With the rise of streaming, huge wads of cash entering the industry (aka angel investors) and soaring demands for West African content globally, the OG stars of Nollywood, the ones on whose very shoulders the Nigerian film industry today rests, have arrived on TikTok.
The clips from classic movies of the late 90s and early aughts – Living in Bondage, Glamour Girls, Blood Sisters etc.– have found new favour on TikTok, where they form the foundation for reactions inserted in between videos.
Now, the Nollywood stars themselves are on the platform, acting prowess dusted and remodelled for the age of TikTok. There are behind-the-scenes clips from the set of soon-to-be-released acting projects, comedic skits, and videos of the stars jumping on trending challenges, just to name a few.
We compiled a list of the ones we can’t stop watching. See below Eight OG Nollywood stars popping on TikTok right now:
Not so different from the bad boy persona that in the first place catapulted him to the peak of fame in Nollywood, on TikTok, Jim Iyke presents a more mature version of that persona. On the platform, Iyke is not the boisterous, loud, toxic lover he became famous for playing on the screen.
He is a calmer, more reserved version, dolling out clips of himself sporting excellent sartorial ensembles in every shade, from grey to pastels. It’s why 152.1K users have followed him on the platform.
With 2 million followers already on TikTok, Iyabo Ojo serves multiple personalities. Her followers accompany her as she picks out high fashion looks from her closet, trying out different ranges of Chanel sunglasses or sporting summer hot bikini looks. It’s why her fans have bestowed on her the title “Queen Mother.”
But her other form of content has also found mass appeal. Ojo embodies multiple personas, from fake prophets to village lover boys, leaving her fans marvelled.
In under two months, Nollywood veteran Kate Henshaw went from zero to 109.76K followers on TikTok. With just under 33 videos since she made her debut she has drawn 6.61 million views.
Fans have followed the screen goddess for her giddy fitness videos, peppered with dance videos of the latest dance challenges on repeat on the “For You” page.
In one recent video that has garnered over 300k views, decked in her Saturday Owanbe attire, she raps to Nicki Minaj almost flawlessly.
Relatively new on the scene, Chidi Mokeme, the resplendent Nollywood leading man, has very quickly gotten the trick and adjusted to the demands of the platform.
He made his debut with the real thing, a clip from his most recent project Shanty Town, alongside another living legend, Richard Mofe Damijo. As he puts it “The survival these days is eehh… you have to adapt,” he said on TikTok’s newest podcast, #TeaTalk hosted by Toke Makinwa.
If you’re nostalgic for the old Guilder Ultimate Search show (which he hosted), he also has that covered. In a post he aptly captioned “BADDEST…. THAT YEAR. KING OF SUSPENSE,” he shares a clip from the show.
He has since moved on to jumping on trends, embodying his characters from upcoming projects and sharing videos draped in stunning sartorial offerings.
On TikTok, Ngozi Ezeonu is firmly at home. The veteran actress has already amassed over 1.4 million followers on the platform. Her content is unabashedly funny, witty and reminiscent of the characters she played and continues to play: middle-aged mothers doing middle-aged mother things.
She has quickly mastered infusing her content with old Nollywood sound bites. Her favourite? Osita Iheme screaming, “Shut up!” Even the “Give Me Some” challenge of Beyonce’s Partition has not been spared by her.
Rita Dominic, who recently made her return to TikTok, is finally here to stay. So far, 286.5K users have endorsed her return and given her the coveted follow button. With her content, she is leaning into her strength, fashion and beauty.
Already, she has a full-face makeup look, no makeup makeup look and glam videos.
With an army of 118.5K followers, Eucharia-Anunobi Ekwu is not slowing down. Her nuggets of life, of some sort, conjure those of the madame-esque characters she was famous for back in the hay days.
“Don’t let anyone deceive you”, she declares in one video. “A man is not a full man if he doesn’t own a piece of land.” Or in another “Stop manipulating your friends all in the name of ‘you must show me loyalty.’ Pay them for services rendered,” she says.
Richard Mofe Damijo
If you are in the market of Richard Mofe Damijo professing his love for Genevieve Nnaji, then you are in luck. In one classic clip on his TikTok, the veteran actor says to her “Are you an angel? Tell me, ‘Where have you been all my life?’”
It’s the sort of goofy content that popularises his TikTok and has gotten him 175.1K followers on the platform. In many videos, he goofs around dancing, playing and just good old having fun on the internet.
The video of him dancing to Asake’s Lonely at the Top has been watched 1.1 million times.
While these are the actors that are on our radar right now, many NollywoodY2K stars have made their TikTok debuts.