By Funmilola Olukomaiya
It seems like just yesterday we were watching these child actors as tweens and teens. But those familiar faces are definitely all grown up now.
Being a child star wasn’t an easy task because besides working long hours on set and missing out on some typical childhood experiences, many young actors had to worry about maintaining their careers after they’ve said goodbye to the iconic roles that made them a household name.
While some former child stars decided to leave the spotlight and pursue careers outside of the entertainment industry, others completely transformed their careers, becoming more famous than they ever once were.
However, whether they are still acting or getting busy with some other productive engagements, the constant thing is that their fans always want to see what they’re up to and how they’ve changed over the years.
We compiled a list of Nollywood stars that started as kid actors and here is what a number of your famous child stars look like today.
1. Regina Daniels:
Regina made her first debut in Nollywood in 2010 at age 9 and became a sensation where she starred in ‘Miracle Child’. To her credit, she has starred in over 150 Nollywood movies.
She started off as a child, but the teen actress has grown before us into a fine young woman who is now married to Nigerian billionaire, Senator Ned Nwoko. She is currently studying Mass Communication at Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State.
2. Chukwudi Okoro:
Popularly known as Ikenta, Chukwudi started his Nollywood career as a child actor in 1999 and was famous for playing the role of a spoilt brat who fomented trouble by intimating others, both young and old. The Political Science graduate is still in the business of acting till date.
3. Sharon Ezeamaka:
Sharon became a kid star who became known for her role in the TV drama series ‘Dear Mother’ where she played the role of a very inquisitive daughter. She also featured in ‘Doris My Love’ among others.
The then kid actor has grown into a beautiful woman, she also starred in MTV Shuga’s Season 2.
4. Azeez Ijaduade:
Azeez Ijaduade is the son of popular Yoruba actor and producer, Waheed Ijaduade. He started his career at the young age of 7 when he became a sensation to many with how emotionally he got people involved in his roles. Azeez since his childhood days has produced several movies and directed many others.
He garnered many fans of home videos when he became popular for his role of Ola in the 1994 blockbuster movie, Jensimi along with his father. He also played a major role in Iru Esin.
5. Somadina Adinma:
Somadina started acting at about 5 years and he is still in the business of gracing our screens.
He has since evolved in the movie industry even as he never allowed fame to affect his education as he was able to smoothly combine both till he successfully became a graduate.
6. William Uchemba:
William who started his career pretty young was one of the most popular child stars to emerge from Nollywood in the 90s. He is blessed with an undeniable acting prowess that translates into great emotions as he could make a sad scene from a movie make you actually cry. He is currently African Youth Representative to the UN. After his long break from Nollywood (probably because he had to concentrate on growing up), he made a big comeback (not to the movie industry) and has been able to win the hearts of many with his funny Instagram skits.
7. Samuel Olasehinde:
Son of veteran Nollywood comedian, Kayode Olasehinde, popularly known as Ajirebi, Samuel began his career as a child and was shot to limelight for his many roles in movies where he had to play the stubborn child that was notorious for making jest of people.
8. Denrele Edun:
Denrele Edun started his career as a child star who anchored a popular children’s programme on NTA in the 90s, the ‘KiddieVision 101.’ He did not only anchor the program but also formed part of the child actors from the program.
He also starred in the popular Campus drama of the early 2000s, ‘Twilight Zone’.
9. Olumide Owuru:
Olumide has grown to be a household name in Nollywood. He also became famous for starting his career as a child. He was first featured in the family soap opera, ‘Everyday People’, and then he became a character to look out for in the comedy series ‘The Johnsons’ where he played the role of ‘Tari’.
Olumide also bagged a role in MTV Base’s ‘Shuga’ where he played the role of a teenager born with the HIV virus.
10. Khabirat Kafidipe:
Khabirat started her career 1999 when she starred in her first move as Araparegangan in the famous Yoruba movie, ‘Saworide’. She has since evolved and has featured in many other movies and has become a Nollywood director and producer.
11. Funke Akindele:
Now a proud mum of twins, Funke made our list of kid stars as she started her career at a young age. She first got the spotlight when she starred in the Nigerian teenage sitcom ‘I Need To Know’ which aired between 1998 to 2002. She became a household name in her movie ‘Jenifa’ where she played the role of Jenifa, a village girl trying to live the fast life in Lagos. The movie became a blockbuster and it eventually birthed her sitcom, ‘Jenifa’s Diary’.
Funke Akindele-Bello is now a scriptwriter, movie producer and as always, is still a spectacular actress.
12. Opemipo Bamigbopa:
She started her acting career at a very young age where she was featured in the family soap opera, ‘One Love’. Opemipo became notable and one of Nollywood’s most celebrated kid actress when she starred in ‘Maradona’ and ‘Bororo’.
Comment below the names of other child actors who didn’t make our list.