By Emmanuel Okogba
Nigerian actor, Ifeanyi Dike Jr has put Africa on the map. His film is currently airing on Netflix as one of the first African films to score an international deal and if you are looking for a face to thank for this victory, look no further than the fresh-faced Ifeanyi Dike Jr. And he’s not done quite yet.
If you’ve never heard of Dike Jr, you must be living under a rock. Dike Jr made a prominent start on TV playing Titan; a music-loving, guitar-toting heartthrob on MNET’s soap opera Tinsel. Described as one of the most successful shows in Nigeria’s recent history, with episodes still airing on Africa’s cable networks and syndication in Europe and Caribbean where it also continues to enjoy extended airplay.
The talk of the African film industry, Dike Jr is the actor top directors are clamouring to talk to. Why? Because if Dike Jr gets on your project, chances are it will end up on the international market. For an industry that has been emerging since the 80’s, Dike Jr has finally brought African film the recognition it deserves.
Since his early days, he has gone on to star in universally-beloved TV shows like Desperate Housewives Africa on EbonyLife, MTV’s Shuga with can be found on the Ebony Life mobile app as well as YouTube with an avid following in Africa and Europe with his first film feature in the critically-acclaimed Green White Green (which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF).
Dike Jr is on Pulse’s best actor of the year list. What might be his biggest Nigerian accomplishment is that his performance not only made many end of the year best lists but that for years to come, his performance and legacy will be re-visited. Perhaps it’s a little soon but perhaps not because when one makes a film about the independence of a country from the claws of the British, that film is likely to strike chords the world over. And when one gathers top acclaim like Dike Jr has for being the face of Nigeria’s independence, one is quite frankly on his way to legend status.
During this time at TIFF, he was singled out by Claudia Lyon, then VP Casting at ABC, who would later recommend him for a limited contract with the studio. After the critically successful run with Green in 2016, Dike Jr decided to take his career up a notch, relocating to Los Angeles in order to be in proximity with and court bigger and more critically-leaning TV material. Proving his immense talent to work beyond Africa, he currently boasts of an eye-watering talent holding first-look contract in Africa – the first of its kind.
There is only one Nigerian Actor who has dared to aspire to and reach these heights and his name is Ifeanyi Dike Jr.