when it snatched notable actor and producer, Chukwudi Amaechina, who was popular as Bambino. The actor and producer died in June.Death also snatched veteran actor, Ignis Ekwe. The native of Fuga in Edo State, who was best known for featuring in television and movie productions, such as Behind The Clouds, Every Day People and Igodo died in July. Others who quit the stage last year include Chris Ekejimbe, Chike Osuji, Okwy Chukwujekwu, Uduak Akrah, Ezeora Nelson Oluchukwu, Nora Nkiruka Ugo, Chike Gbulie and Aishat Abimbola, who was popular as Omoge Campus. Aisha, star of television and movie productions, such as Papa Ajasco, So Wrong, So Right and T’omi T’eje died of breast cancer in May.

Those Who Won Award
A NUMBER of Nollywood personalities won awards last year. Top Nollywood actor, Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD) was declared best actor in a leading role by the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) at the year’s award ceremony held in Kigali, Rwanda. Screen diva, Dakore Egbuson-Akande, received the AMAA for actress in a leading role, while Gideon Okeke and veteran actress, Joke Silva, received the awards for best actor and actress in a supporting role, respectively. Notable movie director, Frank Rajah Arase, got the crest for best director at the AMAA.

The African Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) held last year and there too, Nollywood celebrities were honoured for their talents. Odunlade Adekola was voted best actor in a comedy at last year’s AMVCA, while singer and actor, Falz, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde and Bisola Aiyeola received the best supporting actor, best actress in a drama and trail blazer awards, respectively.

Those Who Grabbed Endorsement Deals
IT was indeed a year of endorsement deals, as notable celebrities took to their social media handles to announce deals they have grabbed. Those who grabbed mouth-watering deals last year include RMD, Kunle Afolayan, Jim Iyke, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Funke Akindele, Chioma Akpotha, Dakore-Akande, Ifu Ennada, Omoni Oboli and Saheed Balogun.

Those Who Helmed Hits
SCREEN diva, Genevieve Nnaji, leads in the long list of notable Nollywood personalities who helmed movies that were critically-acclaimed and well-received last year.Her debut movie as a director, LionHeart, was acquired by the streaming giant, Netflix, becoming the first Nollywood film to earn the acquisition status with company.The movie had earlier premiered at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. Other Nollywood personalities that recorded hits during the year include Mo Abudu, with her Chief Daddy, as directed by Niyi Akinmolayan; Tope Oshin, with her UpNorth; Kemi Adetiba, with her well-helmed movie, King of Boys and Ayo Makun, aka AY, with his Merry Men.


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Gideon OkekeLala Akindoju
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