Perhaps leveraging on their huge following and fan base which sadly, does not always guarantee political success especially in a country like Nigeria, many top-notch Nollywood stars have deserted film-making and acting to pursue a career in politics, below is a list of TalkGlitz Media top 8 notable Nollywood actors who have delved into politics since the last general election.
DESMOND OLUWASHOLA ELLIOT
As a Nigerian, one cannot talk about Nollywood without mentioning or referring to Desmond Oluwashola Elliot or simply Desmond Elliot who has starred, directed, or produced over 200 movies.
The 46-year-old actor and producer came into limelight in the movie industry after a friend convinced him the industry would suit him. When he started, he was only featured in soap operas but gradually rose into the limelight.
His interest in politics was first noticed when he announced his intentions to run for Lagos State House of Assembly in 2014 which we suspect was another friendly advice. Following his announcement, he was approved as a contestant under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He eventually emerged winner of the election on the 11th of April, 2015, hence, becoming the Representative of Surulere Constituency, House of Assembly, Lagos State. At the end of his tenure, he ran for the same position in the 2019 general election and emerged a winner. He is currently the Representative of Surulere Constituency, House of Assembly, Lagos State till date.
KATE OFFIONG HENSHAW
This is yet another prominent name in the Nigerian movie industry. The award-winning 48-year-old actress is known for her versatility and ability to fit into any given role.
The award-winning actress ran for the Federal House of Representatives seat in Cross River state in 2015 and picked up her native name “Offiong” for the campaign, perhaps to endear her to her constituents and indigenes who would vote her. She, however, lost the election but was appointed Special Adviser, Liaison, Lagos by Governor Benedict Ayade.
The 51-year-old actor and lawyer who hails from the eastern region of the country is a well-known and respected personality in the movie industry. He has starred in over 50 movies and has won several awards over the years.
The “Living in Bondage” actor turned lawyer pulled out of the 2015 race for the Enugu State House of Assembly in the primaries after the zoning decision was upturned.
BOB-MANUEL OBIDIMMA UDOKWU
The 47-year-old veteran actor has appeared in a lot of movies and has become a household name in the movie industry. Being quite a private and humble person, a lot isn’t known about him as he prefers to keep his personal life away from the media. The 3-time host of Gulder Ultimate Search was appointed Senior Special Adviser on creative media to Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State in 2013, and later in 2014, he was appointed Senior Special Assistant on Movie/Entertainment industry under Governor Willie Obiano. He contested in 2015 for a seat in the Anambra State House of Assembly but things failed to go in his favour.
RICHARD MOFE DAMIJO
Richard Eyimofe Evans Mofe-Damijo is a Nigerian actor and former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Delta State. In 2005 he won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. The southern actor, Mofe-Damijo was appointed as the Special Adviser of Culture and Tourism to the then Governor Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan in 2008, then became the commissioner for the Culture and Tourism of Delta State, Nigeria in 2009. His tenure ended in 2015.
The energetic 59-year-old actor is still making waves in the movie industry. Richard Damijo otherwise known as RMD is a name that is forever going to be engraved in the movie industry.
Yemi Shodimu is a renowned veteran actor popularly known for his lead role in 90s blockbuster, “Oleku”. The actor had been missing in the movie scene to focus on his political appointment as the Special Assistant to the former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. Ever since, he’s yet to make a major comeback to the industry.
The actor was actively involved in the campaign of OGD in 2003 governorship poll and when the party eventually succeeded, he was appointed Special Adviser to the Governor on Information – which he served throughout Gbenga Daniel’s tenure.
Describing the Nigerian Movie Industry, Yemi Shodimu said:
The industry is large and it’s a bit tedious for someone like me to enter. Nevertheless, I still found time to work and I can’t ever recall any costly mistake. I don’t always feature in video movies. People sometimes ask me to take distinguished roles. And for every role that I have played it is always thrilling at the end. But I have taken vital roles in Ti oluwa nile, Ayoni mo fe, Ko see gbe, Saworo ide, O le ku, White Handkerchief, The Honourable and many others.
Although, Yemi Shodimu has been appearing in recent movies but we cannot be too sure he’s fully returned to the scene.
Rotimi Makinde is another Nollywood Yoruba actor that completely left the movie industry to join politics never to return again. He was a former House of Reps member representing Ife Federal Constituency in Osun State before he lost his bid for the second term.
The last notable movie Rotimi Makinde acted was Ile Aje in 2006 produced by Monsuru Obadina (Fala).
Funke Adesiyan was a buzzing face in the Nollywood Yoruba movie scene before she was appointed into the Office of the First Lady of Nigeria. According to a publication on the official website of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, Adesiyan was appointed as the Assistant to the First Lady on Domestic and Social Events.
Before her appointment, Funke had contested for a seat at the Oyo State House of Assembly under The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). She scaled through the primary but eventually lost in the election.
In a recent interview, the actress claims she has not left the movie industry.
Aside from movies and politics, Funke Adesiyan owns a clothing line, La’venette.
Her notable movie production includes Eti Keta.