Nigeria is one of the leading countries in Africa with rich acting talents. Every year, a new crop of actors emerges from the film industry, some of whom have prospered on the global stage. Most notable are the Nigerian male actors who have dominated Nollywood for a long time.
From emerging talents to veteran actors, Nollywood actors have made Nigerian movies accepted worldwide. If you are a Nigerian movie lover, you will recognise their faces in different movies portraying different characters.
Top 50 Nigerian male actors
There are numerous male actors in the Nigerian film industry, but some have had outstanding careers making them popular among movie lovers. Here is a list of Nigerian male actors you will most likely recognise.
New Nigerian male actors
New and young Nigerian male actors continue to emerge as the Nollywood industry grows. Some of the up-and-coming artists have captivated many movie fans with impressive skills. Here are some of the notable new male actors:
1. Shawn Faqua
Shawn Faqua started acting in 2013 and has appeared in numerous movies. He gained much attention in 2022 following his appearance in Man of God, The Blood Covenant, and Before Valentine’s.
2. Kunle Remi
The Benue State-born entertainer is one of the most notable Nigerian actors of 2022. He is recognised for his roles in the 2022 movies such as Anikalupo, Deserted, Treasury, Borrowed Wealth, and Saint Oyinda.
3. Timini Egbuson
The actor was born on 10 June 1987 in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Besides acting, he is a film producer. Some of the 2022 movies he has appeared in include Hey You!, The Order of Things and Dinner at My Place. His acting breakthrough year was 2021, starring in more than 10 movies.
His full name is Chike Ezekpeazu Osebuka from Lagos State, Nigeria. He has four acting credits since beginning his career in 2017. His movies and TV shows include Battleground: Africa Magic (2017), Life As It Is (2019), and African Movie Channel Original Production – Clandestine (2019).
Folarin Falana is a rising Nigerian actor and singer. He portrayed Femi in the short movie Knee Down and was featured in Chief Daddy 2: Going for Broke. He is also set to be featured in the TV series Church and the movie Brotherhood.
6. Ben Touitou
Ben Lugo Touitou is an Enugu State-born actor known for his role as Edwin in the 2022 movie The Contract. His other movies in 2022 include Mama’s Boy, Helen’s List, The Bait, Wedding Night, Twice Shy, and Before Valentine’s.
7. Kingsley Abasili
The budding actor is a native of Anambra State, Nigeria. He came into the acting scene in 2019 and has made his name in the entertainment industry with a few movies. Some of his acting credits in 2020 include Unroyal, Behind the Chaplet, and Throne of Madness.
8. Zubby Michael
According to IMDb, the Anambra State entertainer has around 23 acting credits, but the number is higher than the one stated on the site. Some of his famous movies include Pretty Liars, Passport, Tiger’s Tail, The Wildflower, and Ikemba. He is also set to appear in Brotherhood and Onyeegwu.
9. Broda Shaggi
His real name is Samuel Animashaun Perry, and he hails from Ogun State, Nigeria. Since 2021, the entertainer has appeared in several movies and TV shows, including The Marriage Fixer, Inside Life, Ponzi, The Razzy Guy, and Dwindle.
10. Pere Egbi
The actor came into the limelight in 2021 when he participated in BBNaija season 6 in 2021. His acting career took an upward projection in 2022 after he appeared in six movies, including When the Hearts Whisper, The Perfect Guy, Infatuation, and The Perfect Arrangement.
Best Nigerian male actors
Some of the top actors have been outstanding in the entertainment industry. Besides starring in numerous movies, they have been nominated for different awards and won some of them both locally and internationally.
1. Ramsey Nouah
He is among Nollywood's best actors and recognisable faces, having starred in more than 180 movies. He has bagged some coveted acting awards, including two-time Best Actor in a Leading Role in the African Movie Academy Award and Best Actor in a supporting role in Best of Nollywood Awards.
