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From runway to TV screens: Models who have turned big movie stars

While an actor does not necessarily have to look beautiful or handsome, having good looks in the entertainment sector is usually a plus. However, in…

While an actor does not necessarily have to look beautiful or handsome, having good looks in the entertainment sector is usually a plus. However, in the fashion industry, a model needs to look good. While the film and fashion sectors are both in the entertainment industry, it is not often easy for players in both sectors to cross the board. As the saying goes, there are always exceptions to every rule, Weekend Magazine highlights these ‘exceptions’ and takes a sneak peek into the lives of some models who found their way from the runway to the television screen and are now star actors.

Kunle Remi

Kunle Remi is currently one of the hottest male actors in town courtesy of his portrayal as the lead male character, Saro, in Kunle Afolayan’s blockbuster film, Anikulapo.

Born Oyekunle Opeyemi Oluwaremi on October 18, 1988, before he found his feet in the Nigerian film industry, the young man was a model. Remi began his modelling career with ISIS models. He has since featured in advert campaigns for brands such as Airtel, MTN Nigeria, DStv, and Diamond Bank.

While venturing into acting, he has featured in blockbuster movies like Gold Statue (2019), A Naija Christmas (2021), 13 Letters (2021), Anikulapo (2022).

Erica Nlewedim

Born Nlewedim Ngozi Ugomma Erica in Umuahia, Abia State. Erica is an only child who was raised in Lagos by her mother. Although she gained prominence due to her participation in the Big Brother Naija reality television show, the young lady had always been in the spotlight. 

Erica discovered her modelling talent at a young age. In 2013, she became the brand Ambassador for Natures Gentle Touch. In 2014, she participated in the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MGBN) pageant where she quickly became a fan favourite which earned her the MBGN Miss Photogenic award. 

The competition made her gain massive recognition which saw her work with high-profile brands. She also featured in a Peak Milk TV advert alongside Nigerian pop artiste, Falz.

Erica’s acting career kicked off in 2015 with a lead role in Secrets and Scandals. Since then, she has been featured in several movies like; The Wig (2021), Devil in Agbada (2021), Bitter Rain (2021), The Blood Covenant (2022), Win or Lose (2022).

Alexx Ekubo

Alex Ekubo-Okwaraeke was born on April 10, 1986. He wormed his way into the hearts of Nigerians through his participation in the Mr Nigeria contest. 

He was the first runner-up at the 2010 Mr Nigeria contest. Ekubo’s film debut was a minor role in Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen’s Sinners in the House (2005); however, his first major role was in Ladies Men several years later. 

Ekubo won the Best Actor in a Supporting Role award at the 2013 Best of Nollywood Awards for his role in the Weekend Getaway. The ace actor has been featured in movies like Fate of Alakada (2020), Son of Mercy (2020), Devil in Agbada (2021), The Blood Convenant (2022).

IK Ogbonna

Ikechukwu Mitchel Ogbonna is fondly known as IK Ogbonna by his fans. He is also a model who crossed over to the film industry. While still modelling, the young man took part in the audition for the Amstel Malta Box Office television show, a platform known to train actors, in 2005 and was picked.

IK Ogbonna is also referred to as the prince of fashion, as seen from his unique appearances on red carpet events. He has taken on modelling projects and advertisement campaigns. He is the current brand ambassador for Dorco Shaving Stick.

The 38-year-old began his acting career after completing his tertiary education by joining the Nigerian film industry, popularly known as Nollywood. His debut in the film industry occurred in 2013 when he starred in Love Lorn produced by Rukky Sanda. 

Angela Okorie

Angela Okorie is a beautiful actress that also has a modelling background. The delectable actress started her career as a model. She did both commercial and fashion modelling for a while before delving into the film industry.

Okorie ventured into Nollywood in 2009, after a decade of modelling for a soap company. Her first movie was Sincerity in 2009, however, her break into the limelight came after she starred in Holy Serpent.

In 2014, she was described as one of the “most sought-after actresses” in Nollywood and the next year, she won the best City People Entertainment Awards for Best Supporting Actress. She is also noted to have acted in more than 100 films between 2009 and 2014. She is also a singer.

Emmanuel Ikubese

Emmanuel Ifeanyi Ikubese was born on August 12 1991. The actor who hails from Delta State migrated to Kenya in a bid to bag a Bachelor’s degree where he applied to the United States International University Africa in Nairobi to study International Relations and eventually got accepted and obtained a B.Sc. degree upon completion of his course duration.

He began his career as a professional model on his university’s campus and eventually was crowned Mr Nigeria as well finishing as the first Runner-up at the Mr World male pageant. 

Ikubuese after his successful run as a model ventured into the Nigerian movie industry and gained significant recognition after he secured a role in MTV’s television series, Shuga, where he played the role of a character named Femi.

Moreso, he made his directorial debut in 2019 with a TV series titled Kyaddala which is a Ugandan word meaning “It’s real” when translated into the English language.