The Nigerian Nollywood industry is filled with talented actors who give their best to the industry. Since its inception, Nollywood actors have come and gone, and legends remain. The issue of the best actor in Nigeria is a tough one, as these actors are good in their capacities. However, for the sake of this topic, we’ll have to select the best based on certain criteria. The best actor in Nigeria is Zubby Michael.
Some may agree while others will disagree with this choice, but there are reasons behind this selection. The criteria which are used for this selection are the ability to fit into any character role, the ability to bring to life any character role, and the most loved personality. With Zubby Michael as the best actor in Nigeria, let’s meet the other nine that make up the list of the top 10 best actors in Nigeria.
Meet the Best Actors in Nigeria
It is important to note that these listed ones are the actors we still see on our screens. There are legends like Pete Edochie, Chinedu Ikedieze, and Osita Iheme, to mention but a few. Some of these legends still star in a movie once in a while. This list does not disregard their contributions to the industry.
1. Zubby Michael (Azubuike Michael Egwu)
- Net Worth: $1 Million
- Age: 38 years old
- Active years: Since 2007
- Other sources of Income: Acting, Movie Production, Endorsement Deals, Modeling, Script Writing, Politics
- Famous for: Eze Ndiala
Zubby Michael is a Nigerian actor, politician, and producer. He started his acting career when he was a boy. However, his first movie appearance was in the movie titled Missing Rib, which was released in 2007. Zubby was brought to the spotlight with the movie Three Widows. Since his stardom, Zubby has not ceased to star in many more movies.
The reasons why Zubby is arguably the best actor in Nigeria are his ability to fit into any movie role and deliver the role perfectly well. Michael has starred in action movies, epic movies, romantic movies, occultic movies, and so on. He has also played many roles ranging from a madman, wealthy man, politician, occultic man, cult boy, king, prince, beggar, ritualist, etc. Zubby fits perfectly into any of these roles and brings the character to life in a unique way.
Because of his talent in acting, Zubby has won some awards and has received nominations for many more. He won the Movie Icon of the Year award at the 2018 South East Entertainment Award and Nollywood Personality of the Year at the 2018 Nigerian MSMEs and Achievers Awards. He also won the Best Celebrity Politician of the Year award at the 2020 South-East Beauty Pageant Organization.
2. Yul Edochie (Yul Chibuike Daniel Edochie)
- Net Worth: $2 Million
- Age: 41 years old
- Active years: Since 2005
- Other sources of Income: Endorsement Deals, Politics, Script Writing, Film Academy, Movie Directing, and other businesses
- Famous for: His role as an Occultic Man (Master of Sacrifice)
Yul Edochie is a Nigerian actor who started his acting career in 2005 with the movie The Exquires. It was in 2007 that he was brought to the limelight with the role he played in the movie Wind of Glory, starring Desmond Elliot and Genevieve Nnaji. His coming into the spotlight brought many producers and movie roles his way. Yul is not just an actor by accident, he is a seasoned actor because he studied Dramatic Art at the university, and he is the last son of the legend Pete Edochie.
His exposure in the movie industry made it possible for him to take up many roles and deliver them perfectly. Yul has starred as a rich man, poor man, student, father, son, wealthy man, politician, ritualist, king prince, and so on. He can also feature in movie genres like action, epic, love, marriage movie, etc. His expertise allows him to bring all these characters to life with ease and fit into all these roles.
For his contributions to the industry, Edochie has won a few awards and got many more nominations. Some of the awards he has won so far are Best New Actor of the Year (English) at the 2009 City People Entertainment Awards, Best Actor of the Year (English) at the 2013 City People Entertainment Awards, and Best Actor at the 2013 Pasmaa Awards.
3. Frederick Leonard (Frederick Nnaemeka Leonard)
- Net Worth: $500,000
- Age: 42 years old
- Active years: 2001 to present
- Other sources of Income: Movie Production, Modeling, Business
- Famous for: Loverboy roles
Frederick Leonard is a Nigerian actor and movie producer who started his acting career in 2001. He later took a break to finish up his studies. Leonard returned to the screens in 2008 and played a lead role in the movie Indian Doctors. He also tried his hands at soap operas with the show titled Disclosure. He then ventured fully into movies with the movie titled Grey. Today, we can see many movies with the handsome hunk as the lead character, and he has directed and produced many more.
