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Celebrities

20 Most Influential African Actresses On Instagram

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Fans are always clamoring for ways to interact with celebrities. The popularity of celebrities these days can be read from their social media reach and engagement. No doubt, the fame of African actresses have gone beyond the shores of the continent. Some of them have even featured in movies that were nominated for the Oscars Award. From Nollywood to Hollywood, here are the 20 most influential African actresses on Instagram.

  1. Lupita Nyong’o (@lupitanyongo)

Lupita Nyong’o

With over 6.8 million followers and average likes of 209,733 per post, Lupita is not only the most influential but also one of the most beautiful African actress on Instagram. Her performance in ’12 Years a Slave’ brought her to the limelight. She also played a lead role in Black Panther which bagged three awards in the 2019 Oscars. Lupita is the daughter of Anyang’ Nyong’o, a prominent Kenyan politician.

  1. Funke Akindele (@funkejenifaakindele)

Funke Adkindele

The dynamic Funke Akindele became popular for her signature accent in the TV comedy ‘Jenifa’s Diary’. Like Lupita, she commands over 6.8 million followers on Instagram but with average likes of 38,957 per post. The actress has also enjoyed endorsement deals by top companies including Jobberman, Globacom, 1960 Bet and more.

  1. Genevieve Nnaji (@genevievennaji)

Genevieve Nnaji

Veteran actress, Genevieve Nnaji has featured on the scene with the top actors and actresses around the globe. She recently tried her hands on directing with the movie ‘Lionheart’ which is now showing on Netflix. Genevieve has over 5.2 million followers on Instagram and her posts receive an average of 11,885 likes. She is also a member of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).  Some of her blockbusters include ‘Ije’, ‘Mirror Boy’, and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’

  1. Ini Edo (@iniedo)

Ini Edo

The pretty Ini Edo has 5.1 million followers on Instagram with average likes of 70,786 per post. Her popularity transcends social media as she is also among the richest actresses in Nigeria. Ini Edo has featured in over 100 movies since joining the Nollywood industry. She has also enjoyed endorsement deals from Slimtea Nigeria, Globacom, and many more.

  1. Jackie Appiah (@jackieappiah)

At 5 million followers and 48,597 average likes per post, Jackie Appiah is the 5th most African influential actress on Instagram. The Canadian-born Ghanian actress has featured in several movies and received nominations and awards for some of her efforts.

  1. Yvonne Nelson (@yvonnenelsongh)

Yvonne Nelson

Gorgeous Yvonne Nelson has over 4.9 million followers. Her Instagram posts get an average of 58,901 likes. The former Miss Ghana contestant has featured in both Nigerian and Ghanian movies. Yvonne is also an entrepreneur and CEO of YN Closet Fashion Shops and YN Productions.

  1. Mercy Aigbe (@realmercyaigbe)

Mercy Aigbe

Glamorous Mercy Aigbe is an award-winning Nollywood actress and one of the most influential African actresses on set and on Instagram. Popularly known as Mercilicious, Mercy’s official Instagram account has over 4.7 million followers with an average of 23.768 per post. She is also an entrepreneur and filmmaker.

  1. Rita Dominic (@ritadominic)

Rita Dominic

Stunning Rita Dominic is not only one of the most influential African actresses, but she is also one of the richest. Still dazzling in her forties, Rita has numerous endorsement deals including with Globacom, Nokia, and many more. Some of her past achievements include 2017 African Magic Viewers Choice Awards and 2013 ELOY Awards. She has 4.6 million followers on Instagram with an average of 39,921 per post.

  1. Mercy Johnson (@mercyjohnsonokojie)

Mercy Johnson

The beautiful Mercy Johnson has been in the movie industry since 2004. Her acting prowess has earned her a place as one of the most influential African actresses. The proud mother is also an appointee of the Kogi State government. Mercy has over 4.3 million followers on Instagram and each of her posts gets an average of 86,483 likes.

  1. Tonto Dikeh (@tontolet)

Tonto Dikeh

Vibrant Tonto Dikeh is one of the most sought faces in the Nollywood industry. She once had a stint in the music industry. Her roles in numerous movies have earned her over 4 million followers on Instagram. Her posts have an average of 38,322 likes.

