Meet 13 golden actors of Yoruba Nollywood (photos)

The Yoruba movie industry, a genre of Nollywood has come a long way. The Yoruba-language cinema began as actors of various Yoruba traveling theatre groups began to take their works beyond the stage to delve into movie production using the Celluloid format, as far back as the mid-1960s.

The industry has continued to grow and soared, producing great actors that had made it worthwhile. While there are other actors like Hubert Ogunde in early years, more actors have played their roles in solidifying the Yoruba movie industry. Thirteen actors and many more have contributed immensely for this greatness.

He had featured in several notable Nigerian films such as Sango, an epic African film produced by Obafemi Lasode and scripted by Wale Ogunyemi in 1997. He has acted the role of the priest in several Yoruba films.

He is married with several wives, including one who sells local concoctions and herbs (Iya Fat) at a market at the Obafemi Awolowo University. He has 11 children. In addition, he has several chieftaincy titles around Yorubaland, including Oluwo (Chief Ifa Priest) in his hometown of Ifisin-Ekiti and Amuludun in Ile-Ife.

Kareem Adepoju

Adepoju,  popularly known as “Baba Wande” is a Nigerian film actor, writer and producer who shot to limelight in 1993 after he starred as “Oloye Otun” in the movie titled Ti Oluwa Ni Ileu.

Adepoju has acted in movies such as Oluweri Magboojo, Ti Oluwa Ni Ile, Ayọ Ni Mọ Fẹ, Abeni, Arugba, Igbekun, Òbúko Dúdú, Ika lomo ejo, Enu Eye (2010) and Anikulapo (2022)’.

4. Ebun Oloyede

Lukmon Ebun Oloyede popularly, known as Igwe Olaiya, is a popular Yoruba actor.Born in Kenta, Oke-Ejigbo Abeokuta, Ogun state, Olaiya is well known for his comical roles in Yoruba movies.

Oloyede started his education at St. Jude’s primary school, Abeokuta, and had his secondary school education at Premier Grammar School in the same city. Olaiya attended Premier Grammar School in Abeokuta before proceeding to Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, where he studied mass communication.

He started his acting career as a T.V personality at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), where he acted on stage plays with the Musbau Shodimu Theatre Organisation in the 1970s. He was so right on stage plays; he was able to advance into acting home videos. Since then, Olaiya has featured in over one hundred Nollywood movies, making him one of the industry’s top actors.

Adebayo Salami, popularly known by his stage name Oga Bello was born on 9 May, 1952). He is a veteran Nigerian actor, filmmaker, film producer, and director.

He began his acting career in 1964, with a group called Young Concert Party, under the leadership of Ojo Ladipo, popularly known as Baba Mero.

After a few years, the group changed its name to Ojo Ladipo Theatre Group, and later metamorphosed into Awada Kerikeri Theatre Group. Following the demise of Ojo Ladipo in 1978, Salami took the mantle of leadership of the group, which brought him into the limelight.

He featured in the first Yoruba film, Ajani Ogun, in which the late Adeyemi Afolayan, the father of Kunle Afolayan and Gabriel Afolayan, plays the lead role.

He also featured in a movie titled Kadara by Adeyemi Afolayan (Ade love). He later featured in the popular Nigerian comedy series Comedy half hour with the stage name Oga Bello.

He produced his first movie, Ogun Ajaye, in 1985, from the stable of Awada Kerikeri. Since 1985, he has produced, directed and featured in several Yoruba movies.

He was a pioneer member of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, and also served as president of the association.


He was a pioneer member of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, and also served as president of the association.

Yinka Quadri

Jide Kosoko

Taiwo Hassan

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