Meet singers who are cashing-out in moviedom
If you think that all they have to offer as entertainers is to mount the raised platform to sing, then you have not been following the career path of some of our pop singing sensations. Although they have all made names as singers, the spotlight is on a few that have led in the pack amongst those that have transcended their singing abilities to become notable faces on the silver screen.
Here are a few of the more notable singers turned actors:
IF there is any Nigerian singer that has cashed out big time in Nollywood, then it is the legendary singer Onyeka Onwenu. At a time, the Nigerian singer, writer, right activist, journalist, and politician was in three out of every 10 hit movies released in Nollywood. Her inimitable run as an actress made most producers engage her back to back in the Nollywood years of yore.
Indeed the singer who is best known for some of her hit songs of the ’80s and 90’s— one of the songs One Love— made wave as a frontline Nollywood actress as evidenced in her taking up major roles in critically acclaimed movies such as Lion Heart, Half of a Yellow Sun, Muna, God’s Calling, the three-part Nollywood movie of the late 90’s titled Conspiracy and Widow’s Cot, which earned her the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) for best actress in a supporting role.
Onwenu was former Chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture and former Director-General of the National Centre for Women Development.
Teniola Apata aka Teni
POP singing sensation Teniola had her acting debut in Dear Affy, the new movie by journalist, PR expert turned movie producer, and director Samuel Olatunji, who is popularly known as Bigsam. The movie, which opened in cinemas last year, was before its release, touted as one of the highly anticipated movies of 2020.
Set in Lagos, Dear Affy is a romantic comedy with an amazing plot twist, which tells the story of a beautiful career lady who is about to get married to the man of her dream and who is on the verge of sealing millions of Naira worth of contract with a conglomerate in the construction industry. He is, however, faced with the proverbial choice of between the devil and the deep blue sea, as sealing the contract is hinged on him having an intimate affair with the female millionaire contractor by all means just a few weeks to his wedding. His choice unlocked series of reactions that led to expected twists and bends.
Teniola featured as ‘Little Angel’ the troublesome girlfriend to Sir Dee of Big Brother’s character, ‘Nerdy Guy’ in the movie, Dear Affy and reviews indicated that she was believable as ‘Little Angel’.
Director of the movie BigSam Olatunji affirmed that he was impressed with the level of acting that Teni who has risen to the top of music charts within two years and has performed in more than 30 countries in recent months, displayed on set.
“She got into it so naturally one would have thought she’s been doing this all her life. She is what we call a natural talent,” said Olatunji.
Although Teni has not starred in any other effort after Dear Affy, close sources say she has received a few scripts, which she is considering and may return to the screen soon.
Remilekun Reminisce Safaru (King of Boys)
HAILED as one of the most popular rappers in Nigeria, Remilekun Safaru, who is popular as Reminisce, became notable among moviegoers after he put up a strong interpretation of the character ‘Makaniki’ in that thriller by Kemi Adetiba King Of Boys (KOB). A singer, rapper, and songwriter who hail from Ogun State, Remilekun’s performance in KOB earned him a well-deserved nomination, his first nomination as an actor at the 2019 edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA). The role was also his first major acting role.
No doubt, Reminisce was one of the revelations of that brilliantly helmed movie and an AMAA endorsement that followed may just make the singer settle for acting as a second career.
POPULAR as Banky Wellington, the popular R ‘n ’B singer is having a smooth run in the movies. He has grabbed a couple of leads and featured as a supporting actor in a few critically acclaimed movies.
Best known for his first single Ebute-Metta, a cover of Rihanna’s Umbrella, the EME record label huncho and husband to the talented actress Adesuwa Etomi Wellington has featured in movies such as Up North and the two-part box office hit, Wedding Party.
Folarin Falana aka FalzTheBahdguy
SON of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Femi Falana, Falz, as Folarin Falana is simply called, studied law, but he has emerged as a top act in the Nigerian music and entertainment scene. Today, the very vocal singer and activist combine acting with singing. He has featured in a couple of movies including Chief Daddy, the two-part movie by Comedian Ayo Makun, Merry Men amongst others.
Tobechukwu Ejiofor aka Illbliss
NIGERIAN rapper, television content producer, and record label executive, Tobechukwu Melvin Ejiofor who is popular as Illbliss or Oga Boss runs a management outfit called The Goretti Company and he is a managing partner at Capital Dreams Pictures, which he runs with award-winning music video director Clarence Peter.
Recipient of a number of industry awards for his effort as a rapper, including the 2017 City People Music Award for Rap/Hip-Hop Artist of the year, Oga Boss made his debut in a 2015 movie titled Hex. But the rapper with five studio albums to his credit had a pronounced appearance in Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys.
Illbliss stunned many of his fans when he interpreted delightfully the role of ‘Odogwu Malay’ in the first diet of KOB, which now features as a series on Netflix. The talented rapper got a lot of positive reviews for his interpretation and the reviews are still pouring in following his believable and impressive performance in the political thriller by Kemi Adetiba.
Other Singers on the Block: Sunny Nneji, Chibuzor Azubuike Nelson aka Phyno; Peter Okoye is also known as Rudeboy, Olamide Baddo.