  1. Charlize Theron (@charlizeafrica)

Charlize Theron

Ever smiling Charlize Theron is one of the most popular South African actresses. She started as a dancer and by 16 she nailed a modeling contract. Charlize later moved to New York first before making her way to Los Angeles. She has featured in various Hollywood movies including ‘Mighty Joe Young’ and ‘Monster’. Her role in the latter earned her the Golden Globe Award. Charlize has 3.9 million followers on Instagram but with a huge engagement of 267,993 average likes per post.

  1. Juliet Ibrahim (@julietibrahim)

Juliet Ibrahim

Often referred to as one of the most beautiful actresses in Ghollywood, Juliet Ibrahim rose to stardom in a short time. Juliet won the Best Actress in a Leading Role in the 2010 Ghana Movie Awards. Juliet is tailed by 3.9 million followers on Instagram and has an average of 26,598 likes per post.

  1. Omotola Jalade (@realomosexy)

Omotola Jalade

Known popularly by her moniker Omosexy, Omotola Jalade is a veteran Nollywood actress. She is also a brand ambassador of Knorr, P&G, and the Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association. Omotola heads the One.org campaign which encourages the girl child to strive for greatness. She has 3.4 million followers with an average of 30,951 likes per post.

  1. Danai Gurira (@danaigurira)

Danai Gurira

Gorgeous Danai Gurira may not have 6 million followers like Nyong’o but her 2.8 million Instagram followers give her an average of 143,690 likes per post. However, the Zimbabwean Hollywood actress is most famous for her role in Black Panther. Born in Iowa to a chemistry lecturer, Danai graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

  1. Uche Jombo (@uchejombo)

Uche Jombo

Actress Uche Jombo is also a screenwriter and producer. She has played myriads of roles since her acting debut. Uche is one of the most influential faces in Nollywood and her 2.7 million Instagram followers confirm this fact. Her posts get an average of 15,474 likes.

  1. Pearl Thusi (@pearlthusi)

Pearl Thusi

Pearl Thusi is a South African actress popular for are versatility. She plays the lead role as Queen Sono in the same named Netflix crime drama series. Perl is also a radio personality, TV host, and a model. Pearl’s 2.3 million followers, may seem little but her posts get an average of 20,982 likes.

  1. Nomzamo Mbatha (@nomzamo_m)

Dazzling Nomzamo Mbatha is not only one of the most beautiful African actresses but she also earned her place as one of the most influential on Instagram with 2.1 million followers. She is a brand ambassador of Audi, Puma and the face of Neutrogena. Her post gets an average of 27,661 likes.

  1. Yvonne Okoro (@yvonneokoro)

Yvonne Okoro

The dynamic Yvonne Okoro is an influential Ghollywood actress. Her stunning beauty is a burning topic among male fans. She has won four African Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards. She commands 1.9 million followers on Instagram. However, she gets an average of 30,338 likes per post which is more than third-placed Genevieve Nnaji.

  1. Nadia Buari (@iamnadiabuari)

Nadia Buari

The humble and shy nature of Nadia Buari endears hers to fans in Ghana and abroad. Nadia is not only among the top 20 influential African Actresses but also bagged multiple nominations. However, her big break in the movie industry came after her role as Beyonce in the movie, “Beyonce: The President’s Daughter”. She has 1.8 million Instagram followers with an average of 38,792 likes per post.

      1. Omoni Oboli (@omonioboli)

Omoni Oboli

Fan favorite actress Omoni Oboli is also a producer, director, and scriptwriter. She has been active in the industry from 2009 to date. She won the Best Actress Narrative Feature in 2010 at the Los Angeles Movie Awards. Omoni has 1.7 million followers on Instagram and her posts get an average of 19,784 likes.

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Celebrities

10 Things Nipsey Hussle Did To Help Transform His Community

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Nipsey Hussle

Eritrean-American, Ermias Asghedom aka Nipsey Hussle was shot multiple times on the 31st of March in front of a strip mall he was developing. However, the motive is still unknown. The sudden demise of the 33-year old rapper and father of two threw LA community and his fans around the globe into mourning. But, his death also turned the focus on his community transformation works. Hussle was an entrepreneur and an activist but many did not realize up until his death. Fans are now calling for a continuation of his legacy. Below are ten ways Hussle was positively transforming his community.

#1 – Gun violence

Gun violence is a great problem in Los Angeles. However, Hussle was already working with the LA police department to find a solution to this menace. In fact, Steve Soboroff, the LA Police Commissioner revealed Hussle had scheduled a meeting with the LAPD to discuss gun violence on 1st of April. Sadly, he didn’t live to see that day.

In an interview in 2018, Nipsey Hussle described his experience living within a neighborhood terrorized by gun violence.

