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    Walter Ude (@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter. He blogs at mymindsnaps.wordpress.com.

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Nollywood’s Highest Grossing Actresses

Apparently, the Nigerian movie industry is no longer the ‘chicken change’ enterprise we’ve always scorned it to be. In the last decade, it had made a lot of progress in terms of lucrativeness, and the coming years appear rosy for all those playing in that arena. It’s been an incredible year for Nollywood, especially the women. Last year and this year saw an incredible improvement in Nollywood movies. Some actresses also reaped from it; they include Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, and Rita Dominic, amongst others. And now, in the same way that Forbes does its own, below is a list of the Highest Earning Nollywood actresses for the year 2012, a survey that spans their earnings from endorsements, film roles and other businesses they have been involved in during the past years.


46 Million Naira

The absolutely scandal-free actress in Nollywood has featured in about 70 movies, signed endorsement deals with detergent powerhouses and has raked in millions for herself and family. She earned N8 million from movies in 2007. And in 2008, she also earned a whopping N9 million. She owns two houses and various properties in Lagos and her home state.

9.         Monalisa Chinda

49.5 Million Naira

Between 2004 and 2008, Monalisa Chinda earned about N25 million. The actress and producer is about to release her movie which is already in its final stages. She also owns landed properties in choice locations in both Rivers State and Lagos, and can be seen frequently flashing her pearly whites in Glo commercials nationwide.

8.         Uche Jombo

50 Million Naira

In 2008, she pocketed N10 million for her slick performances in several movies. The Glo ambassador and model, who earned more than N11 million in 2009, seems unstoppable at the moment. The year 2011/2012 could see her top this list, since some of her movies are not yet released and the ones being shown in cinemas are still enjoying sold-out status across the continent. The most recent tidbit dogging her is her secret wedding in the United States to the Puerto Rican, Kenney Rodriguez.

7.         Patience Ozokwor

51 Million Naira

The Nollywood veteran is well-known for her depictions of female characters we all would love to hate. She is nicknamed ‘Mama G’ in Nollywood and is the oldest on the list. She is notable for her tough roles in movies. ‘Mama G’, who is also a musician, has been consistent in the industry and her roles have been raw energy. She is very diverse in her investments but also has several landed properties.

6.         Omotola Jalade Ekeinde

53 Million Naira

In 2007, she grossed N9 million, a feat made possible by her demand – a few years back – of N1.7 million per movie. The actress, who was recently honoured in the UK as the first-ever African BEFFTA (Black Entertainment, Film, Fashion, Television and Arts) Film Icon for her contribution to the film industry in Africa, Europe and globally, despite her position on this list, is notably the highest paid Nollywood actress, a ranking that came to be when she took home the sum of N4.5 million and N5 million for her roles in the movies ties That Bind and Amina respectively.

Omotola’s popularity and box-office credibility was put to test when she starred in the film Last Flight to Abuja, and it opened at the cinema and reportedly sold more than 8 million in its first week. The premiere till date remains the biggest premiere of any movie with six packed halls, a record no premiere has beaten.

5.         Mercy Johnson

55 Million Naira

By 2008, Mercy Johnson had appeared in fifteen movies and earned N11.4 million from movies alone. The following year, she earned N13 million and she featured in the Emen Isong hit movie Guilty Pleasures. She is also an investor in properties and she is about to complete two houses at the moment. She also owns about six landed properties in Lagos. These days, she’s more occupied with playing house with her husband, Prince Odianosen Okojie, and preparing to be a new mother.

4.         Rita Dominic

58 Million Naira

In 2004, she won the City Peoples Award as the Most Outstanding Actress. The face of Nokia and the Glo ambassador is also a business woman. Rita has done well both as an actress and a model. Her assets include landed properties and two homes estimated to be worth over N40 million. Between 2008 and 2009, she earned N16million (most of it part of the money coming from Nokia and Glo.) She is about to launch a book and produce her own films. Earlier this year, she walked away with the AMAA’s Best Actress in the Leading Role award for her role in the Kenyan movie, Shattered.

Next up, she’ll be seen playing a cantankerous secretary in the movie, The Meeting.

3.         Ini Edo

60 Million Naira

The Akwa-Ibom State-born actress earned N15.7 million from movies and her businesses in 2007. She has just produced her latest flick Memories of the Heart which will be premiered in the United States. She is a Glo ambassador and is also part of the project to move Nollywood to another level. She is fully involved with Nollywood USA.

2.         Genevieve Nnaji

64 Million Naira

By 2009, she raised the bar and she was paid $25,000 in the blockbuster international hit movie Ije produced by Chineze Anyaene. In 2004, she signed a major endorsement deal, for the time, when she became the Face of Lux – a venture for which she earned N14.7 million, and was subsequently involved with Pronto beverage and Omo detergent, plus an endorsement with Mud Cosmetics. Between 2004 and 2006, she earned a whopping N31.3 million. With no great interest in real estate, she decided to dive into the fashion industry. She launched her clothing line St. Genevieve in 2008, which is presently being managed by fashion icon Zizi Cardow and is reportedly worth N20 million.

Earlier this year, she pocketed the sum of N4 million for an upcoming movie titled Dr Bello, and she reportedly took home a whopping sum of $250 thousand for the movie, Half of a Yellow Sun directed by British director and Hollywood actress, Thandie Newton.

There is no doubt that she would have been topping this list with a great margin if she eventually got the Glo deal. She became the first to be contacted by Globacom, but she demanded N50 million while Globacom wanted to sign her on for N30 million. She’s reported to have tried later to salvage the deal, but she had already lost it. She is also the brand ambassador of Range Rover’s Evogue new brand of cars.

1.          Kate Henshaw-Nuttall

67 Million Naira

By 2006, she had earned N10 million and the following year, she reached N12 million. The warm and beautiful star is also a model, a former Glo Ambassador, and face of Onga (brand from Promasidor) and has since earned a whopping N20 million between 2008 and 2010. At the moment, she’s actively involved with being a judge on the hit talent show, Nigeria Got Talent.

PS: D**m! It’s time I move my wares into Nollywood.

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1 Comment

  1. This publication has inspired me to continue focusing on my own blog


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