When the industry started years back many folks did not take it serious. But what was seen as a joke has now turned out to be the jewel that is driving Nigeria and the entire Africa to find their footage in the world.

Within the past twenty years the make believe industry called nollywood has helped to define and sell Nigeria afresh to the world.

Nollywood has provided thousands of jobs for citizens and non-citizens alike and have made many rich. Nollywood is indeed a testimony that Nigeria and Africa should not be written off.

The industry has given the entire nation a face, a real identity and now the rest of the world has no choice but to take Nigeria a little bit serious. As the industry continues to gain momentum and worldwide recognition, there are some actresses who have paid the price and at the same time have become famous, powerful and forces to reckon with in the society. We can conclude that they are shining, rising, reigning and recognized.

Even in the mist of the African dilemma ‘’failure’’ their lifestyle have revealed glamour and glitz. Although they are far from being perfect, they have indeed persevered. From the beginning the actresses had shown passion for what they had set out their hearts to do and become. Today they have become inspiration to the new generation in Nigeria and Africa.

They are elegant, sizzling, bold and beautiful. They are the sum total of the African woman. What has separated the best from the rest and the leaders from the less is nothing but business inventory and diversity, creativity and learning about surrounding opportunities. I am hereby delighted to present to you the richest and most powerful actresses in nollywood at the moment.

Compared to their counterparts in Bollywood and Hollywood, the actresses may be nowhere, but the truth of the matter is that they are heading somewhere greater.

1. INI OBONG EDO N130 million

Ini Edo is the all time richest actress in nollywood history. Although it has been a long journey but it has also been a position earned by perfection. She is not only an actress but also a producer. Within the past three years her endorsement profile which includes Globacom, Noble Hair, has hit about N90 million. She has also earned more money in a single year than any other actress in nollywood and has also featured in more movies in a single year than any other actress. The movie ‘’in the cupboard ‘’ which she played the lead actress is currently in the cinema’s in the United States. Her movie ‘’I will take my chances’’ from the stables of the royal arts academy would hit the cinema by next year. Ini has several investments that include real estate and fashion.

2. UCHE JOMBO N127 million

Everyone knows her friends, desmond elliot, ini edo, monalisa chinda, emen isong. Uche jombo is an actress, a producer and a business woman. Her determination and desire to bring quality picture to nollywood movies cannot be over emphasized. By the end of 2010 uche jombo pocketed about N50 million from endorsement and earnings from movies alone. Her investments revolve around real estate, movie production and marketing, import and export. Uche took the bold step few years ago when she became the first full time actress cum producer in nollywood. That move has paid off and has completely put her at the top. Many of her colleagues have since followed her steps.

3. RITA DOMINIQUE N100 million

From the face of Nokia to Globacom and now Arik Air, rita dominique has re-invented herself to become one of the most powerful actresses of all times in nollywood. She is at the moment producing her own movie that would be released in the cinema by 2012.

4. GENEVIEVE NNAJI N96 million

More than a decade long, genevieve is even better and bigger. Her ability to maintain communication with her die-hard fans keeps the brand ‘’Genevieve’’ stronger, competitive, and almost unbeatable even in this new era of revolving nollywood. Over the years, genny has remained the most powerful and respected actress in nollywood. Less than a month ago she received a national honor from the president.
Having started her fashion company ‘’St Genevieve’’ some few years back, she is now testing the business world for different opportunities. Genevieve is also the highest earning nollywood actress in a single movie.

4. MONALISA CHINDA N92 million

from Globacom to Carnirive and now Vita500 the south Korean energy drink. Like ini, genevieve, rita Dominique, monalisa chinda’s endorsement profile has continued to soar higher each and every passing year. She has never had it better in the industry than now. Her debut movie as a producer ‘’Kiss and Tell’’ has been raking in millions for her. Monalisa has become investor wise and is investing her millions properly.

5. FUNKE AKINDELE N90 million

She is probably in her best at the moment. The multi talented actress has become really successful in recent times. Her cross over from Yoruba movies to English movies has also given her an edge. A business woman and real estate investor, funke akindele has proved many critics wrong. Her latest movie ‘’The Return of Jenifa’’ is expected to hit almost N40 million by 2012.

6. KATE HENSHAW N80 million

Her failed marriage has not changed her status as one of the biggest chicks in the industry. By 2008 kate was the richest actress in nollywood and has since remained strong in the industry. Her ability to invest variously in different projects has been working for her.

7. OMOTOLA JALADE EKEINDE N75 million

It has almost been between her and Genevieve and the argument goes on. Omotola has become more innovative and has put several initiatives to keep her annual earnings high. The singer and actress have continued to pull into her account millions every year.

8. STEPHANY OKEREKE N72 million

After her training from the New York Film Academy, the actresses has proved that whatever men can do in the industry women can do also. Her first movie as a new generation movie producer in nollywood ‘’Through The Glass’’ has earned her several international awards. The Imo State born actress, model, producer, film director is living nothing behind as she is determined to take her career another level. She is currently the ambassador for the Japanese company Kanekelon Hair.

9. MERCY JOHNSON N70 million

Mercy Johnson’s rise to fame has been described by industry pundits as a ‘’Storm. Mercy is the second most popular actress in nollywood aside from genevieve nnaji. Her controversial marriage almost pushed her integrity into the waters. but her determination and resiliency has made her almost unstoppable. Mercy earned more than N40 million between 2007/2009 making her the highest earning actress in that period. Mercy has several investments both in Lagos and outside Lagos.

10. CHIOMA CHUKWUKA AKPOTHA N70 million

Regarded as the most scandal free actress in nollywood, the pretty actress refuses to look back. Chioma has recently stepped up her game by becoming a producer and also featuring in some yet to be released international movies. She is also investing her movie and continues to make millions.

11. OBI EDOZIE N60 million

The movie ‘’Save Our Soul’’ has raked in more than N35 million. Her latest yet to be released flick ‘’Mr and Mr’’ would soon hit the cinema. She is better seen as a business woman than as an actress.

12. OMONI ONOBOLI N54 million

She has continued to rise in the industry and there seems to be many good things yet to come from this beautiful actress. The actress, producer, and scriptwriter have never fallen short of expectation. She was recently made the ambassador for the brand detol.

14. OGE OKOYE N45 million

Some of her colleagues seem to be enjoying more fame. Than she does, but nothing would take the fact that she has been there and she is still very relevant in the industry. Oge okoye has bounced back to full time acting and she is making more millions now than ever before. She is determined to take her place back in the industry.

15. TONTO DIKE N27 million

Hate her or love her along side nse, mercy, they are the hottest actress at the moment. The controversies surrounding her has also made even more famous. Tonto is into different business including importation of cars.

16 EMPRESS NJAMAH N20 million

Her earnings not only come from acting but from fashion, importation, bridal decoration projects and real estate.

17. CHIKA IKE N15 million

She may seem unpopular, but she has become one of the most sought after actresses at the moment. Her fashion shop Fancy Nancy shop in Abuja is worth about N7 million.

18. HALIMA ABUBAKAR N10 million

She owns houses in choice location and she is doing well as an actress. She is at the moment producing her own movie that will hit the stores by 2012.

Source: nigeriafilms.com

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