As the world celebrates women today, Daily Trust sheds light on some Nigerian women making waves in the entertainment industry.
Emem Isong is a Nigerian screenwriter, film producer, and director. She has become known primarily for film in the English language and is a dominant figure in the industry.
Isong has spent nearly 30 years in Nollywood and has left her mark in many areas of filmmaking. She has over 40 films under her belt as a producer, screenwriter, and director.
Emem Isong, alongside Uduak Oguamanam, Anietie Isong, and Monalisa Chinda, founded the Royal Arts Academy in 2010.
The Academy aims to educate aspiring actors and filmmakers.
She is regarded as one of the purveyors of the new Nigerian movie industry which has favoured more cinema releases than home video, which was previously practised.
Kemi Adetiba is a Nigerian filmmaker, television director, and music video director whose work has appeared on Netflix, Channel O, MTV Base, among others.
Her foray into filmmaking began with the creation of music videos.
Adetiba has directed music videos for artistes such as Wizkid, Tuface, Tiwa Savage, and many others.
She released a short film, titled ‘Across a Bloodied Ocean’ in 2009, after graduating from New York Film Academy. ‘The Wedding Party’ was her first feature-length film.
Adetiba later released another blockbuster, ‘King of Boys’, following the success of the ‘The Wedding Party.’
Mosunmola Abudu, popularly known as Mo Abudu, is a Nigerian media mogul, philanthropist, and former human resources manager and consultant.
She has been described by Forbes as ‘Africa’s most successful woman’ and rated as one of the ’25 most powerful women in Global Television’ by the Hollywood Reporter.
The media career of Mo Abudu took off with her talk show, ‘Moment with Mo’.
She later founded EbonyLife TV, which gave birth to EbonyLife Films.
With EbonyLife Films, she produced and co-produced films such as ‘The Wedding Party,’ ‘The Wedding Party 2′, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel,’ ‘Chief Daddy’, ‘Your Excellency’, and ‘1tre’.
Abudu recently acquired the right to make a film about Ramon Abass, Aka Hushpuppi — an international fraudster.
She has received both local and international recognition for her contribution to the development of the Nigerian film industry and Africa as a whole.
Akindele- Bello Olufunke, popularly known as Jenifa, is a Nigerian film actress and producer.
She starred in the sitcom ‘I need to know’ from 1998 to 2002, and in 2009, she won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
She has produced films such as ‘Omo Ghetto’, ‘Jenifa’, ‘Return of Jenifa’, and ‘Maami’, among others.
Following the success of ‘Jenifa’, Akindele’s production company, Scene One Film Productions, released a spinoff TV series titled ‘Jenifa’s Diary’.
She has continued to appear in films and direct some of her projects such as ‘Omo Ghetto: The Saga,’ which is reportedly Nigeria’s highest-grossing film of all time, with over N600m.
Tiwatope Savage-Balogun, popularly known as Tiwa Savage, is a British-Nigerian singer, songwriter and actress. She relocated to London at the age of 11 for her secondary education.
Five years later, she began her music career, doing backup vocals for artists such as George Michael and Mary J. Blige. She is undoubtedly one of the richest female musicians in Nigeria.
Tiwa signed her first publishing deal with Sony/ATV music in 2009, it helped her grow her musical career in the Nigerian music industry, which motivated her to sign her first deal with Mavin Records in 2012 when she finally moved down to Nigeria.
Her first hit single ‘Kele Kele Love’ from her debut album ‘Once upon a Time’ made its way to the Nigerian music charts.
Tiwa has performed in many local and international shows; she is also a brand ambassador to Maggi, Forte oil, Pepsi, and Konga.
Simisola Bolatito, also known by her stage name, Simi, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress.
She started her career as a gospel singer, releasing her debut album in 2008 titled ‘Ogaju’.
The music sensation shot into the limelight in 2014 with the song ‘Tiff’. Since then, she has not gone down in the male-dominated music industry.
Her outstanding voice, music style, relatable lyrics, and expertise makes her one of the A-list female musicians in Nigeria.
In 2014, Simi made a debut with a single titled ‘Jamb Question’, after the release of her well-embraced single titled ‘Soldier’ featuring Falz. She also did another one titled ‘Chemistry’, which got her nominated into the three categories of the Headies 2016, where she won an award.
Simi got her biggest record ‘Duduke’ during the pandemic in 2020 while pregnant and dedicated the song to her daughter, after her marriage with her fellow singer Adekunle Gold in 2019.
The song was among the Top 10 Nigerian songs in 2020.
Temilade Openiyi, also known as Tems, is a Nigerian Singer. In 2021, she earned two US top 40 entries on the Billboard hot 100, with her collaboration with Drake on the song “Fountains” from his album ‘Certified Lover Boy’ and the Wizkid single “Essence”.
She reached the Top 10 following a remix with Justin Bieber and earned her a Grammy Award nomination.
Tems has won two NAACP Image awards and a soul Train Music Awards.
Rahama Sadau is a Kannywood actress, businesswoman, filmmaker, dancer, and singer born and brought up in Kaduna State.
She performed in dancing competitions as a child and during her school years.
She rose to fame in late 2013 after she joined the Kannywood movie industry with her first movie ‘Gani ga wane’.
She has appeared in many Nigerian movies in both Hausa and English and is one of the few Nigerian actors that speak Hindi fluently.
Rahama was the winner of the Nest Actress (Kannywood) at the City People’s Entertainment Awards in 2014 and 2015.
She also won Best African Actress at the 19th African Film Award in 2015 by African voice.
In 2017, she became the first Hausa Celebrity to appear in the 10 hottest female Nigerian celebrities.
Throughout her career, she has been a busy actress, appearing in both movies and music videos.
Rahama played a few minor roles before gaining fame from her performance in Gani ga wane’, Jinin jikina alongside a Kannywood Actor, Ali Nuhu.
She was recognised in October 2016, as that year’s “Face of Kannywood”
She was also featured in a movie series on EbonyLife TV and in 2017, she formed a production company named Sadau Pictures, where she produced her first Movie, Rariya, starring popular actors like Ali Nuhu, Sani Musa Danja, Sadiq Sani Sadiq, and Fati Washa.
Hassana and Hussaina
Hassana and Hussaina Musa Abdullahi, also known as Twins of Kannywood, are Kannywood’s most celebrated identical twins.
Hassana graduated from Aminu Kano College for Islamic and legal studies while Hussaina is a graduate of Kano state school of Hygiene and is presently working with the State Ministry of Environment.
The twins took the Hausa movie industry by surprise when they ventured into acting. They became popular with the role played in the TV series ‘Dadin Kowa’, which aired on Arewa24.
They featured in films like Mairon Kauye and Mizani.
They have over 30 movies to their credit and have interpreted wonderfully in every role given to them in movies such as; Sai Nayi Kudi, Talatu Numba Daya, Kidiri, among others.
Maryam Apaokagi, professionally known as Taaooma, is a Nigerian comedian, content creator, cinematographer and social media influencer.
The comedian, who spent most of her early years in Namibia, is known for acting multiple roles in her comedy skits.
She started online comedy in 2015, after convincing her fiance to teach her the basics of video editing.
Taaooma rose to stardom in 2019 with a skit based on African parents taking their children to school.
In 2019, she was the face of Media Room Hub’s July issue; her skits are centred on exposing African mothers and their unique manner of disciplining African children with a slap.
She has built a reputation for herself in the entertainment industry with her skits.