Though the Yoruba movie industry, a sub-sector of Nollywood, is filled with talented practitioners, five personalities are currently getting more movie roles for being spontaneous, hilarious, and witty.
Every five years, a rave emerges in the industry to rule production sets but these five funny Yoruba actors have shown that they are a force to reckon within the industry over the last 10 years.
Interestingly, some of these five unique funny actors are not only in front of the cameras, but they have also had to work in different departments of film productions. They rose to become the stars they are today after being behind the cameras at different times and taking up minor roles or waka pass.
In recent times – at least five years back – a Yoruba film is incomplete without the injection of one or sometimes all of these individuals to take up a major role or give comic relief.
Hakeem Brown of All News Network writes on the five current spontaenous, hilarious and witty Yoruba actors.
Real Name: Wale Akorede
Okunnu takes the lead of the top comic acts rocking the Yoruba movie industry. His comic relief stems from his dialogue in movies and this has not only seen him gain popularity and millions of fans across the world but also made him one of the most sought after actors. The middle-aged actor held different positions behind the scene while working with Muyiwa Ademola. Okunnu is humorous, quick-witted, and has an infectious personality both on and off the screen.
On his comedic roles, Okunnu said, “I have come to realise that people appreciate me more when I play funny roles than other roles.”
Real Name: Tunde Usman
Tunde Usman is another Yoruba comic-actor whose roles have endeared him to many. With over 100 movie roles to his credit, Usman is widely referred to by his moniker, Okele. He had picked up the role-playing the character of a gateman in a film where he reeled out unending and rib-cracking jokes amid his dialogues.
He also commands large followership among movie fans and the Yoruba movie audience.
Real Name: Ayanfe Adekunle
At the mention of Monsuru, ardent viewers of Yoruba films will reel out in laughter. Born Ayanfe Adekunle, his mien and gait readily betray him and give him out as a witty comedian to love. He’s mostly loved for his ability to remind Yoruba viewers of the social scene and celebrities in the 90s, 20s – a character many feels he took from Okunnu. Monsuru, like other actors on this list, has a high fan base.
Real Name: Olaniyi Afonja
Olaniyi Afonja has successfully become one of the most sought-after for comic roles in Yoruba movies. Though the ‘Okola l’America’ actor has a career spanning 25-years, he hit the limelight playing a co-lead role with Adekola Tijani in the hit comedy flick, ‘Muniru ati Ambali,’ in 2007.
However, Sanyeri, as Afonja is mostly referred to, became the toast of directors when he brilliantly interpreted a comic role alongside Odunlade Adekola in ‘Opa Kan.’ His utterances and interpretation of a ‘fool’ in many movies makes him a top favourite.
5. Olaiya Igwe
Real Name: Ebun Oleyede
The name Ebun Oloyede might not readily ring a bell but at the mention of Olaiya Igwe, fans and Yoruba viewers will brighten up their faces to hear what the veteran actor has to say. With a career spanning over 28 years, Olaiya Igwe had reigned as an actor for two whole decades. In the 90s, he was popular for filming in Abeokuta alongside his buddy, Waheed Ijaduade, and made films such as ‘Ololade (Mr. Money)’, and ‘Iru Esin’. When many of his peers took the back seats as new generation actors took over, Olaiya reinvented himself and took to playing comic roles. He has since mastered the act and become one of the most sought after for comic roles. His use of smeared English language and disposition stands his comic character out.