Meet Nollywood’s Top 5 Actresses …Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Them

They are beautiful, talented, award winners, famous celebrities, well paid and they are unarguably Nollywood’s top 5 actresses: at least, to me. Between them, they have over 200 movies to their credit and they are not quitting your screens anytime soon.

Top on the list is mother of four and wife to Capt. Matthew Ekeinde, Omotola Jolade-Ekeinde.  Apart from being one of the most successful Nollywood actresses, Omosexy as she is popularly referred to by her fans is also a singer with an album (Gba,2006) to her name. She is also involved in extensive charity work in Nigeria and abroad especially as UN ambassador. Omotola’s claim to fame in Nollywood is her role as a sickle cell patient who fights for survival in the movie “Mortal Inheritance (1995)” which is still regarded as one of Nigeria’s best movies ever filmed.

Omotola who has acted in blockbuster movies such as “Games Women Play”, “Blood Sisters”, “All My Life”, “Last Wedding”, “Ties That Bind” and recently “Last Flight To Abuja” had her beautiful white wedding aboard a DASH 7 aircraft flying from Lagos to Benin in April, 2001. Nobody has been able to match that feat till date as far as celebrity weddings in Nigeria is concerned.


Following closely on the list is petite single mother of one and face of Range Rover SUVs in Nigeria, Genevieve Nnaji (MFR). Genevieve who was born in Mbaise, Imo state started her acting career as a child actress in the then popular television soap opera “Ripples” at the age of 8 and will later go on to star in over 80 Nollywood movies.


For this former “Face of Lux” in Nigeria and winner of Best Actress in a Leading Role award at the 2005 African Movie Academy Awards, acting is a passion. She has appeared in such movies as “Most Wanted”, “Last Party”, “Mark of the Beast”, “30 Days (this film received 10 nominations at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2008, including Best Picture, Best Art Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Edit, Best Costumes and Best Sound)”, “Beautiful Soul (this film received 3 African Movie Academy Award nominations for Best Screenplay, Best Soundtrack and Heart of Africa)” and “Mirror Boy” amongst others. Besides being an actress and face of various brand products, Genevieve also has a music album “One Logologo Line, 2004” a mix of R&B, Hip-Hop and Urban Music.

Black and Beautiful… Genevieve

She is rumored to share the spot of ‘highest paid actress’ in Nigeria with Omosexy and wait for it, referred to as the “Julia Roberts of Africa”, what other comparism could be greater? Genevieve who has a clothing line “St. Genevieve” launched in 2008, donates its proceeds to charity.

Third on the list is sultry and beautiful Stephanie Okereke from Imo state. This graduate of English and Literary studies from the University of Calabar was a runner up for the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria beauty pageant of 2002.

Stephanie who is a graduate of the New York Film Academy was involved in a serious car accident that left her with burns all over and a broken leg back in April of 2005 is also a script writer, director and producer. This winner of the 2006 Afro Hollywood Award for Best Actress has acted in movies such as “Blind Justice”,”Woman on Top”, “Sitanda (this film received 9 nominations and won 5 awards at the 3rd African Movie Academy Awards in 2007, including Best Picture & Best Nigerian Film)”, “Through the Glass (she wrote the script, acted in, directed and produced it)” and “Nnenda (received 3 nominations at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2010, including the nomination for Heart of Africa).”

Stephanie Okereke-Idahosa

Stephanie Okereke In April 2012 married Dr. Linus Idahosa in Paris, France, at a private fairy tale wedding ceremony that should unarguably be Nollywood’s most glamorous wedding in recent history. The union was witnessed by members of her family and scores of Nollywood actresses, actors and top government functionaries.

This list cannot be complete without the incredibly talented, witty and beautiful popular Yoruba actress and Glo brand ambassador, Akindele Olufunke Ayotunde simply known as Funke Akindele aka Jenifa aka Sulia aka gbogbo bigs girl.

This University of Lagos Law graduate and winner of the 2009 African Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role who used to work in television before switching to cinema, became known for her starring role in the family-oriented Nigerian television show, “I Need to Know.” She has gone on to appear more in yoruba flicks such as “Apaadi”, “Leyin Igbeyawo”, “Amiwo”, “Iwa”, “Maami” and the most popular and successful “Jenifa trilogy.”

Funke Akindele-Almaroof aka Jenifa

Funke asides being an actress, is a producer and married to popular Oshodi big boy Alhaji Kehinde Oloyede Al-maroof. The wedding ceremony which was in three parts (Nikkai, Traditional and white wedding) was attended by a few specially invited guests in May, 2012.

Last but certainly not the least is Mercy Johnson Ozioma popularly known as Mercy Johnson who burst into limelight with her role as a possessed house help in the movie “The Maid, 2004.” What most don’t know is that had Mercy not failed her JAMB exams, she wouldn’t have found her way to Nollywood. So, I guess we have JAMB to thank for unearthing this bundle of talent in the most mysterious way yet.

Mercy Johnson

For this native of Okene in Kogi state, growing up was tough as she had difficulties paying her school fees most times. She also reveals that she worked as a house maid to survive but today, the story is different for this winner of the 2009 African Film Award for best supporting actress.

Mercy Johnson has appeared in movies such as “Married to the Enemy”, “Keziah”, “Corporate Maid”, “Clash of Twins”, “Royal Tears” among other numerous flicks and is married to Prince Odianosen Okojie.

Now you got it, who else do you think should have been in this exclusive  top 5 list of Nollywood actresses?