“It was like living in a war zone, where people die on these blocks and everybody is a little bit immune to it. I guess they call it post-traumatic stress, when you have people that have been at war for such a long time. I think L.A. suffers from that because it’s not normal yet we embrace it like it is after a while.”

#2 – Encouraging young students to learn

Hussle gave South LA’s 59th Elementary School money to get a new pair of shoes for every student. Hussle understood that education is the greatest gift that you can give any child. However, not every child understands the importance of education because of their limited experience and logic reasoning. Notwithstanding, incentives like a pair of shoes is what will keep some children longing for school.

#3 – Education Infrastructure

Nipsey Hussle partnered with Puma to renovate playgrounds and basketball courts in 59th Street Elementary School. In a 2018 interview with The Los Angeles Times Hussle explained his motivation for investing in educational infrastructure. He said,

“I remember being young and really having the best intentions and not being met on my efforts. You’re, like, ‘I’m going to really lock into my goals and my passion and my talents’ but you see no industry support. You see no structures or infrastructure built and you get a little frustrated.”

#4 – Music

The lyrics of Nipsey Hussle’s songs were mostly laden with his gang experiences. He didn’t gloat over these experiences. Rather, he paints a gory picture of how life was paper thin as a way of discouraging others from strolling that path. His lyrics were relatable among street hustlers and this made him a local hero. The lyrics to one of his songs in his album ‘Victory Lap’ was, “Damn right, I like the life I built / I’m from west side, 60 … I might got killed / Standin’ so tall, they think I might got stilts/ Legendary baller, like Mike, like Wilt.”

#5 – The Marathon Clothing


The Marathon Clothing is one of Nipsey Hussle’s investment in his neighborhood. It has now become a symbol of empowerment and commitment to a neighborhood famous for its violent penchants. It was in the same shop he sold 1,000 mixtapes at $100 each. People thought he was crazy until Jay-Z bought $10,000 worth of copies. This really helped him to launch his career. It was also in front of this store that his life was senselessly ended from gunshot wounds.

The flagship store had an overwhelming influx of orders after Hussle died. They closed their doors this week. However, their e-commerce site remains functional. They put out the following message on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

Thank you 🏁

A post shared by The Marathon Clothing (@themarathonclothing) on

#6 – Jobs

Nipsey Hussle’s investments and entrepreneurship drive in his community also gave him the opportunity to become an employer. Within hours after his death, an elderly man was in a video praising the rapper for giving him a job. This might appear to be a lone case. However, several others are also direct beneficiaries of Hussle’s persistence to build wealth.

#7 – Vector90

Vector90 is a 4,700 square foot shared working space with a kitchen, hot desk, private conference rooms, and several other amenities. Nipsey Hussle was part of the building of Vector90 in Crenshaw District. The shared working space connects young talents in impoverished communities with Silicon Valley opportunities. With as little as $20 you get a day pass that gives you access to all the amenities except the conference room. However, students and locals get huge discounts to use the space. Vector90 gives a diverse group of people the opportunity to meet, network, and collaborate.

#8 – Real Estate

Nipsey Hussle invested millions of dollars on a strip mall property on Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue in a bid to bring jobs and black-owned businesses to South LA. Hussle and his business partner, Dave Gross were working on an initiative, ‘Our Opportunity’. Hussle told Forbes in February 2019 he wants to work with black community leaders across all the U.S. cities to create real estate hub and small businesses to benefit the black community.

#9 – Destination Crenshaw

Destination Crenshaw

Destination Crenshaw Initiative

Hussle was working hard to revamp the image of his neighborhood. Consequently, he was part of the Destination Crenshaw, an initiative with a 1.3-mile open-air museum for the exhibition of rotating and permanent art design reveling black culture and history. Furthermore, the project on Crenshaw Boulevard was to promote cultural experiences.

#10 – “Dropping the Rope”

Nipsey Hussle was not only a rapper, or an Entrepreneur. He was a man determined to improve the situation of the community that he grew up in.

In what is perhaps his first on-camera interview, at the Russell Simmons’ Get Your Money Right summit in 2006, hip-hop journalist Davey D asked Hussle

“How come you not blingin’ and having all kind of crazy diamonds and all that?” To which Hussle replied, “I’d rather invest in some real estate”.
“So you trying to get land?” Davey D asked. “Exactly, homie, a real asset to take care of my people,” Hussle said matter-of-factly.

