In the exciting world of African cinema, 2023 was a game-changer! The year saw new talent making waves and leaving a lasting impression on the entertainment scene. The silver screen has come alive with vibrant performances, breathing new life into narratives and captivating audiences across the continent. Africa Magic is at the forefront of this cinematic revolution. It is a trailblazing platform that has launched numerous groundbreaking shows and provided the stage for emerging talents to find their footing and enjoy the limelight.
Today, we are spotlighting Africa Magic’s top ten breakout stars of 2023, celebrating their exceptional performances that have added depth and diversity to the narrative. Check them out:
- Korede Ajayi:
Korexx, as he is popularly known on social media, is a skit maker, chef and actor. He first gained popularity when he started making skits alongside Nigerian comedian and activist Mr Macaroni. He has featured in movies like Brotherhood, Her Mine Ours, One Lagos Night, and stage plays like The Journey to One and The Gods Are Not To Blame. He played a prominent role in Africa Magic’s Itura as Omo Oba Sijuade, the arrogant prince and ‘rightful’ heir to the Ibaokuta throne. This role revealed the innate star power he commands, showing audiences he is adept in leading dramatic roles just as he is delivering comedic punchlines. He will take over Africa Magic again from January 3, 2024, as part of the brilliant cast in Africa Magic’s latest series, Unscripted. Catch him at 9 pm on Showcase (DStv ch. 151).
- Mofehintola Jebutu:
Mofehintola first took Africa Magic by storm in 2022 as the strong-headed Prince Towu. Interestingly, he had previously been in the channel’s Unbroken. Still, Riona’s Towu made the actor more mainstream. However, it’s on Africa Magic Yoruba he’s shone, appearing in films like Awon Aladunde (that won him a 2018 MAYA award for Best Actor in a TV Series), Mofe Ni Mofe, and Eru Ajo. Light shone on him this year when he took on the role of ‘Shina’ on Irora Iya. Then he rounded up 2023 acting as a core Igbo boy on Masquerades of Aniedo. He’s proved that he’s as versatile as an actor can get, going from theatre to Yoruba Nollywood and then English films, all without missing a beat. The future is bright for the young actor.
- Halimat Ganiyu:
Halima Ganiyu is perhaps the freshest actor on this list, but 2023 was great for the star. A self-acclaimed actor, brilliant poet, and an all-round creative, the actress has worked hard to break into Nollywood. The journey is still long, but her walk with Africa Magic this year has shortened it. After graduating from the EbonyLife Creative Academy in 2021, she’s worked hard to make a name in the industry. In 2021, she appeared in A Different Path and The Griot and House Hunting Lucy in 2022. Then she took on the lead role (Morayo) in Africa Magic Yoruba’s explosive series, Irora Iya, this year. She later joined the longest-running TV show in Africa, Tinsel, as Babbie. It’s not baffling to see Halima breaking personal records in 2024 after this brilliant year.
- Valentine Ohu:
Valentine Ohu is changing his title from Radio/TV Host to actor, one Africa Magic series at a time. He joined the movie industry in 2021 and was featured in Unmarried as Ali, Funbi’s obsessive and abusive partner. He also played ‘Santiago ‘Santi’ Dos Santos’ in Covenant, where he gave strong ‘sociopath’ vibes this year and quickly became a fan favourite. The creative will appear in the Last Call coming to cinemas in February.
- Wumi Tuase:
She is a content creator in every way that matters – writer, social media creator, and actor. It explains why she tells stories passionately and was a fan favourite in Africa Magic’s Itura as ‘Omosewa’. Fans will struggle to believe it was her first film with the brilliant way she executed the role. She will appear in her second Africa Magic series, Unscripted, as Mrs Brenda Onwuka when the show premieres on January 3, 2024, at 9 pm on Africa Magic Showcase (DStv ch. 151).