  1. I think the like of ini Edo,Tonto diko(not how far but how well)Odunade adekolaand Rita dominic should b in the above list and is so difficult τ̲̅ȍ select .J̶̲̥̅̊μ̥§τ̣̣̥ 5

  2. Hnstly n sincerely,dis top 5 r perfectly selected n chosen..buh den if uhad made it d top 10,den ihad suggest Ini Edo n Tonto Dike inclusive cos dis 2ladies fricks me,xpclly wen dey speak,dey speak so fluently n ders dis passion in d action dey display jst like dis top 5 selected…well d truth is dah u guys r d best…

  3. D above list if fyn buh I av a prob wv u selectin frm english movies more, its kald nolywood, nt englishwood, whr du u kip fathia balogun, iya rainbow, lola idije, ds r stars, acting wv passion and as if reality xcept ur chkin societal influence n nt rating potentials. Morover I wud v preferd patience ozokwuo to mercy johnson. Al d same gud job

  4. Which genny b4 omotola.OMOTOLA IS NUMBER ! I REPEAT NUMBER 1 infact this writer is a very good one.It’s nt by overhype or fame let’s talk success omootla hasn it.Is it marital success,career success.Omotola has d highest fan online,she is an ALL ROUNDER-a good role model,she has won a best award dat is screennation award and is amnesty ambassador alog with keira knightley.Do u knw who keira is? an oscar winning A-list hollywood actress.What else makes u the top? abeg omotola is number 1 it’s nt abt overhypin genny here.I disagree funke akindele shldnt be there u cnt be a top actress wit just 1hit movie rita dominic shld be there den funke can join in tops 10 for those callin tonto tonto who? she will be amog top 50.The remainin five shld be Rita D,INI,UCHE,KATE HENSHAW ND STELLA EVEN BIMO AKINTOLA CAN SHARE SAME SPOT AS KATE! tonto who? tonto is nt even an A-LIST

  5. i tink d person where blog this needs proper orientation not to be bias. if u r a fan of some actresses no mean say na them be d best. i may agree with omotala and gene but others are not suppose to be on d top five maybe stephanie to sum extent. what happen to ini edo, stalla damascus, patience ozoguo, rita dominic, kate henshaw, bimbo akintola these r actresses that coin d name nollywood. as for d top spot omotola and genevieve can contest it since liz benson is no longer active she’ll always be no 1 but if im to choose btw d two i enjoy genevieve films more.

  6. Omotola rightly deserves to be number one, she has had a hugely succesful year and she’s going stronger.Her TRM show is the bomb…

  7. mercy nwa mama should be d first,given the tym d others have put into acting and their level of success,i give it to MJ.abeg comot steph put ini

  8. Liz Benson should have taking the no 1 possition if we are to start from the cradle followed by omotola thirdly by geneviev fourthly by ini edo then lastly Rita Dominique , . We r talking about actresses with a rare gem, with a combination of beauty, poise styles charisma, naturalness, yrs of hard work and above all their acting prowell.

  9. that list is perfect. At last someone is thinking only that a sixth person would be stella. To complete four making ten then lets include patience,joke, ini and rita

  10. another thing is that you can see originality in omotola and funke. Ini,tonto,mercy,oge all act alike like genny. The two above have also proven their versatility in both english and yoruba thumbs up for them

  11. hy guyz i fnk mercy shud b 1st lt 4gt hw influential omotola n genny r n get dwn to d real qualities.if u wnt to b kald a prfct actress,u shud b able to play any kinda role.b it a prgnant woman,tout,kiarn moda,an orphan,a princess as in wen dy cal u in any part u r dere.dnt 4gt dat omosexy n genny cn neva act any of dis ruggd part bt wen u kal MJ SHEZ DIA B IT A MAD WMAN,KIARN MODA,PRISTESS,LUNATIC,TOUT,VILLAGE GURL N SO ON SHEZ ALWAZ DIA WEN U KAL HA TO ACT ANI OF DZ PART.U C AL DZ FNZ SHEZ DUIN I BET U NO1 CN DU IT NT EVN OMOSEXY N GENNY MJ ACTS N SHE TOUCHES PEOPLE’S HRT WIT IT SHE CRIES N EVRY1 Z TOUCHD TO D XTNT OF CRYN.MERCY Z ALSO A COMEDIAN IN NOLLYWOOD N SHEZ A GRT ACTRS IF I WIA D OWNA OF DZ BLOG SHZ D NO1.IT NT ABT D FAME IT BAW D NAME 4GT D FAME OMOSEXY N GENNY HAZ MADE N TLK BW D NAME DY LFT CZ I KNW IF DY LIV D INDUSTRY DY WUD NT B REMEMBAD BY AL BT IF MJ LIVS SHE ALWAZ WUD B REMEMBAD BCZ OF D NAME SHE LFT BHIND.

  12. Don’t be partial in judging, if we are talking of all-round, then d first 3 names are ok but for Funke and MJ, they can be replaced with Ini Edo and Tonto Dike. Forget that Tonto is a crazy girl but we are not taking of moral aspect but physical appearance and acting combined. Yes, MJ can act perfectly and she is tall but she is not as beautiful as Tonto n Ini Edo. Tonto n Ini can act n they have all it takes to be a woman, even Rita Dominic and Patience… No hard feelings

  13. Genny should have been d number one on d list, talking about award r u sure she has not won more awards dan omotola? She is a very unique girl, she has her own way of doing things and when she does them there is always a huge difference, most of d actresses u r comparing to her wish strongly to be like her and for dat reason they r working hard in other to be like her eg mercy and if fortunately she did not just become like her but rather became more than her it is very gud and all credits goes to genny coz she made her have d inspiration, I’m sure every gud parents will be happy to see their children doing better than them coz it will give them joy so dis is applicable in dis case. Comparing omotola to genny is something I don’t usually do coz I love genny and might not be able to see reasons y she will never be the best in everything. I don’t think since I grow up as a young lady I have ever seen genny not playing any part given to her very well, so I think is just a matter of whom u like period they r all gud in their different ways….


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