He had stayed focused in his short life, on a simple mission which he shared with Foxla in an interview that was published November 2018.

“We playing the long game. We don’t want the money to stop when we go. When we can’t work no more. We want it to outlive us, we want it to be generational,” Hussle said to FOX 11 reporter Leah Uk.

“I call it ‘dropping the rope’. You’ve got to drop a rope. Everybody got to climb up, but you gotta drop the rope.”

'I call it ‘dropping the rope’. You’ve got to drop a rope. Everybody got to climb up, but you gotta drop the rope.' - Nipsey Hussle Click To Tweet

His legacy was founded on this idea of pulling the community up by the bootstraps. He was determined to transform his community for the better and he put his money where his heart was.

EDITOR’S NOTE

When I first heard of Nipsey Hussle’s passing, I had no idea who he was. Then the news persisted and I started learning about the guy and I could not help but admire a man who was determined to ‘drop the rope’ and pull up his community. It is my hope that we are all inspired to drop the rope so others can climb whenever and wherever the opportunity arises. May his legacy live on in all of us who have been inspired by a young man gone too soon.

— Belle Niba, Editorial Director

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Celebrities

SZA Surprises Fans With The Adoption Of Nigerian Names

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SZA adopts Nigerian names

American music sensation Solana Rowe aka SZA made eyes pop on her Instagram page recently. However, this time it wasn’t just about stunning pictures. The music star on Thursday, April 11th, 2019, adopted two Nigerian names, “Amarachi Chinonso”. The names which are peculiar with the Igbos in Southeastern Nigeria means “God’s grace” and “God is close” respectively. The Instagram sensation has over 5.7 million followers. Mix reactions followed SZA’s name change. There were the positives, negatives and the neutral.

The 29-year old singer was born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother in St. Louis. Fans immediately began to pour out their admiration for the African-American artiste’s willingness to identify with her African heritage. However, not every fan loves to make assumptions. A few fans were keen to find out the motive for her actions.

Some of the reactions trailing SZA’s name change

A picture posted days after the name change has over 618k likes and 4k comments. In addition to admiring her stunning beauty, a number of the comments revolves around her name change. However, a few of the inspiring or eyebrow-raising comments include;

Zizilords.xo; “Chineke such beauty!!! Daluu ooh#igbo_sister”

Majesty_lyn; “Omg, you’re Nigerian!!!!!!! I’m screaming”.

Itslavivi; “Can you please tell us the inspiration behind the Igbo name in your bio?”

Kelechikakesss; “If you (‘re) Nigerian, can you tell us because we wanna know ASAP?”

Obsessed_style; “Shoutout to @SZA for being an absolute queen. We’ve always love you but now our love for you is x3. Igbo kwenu!”

Carolinetheshe_; Nice fit but please we need clarity on your new Nigerian names

Derinfromisaleeko: We need to know, are you Nigerian? Are you one of us.. We love you still if you aren’t.

Recent and past musical projects

The Grammy-nominee songstress performed recently at Dreamville festival. The event was also graced by Nigerian Afrobeat star, Davido. For the past few weeks, the artist has been teasing her fans on social media about her upcoming project. Apparently, SZA featured alongside ‘Travis Scott’ and ‘The Weekend’ on Game of Thrones official soundtrack. On Thursday 18, April, SZA finally shared the Game of Thrones soundtrack with the caption ‘POWER IS POWER OUT NOW”

SZA shot into limelight in 2017 with the release of her debut album, ‘Ctrl’. The album made its debut on the US Billboard 200 at number 3. Consequently, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) gave the album platinum certification. The album got four Grammy Awards nominations. SZA, on the other hand, bagged the ‘Best New Artiste’ nomination at the 60th award ceremony.

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Art

Check Out The Song That Took ‘Song Of The Year’ At The 2019 NAMA

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It was a night of glitz and glamor on Saturday 13th April 2019 at the Harare International Conference Center for the 18th National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA). Celebrities and dignitaries were spotted at the center in scintillating outfits. There were musical performances by music stars like Enzo. However, the climax of the event was the award of plaques in different categories for outstanding works.

The music category always draws the most attention. However, this year had lots of surprise entries. The gospel sensation, Mai Patai was voted the best in the People’s Choice category. Patai recently broke the jinx in the Coca-Cola Radio Zimbabwe Top 50 by becoming the first woman to make it to the top three. Another female gospel musician whose hard work continues to pay off is Janet Manyowa. Manyowa won the Outstanding Female Musician award.

