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Nollywood stars and their stereotyped roles

The beauty of an actor’s craft is the ability for him to deliver every character given to him/her. However, some actors deliver their roles so…

The beauty of an actor’s craft is the ability for him to deliver every character given to him/her. However, some actors deliver their roles so well that it becomes a stereotype in their career. In this Weekend Magazine feature, Daily Trust Saturday spotlights the Nollywood film stars and their stereotyped roles.

Patience Ozokwor – The Wicked Mother-in-Law

Patience Ozokwor, fondly known as “Mama G,” is a renowned Nollywood veteran. Her impeccable acting skills have earned her countless awards and accolades. However, she is often cast in the role of the conniving and wicked mother-in-law. While she shines in these roles, her frequent appearances reinforce the stereotype of the angry mother-in-law, sustaining this unfavourable perception in Nigerian society.

John Okafor (Mr Ibu) – The Clown

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John Okafor, popularly known as Mr Ibu, is celebrated for his comedic timing and slapstick humor. However, he is consistently cast as the bumbling, dim-witted character who stumbles through life’s challenges. While his performances are genuinely funny, his consistent typecasting has led to the perception that he can only play such roles, limiting his potential for more diverse and challenging characters.

Kanayo O. Kanayo – The Occultist

Despite Kanayo O. Kanayo’s considerable acting talent, it is impossible to deny that he is frequently cast in occult-related parts. He is frequently depicted as a wicked ritualist or witch doctor, which contributes to the perception of such figures as the embodiment of evil, increasing beliefs and misconceptions of money rituals in Nigerian society.

Pete Edochie – The Wise Old Man

Pete Edochie is an iconic figure in Nollywood, renowned for his wisdom and sage-like demeanor. However, he is frequently cast as the elderly, all-knowing character who dispenses advice and moral lessons. While his performances are compelling, this repeated cast has reinforced the stereotype that elderly people are always wise and all-knowing.

Jim Iyke – The Playboy

Jim Iyke is a prominent Nollywood actor known for his versatility and ability to take on various roles in Nigerian cinema. While he has played a wide array of characters throughout his career, a particular role he’s most known for is that of a playboy. Jim Iyke often portrayed the charismatic and suave romantic leads in romantic and dramatic films. His good looks, charisma, and acting skills made him a popular choice for roles that involve complex love interests.

Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme – The Comic Duo

Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme, also known as Aki and Pawpaw, are a dynamic comedy combo. While their connection and humour are evident, they are primarily stereotyped as the humorous, vertically challenged characters. This fosters prejudices about people with dwarfism, limiting the roles they can play.

Tony Umez – The Blind Lover

Tony Umez is a popular Nollywood actor who excels in a variety of roles. While he has played a variety of roles throughout his career, he is best known for playing the role of a fool in love and the easily duped fiancé. In his early days in Nollywood, Tony portrayed characters who were under the power of women, and his facial expressions were consistent throughout each of these parts. He would always look in love and ready to do every of the woman’s bidding.

Genevieve Nnaji – The Prince’s Bride

Genevieve Nnaji is one of Nollywood’s most celebrated and versatile actresses, known for her ability to portray a wide range of characters. While she has taken on various roles throughout her career, some of the character types she’s been particularly known for playing the Prince’s bride. Genevieve has played the lead role in many romantic films, where she portrays the love interest or partner of the male lead. Her on-screen chemistry with co-stars has made her a beloved figure in romantic and love-themed movies.

Ramsey Noauh – The Lover boy

Ramsey Nouah is one of Nollywood’s most versatile actors, and his career has spanned a wide range of characters and roles. However, one of his prominent roles is that of a lover boy. : Ramsey Nouah has often portrayed the charming and charismatic romantic lead in many Nollywood romantic films. His on-screen chemistry and ability to convey emotions have made him a beloved figure in romantic dramas and comedies.

Nkiru Sylvanus – The Crying Lady

Although Nkiru Sylvanus has portrayed a variety of roles in Nollywood throughout her career, she always plays emotional roles that demand a lot of crying. Even when she tries to diversify, her crying roles overshadowed her other roles and made her popular among her colleagues.

Mercy Johnson: The Village girl/Comedian

Mercy Johnson, despite her versatility, has mostly appeared in movies as a village girl or a comic. She frequently portrayed a young woman from a small village dealing with the difficulties of village life. Other times, she used her comedic abilities to add to the plot’s comedy and lightheartedness. Her ability to connect with these folks and provide depth to their experiences gained her critical acclaim.


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