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Style Watch: 5 Top Female Nollywood Film Directors

Nollywood is full of a lot of stylish actors and much as we like to see the on screen stars show off their style, off screen, did you know that there are at least 6 or 7 women, some of who not only act, but also direct movies in this consantly growing industry in Nigeria.

  1. Stephanie Linus Okereke

Stephanie Linus (born Stephanie Onyekachi Okereke on 2 October 1982) is a Nigerian actress, film director and model. She was also the runner up for the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria beauty pageant of 2002 coming in 2nd place.  In 2011, she was honoured by the Nigerian government with a National honour (Member of the Order of the Federal Republic, MFR).

Already during her teenage years in 1997 she starred in two Nollywood movies, Compromise 2 and Waterloo. After graduating from the New York Film Academy in 2007, Okereke released the movie Through the Glass in which she served as director, scriptwriter, producer and actress. The film received an Africa Movie Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay in 2009. In 2014, she released another movie, Dry and again served as a director, scriptwriter, producer, and actress which won many awards including 12th Africa Movie Academy Awards and 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards best movie overall movie. Okereke has starred in over 90 movies.

In April 2012 Okereke married Linus Idahosa in Paris, France, at a private wedding ceremony that was attended by members of her family and scores of Nollywood actresses and actors.Their first son Maxwell Enosata Linus was born in October 2015.

Her sleek lady style is hard to miss and we didn’t. Always quite areful with the prints and the hemlines.

2. Funke Akindele Bello

Popularly known as Funke Akindele, born August 24, 1976 in Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria) is a Nigerian actress /producer/director. She obtained an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Mass Communication from the former Ogun State Polytechnic, now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic and got a Law degree from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba.She came to limelight after featuring in popular United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) sponsored sitcom- I Need to Know, which ran from 1998 to 2002. In 2009 she won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Funke Akindele also plays the lead character in the hit TV show Jenifa’s Diary which she also directs and produces.The show is a spin-off from the movie titled Jenifa which brought her to limelight in 2009.

She shows off her style everytime she hits the red carpet and we love her attraction to comfort and glamour in sequins and high slits.

3. Emem Isong

Emem is a Nigerian screenwriter, film producer, and director.  She is the first child in her family of 4 children, she was born on 5 September and is from Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Arts from the University of Calabar. Isong obtained a diploma in computer science from the Computer Science Institute (NCR).

Emem Isong is known to be very private and prefers to stay mostly out of the public eye. However, Isong is married to Cameroonian Misodi Akama.

We like her casual boho look and how she stays true to it!

4. Tope Oshin Ogun

Tope Oshin is a Nigerian television and film director, producer and casting director. In 2015 Pulse magazine named her as one of “9 Nigerian female movie directors you should know” in the Nollywood film industry.She studied Economics at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, but left the course to study Public Administration and then Theatre Arts, TV & FIlm Production at Lagos State University.She became more interested in the theatrical arts and later studied at Directing at Colorado Film School of the Community College of Aurora, Denver.

Tope, who was an actor for 12 years, before becoming a director, cut her teeth in directing, working as an assistant director for The Apprentice Africa and has since become known for directing TV dramas and soap operas such as “Hush”, Hotel Majestic, and Tinsel (TV series). Though she has directed several short films such as The Young Smoker, Till Death Do Us Part, New Horizons and recently Ireti, she is known for her 2012 feature film Journey to Self.

In 2015, Oshin produced the romantic film Fifty, about four fifty-year-old female Lagos residents. The film broke box office records upon release in the December, taking N20 million in the first weekend. In 2016, she directed the documentary, Amaka’s Kin: The Women Of Nollywood, as a memorial to prominent filmmaker Amaka Igwe, who died in 2014. The documentary addresses issues facing female directors working in Nollywood in a male-dominated industry.

5. Omoni Oboli

Omoni Oboli (born 22 April 1978) is a Nigerian actress, scriptwriter, director and producer and a trained digital filmmaker at the New York Film Academy. She is also a writer, with notable screenplays to her credit. In 2010, she won the award for Best Actress Narrative Feature at the Los Angeles Movie Awards, and the award for Best Actress at the Harlem International Film Festival. Omoni was nominated for the Best Actress in a Leading Role award at the 2011Africa Movie Academy Awards. In 2014, She won Big Screen Actress of the Year award, at the 2014 ELOY Awards, for her movie Being Mrs Elliott. In 2015, Omoni was awarded the Sun Nollywood personality of the year and has also shown her ability as a movie director with movies such as Being Mrs Elliott, The First Lady, Wives on Strike, and most recently Okafor’s Law.

Oboli was born in Benin City in Edo State, Nigeria. She studied Foreign Languages (majoring in French) at the University of Benin graduating with honours.

Omoni Oboli starred in the movie Okafor’s Law, which premiered on 24 March 2017. However the movie could not be screened at the premiere due to an injunction by the court. Oboli is currently being accused of copyright infringement by Jude Idada, who claimed to have written part of the script for Okafor’s Law .The movie was released on 31 March 2017. In spite of that though, she just recently launched a clothing line which she partnered with clothing brand AVE to create a clothing line which is largely a reflection of her own minimalist lady style. 

6. Mercy Aigbe Gentry

Mercy Aigbe (born January 1, 1979) is a Nigerian actress, director and businesswoman. She is best known for her Yoruba language movies. She was born on January 1, 1979 in Edo State (Nigeria),and she is the second child in a family of five. she attended the polytechnic in Ibadan where she received her OND in financial Studies. She then went to the university of lagos for a degree in theatre arts and then joined the industry fully in 2006.

Mercy Aigbe is known for her taste for fashion as her dress to the 2016 edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards earned her great applause as she continue to trend on Twitter days after the award ceremony. Many commended the uniquely designed dress created by Nigerian designer, Ceoluminee. Mercy also says the dress earned her many more followers on social media!

Mercy Aigbe launched her clothing store, Mag Divas Boutique in November 2014. Its success earned her the ″Fashion Entrepreneur of The Year″ awarded by Links and Glitz World Awards.

Need we say more?




Photos: Instagram