Leonard has starred in movies as a poor man, rich man, King, Prince, Husband, Uncle, etc. He has also been seen in a few epic movies, love and marriage movies, and a few action movies. He has a style that is unique to him, and he never stars in movies that are not worth it. Although he did not study Theatre Arts in school, the actor delivers perfectly well, which is why he is on this list of the best actor in Nigeria.
For his contributions to the movie industry, Frederick Leonard has won several awards. Some of the awards include Best Supporting Actor at the 2014 Golden Icons Academy Awards, Best Actor at the 2016 Zulu African Film Academy Awards, and Best Supporting Actor of the Year (English) in the 2016 City People Movie Award.
4. Sylvester Madu
- Net Worth: $800,000
- Age: 48 years old
- Active years: Since 1998
- Other sources of Income: Movie Production, Script Writing, Directing
- Famous for: Action movie roles
Sylvester Madu is a Nigerian actor and movie director who started his acting career officially in 1998. He started acting at the age of five but officially joined Nollywood at the age of 23. Since his entrance into the movie industry, Madu has played the role of thief, armed robber, cultist, militant, and thug. He is the best fit for action movies because he handles the gun like a professional. He also plays such roles with ease. Although he plays these roles, he acts with human sympathy and is not all ruthless. For these qualities, the Nollywood James Bond qualifies to be among the best actors in Nigeria.
The ace actor has received several awards for his contributions to the movie industry. So far, he has won the following awards: Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards; Most Creative Movie Director at the Africa Movie Academy Awards; Most Promising Actor in Nigeria at the City People Entertainment Awards; Nollywood Most Prominent Actor in Nigeria at the Best of Nollywood Awards; Most Promising Actor in Nigeria at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards; and Best Actor of the Year at the Africa Movie Academy Awards.
5. Ken Erics (Ekenedilichukwu Ugochukwu Eric Nwenweh)
- Net Worth: $600,000
- Age: 38 years old
- Active years: Since 2021
- Other sources of Income: Endorsement deals, Book Sales, Song sales
- Famous for: His song “Inozikwa Omee“
Ken Erics Ugo is one of the Nigerian actors who have gone the extra mile to acquire more knowledge and certificates in the field. He has a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts and a Masters’s degree in Theatre and Film Studies. With these, he has showcased his talent and prowess in the roles he plays, and he interprets those roles perfectly well. Ken Erics started his acting career in 2001 while he was still in his first year at the university. He played minor roles as a starter, but his role in the movie titled The Illiterate brought him to the limelight and made him famous.
Since his debut in the movie industry, he has continued to star in many movies and has made a name, fame, and money from this career. Erics has starred in epic movies, love and marriage movies, occultic movies, action movies, etc. He has starred as a lover, king, prince, poor man, rich and influential man, etc. The way he brings these characters to life has made him qualify as one of the best actors in Nigeria.
In the course of his work, Ken Erics has received some awards for his contribution to the movie and entertainment industry. Some of the awards he has won include Best Lead Actor at the 2014 Afrifimo Awards (USA), Best Supporting Actor at the 2014 City People Entertainment Awards, Best Actor at the 2015 City People Entertainment Awards, Best Actor at the 2017 City People Entertainment Awards, Best Actor of the Year at the 2017 Nollywood Ambassadors Awards, Male Actor of the Year at the 2019 South South Achievers Awards (SSA).
6. Jerry Williams
- Net Worth: $500,000
- Age: 37 years old
- Active years: 2009 to date
- Other sources of Income: Modeling, Movie Production
- Famous for: Love roles and the role of a Prince
How does a mechanical engineering student end up as an actor? Well, Jerry Williams Chidiebere has the answer. The Nollywood star began his acting career in 2009 while still a Mechanical Engineering student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Anambra State. It was quite challenging combining the two, but he still held out and completed his degree. Upon graduating, Jerry delved into acting fully.
As an actor, Jerry Williams started with minor roles, just like most of his colleagues. He then graduated into major roles and to the screen diva we have today. He was shot into the spotlight with his role as a chief guard in the movie Seven Books of Moses. The ace actor has since been featured in epic movies, love and marriage movies, occultic movies, and action movies. He has starred as a bodyguard, palace guard, prince, king, poor man, and rich man, among many other roles. Like others listed on this post, Jerry is adept at bringing any character to life on the screens.
In the course of his career as an actor, Williams has bagged some awards for his contribution to the industry. Here are some of the awards he has won. The Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Africa Movie Academy Awards, Best New Act, and the Most Promising Actor at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards.