2. Desmond Elliot
Desmond comes from Delta State, Nigeria, and is a prominent actor in Nollywood with over 300 acting credits. He began acting in 2000 and is known for movies such as Miss Bamidele’s Girls (2022), Nobody’s Ex (2021), Sweet Melony (2020), and Four Wives and a Mistress (2019).
3. Mike Ezuruonye
Mike Ezuruonye has been featured in over 200 movies and TV shows since making his acting debut in 2004. He won Nollywood Movie Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (2014) and the City People Award for Best Actor of the Year (2014).
4. O.C. Ukeje
O.C. Ukeje boasts approximately 43 acting credits and is recognised for appearing in Shades of Attraction (2021), Unbreakable (2019), and Shine Your Eyes (2020). In addition, he won Nollywood Movie Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (2013), the Africa Movie Academy Award for Most Promising Actor (2008), and the City People Movie Award for Best Actor of the Year (2016).
5. Kenneth Okonkwo
Kenneth Okonkwo has been featured in more than 90 movies and TV shows. He starred in The British Expert (2019), Just in Case (2012), and Heart of a Widow (2011). He won the African Movie Academy Award for a Special Recognition of Pillars of Nollywood in 2013.
6. Anayo Modestus
He was also known as Kanayo. O. Kanayo. He has been acting in Nigeria since 1992 and has approximately 162 acting credits. He won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for starring in Family Battle.
7. Richard Mofe-Damijo
The Delta State-born actor is popularly known for his acting roles in 10 Days in Sun City (2017), 30 Days in Atlanta (2014), and Three Wise Men (2017). He won the African Movie Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (2005) for his role in The Mayors (2004).
8. Ejike Asiegbu
He is also a veteran Nollywood actor, having been in the entertainment industry since 1996. With close to 82 acting credits, the actor won the City People Movie Special Recognition Award (2018) and City People Movie Lifetime Achievement Award (2016).
9. Segun Arinze
He has been featured in more than 120 Nigerian movies and TV shows. Some of his recognisable movie appearances include Without Bounds (2022), Shadow Parties (2021), and Altered Desire (2019). He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor during the Best of Nollywood Awards in 2017.
10. Gbenro Ajibade
Gbenro Ajibade is a writer and actor well-known for his appearance in Cold Calm (2020) and 10 Days in Sun City (2017). He has approximately 17 acting credits in his career. He won the American Golden Picture International Film Festival Best Lead Actor award for his role in Cold Calm.
Other notable actors in this list include Yul Edochie, Silvester Madu, Jim Iyke, Ken Erics, Michael Godson, Alex Ekubo, Richard Mofe-Damijo etc.
Older Nigerian male actors
Some male actors have been in the Nigerian film industry for a long time and have become recognisable faces of Nollywood. Apart from Olu Jacobs and Amaechi Muonagor, here are other veteran male Nigerian actors you will probably recognise:
1. Saint Obi
He made his acting debut in 1998, starring in the movie Sakobi 2: The Final Battle, and has 82 acting credits. Saint was born on 16 November 1965 in River State, Nigeria. His other popular acting roles are in movies such as Take Me to Maama (2002), Festival of Fire (2002), and Heartless (1999).
2. Bob-Manuel Udokwu
The veteran actor was born on 18 April 1967 in Anambra State, Nigeria. He has been in the Nigerian acting industry since 1992 and is recognised for movies such as Living Bondage, Black Maria, Beyond Dreams, and A Time to Love. He has approximately 134 acting credits.
3. Sam Dede
The veteran actor was born Samuel Dedetoku on 17 November 1965 in Lagos State, Nigeria. He first hit the screen in 1999 in the movie Issakaba as Ebube. He is still active in the entertainment industry and has appeared in Foreigner’s God (2022).
4. Charles Okafor
Charles Okafor comes from Anambra State, Nigeria. You will probably recall his face in Idahosa Trails (2017), where he portrays Benson Idahosa. The actor has also appeared in well-known movies such as Computer Girls, My Desire, Omalinze, Executive Connection, and Forest of Promises. He has so far appeared in close to 80 movies and TV shows.