- Kayode Ojuolape Jnr:
It’s safe to say 2023 was Kayode Jnr Ojuolape’s year. He got everything from brilliant stage plays to films on streamers and TV. This was a definitive year in the actor’s career. He started acting in 2014 and honed his skills at the prestigious Royal Arts Academy. Before this year, he had appeared in films like The Crown Academy and For My Mama. In 2023 alone, Ojuolape appeared in the acclaimed Kunle Afolayan film Ijogbon. His talents have also graced the small screen on the Africa Magic Showcase series, Slum King, where he plays the role of ‘Voodoo’, the Slum King’s only child. He has upcoming lead roles in Uche Jombo’s Onyegwu and James Amuta’s Black Harvest. Kayode is poised to shine even brighter in the cinematic universe.
- Adeoluwa Akintoba:
Adeoluwa Akintoba is one actor who is fast ascending the ranks of Nollywood. Known for his meticulous performances and the magic he weaves into every character, Akintoba’s journey began in church and high school drama productions. His breakout role in the 2021 film Prophetess set the stage for a remarkable performance in Sista. His role as ‘Young Edafe Umukoro’ on Africa Magic’s Slum King gave him much room to showcase his acting prowess. It solidified his status as a rising star.
- Uzoamaka Onuoha:
Uzoamaka Onuaha’s journey to becoming an accomplished actor began at a tender age, and her dream has been cherished and successfully realised. Armed with a degree in Theatre Arts and Film Studies, Uzoamaka’s portfolio boasts an impressive array of feature films, including notable works like Omugwo, Stories by Her, Schooled, and Visa on Arrival. Her recent starring role in the psychological thriller series Diiche showcases her prowess as she navigates a gripping investigation, confronting her haunting past with grace and intensity. She also appeared in Africa Magic’s Moments during the year. She will take centre stage in Africa Magic’s brand new series, Theory of Breakfast, when it launches on January 1, 2024, at 8:30 pm on Africa Magic Showcase.
- Temidayo Akinboro:
Temidayo Akinboro is a multi-talented screen actor whose passion for the craft ignited at a young age. His commitment to acting continued through his university days at the University of Lagos, where he pursued a degree and a burgeoning career in acting. Temidayo’s filmography boasts remarkable achievements, including the leading role in Colour Me during his final year at university and his stellar performance in We Don’t Live Here Anymore, earning him the Most Promising Actor award at the Best of Nollywood Awards 2018. He appeared in the Crime Drama Feature Film Coming From Insanity, the TV Medical Drama Heart & Soul, the Pan-African Drama Series MTV Shuga Season 6, and the horror limited series The Origin: Madam Koikoi. This year, he appeared in the Africa Magic original film, Alone, and is ‘Augustus’ in Masquerades of Aniedo. Temidayo Akinboro is carving a niche for himself in Nollywood, embodying the spirit of a rising star in every role.
- Chuks Joseph:
Nigerian actor, model, and host Chuks Joseph has become a household name, resonating in the hearts of audiences with his dynamic performances. He is renowned for his compelling portrayal of ‘Tizzy’ in the Linda Ikeji film Dark October. Chuks is more than just a performer on the screen; he’s a multifaceted artist leaving an indelible mark on the Nigerian entertainment landscape. His versatility shines through roles such as ‘Tunde Savage’ in the Ndani TV web series Schooled and ‘Uchenna’ in the MultiChoice Talent Factory and Showmax Original movie Leaked. He takes on the lead role in the station’s only 130-episode series for the year, Masquerades of Aniedo, as ‘Ndubuisi Ezeobi’. He was also in the highly acclaimed The Origin: Madam Koikoi. In a year that saw Africa Magic launching many shows, Chuks Joseph’s talent stood out, making him one of the top breakout 2023 stars.
As we continue to applaud the exceptional talent that has graced our screens in 2023, it’s evident that Africa Magic’s commitment to fostering new voices and narratives has contributed significantly to the growth and dynamism of the African film industry. As we eagerly anticipate what the future holds, one thing is sure – the cinematic landscape of Africa is in the capable hands of a new wave of talent set to redefine storytelling for generations to come.
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