Six Nollywood leading men still hitting right notes at 60 plus
The spotlight is on six leading Nollywood men in their 60s, from a long list, who are still hitting the right notes on and off screen in their 60s.
Yemi Solade is the latest member of Nollywood’s unofficial club of the 60 and 60 plus. The handsome and rounded actor clocked 60 in January this year and the industry stood up to formally welcome him to the club that already has distinguished thespians, such as Zack Orji, Bimbo Manuel, Jide Kosoko and Bayo Salami as members.
Born on January 31, which makes him an Aquarian, Yemi’s first contact with acting was as a teenager growing up in the Surulere area of Lagos. He wasn’t giving to watching Indian movies, like most of his peers, but he could skip a meal if only to watch a cowboy movie on television.
He fell in love with the American star, John Waynes, and on the local scene, he admired the likes of the late Hubert Ogunde and Duro Ladipo greatly. Those men of the tribe represented for him, the true essence of theatre practice.
An actor of vast credit, it is with those attributes that the native of Abeokuta in Ogun State, who is often cited as a ‘trendy’ and ‘terrific,’ has risen to become a popular star that leaves memories behind each time he graces a picture.
Not only is Yemi greatly sought after by producers both on stage and screen, his story is that of an actor with a screen presence, who is always the lead actor and increasingly regarded as one intense actor that leaves his stamp of quality on each screen and stage appearance.
NOTABLE actor, Olayinka Akanni Ganiu Quadri, aka Yinka Quadri, is another distinguished member of the 60s club.
The actor, producer, scriptwriter and director, who is undoubtedly one screen personality widely admired by the Yoruba moviegoers and patrons, clocked 60 last year. Even at 60, Yinka still looks ‘boyish,’ and remains a darling of the Yoruba movie buffs, who accord him star treatment and would sit to watch a movie once it stars Malomo, an alias he earned from his constant refrain.
Humane and amiable, it is Yinka’s versatility, unrelenting zeal and determination to satisfy his innate desire that have made a way for him and guaranteed him a place on the top rung. Today, he is not just the darling of the Yoruba movie buffs, but also non-Yoruba speaking fans that patronise movies produced in Yoruba.
Taiwo Ogogo Hassan
POPULAR Yoruba actor, Taiwo Babatunde Hassan, is already a gold member of the 60s club. The tall and well-built actor clocked 60 in October last year and must have been warmly welcomed by some of the ‘landlord’ of the club.
An actor’s actor, who is popular as Ogogo and whose debut role on stage was playing Akiigbe (an ewi chanter) in a stage play at the National Museum in Onikan, Lagos, Ogogo as the gifted performer is simply called by close friends is regarded as one of the most successful actors in the Yoruba language divide of the Nigerian motion picture industry.
Tall, dark and good-looking, Ogogo is known to enjoy mass appeal both within and outside Nigeria. Even his colleagues in the industry hold that the Ilaro, Ogun State native, who studied Automobile Engineering at the Federal Technical College in Akoka, Yaba, Lagos, is one of the very few Nigerian screen personalities roundly adored.
NOTABLE actor, Norbert Mcdonald Akpojerharo Young, occupies a significant spot in the club of actors categorised as ‘Elder Artistes.’The actor’s actor, who was 60 last year, is undoubtedly a world-class material. Norbert, a native of Ekpa in Uvwie Council of Delta State, is a Theatre Arts alumnus of the University of Ibadan and University of Benin.
A die-hard theatre practitioner, who had a stint as a copywriter after the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, Norbert is a master on stage and onscreen and has featured in many quality stage and screen productions.
ANOTHER very distinguished member of the 60s club is the very dependable stage and screen actor, Bimbo Manuel. The thespian, writer, broadcaster, the accomplished Theatre Arts graduate of University of Port Harcourt is star of such hit flicks, such as Tango With Me, Sitanda, Esohe, Lotana, Irapada, October 1, Torn, Banana Island Ghost, The Governor, Grey Dawn, Broken and countless television series and soaps, including Checkmate and Tinsel.
He has written, produced and directed two plays- Interview With A Prostitute and Alhaji, which was to run throughout March this year at Terra Kulture, but was suspended after a few runs because of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
POPULAR actor, Zachariah ‘Zachee’ Ama Orji Oke, is also a distinguished member of the 60s club. The 1984 Estate Management graduate of the University of Nigeria (UNN) turned 60 two years ago, having been born on February 4 in Libreville, Gabon.
Zachee, who keeps a well-tended beard, grabbed his debut in the movie, titled, Unforgiven Sin. It was just that debut outing that got the smooth talking native of Mgbowo in Awgu Council of Enugu State on the movie run way. With that outing in Unforgiving Sin, an actor and one that has continued to samba on and off screen was born in Zachee, who combines acting with singing.
So far, the dependable actor has featured in over a hundred movies and television productions, including Evil Men, Brotherhood of Darkness, Out of Cage, Blood Money, Glamour Girls, Blood Vapour and Dead End.