nolly-rising-actress-612x300They are young, pretty, beautiful, determined and driven by their dreams. In 2013, they made inroads into Nollywood and as 2014 berthed, they are poised to take Nollywood by storm! Today, The Entertainer brings you the hottest fast rising actresses that will define the New Year.

Ijeoma Grace Agu

Though, she’s been in Nollywood since 2007, the actress known as Ijeoma Grace Agu finally got her breakthrough after she played the role of Kelechi in a musical entitled, Hoodrush, alongside Gabriel Afolayan winning rave reviews in the process.

Ijeoma, an award recipient from the Theatre Royal Stratford East in the UK has successfully staged her own one-woman show entitled, A Chronicle of Heroines funded by the Bank of Industry, where she plays eight different female characters. Her career started in 2007 when she featured in Fidelis Duker’s soap, Eldorado. Her film credits also include The Choice of Aina, Finding Diamond Jo, and Flower Girl.

The actress has featured in TV soaps like David’s Fall, Catwalk and About to Wed and also in numerous stage productions by Wole Soyinka. She was recently nominated in the Best Rising Star Category at the Nollywood Movies Award 2013 and made her directorial debut in the short film, Bi-Umbilical. Her newest works include Misfit and Kpians.

Damilola Adegbite

For years she has starred in Tinsel where she played the role of Thelma Duke and also acted in The Vagina Monologues. In 2010, her portrayal of the role of Pebbles in Six Hours to Christmas won her rave reviews which culminated in her winning the award for Best Actress in a TV Series, Nigerian Entertainment Awards (NEA) 2011.

However, in 2013, the graduate of Business Administration decided to dump her comfort zone and moved into feature films. Romantically linked to Ghanaian actor and former Tinsel act, Chris Attoh, Dami made her Nollywood debut when she starred in Flower Girl. She was also on Banky W’s Good Good Loving video where she acted Banky W’s lover. She is also a TV presenter.

Commenting on why she dumped Tinsel, Damilola has this to say: “I wanted to experience film. I wanted to experience movie-making and that is what I am doing now. And, I am pleased with it.”

With her antecedents in 2013, it would be interesting to watch her career trajectory in 2014.

Ivie Ikujale

Though, she hit the limelight after winning the now defunct Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO), the starlet who has earned the sobriquet, Little Genevieve, is one of the acts to watch out for in 2014. Once romantically linked to Nigerian international, Obafemi Martins, her debut role in Alero’s Symphony, alongside Faze, won her AMAA 2012 Award for Best Promising Actress.

“I am not going to fade soon; I am going to be around for a very long time. Anybody waiting for me to fade soon is wasting his or her time waiting,” the graduate of Economics once boasted in an interview. And as 2014 unfolds, this Delta babe sure has what it takes to deliver.

Among others Ivie wrote the script for and also acted in Desmond Elliot’s Volunteers. Now she has opened a new chapter in her career with the launch of her new musical project dubbed, Make A Move.

Belinda Effah

Talk about brains and beauty in one package and you talk about Belinda Effah, a graduate of Genetics and Biotechnology. However, the love for the silver screen has pushed her degree to the backburner as Belinda is poised to take her career to the next level this year.

Discovered on the platform of the Next Movie Star in 2006, Belinda thought that success would come over night but it didn’t. However, she quit Nollywood but returned in 2011 when she starred in Ude Me Mi, Alan Poza and finally Kokoma in 2012 which won her several awards including Best New Actress. She also starred in Wide Awake, a Royal Academy production. Not resting on her oars, she went on to win Best Promising Actress at last year’s AMAA. Since the release of Kokoma, her career has been on a trajectory for the top.

Tamara Eteimo

Mention the name, Tamara Eteimo, and the Next Movie Star reality show 2011 comes to mind. After graduating from the University of Port Harcourt where she studied Theatre Arts, she came out tops at that year’s edition of NMS.

Before we could say Jackie Robinson, Tamara had landed a lead role in Wale Adenuga’s  Super Story, where her interpretation of the role of Itohan won her rave reviews.

