A single road, as the popular saying goes, no longer leads to the market for most Nollywood practitioners. Most of them who started out as actors have taken up other roles in addition to their briefs as actors and actresses. While some act and double as producers, a few combine acting with production and directing. The spotlight is on Seven of the leading actors who rode into prominence as actors but today they are calling the shots and signing critically acclaimed productions as directors and producers.
Clearly one of Nigeria’s leading actresses, Nnaji today combines acting with directing and production. An actress of countless movie credits, Nnaji had, at the last count, featured in over 100 movies including her debut movie outing Most Wanted, Last Party, Mark of the Beast, Ijele and the award-winning film by Chineze Anyaene titled Ijé: The Journey. Reputed as the first actress to win the Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) for Best Actress in a Leading Role when the award debuted in Bayelsa in 2005, Nnaji, a one-album artiste, was awarded the national honour of Member of The Federal Republic (MFR) by the Federal Government in recognition of her contribution to the Nigerian movie industry. A multi-award-winning actress, Nnaji stepped up in November 2015 and produced her first movie called Road to Yesterday. The movie was voted Best Movie Overall-West Africa at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards. Three years later, Nnaji raised the bar with her directorial debut titled Lionheart, which had its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and which was subsequently acquired by online streaming giants – Netflix, as the first Netflix original film from Nigeria. Lionheart was also selected in 2019 as Nigeria’s entry to the international Feature film category of the Academy awards but the movie was disqualified for having most of the dialogue in English.