7. Stephen Odimgbe
- Net Worth: $1 Milion
- Age: 33 years old
- Active years: Since 2015
- Other sources of Income: Acting
- Famous for: Playing Flash Boy in Professor Johnbull
Stephen Odimgbe is a young Nigerian actor who started his acting career officially in 2015. He started acting as a young boy, and he grew to love it, which was why he studied Theatre Arts at the university. After his official debut in Nollywood, Stephen has occupied a space on our screens and will continue to do so for a very long time.
He is known for his roles as either a lover boy or a wealthy prince. Although we may say that he has been stereotyped into such roles, he is good at what he does. Many actors have been in the industry before him, but he has recorded more achievements than some of them. Odimgbe can appear as a rich, poor, wretched lover, and hunter. He also features in epic movies and romantic or love and marriage movies.
As the ace actor that he is, Stephen Odimgbe has received some awards for his contributions to the entertainment industry. One of them is the Best Supporting Actor award at the City People Entertainment Awards
8. Onny Michael (Onuchukwu Michael Okpokwu)
- Net Worth: $500,000
- Age: 44 years old
- Active years: 1990s to present
- Other sources of Income: Business, Movie Production, Endorsements
- Famous for: Village or poor romantic boy roles
Onny Michael is a Nigerian actor and filmmaker. He started his acting career in the 1990s when he featured in minor roles. As time passed, he perfected his skills and rose to fame by coming to the spotlight and has remained there ever since. Onny now plays major roles in movies such as king, prince, Irish and influential man, poor lover, etc. He is also popular for his roles as a loverboy and also stars in action movies. Michael has also started directing and producing movies, thereby expanding his coast in the industry.
In addition to his successful career in acting, Michael is also a businessman. He has also received some award nominations, which include; the Most Promising Actor in Nigeria at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award, Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Africa Movie Academy Awards, Most Promising Act to watch at the Best of Nollywood Awards, and Best Actor in a Lead Role at the Africa Movie Academy Awards
9. Ninalowo Bolanle
- Net Worth: $5 Million
- Age: 42 years old
- Active years: 2010 to date
- Other sources of Income: Movie Production, Endorsements, Business, Banking
- Famous for: Love roles
If you call Bolanle Ninalowo the present-day Jim Iyke in Nollywood, then you won’t be entirely wrong. Popularly called Nino, Bolanle Ninalowo came into the movie industry as a producer with the production of the movie Rebirth in 2010. Before that, he worked as a banker in America and at some banks in Nigeria. But with his first movie production, he officially entered the entertainment industry and started acting and producing movies. Nino is an actor who has starred in contemporary movies, educative movies, love and marriage movies, and a few action movies. As a Yoruba, he features in most Yoruba epic movies; but as a contemporary actor, he acts side by side with other non-Yoruba actors.
Bolanle Ninalowo has received several awards for his contribution to the movie industry. Some of these awards are Revelation of the Year at the 2010 Best of Nollywood Awards, Best Actor in a Lead Role (English) at 2017 Best of Nollywood Awards, Best Supporting Actor of the Year – English at the 2017 City People Movie Awards, and the Best Actor of the Year – English at the 2018 City People Movie Awards.
10. Daniel Kanayo Daniel
- Net Worth: $1.5 Million
- Age: 36 years old
- Active years: Since 2009
- Other sources of Income: Events Compere, Modeling, Endorsements
- Famous for: His role as Bossman in A Soldier’s Story
Daniel Kanayo Daniel is a Nigerian actor, model, event compere, and voice-over artiste. He started his acting career in 2009 with the TV series All About Us. After this, he then starred in the BBC movie Sarah’s Choice. He was also featured in BBC radio programs Story Story and Neighbour My Neighbour. It was in Afam Okereke’s film titled Ladies’ Men that he starred in a lead role. DKD, as he is fondly called, is a talented actor with lots of movies to his name. He has starred in minor and major roles and has starred in epic, contemporary, love, and marriage movies as well.
For his talent and contributions, Kanayo has received lots of awards and nominations. Some of the awards he won include the following; Best New Actor of the Year at the 2014 City People Awards, Revelation of the Year at the 2014 Best of Nollywood Awards, Best Actor in the 2016 Africa Movie Academy Awards, Best Actor in a Drama at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, and Best Supporting Actor at the 2018 Zulu African Film Academy Award.