Her success on the silver screen has not distracted her from pursuing her music career and to date she has released a couple of singles. Tamara had once boasted in an interview that her dream was to get an Oscar nomination.

She recently got a nomination for her role in Desperate House Girls for Best Supporting Actress and as 2014 unfolds, she is poised to take her game to the next level.

Keira Heywatch

An indigene of Calabar, Cross River State of Nigeria, Keira Heywacth cut her teeth on Emeka Ossai’s Cross Roads. After her certificate course in Travel & Tourism in 2006, she decided to pursue her long time passion: acting. She spent another year in Ghana trying to break into the movie industry before relocating to Nigeria in 2007 and that was when she got her first break on Emeka Ossai’s Cross Roads. In 2009, her first opportunity at a film role came with a leading role in the much talked about science fiction film, Kajola, also starring Desmond Elliot. Keira is multi-talented; she is also a singer, songwriter and screenplay writer.

Mary Lazarus

Mary Lazarus is a Geography graduate from the University of Ibadan, an award winning model and actress. One thing that sets her apart is her interpretative skills. Mary has starred in several movies and soaps including; Super Story, This Life, Tinsel, Spider, Living In Lagos, Married But Living Single, Behind The Smile, Show Girls, Needle’s Eye, Waiting Years, Blackberry Babes, The Benjamins, Now We Are Married, and Shadows. She won the NMAA’s Most Photogenic Female Model for the Year 2010.

Linda Ejiofor

Having acted on Tinsel for years, Linda Ejiofor finally broke from sitcoms and blended into Nollywood when she starred in Rita Dominic’s The Meeting.

The part time model and actress had battled issues of stereotyping for years because directors wanted her to act nude roles. She finally got a script she believed in and now the rest is history, and 2014 promises to be an exciting year for her.

Though, her interpretation of her role, Bimpe, on MNET’s Tinsel since 2008, has won her a solid fan base, it was only in 2012 that she got her break into Nollywood and ever since she has never looked back. The graduate of Sociology from the University of Port Harcourt landed the role of Ejura in Rita Dominic’s debut production, The Meeting. Her portrayal of Ejura received positive reviews and Linda is set to become a regular face on the big screen in 2014.

Uru Eke

London returnee, Uru Eke, is also another actress to watch out for in 2014. The graduate of Business Information Technology from the University of Greenwich, UK, decided in 2011 to switch careers and focus on her acting fulltime after half a decade working in the telecoms sector.

Uru has featured in a number of stage plays and acted in over 10 films including Last flight To Abuja and Weekend Getaway. In September 2012, she was interviewed by CNN’s Vladimir Duthiers on the heels of the success of Last Flight to Abuja. She has also won the award for Best of Nollywood (BON) awards for Best Upcoming Actress.

Kiki Omeili

Nkiruka ‘Kiki’ Omeili has a finger in every pie. She is not only an actress but also a TV presenter and guess what, she has a degree in Medicine. Best known for her interpretation of the role of Titi Haastrup in Married But Single, where she rubbed shoulders with the likes of Funke Akindele, Joseph Benjamin and Joke Silva; she is also well known for her role as Lovette in TV drama series, Lekki Wives.

Omeili also hosted dance reality TV show, Dance 234. In October 2012, Omeili received the award for Best Actress (Supporting Role in an English language film) at the 17th African Film Awards (formerly known as the Afro Hollywood Awards) in London. In August 2013, it was announced that Lekki Wives would be back for a second season and so fans should watch out for her as she returns to the screens in 2014.

Annabel Zwyndila

Fast rising actress, Annabel Zwyndila, is definitely a force to reckon with as 2014 unfolds. The portrayal of her character in Samantha, where she acted alongside Muna Obikwe, won her rave reviews and has endeared her to many producers and directors.

Among others she has starred in movies like Common Ground, Twisted Union, Beauty, Painful Sin and Motive for Murder to mention a few. Annabel is currently the toast of many producers who see her as the next biggest thing in Nollywood. She was discovered on the platform of the now defunct AMBO Box Office.

© Tony Ogaga Erhariefe

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