5. Tony Umez
Tony was born on 23 August 1964 and hails from Ogidi, Anambra State, Nigeria. He has been acting since 1998 and has numerous acting credits. His most recent roles include portraying Martins in Lockdown (2021) and Wives & Mothers (2021).
6. Pat Attah
The Anambra State native was born on 17 March 1976 and has been a familiar face in the acting industry since 2000. He is recognised for movies such as Love from Above (2004), More Than Gold (2005), and The Same Day (2012).
7. Hanks Anuku
The veteran Nigerian movie star was born on 27 August 1960 and comes from Delta State, Nigeria. He has been an entertainer in the Nigerian movie industry since 2001, making his debut in the movie Wanted Alive. His other acting credits include Blood on Ice (2006), Treasure Hunt (2007), and Merciful Heart (2016).
8. Ernest Asuzu
He hails from Imo State and was born on 7 May 1984. He ventured into the acting world in 1998 and has approximately 25 acting credits. He is best recognised for movies such as Dirty Game (1998), Last Wedding (2004), and Royal War (2009).
9. Pete Odochie
Pete was born on 7 March 1947 in Anambra State, Nigeria. He started acting in 1997 in the TV series Things Fall Apart. Some of his other movies and TV shows are Terrible Sin (2001), Living with Death (2006), and Unroyal (2020).
10. Kareem Adepoju
Kareem was born on 22 April 1945 in Osun State, Nigeria, and started acting in 1993. Some of the actor‘s movie appearances include Forever Mine (2021) and Oba Bi Olorun (2021). He boasts 56 acting credits.
Light-skinned Nigerian male actors
Light-skinned yet handsome Nigerian male actors have attracted the attention of many Nollywood lovers. They have appeared in several movies, and some of them are exceptionally talented. Here are some of the notable ones in the Nigerian film industry:
1. Frederick Leonard
He is a successful Nollywood actor and has been on the movie scene since 2008. He debuted his acting career in the movie Plane Crash (2008) and has 77 acting credits. He has appeared in Dawn at Midnight, Broken Vine, and Thorns and Roses.
2. Banky W
Banky W's real name is Olubankole Wellington, and he hails from Lagos State, Nigeria. Besides acting, he is a singer. Some of his well-known movies include Sugar Rush (2019), Up North (2018), and The Wedding Party (2016).
3. Alexx Ekubo
He is an award-winning actor from River State, Nigeria, known for his appearance in Blood Covenant, Bitter Rain, and Devil in Agbada. He started acting in 2011 and has approximately 100 credits. He is also a model, MC, and motivational speaker.
4. Benjamin Lugo
His full name is Benjamin Lugo Touitou, and he hails from Enugu State, Nigeria. He made his acting debut in 2013 in Forgetting June. He has been featured in at least 50 movies and TV shows. He is also a model, entrepreneur, and computer expert.
5. Uti Nwachukwu
He is a prominent actor from Delta State, Nigeria, known for starring in Blind Stranger, Love Is in the Hair, Breathless, and Don’t Cry for Me. He has been in the film industry since 2009 and has about 28 credits. Apart from acting, he is a fashion icon and TV personality.
6. Bolanle Ninalowo
The light-skinned actor first made his mark in the Nigerian film industry when he starred in The Search (2012). He is successful in his career and has appeared in a few movies in 2022, including Obara’ M and Wedding Night. Additionally, he is a fitness enthusiast and social media personality.
7. Nonso Diobi
He has been popular in most Nollywood movies since making his acting debut in 1999. He has over 170 acting credits, and some of his notable appearances include My Wife’s Lover, Least Expected, and The Ghost Killer.
8. Bryan Okwara
The Imo State native actor is best known for his roles in Romance is Overrated (2016), If I Am President (2018), and Time to be a Man (2020). Even though the light-skinned actor has been in the film industry for over a decade, he does not have many acting credits.
