For a while they shone brightly and were sought after by movie producers. Then, they slipped off the radar, some into oblivion, others not as sought as before. Entertertainmen Café presents some of them.
Susan Patrick: A native of Akwa-Ibom state, Susan hit the big time through her role as the snake girl in Sakobi a movie produced by Zeb Ejiro. But her career went off the rails, following the death of her police officer husband, Dan Patrick, in June 2006. Since then, she has not regained the form that made her an instant hit. She has acted in other flicks like; Between Love, Put It On Me, Total Control, Disciples of Death, Agony and Love Is Blind to mention a few.
Chiege Alisigwe: After her breakthrough role in My Love, a film featuring steamy scenes with Ramsey Nouah. Curiously, she never took off as expected. She still got roles, but none pushed her anywhere near where she had been.
Saint Obi: Real name, Obinna Nwafor studied Theatre Arts at the University of Jos and became famous after doing a Peugeot commercial in 1996. Once the hottest hunk in Nollywood, Saint Obi hardly gets a mention in movie circles these days.Among the over 60 movies he has starred in are: Candle Light, Sakobi, Goodbye Tomorrow, Heart of Gold, Festival of Fire, Executive Crime and Last Party.
Liz Benson: She had an iconic status, but has been taken away from the industry by the decision to become an evangelist. Liz who is married to Bishop Great Ameye of the Freedom Assembly, Jesse in Ethiope Local Government Area of Delta State reportedly told her colleagues that as much as she loved acting, she would only act in movies that projected her Christian faith.
However, sultry actress and producer, Stephanie Okereke recently convinced her to return to acting in a film that focusses on the plight of Nigerian women suffering from vesico vaginal fistula.
“Stephanie did a lot to convince me. After reading the script, I was touched by the message in it. Then I decided to play the part of a nurse,” she explained.
Liz came into limelight via Fortunes, a 1993 soap and the popular home video, Glamour Girls. Among some of the movies she has starred in Most Wanted, Inheritance, Diamond Ring, Stolen Child, Tycoon, Dead End, Body of Vengeance among other movies.
Nkiru Sylvanus: Launched into prominence through her emotional role in A Cry For Help, directed by Andy Amenechi. Though, she studied medicine at the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus, she quickly blossomed and became one of the most recognisable talents on the circuit. She has starred in other films like Out of Cage, Evil Forest, Egg of Life. Today, she is on another turf, functioning as an aide to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State.
Razak Olayiwola: Better known “Araosan”, he was a hit on the Yoruba movie circuit. The tall, gap-toothed actor showed preference for traditional roles, which often involved incantations. His career nosedived when he left Nigeria for the United States, after winning American Visa Lottery.
Yemi Ajebo: The talented actor and filmmaker was one of the few actors who made the Nigerian movie industry thick in the early 1990s. Ajebo is better known as Yemi My Lover, a name he got after producing a film of the same title. Known for his daring stunts in movies, Yemi’s films were heavily influenced by those produced in India. But his adopted style became his biggest undoing, as he was slammed for being a copycat. Yemi starred in a lot of movies like Madanwo Gbelegi and Fariga before he slipped out of reckoning.
Clarion Chukwura: Chukwura, like Liz Benson, was one of Nollywood’s early frontrunners, though she had been in the industry much longer than Benson. She made her big breakthrough with her role in Money Power, an Ola Balogun Movie in the early 1980s. The talented actress has featured in over 80 flicks including Oduduwa, Valentino, True Love, Abuja Connection, Abela Pupa and Egg of Life. These days, her appearances are considerably less regular.
Nike Peller: The curvy daughter of legendary magician, the late Professor Peller, is hardly remembered as a fixture in Yoruba films. She has moved in another direction: magic, the legacy of her father, which she is continuing with her younger brother.
She had her breakthrough in the movie Aye Le, where she played the role of Ajoke. She has starred in numerous films such as Adun Ni Ngbehin Ewuro, 12 Midnight, Karounwi, Eni Owo, Kiniun Alhaji and Camouflage.
Sola Sobowale: She hit prominence with the Awada Kerikeri group, headed by Adebayo Salami, (Oga Bello) and is remembered for her role in Asewo To Re Mecca. She is a crossover actress who has starred in such flicks as Dangerous Twins, Madam Dearest, Ohun Oko Somida, Amope Olowo Sibi, Emotional Tears, amongst others.