This list is based on the success of each individual, and people being ranked in the last 10 years.
The actors on this list are ranked according to their decade-long success, which includes awards, nominations, critically-acclaimed role and highest-grossing capacities along with their acting skills, versatility.
In other words, an actor’s commercial success (Africa Movie Academy Awards, Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards and Best Of Nollywood Awards), and influential greatness through their acting skill and role transformation are how the actors were ranked on this list.
10. Odunlade Adekola
Odunlade Adekola first gained prominence as an actor when he acted the lead male role in late Ishola Durojaye’s 2003 movie, ‘Asiri Gomina Wa.’ However, he didn’t break even until the start of this decade – 2011 to be precise. He wrote, directed and produced the comedy film, ‘Opa Kan,’ where he featured Olaniyi Afonja aka Sanyeri. The film became an instant hit with a scene going viral. Odunlade has since become one of the notable actors of the decade. He went on to win the 2017 AMVCA award for Best Comedy in a Yoruba film. The actor also crossed over to feature in some English speaking films that include ‘Wives on Strike’, ‘Nimbe’ and ‘New Money’.
9. Ali Nuhu
Ali Nuhu played his part in the Nigerian film industry winning awards and featuring in some of the big bucks films all through the decade. From ‘Last Flight To Abuja’ to ‘Confusion Na wa,’ ‘Ojukokoro’ and ‘Banana Island Ghost,’ Nuhu proved his worth as a dedicated actor. He also rounded off 2018, like he’s set to do this year with his appearance in AY Makun’s ‘Merry Men’ alongside Ramsey Nouah and Jim Iyke.
8. Bolanle Ninalowo
The story of ‘Perfect Picture’ would be incomplete without the brilliance of American-returnee, Bolanle Ninalowo. The actor worked himself to the brim all the decade combining roles on TV series with box-office movies. Ninalowo will be mostly remembered for his role as Jobe in ‘Perfect Picture’ but also featured in flicks that include ‘Tiwa’s Baggage,’ ‘Black Men Rock,’ ‘My Wife & I,’ ‘Alter Date,’ ‘Divorce not allowed,’ ‘Ghetto Bred’ and ‘Bipolar’ amongst several others.
7. Tope Tedela
Tope Tedela’s foray into professional acting began when he was cast as Julian on 2006 TV Drama, ‘Edge of Paradise’ directed by Greg Odutayo but his break came at the beginning of the decade. From 2011 till 2019, Tope remained busy working on some of the big films that even won him nominations and awards at the AMVCAs, BON, and AMAAs. His roles in films like ‘Awakening,’ ‘Ojukokoro,’ ‘Suru L’ere,’ ‘A Mile from home,’ ‘A Soldier’s Story,’ ‘ What lies within,’ ‘Invincible King,’ ‘Lunch Time Heroes,’ ‘Slow Country,’ and ‘The Lost Okoroshi,’ further attest to his brilliance and being worthy of being on the decade list.
6. Jide Kosoko
Jide Kosoko is one of the most consistent actors of his peers. He has acted in more films than many young actor’s age. Rather than slow down, Kosoko has remained a relevant force featuring in some of the highest-grossing and box office movies. The decade has been good to Kosoko just as he was good to the decade. From ‘Secret Room’ to ‘Stolen Lives’, ‘I’ll take my chances,’ ‘Kasala,’ ‘Thy Will be Done,’ ‘The Meeting,’ ‘Last Flight to Abuja,’ ‘The Royal Hibiscus,’ ‘The Department,’ ‘Merry Men,’ ‘Bling Lagosians,’ and ‘King of Boys,’ he blessed the industry with his talent. Like old wine, he gets better with every role.
5. Gabriel Afolayan
Gabriel Afolayan is another son of legendary actor and filmmaker, Adeyemi Afolayan aka AdeLove. Afolayan, like his big brother Kunle, remained a focal point in the Nigerian film industry in the last decade. With over 17 films to his credit and a yet-to-be-released animation, Afolayan stands tall as one of the actors worthy of recognition for their contribution to the decade. His works include ‘The Antique,’ ‘Tatu,’ ‘Alakada Reloaded,’ ‘Aramotu,’ ‘Ghetto Dreamz,’ ‘Heroes and Zeros,’ ‘Kasala,’ ‘Hood Rush,’ Okafor’s Law,’ ‘Ojuju,’ ‘Gold Statue,’ and ‘Code Wilo,’ where he takes on his second role as a villain.
4. Seun Ajayi
Seun Ajayi has less than 10 films to his credit in this decade but he’s more popular and talented than many hyped role interpreters in Nollywood. He combines TV series with big-screen movies and he does it very well. He’s famous for his character in popular TV series, ‘Hustle’ where he plays the role of a job seeking chap and his experiences in Lagos known as Dayo. Before ‘Hustle,’ Ajayi had featured in web series, ‘Crimson’ and ‘Gidi Up’ as well as short films, ‘Erased’ and ‘Stuck’ all in this decade. His film roles see him working on the same set with Rita Dominic in ‘Suru L’ere’, RMD in ‘God’s Calling,’ and with other notable acts in critically acclaimed ‘Ojukokoro’, ‘Black Val’ and ‘The Lost Okorshi.’
3. Richard Mofe Damijo
You really can’t think of the Nigerian film industry without this ageless veteran, Richard Mofe Damijo, getting his well-deserved mention. With a career that blossomed from TV series, ‘Checkmate’, RMD, as he’s fondly called, has proved to be an institution. Despite taking a break for more almost a decade to join politics and corporate world, RMD returned to grace the 2010s with his gaits and brawns. From the 2014 cinema hit, ‘30 Days in Atlanta’ to ‘Oloibiri’ in 2015, ‘The Wedding Party 1’ in 2016 and return for a sequel in 2017, RMD is deserving of this list. His roles in ‘God’s Calling’ as an amputee grandfather and in ‘Gold Statue’ complements his roles in TV series like ‘Hush’, ‘Tinsel’ and ‘Mr. X family show’. The actor takes the top seat of the actors in highest-grossing films.
2. Blossom Chukwujekwu
Blossom Chukwujekwu made his professional acting debut in 2009, just before this decade. And between 2010 and 2019, Blossom, over time, has evolved beyond his early acting beginnings. In 2015 he won the Best Supporting Actor Award at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for his role as Jato in 2014 production, ‘Finding Mercy.’ From his role in ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ to ‘Black Rose,’ ‘Forever Within Us,’ ‘Okafor’s Law,’ Flower Girl,’ ‘Gbomo Gbomo Express,’ ‘The Visit’, ‘Potato Potahto’ and ‘The Big Fat Lie’, Blossom has proved to be the future of the new Nollywood.
1. Ramsey Nouah
Ramsey Nouah’s filmography is filled with great memories for his fans and movie buffs. Who would have thought the young Ramsey in the 90s will still hold forth as the leading actor over two decades after he first stepped on a movie set? If you liken Ramsey to any Hollywood star, it definitely will be Leonardo Di Caprio. He has played conventional and unconventional roles with various awards to his credit. As of 2019, he crowned his long effort in the industry with a dual role – as a director and supporting lead actor – in one of Nigeria’s most anticipated sequels, ‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free’. Handsome yet talented, some of Ramsey’s roles in the decade were seen in films that include ‘Keeping my Man,’ ‘Busted Life,’ ‘Weekend Getaway,’ ‘Guilty Pleasures,’ ‘Thy Will Be Done,’ ‘Confusion Na Wa,’ ‘Tempting Fate,’ ‘76’, ‘30 Days in Atlanta,’ ‘Private Storm’ and ‘Merry Men’.