9. Chigozie Atuanya
He is an actor, filmmaker, model, and producer from Anambra State, Nigeria. Some of his notable movie appearances include Money Helps (2016), The Missing God (2016), and Sorrows of a King (2016). He has more than 40 acting credits.
10. Sonadina Adinma
Sonadina is a Nigerian-born actor, model, fashionista, and social media personality. He is recognised for his roles in the movies Trampled (2022), La Street (2020), and Speak the Word (2006). He has more than 23 acting credits so far in his career.
Funny Nigerian male actors
Another entertaining aspect of Nigerian movies is the humour they have. Some male actors have mastered the art of comedy in acting, and they have captivated many people.
1. Chinedu Ikedieze
The hilarious actor hails from Abia State, Nigeria, and has been acting since 2002. He is sometimes referred to as Aki and likes partnering with Pawpaw in most of their comedy movies. He starred in I think Twice (2005), Final World Cup (2005), and The Ghost and the Tout Too (2021).
2. Osita Iheme
He is best recognised for his debut movie Aki na Ukwa in 2002, portraying Popo. Pawpaw, as he is popularly known, has acted in numerous Nigerian comedy movies, including The Tom & Jerry (2003), Not by Height (2004), and Christmas in Miami (2021).
3. Nkem Owoh
Popularly known as Osuafia, Nkem is one of the funniest Nigerian actors of all time. He has been featured in numerous comedy movies and TV series since making his acting debut in 1987 in Things Fall Apart. His other popular movies are Tough Love, Foreigner’s God, and My Village People.
4. Victor Osuagwu
He hails from Imo State, Nigeria, and has been acting for at least two decades. He is a popular character in several Nigerian movies and is known for playing funny roles. Some of his notable movies are No Shaking, My Only Love, Tears from Holland, and Bird Flu.
5. Chiwetalu Agu
The veteran actor hails from Enugu State, Nigeria. He has been featured in approximately 190 movies and TV series, some of which he has played funny characters. He first hit the screen in 1996, and some of his movie credits include Dear Affy (2020), 5G Network (2020), The Cleanser (2021), and Ikemba (2022).
6. Francis Odega
He has been a popular face in Nigerian comedy movies since he began acting in 1996. Odega has approximately 47 acting credits and is known for his roles in How You Wan Die (2021), Sade Takes Lagos (2019), Baby Police, and London Fever (2017).
7. Sam Loco Efe
The legendary Nigerian actor passed away in 2011, but he remains one of the funniest actors in Nollywood. He had 137 acting credits, and some of his funny movies include 9 Wives (2005), Men on the Run (2006), and Heart of Stone (2010).
8. Ime Bishop
The Akwa Ibom State native actor is a funny character in several Nigerian movies. He has starred in Midnight Whisper (2012), The Only Wise Man (2014), and Caught in the Act (2014). The famous personality has 40 acting credits.
9. John Okafor
John Okafor has captivated many people with his hilarious roles in many movies. He is popularly referred to as Mr Ibu, and some of his best movies include The Eve (2018), Price of Deceit (2017), and Honeymoon Guys (2015). He started acting in 2000 and has about 85 credits.
10. Olaniyi Afonja
He hails from Oyo State, Nigeria, and is one of the funny Nollywood actors. He has been featured in several movies since starting his acting career in 2006. The actor is known for his roles in Ghost Worker (2022), Blackout (2021), and Queen Lateefat (2021).
Many male Nigerian actors are recognisable due to their unique personalities and acting skills. The above actors have been outstanding in their acting roles, making every movie lover recognise them. While some are new entrants into the entertainment industry, others are veteran actors.
Legit.ng recently published an article about funny quotes by Nigerian comedians. If you want to spice up your day and uplift your spirit, these quotes by Nigerian comedians will put a smile on your face.
Most Nigerian comedians have a great sense of humour. Besides their performances in comedy shows, the comedians have made funny quotes about life that would leave anyone laughing out loud.