The Nigerian film industry is also known as Nollywood and its actors are often termed as Yoruba actors. Though, the Nigerian film industry was regarded as an amateur industry in the past but with the passage of time, talented actors joined the league and took the industry to greater heights.
The industry is the prominent entertainment sector of Nigeria, bestowed to the considerable efforts of practitioners who kept up the pace despite numerous challenges. The Yoruba actors are paid well and recognised for their contribution to the world of art and cinema. Let’s have a look at 10 highest paid Yoruba actors and actresses in 2021.
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10. Iyabo Ojo
Iyabo Ojo is a popular name in Yoruba industry. She has essayed plethora of interesting characters on screen. She graduated from Lagos State Polytechnic where she graduated from State Management. She stepped into Nigerian Cinema along with Bimbo Akintola as her co-star in 1997. Later on in 1998, she featured in Keppy Ekpeyoung’s movie named ‘Satanic’. Then she took a break from cinema as she was married and was engrossed in motherhood. She returned back strongly in the scene in 2001. She joined the trio of Yinka Quandri, Taiwo Hassan and Abbey Lanre as their group-Odunfa Caucus’ co-ordinator. In 2002 she bagged a vital role in the flick ‘Baba Darini’ for which she received immense acclamation. She then started producing movies and now earns exorbitantly through her films. Some of her movies include Bolutife, Arinzo and Esan
9. Muyiwa Ademola
Muyiwa Ademola is an illustrious and moneyed celebrity of Nigeria. To enter into the cinema was a big challenge for him as his father was a clergy man and convincing his father was quite arduous. The actor had to come with elements of doggedness to persuade his parents. The actor possess great skill and is regarded as a refined and adept actor of Yoruba industry. The actor has garnered a legion of fans and established himself as one of the most successful actors of Nigeria. He also tried his hands on production and direction and emerged successful in the field with movies like Ori in 2004, Ise Imole and Igi Owo in 2009.
8. Fathia Balogun
Fathia Balogun is a renowned actress who has featured in over 70 movies till date. She has won several coveted awards for her brilliant and versatile performances. She did her graduation from Marland Compressive High School and then proceeded to Kwara State Polytechnic in Kwara State. She has featured in movies like Yemoja, Ito Funfun and Jawonbe. She was immensely appreciated for her character in the Wale Adenuga Productions’ Super Story. Plethora of fans loved her work and she has made her mark in the industry. She was divorced from her husband, Sajdi Balogun in 2006 but this did not affect her career and she enjoys her successful reign as an established actress. She is the most featured actress in movies and earns prodigiously from movies.
7. Wale Akorede Okunnu
Wale Akorede Okunnu is a popular actor known for his bone-tickling performance. He is having an impressive comic timing and is loved by copious of populace. He rose to fame post his association with superstars like Olanivi Afonia and Muyiwa Ademola. He is known by the name of Okunnu among all his fans. He got this name after his adored role in one of the film he appeared in, where his character’s name was Okunnu. He has the ability to evoke laughter and this made him feature in more than 100 film, in a comic role. You can find him in 6 out of every 10 Yoruba movies that are released in Idumota. He is one of the most popular actor and receives colossal pay-outs.
6. Olaniyi Afonja
Olaniyi Afonja is a highly acknowledged and adored Yorubaa star. He began his career in 1992 with a theatre group. He used to perform in different towns along with his group and was objected by his parents for choosing such a profession. He was passionate about acting and his will power allowed him to stand strong against all odds. He shifted to Lagos in 1996 and joined the Ajala Jalingo theatre group. He thrusted into the limelight with his appearance in the movie Sanyeri. This movie gave him the name Sanyeri by which his fans refer him. He is credited to bring fresh air of humour in the movie Muniru ati Ambali. He is a sucessful actor and an emerging producer who has done blockbuster movies like Oro Asoti, Aina Orosun and Opa kan. He earns big through his movies.
5. Femi Adebayo
Femi Adebayo belongs to a family of artists. His siblings are involved in movie making and that inspired him to enter into the movie industry. His immense sucess didn’t come as a surprise as everyone somehow guessed it considering his relationship with veteran actor, Adebayo Salami. He is popularly known as Jelili bestowed to the success of his comedy flick Jelili. He bagged his first vital role in the movie Owo Blow in the year 1996. Post the movie, he took a break to complete his studies and returned after 10 years. Post his return, he featured in oodles of movies and even produced quite a few. He has featured in over 100 movies including Sonto Alapata, Ile Alayo and Jelili. The actor has a theatre school named J15, where he provides training to those who aspire to enter filmmaking. He is happily married and is blessed with three children. He is one of the most sought after actor and receives hefty salary from his movies.
4. Mercy Aigbe
Mercy Aigbe is a dexterous and affluent celerity. She is known for her breath-taking performance in oodles of movies. She graduated studying theatre arts from Comprehensive High School, The Polytechnic Ibadan and University of Lagos. She made her debut in Yoruba movies alongside Yinka Quadri in 2002. She has become a household name and is referred to as Osas by her fans. She rose to fame after featuring in the movie Ara that was produced by Wemimo film. She has featured in numerous movies and has produced few of them. Her latest production include Life after Marriage which featured Ghanian actress, Juliet Ibrahim. She has won several awards, in 2009 and 2012 she was entitled with the Best Yoruba actress by the City People Awards and Afro Hollywood Award, U.K.
3. Dayo Amusa
Daya Amusa is one of the richest actress in the Yoruba industry. She was brought up in Surlere Lagos and her father Kalowole Amusa was an engineer. She began her foray in the industry from 2002 and has never looked back since then. She is one of the most popular face of the industry and her acting skills have won her several accolades. She has even produced some movies including Ajegbado and Dewunmi Iberu. Her latest flick was Unforgivable which was directed by Desmond Elliot and starred Mike Ezuoronye. She makes substantial amount of money through her movies.
2. Funke Akindele
Funke Akindele is a talented and loaded cedlebrity. She is the only Nigerian actress to have won the prestigious AMAA Best Actress in leading role award in 2009. She clinched the award for her incredible performance in the movie Jenifa. She has plenty of endorsements in her kitty and makes huge amount of money through them. She began her career by playing Bisi in United Nations sponsored series I Need To Know. She has done over 100 movies and is the richest actress of Yoruba industry.
1. Odunlade Adekola
He began his career as a young boy in Abeokuta, Ogun state. He along with his buddy Tunde used to request to play jesters during ocassions and ceremonies which laid a foundation in his career. He then met the renowned actor, Isola Durojaiye who helped him to brush up his talent. Odulade began his career in 2005 and within 2 years he had garnered a lot of fame and adoration. He gained limelight from the movie Asiri Gomina. He has appeared in over 100 of movies and earns handsome salary through each. He is the richest and most successful Yoruba star.
Yoruba industry has witnessed a hike in its prominence which has led to hike in salaries of the actors. The actors have been able to accumulate enormous wealth over the years. They receive hefty salary of more than 400k for a single movie. These 10 actors tops the list and have surplus income.