In Hollywood, a lot of the biggest stars started off as child actors but did you know that some of the most popular faces in Nollywood also began as child stars? These celebrities have continued to take their careers to greater heights, years after they were first brought to the limelight. Here are some of the biggest child actors who have now become celebrities as adults:
Genevieve Nnaji: Genevieve started acting at the age of 8 in the TV soap opera, “Ripples” in 1998. She then featured in a few TV commercials including one for Omo detergent and Pronto beverage. Her career gained more steam when she featured in the 1996 movie, “Most Wanted” at the age of 19. Since then, she has remained one of the most influential women in Nollywood. She directed the first Nigerian Netflix original movie, “Lionheart” in 2019, which was also her directorial debut. The movie was also Nigeria’s first submission to the Oscars, although it was disqualified.
Regina Daniels: Regina Daniels is still in her teens, only just turning 19 years of age in October 2019. However, she has been acting for about 12 years. She starred in her first movie, “Marriage of Sorrow”, at the age of 7. She gained more popularity after appearing in the 2010 movie, “Miracle Child”. Today, Regina Daniels is one of the most popular Nollywood actresses of her generation and is still appearing in several movies yearly.
Olumide Oworu: The funny actor, most famous for his role as Tari on the Johnsons first started acting when he was only 6 years old on the TV series, “Everyday People”. He acted in the series for eight years, then moved on to other TV series like “The Patriot” at the age of 16. At the age of 19, he acted in one of his most career-defining series, “Shuga”, as the son of Tiwa Savage’s character, Sade Banjo. He has started to take on more mature roles and has even won a few awards as an actor. He won the award for ‘Best Supporting actor’, for his role in the “Soldier’s Story” in the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.
Williams Uchemba: Williams Uchemba is mostly known now for his hilarious skits on Instagram. But before he became an Instagram sensation, he was first a child actor. Williams Uchemba has never disclosed his age but he started acting as a child in 2000 and became popular after acting alongside Pete Edochie, Olu Jacobs and Ramsey Nouah in “The Journey of the Dead”. In 2002, he won ‘Best Kid Actor’ at the Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) for the Nollywood blockbuster film, “Oh My Son”. Williams Uchemba has gone into movie production with his newly founded company, Prothesis Entertainment Limited. He featured in the newly released “Sugar Rush”, which had the biggest advanced screening for a Nollywood film in 2019 across cinemas in Nigeria.
Sharon Ezeamaka: She started acting at the age of 5 in the 1997 movie, “Narrow Escape”. She became more popular for her role in the popular TV series, ‘Dear Mother’. She also acted in a few other movies as a child, including “Little Angel”, playing alongside Richard Mofe Damijo and Oge Okoye. She took a break for a short period but made her comeback in Africa Magic’s “The Johnsons” before appearing in two seasons of “MTV Shuga”.
These are some of the biggest Nigerian celebrities who have put in years of hard work to their career that is still paying off. It is all the proof anyone needs to see that you are never too young to chase your dreams. Hopefully, as Nollywood continues to grow, more talented child actors will feature in blockbuster movies and will grow to become some of the best talents over time. Tell us which of these celebrities do you remember seeing in a movie or TV series when they were kids in the comment section below.
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