By Ayo Onikoyi
The first installment of my serialization of “Glamour Girls of Yoruba Films” was published in 2009. A number of actresses, plying their trades in the Yoruba movie genre were mentioned for the way they changed the narrative about Yoruba films with their ultra-cosmopolitan style.
Names like Funke Akindele, Doris Simon, Iyabo Ojo, Mide Funmi-Martins, Mercy Aigbe, Funmi Lawal, Ronke Odusanya, Laide Bakare, Lizzy Anjorin, Toyin Aimaku (Abraham), Bimbo Akinsanya, Mosun Filani, Biodun Okeowo, Ireti Osayemi, Regina Olakunle, Yemi Okin, Ola Margaret, Tope Bali, Ade Joseph, Dupe Ashaye and a few others made the cut.
In the first publication special recognition was also accorded the likes of Bukky Wright, Tayo Odueke aka Sikiratu Sindodo, Moji Olaiya, Ronke Ojo, Opeyemi Aiyeola, Lola Alao, Fathia Balogun, Foluke Daramola, Bimbo Akintola, Bimbo Oshin, Aishat Abimbola and a few others for setting the ball rolling in this regard.
The second installment which was published in 2014 saw upsurge of new actresses who were doing things differently, using their talents and looks as a weapon. Featuring prominently were Tope Osoba, Seyi Edun, Feyi Hassan, Tayo Adeniyi, Tope Solaja, Bamidele Adunke, Olaitan Ogungbile, Victoria Kolawole, Joke Jigan, Sotayo Sobola and Bukola Awoyemi. About that period they were the beauty and brawn calling the shots.
Since 2014, a whole lot has changed and there are new damsels in town. They will be making up the third installment of this series. They are beautiful, vivacious, multi-talented and are on top of their trades. They are the new breed of Yoruba actresses who have changed the looks of Yoruba films with their uptown style, rare talents and versatility. Most of them shot into limelight barely two years ago while others got into reckoning as far back as five to six years ago. Meet them:
Mobimpe Oyebade (Mo’bimpe): Professional model, Adebimpe Oyebade popularly known as Mobimpe among her ilks, stumbled on acting during her compulsory National Youth Service in 2016. She has since featured in over 30 movies. She’s beautiful, talented and fiercely enterprising as an actor and a model.
Omobewaji Oyediji (Mo’bewa): Omobewaji Oyediji, simply known on Instagram as Mo’bewa is lively, refreshing and stylish. She belongs to the golden generation of Yoruba actresses who are changing the old narrative into a breezy blend of glamour and class. She could claim to have started acting much earlier than six years ago but her big break came in the TV series “Casino”. She has two Bachelor degrees; one in accounting (2015) and the other in mass communications (2017), both from the University of Lagos.
Peju Johnson: Peju started acting back in her secondary school days but didn’t pick it up professionally until she found herself in Egypt where she joined TAMPAN. But her career took flight in 2018 when she returned to Nigeria. She has since featured in many films like Widow, Lekki Guys, Vow, Farayola, Aremudada, Igbekele, Iya Karamo, Scar, Kogbagidi, Eto Mi, Ayetimowa, Single Mother, Abiyamo and many more.
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Joke Ajadi (Luscious Joke) : Joke Ajadi, who also runs a wine shop has featured in many Yoruba and English movies. Some of them include Divorce Not Allowed; Bachelor’s Eve; Alubarika; Kesari and many more. She produced her own film recently titled “Two Wrongs”.
Kiitan Bukola: Oloruntimilehin Bosede Bukola popularly known as Kiitan Bukola had her first cameo in a movie in 2010 but her career didn’t pick up professionally until 2016. Kiitan Bukola got the name ‘Kiitan’ added to her name when she produced the film ‘Kiitan’. She has featured in other movies like Ori Eiye, Ero Ife, Surface, Ajoji, Maybe (Boya) and many more.
Yetunde Barnabas : Yetunde Barnabas is a Nigerian model, beauty queen, actress and film producer. She initially gained recognition as the winner of The Most Beautiful Girl in Abuja pageant in 2017 and was crowned Miss Tourism Nigeria in 2019. Her career picked up in 2016 when she clinched the character of Miss Pepeiye in the Papa Ajasco family series.
Seilat Adebowale: Newly married Seilat Adebowale who took her career to another level in Dayo Amusa’s “Omoniyun” first shot a film in 2014, then picked up a job and returned fully in 2015. She is now one of the upcoming girls hot in demand. She has featured in well over 30 movies. She recently produced her own film “Barrister Seilat”.
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Bukola Shittu (Omotanwa): Bukola Shittu, started her journey into the world of entertainment as video model before finding her feet as an actress. She started out in the English-speaking sector of Nollywood before true fame found her in the Yoruba sector. She started more like 7 years ago but started her good run a couple of years ago. Her biggest movie is “Omotanwa” from which she got her moniker.
Nike Hamzah: Adenike Hamzah broke her duck in acting when she featured in a film titled “Pepeye Meje (Seven Ducks)” some few years back but would claim her acting career actually began in 2012. She’s presently an Accounting undergraduate of National Open University. She has featured in over 25 films.
Opeyemi Adetunji : Dark and lovely Opeyemi Adesola Adetunji who has featured in Yoruba blockbuster movies like Omo Alhaja 2, Omo Ijoba, to mention just a few, is a woman fired up to carve a niche for herself in the movie industry. Having produced four movies of her own ‘Mopelola’, “Voice”, “Selflessness” and “Pinch” she’s poised to rub shoulders with the top guns in the industry.