ALSO READ: Zimbabwe Artists Unite To Raise Funds For Cyclone Idai Victims

A Battle For Experience And Fame

One of the keenly contested categories at NAMA is the Outstanding Male Musician. Three superstars Baba Harare, Enzo Ishall and ExQ contended the award. However, many believe the ‘Nzenza’ crooner ExQ’s longevity and experience set him apart from his competitors. It was double honors for ExQ as his album ‘Tseu Tseu’ won the Outstanding Album. Although losing out of this category, Enzo’s hit track, ‘Kanjiva’ won the ‘Song of the Year’. Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style Enzo said,

“It is such a great honor to receive this award which I dedicate to my son and I would like to thank friends, family, and my fans as well as my producers for supporting me.”

Surprise Name On The Award List

Long John

One of the surprise names on the NAMA Award list was Long John, a rib-cracking comedian. Not many saw this coming. From John’s reactions, it is obvious he did not see it coming too. The vibrant comedian took to his Facebook to share his joy.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m in shock. I’ve never won anything in my life. But today I am so happy to announce that I’ve just Won the Outstanding Comedian Award. This is so unreal. I even have a certificate and everything. Thank you so much, everyone, for your support #VillageBoy.”

List OF NAMA Award Winners

Spoken Words Award

  • Outstanding Poet: Likhwa Ncube
  • Outstanding Comedian: Learnmore “Long John” Mwanyenyeka

Literary Arts Awards

  • Outstanding First Creative Published Book: Gather the Children by Batsirai Chigama (Ntombekhaya Poetry)
  • Outstanding Children’s Book: The City Girl by Elisha July and Tendai K. Rudanda (Pass-Point Publishers)
  • Outstanding Fiction: Mazai Emheni by Daniel Mutendi (DanTs Media Publishing)

Theatre Awards

  • Outstanding Actor: Teddy Mangawa in Ukama
  • Actress: Qeqeshiwe M’thembo in The Hostel
  • Outstanding Theatrical Production: Ukama by Savanna Trust
  • Outstanding Director: Lloyd Nyikadzino for Zandezi

Dance Awards

  • Outstanding Female Dancer: Vein N Alfazema in Black Sheep
  • Male Dancer: Martin Chabuka in 100% Afro
  • Outstanding Dance Group: Real Flex Dance Group directed by Martin Chabuka
  • Outstanding Choreographer: Macintosh Jerahuni and Chaleen Chimara – Iwe Neni Tinebasa

Visual Arts

  • Outstanding 2 Dimensional Work: The Demolition by John Kotze
  • 3 Dimensional Work: Zvirimudombo by Shelton Mubayi
  • Outstanding Mix Media Work: The Watchman and the Fence by Greg Shaw
  • Outstanding Exhibition: The Grotesque by Alan Sibanda and Talent Kapadza

Film and Television Awards

  • Outstanding Actor: Eddie Sandifolo as Clive in Bhachi
  • Special Mention: Admire Kuzhangaira – in Death and Other Complications
  • Outstanding Actress: Tendaishe Chitima as Anesu in Cook Off
  • Outstanding Music Video: Dzamutsana ft. Jah Prayzah produced by Vusa Hlatshayo (aka Blaq)
  • Outstanding Screen Production (Television Series): Kuchina The Genesis directed by Blessing Gatsi
  • Special Mention: Gaza directed by Ben Mahaka
  • Outstanding Screen Production – Short Film: Bhachi directed by Shupai Kamunyaru
  • Outstanding Screen Production – Full-Length Film: Cook Off directed by Thomas Brickhill

Media Awards

  • Outstanding Journalist – Print: Fred Zindi – The Standard
  • Television: Patience Nyagato – ZTV
  • Radio: Babongile Sikhonjwa (aka uMrifiti) – Sky Metro FM
  • Outstanding Online Media: Capitalk

Music Awards

  • Outstanding Female Musician: Janet Manyowa
  • Male Musician: Enoch “ExQ” Munhenga
  • Outstanding Album: Tseu Tseu by ExQ
  • Outstanding Song: Kanjiva by Stephen “Enzo Ishall” Mamhere
  • People’s Choice Award Winner: Mai Patai

Special Awards

  • Artist in the Diaspora: Danai J. Gurira
  • Outstanding Promoter: Unplugged Zimbabwe
  • Arts Personality Award of the Year: Mokoomba
  • Arts Service Award: The Standard Newspaper
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Charles Mungoshi

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