Director: So it’s a different movie, and different story line.
Nigerian Actor: Okay
Director: But you know that guy you played in 2007? That angry Chief?
Nigerian Actor: Yes.
Director: We want you to do exactly the same things you did then here.
That, my good friends, is the sort of conversation that happens all over Nigeria in Nollywood sets everyday.
Well, they better be. It has come to my attention that certain actors have basically been playing the same character for the whole of their career. Sure, the names change, and so do the sets, sometimes the story lines change too, but if you’re honest you’ll just know that it’s the same guy they’re portraying. It just seems that every time you stumble upon a Nigerian film, you’ll see these particular people doing the same things.
TOP TEN NIGERIAN ACTORS WHO ARE THE SAME GUY IN EVERY MOVIE
It should go without saying that Mr Ibu is Mr Ibu in every movie. Sometimes he’s a teacher, a priest, a lazy good for nothing lout lazying around doing nothing good, but every character revolves around the person of Mr Ibu. Which basically consists of him figuring out the most annoying things to do and say and then doing and saying them.
The most annoying thing is I’m sure Mr Ibu’s real name is not Mr Ibu. That just shows you the lengths he’ll go in order to annoy anyone. I think in real life he acts as Mr Ibu. And Mr Ibu gets hired to act as other people in movies.
AKI AND PAWPAW as AKI AND PAWPAW
When it comes to being the same guys in every movie, it almost doesn’t get better that these two guys. Look, pick any single film involving both of them together, ANY FILM I say, and I can give you an accurate description of what they’ll be doing. 1) They will be related. And if they aren’t , they’ll be in cahoots. 2) They’ll be in the Village. 3) They will neither be heroes nor villains, just funny guys doing funny things to funny people. They will also be speaking in those mildly grating high pitched tones we’ve all grown to love.
HANK: THE BAD BOY WITH INEXPLICABLE FOREIGN ACCENT
Hank always is and will be the Bad Guy With A Foreign Accent. The movie can begin in some village consisting of 3 huts and one Babalawo. When you see some tall, hunky looking fellow speaking in a close lipped American accent- and doing this despite never having been outside Nigeria as far as the plot is concerned- just know it’s Hanks.
This is an aside, but let me say I have noticed the fellow has a penchant for getting involved in ridiculous storylines. There’s one I could tell you guys about, but quite frankly, I’m not sure you would believe me.
UKWA: IGNORANT GUY FROM THE VILLAGE
You know this guy as Ukwa or Usoufia, names he’s received from eponymous movies. He’s just the jolly ignorant guy from the village basically. Every single time.
PATIENCE UZOKWOR: EVERYBODY’S WICKED STEP MOTHER
Patience Uzoku has been everybody’s wicked stepmother for as long as we can remember. She’s been everybody on this list’s step mother. Even if the movie release poster shows her all dressed up in nun’s clothes and holding a Nobel prize, you just know that as soon as you start watching the movie, she will bewickeding someone’s step child. The plot might call for her to be a scientific heroine discovering the cure to cancer, but you just know that in her spare time, she’ll find a waytobe mean to some unfortunate bloke or lass.
JIM IYKE: YOUR QUINTESSENTIAL BAD BOY
Jim Iyke is just the Bad Guy. You watch a thousand movies of him being the same tough, hard hitting, frowning guy, and you wonder why. Then you bump into him and the hard truth hits you: He isn’t acting.
OLU JACOBS: THE CONGENIAL AVUNCULAR CHAP
Here’s the congenial avuncular chap, if there ever was one. I dare anyone to show me a movie in which he was not being someone’s uncle and dispensing advice from beneath his mustache. There’s this one movie where he’s the girl’s father, but it takes you a while to figure that out because he’s acting like her uncle.
PETE EDOCHIE, MAN OF WISDOM
It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane. No, it’s Pete Edochie saying another proverb. Pete Edochie is full of it. Proverbs, I mean. He has one for every situation. If a knew Chief needs to be elected: “The Elders have a saying,”The head of the yam… must also go into the pot.””
Or say his daughter’s about to wed, watch him pull her fiance to the side and go, “The cock that crows too early….should be aware that the butcher’s knife is coming.”
Or say, he just came down to the kitchen for a midnight snack, opened the fridge and discovered there’s no peanut butter. He’ll be like, “Amadioha knows that the jar…is neither half full…nor half empty.”
THAT GUY FROM 24
Hakeem deserves the grand prize for this one. We want to appreciate him for his groundbreaking rendition of Black Guy with unidentifiable African Accent in 24 season 7. Also for his award worthy performance of black Guy with the unidentifiable African Accent in that movie about Sudan: Darfur. Also for opening our eyes in that never performance in Hotel Rwanda in which he was the Black Guy with an unrecognizable African accent. This unrepentant fellow returns in the movie rendition of Half Of A Yellow Sun.