Nigeria: Nollywood Child Stars and Where They Are Now

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The Nollywood industry has produced a lot of famous celebrities that grace our screens today, it's also amazing to know that some of these celebrities started out as child actors. Daily Trust goes down memory lane to recall popular child stars of the late 90s and early 2000s.

Funke Akindele

Popularly known as Jenifa, Funke Akindele is one of Nollywood's prominent child stars. She obtained her OND in Mass communication from the former Ogun State Polytechnic and her Law degree from University of Lagos. Her first appearance on TV was on the sitcom "I Need to Know" which aired from 1998 to 2002. Funke's big break came after she featured in the comedy-drama movie "Jenifa". The movie recorded a huge success and gave birth to her tv show "Jenifa's Diaries" which won her the 2016 Africa Magic Viewer's choice award for Best actress in comedy. Funke has also featured in other blockbuster movies such as Omo Ghetto, Maami, Isoken, Moms at war, His excellency, etc. she has acted alongside Nse Ekpe Etim, Omoni Oboli, Dakore Egbuson.

Funke Akindele is married to Nigerian rapper JJC.

Maryam Booth

Maryam Booth is a renowned Kannywood actress and the sister to Kannywood star Ahmed Booth. Maryam was born in Kano state on October 28, 1993. Her first appearance on set came to her when she was eight years old after starring in the movie "Dijangala". While in secondary school, she focused on her acting career.

She has featured in other Kannywood productions such as Bani Bake, Akwatin Kudi, Alawiyya, etc.

Maryam is also a successful entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of MBooths Collections and MBooths Beauty Parlors.

Ahmed Booth

Ahmed Booth is the younger brother to popular Kannywood stars Maryam booth and Ramadan Booth. His mother Zainab Booth was also a Kannywood actress. Ahmed started acting at a young age and became one of Kannywood's famous child stars. He has appeared in many Kannywood movies as a kid actor. His movies include: Rashin uwa, Murjanatu Yar Baba, amongst others. Ahmed is still a Kannywood star and also a musician.

Najaatu Muhammad Suleiman

Najaatu Muhammad Suleiman also known as Murjanatu Yar Baba is another popular Kannywood child actor. Najaatu is a female Fulani child actor who started at the age of ten. She played the role of a kid actress in many Kannywood movies. Her movies include Harira, Hacking Rai, Auren Gaja, etc. Najaatu is currently focusing on her studies at the Northwest University in Kano. She mentioned that once done with her studies, she would resume her acting career.

Williams Uchemba

He is popular today for his philanthropic works. Most popular for his roles in Journey to the Dead, Dorathy my love, Oh my son, etc.

Williams Uchemba is one of Nollywood's favourite child actors. Williams Uchemba comes from Abia state and was born on 22 October. The Nollywood star furthered his education at the university of Nsukka where he graduated with a Bachelor's degree in international relations.

Williams made his first appearance in Nollywood in 2000 as a child actor. He rose to fame in 2001 after starring in the popular movie "Journey of the Dead". He starred alongside Pete Edochie, Ramsey Noah and Olu Jacobs in the movie. In 2003, Williams gave another appearance in the blockbuster movie "Beyond Belief" and "The World of Riches" in 2007. Williams was known for playing the roles of a smart child in his movies. Williams has appeared in over 90 movies in the Nollywood industry. In 2002, he won the award for Best kid Actor at the Africa Movie Academy Awards for his role in the movie "Oh My Son".

Besides a great acting career, Williams is also a comedian, philanthropist and motivational speaker. He is also a United Nations ambassador and Africa youth representative to the United Nations. He also runs a non-profit organisation called "The Williams Uchemba Foundation" which caters to the needs of people in poverty. He is also popular on Instagram for his comedy skits which has gained him a lot of followers. He recently got married to his heartthrob Brunella Chinel Oscar.

Sharon Ezeamaka

Sharon Chisom Ezeamaka is one of Nollywood's popular female child stars. She was born on October 24, 1992 in Lagos state. An indigene of Enugu, Sharon was raised and trained in Lagos State where she finished both her primary and secondary school education.

In 1997 at the age of 5 years, Sharon made her entry into Nollywood with her appearance in the blockbuster movie "Narrow Escape" alongside Pete Edochie. In 2000, she rose to fame after starring alongside Veteran actor Hilda Dokubo in the tragic movie "Dear Movie". For her stellar performance in the movie "Dear Movie", she won the award for Best Kid actress at the Africa Movie Academy Awards. She has made an appearance in over 50 Nollywood movies and is popularly known for playing as a kid alongside Regina Daniels, Zack Orji, Richard Mofe Damijo and a host of other celebrities. Sharon is also popularly known for her role in the MTV hit series "Shuga" and Africa Magic series "The Johnsons".

Next to her acting career, Sharon is also a model and Television producer. She has hosted several television shows and has appeared in adverts and commercials for several organizations.

Promise Odika

The child star comes from Abia State and was born on February 20, 1986. He attended both his primary and secondary school in Abia state. He began acting at a tender age in primary school. He joined Nollywood in 2000 and rose to fame in 2001 after appearing in the movie "Onye Eze" which told the story of a child being mistreated by his stepmother after the death of his mother. Promise known for crying in his movies and has acted alongside Hilda Dokubo, Nkiru Sylvanus, Amaechi Munaogor, etc. He has been featured in over 50 Nollywood productions such as the catechist, blood for blood, the lost half, amongst others. He has also been nominated for a few awards, including the Most promising act to watch at the City people entertainment awards and Best actor in a supporting role at the Africa Magic Viewer's Choice awards.

Asides being a popular child actor, Promise Odika today is a scriptwriter and director. He is also a producer and has produced movies under his film house "African child entertainment". He also announced that he has a gospel album that will be released soon.

Somadina Adinma

The Nollywood child star was born on May 8, 1999 and comes from Anambra state. After finishing his secondary school education, Somadina furthered his education at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts.

Somadina began his acting career in the university where he took roles in several theatre plays. By 2006, he made his appearance in Nollywood as a child actor. He is best known for his child roles and is popular for his crying roles in agonizing Nollywood movies. Somadina has acted alongside popular Nollywood stars like Ngozi Ezeonu, Kenneth Okonkwo, Osita Iheme, etc.

In 2007, he was nominated for the best performance by a child at the 3rd Africa movie academy awards. He has also been nominated for most promising actor in Nigeria at Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards. Asides from his acting career, Somadina is a model and TV presenter, he has worked with the Enugu Broadcasting services and Igbo Tv as a radio and TV presenter.

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