Who is the first actress in Nigeria?


Nollywood Industry

Nollywood is a term that represents the Nigerian film industry just the way Hollywood represents the American film industry.

The history of Nollywood could be traced back to an article that was published in the New York times in the early 2000s. The article was written by Matt Steinglass who is the term to describe Nigerian cinema.

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History of Nollywood

However, there is no generally agreed definition for the term- Nollywood. Though Alex Eyengho defined it as the totality of events taking place in the Nigerian film industry using any of the languages like English, Igbo, Edo, Hausa, Yoruba, and any of the over 300 languages in Nigeria.

The history of Nollywood started during the pre and post-independence era in Nigeria through the efforts of pioneers like Chief Hubert Ogunde, Chief Amata, Ade Love, Baba Sala, Eddie Ugbomah, and others.

Nollywood can also be used to define some Ghanaian movies that are produced by Nigerian companies or for Nigerian audiences.

However, some critics have disagreed that Nollywood is perfect for the Nigerian film industry due to the fact that it is the product of imperialism which means that it is the name coined by a foreigner just to make it suit their taste.

While some Nigerians compare Nollywood to American Hollywood there are some factors to consider.

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Hollywood movies have a high budget that is in millions of dollars and take a whole lot of time for a movie to be shot with large Crews and movie equipment wild Nigerian movies take at least a week to a month for a movie to be produced using a budget of $15000 dollars which is very poor.

Nollywood is a very big movie industry which is said to be the second largest in the whole world After India’s Bollywood this is because in terms of film output Nigerian rate of movie production is very high as it produces over 2500 movies yearly.

It was in the 1960s that production of movies in Nollywood began and the filmmakers then are known to be the first generation of filmmakers in Nigeria.

According to research the father, founder, and pioneer of Nollywood in Nigeria is Hubert Ogunde.

Nollywood industry is divided originally just like the country’s politics is divided into the east the West and the North.


The eastern Nollywood is known as Asaba movies due to the high rate of movies produced in the area and quite a lot of them are in the Igbo language.

Though this part of Nollywood has produced a lot of actors and actresses who are very popular in the movie industry, in recent times it is shame to being underrated by the newly rising cinema Nigerian movie.

The West has its own Nollywood specialty with a lot of prominent Yoruba actors. it has also produced a lot of blockbuster movies since 1960.

Northern Nigeria has its own movie industry known as Kannywood. Over there they have there movie stars and celebrities with popular movies too.

First Nollywood Actress

There are many unknown actresses that have acted in Nigerian films before 1960 after Nigeria’s Independence day notable actress has been at the forefront of the Nigerian movie industry is Genevieve Nnaji.

Brief biography of Genevieve Nnaji

Genevieve is a Nigerian actress director and producer who was born on 3rd May 1979.
She became the first Nigerian actress who won the best actress in a leading role at the African movie academy awards in 2005.

She got the owner to have a member of the order of federal republic of Nigeria in 2011 the Nigerian government does to her contributions and the Nigerian film industry.

Genevieve Nnaji has always been a record-breaker as her first directorial movie – Lionheart made history as Nigeria’s first Netflix original.not just that the movie also got submitted for Oscars award do it was disqualified for its use of English instead of the native language.

Genevieve Nnaji is from Mbaise in Imo State but she was raised in Lagos. She wasgiven birth to in a middle-class family of eight children and her father was an engineer while her mother was the nursery school teacher.

After a primary school location, she attended methodist girls secondary school in Yaba Lagos before she moved on to the University of Lagos where she earned a degree in creative arts. This is why she was a student at the university that she started going for Nollywood auditions.

Aside Genevieve’s movie career she has also been booked for several commercials four major brands like pronto (a beverage company), Omo detergent, and others.

She was made ‘Face of Lux’ in Nigeria and the deal was very lucrative. She also launched her clothing line in 2008 and named it St. Genevieve declaring that proceeds from the business will go to charity. She was made the official ‘Face of Mud’ in Nigeria by May of 2010.

Here are some of the movies Nigeria’s first movie actress has to her portifolio:

Year Film
1987 Ripples
1998 Most Wanted
1999 Camouflage
2001 Love Boat
Death Warrant
2002 Valentino
Fire Dancer
Sharon Stone
Power of Love
Formidable Force
Battle Line
2003 Above Death: In God We Trust
Blood Sister
Break Up
By His Grace
Church Business
Deadly Mistake
Emergency Wedding
Emotional Tears
For Better for Worse
Jealous Lovers
Keeping Faith: Is That Love?
Last Weekend
Late Marriage
My Only Love
Not Man Enough
Passion & Pain
Player: Mr. Lover Man
Private Sin
Sharon Stone in Abuja
Super Love
The Chosen One
Women Affair
2004 Bumper to Bumper
Critical Decision
Dangerous Sister
Goodbye New York
He Lives in Me
Into Temptation
My First Love
Never Die for Love
Promise Me Forever
Stand by Me
We Are One
2005 Darkest Night
Games Women Play
2006 Girls Cot
30 Days
2007 Letters to a Stranger
Keep My Will
Warrior’s Heart
Unfinished Business
Winds of Glory
2008 Beautiful Soul
Heart of Africa
Broken Tears
Critical Condition
River of Tears
My Idol
Love My Way
2009 Silent Scandals
2010 Ijé: The Journey
Tango with me
Bursting Out
Mirror Boy
2011 Sacred Lies
2012 Weekend Getaway
2013 Half of a Yellow Sun
Doctor Bello
2014 The Truth with Olisa
2015 Road to Yesterday
2018 Lionheart



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