by Isaac Oguntoye
The misconception that the Nollywood industry is beset with actors and actresses who are illiterates, is quite popular, however a close look at this industry have lawyers, medical doctors and lecturers, who double up as actors. Below are a list of veteran nollywood stars who lecture in higher institutions in Nigeria. Beyond their acting prowess, these individuals are educated professionals, ready to impact the much younger generation.
Peter Fatomilola is known for his roles as a witch doctor, before he joined Ori Olokun theatre., according to reports, he became an Ifa priest at the age of 18. He is still a practicing Ifa priest, while he performs at the theatre, he is also the Olu Awo: that is the head of the Awos in Ekiti state. He is married with three wives and is blessed with children. Although predominantly his roles are those of a witch doctor, he has also taken the role of a pastor of imam in many Nollywood movies. An interesting about the career part of this ace actor, is the fact that he is a member of the academic staff of Obafemi Awolowo University.
Sola Fosudo is a prolific Nigerian dramatist, scholar, critic, film actor and director. Sola hails from Lagos State. He was trained as a dramatist at Obafemi Awolowo University and University of Ibadan where he obtained a Masters of Art degree in drama. He has featured and directed several Nigerian films. He is also the head of the Department, Theatre Arts, Lagos State University and the University’s director of information.
Professor Ayo Akinwale is a Nigerian actor, producer and academician. He was born in Ibadan and attended Methodist High School and his higher institution in University of Ibadan before commencing academic work as a lecturer at the Polytechnic Ibadan. He is the Dean, Faculty of Arts and Culture of University of Ilorin. He is also the chairman of Oyo State Council for Arts and Culture. He began his acting career in the 1970s featuring in television and drama productions. He won the Best Indigenous actor award at the 4th Africa Movie Academy Awards. He has been a judge on several cultural festivals across Nigeria.
Afeez Oyetoro is a Nigerian comic actor, popularly known as “Saka”. Oyetoro is known for his role as the clown in Nollywood movies and has featured in several Nigerian films. He is currently a lecturer in the department of Theatre arts at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Lagos State, Nigeria. In 2016, he appeared in The Wedding Party and in the comedy-crime/heist film Ojukokoro (Greed).
Dr. Tunji Sotimirin is widely known for his musical outfit called Konkere. He is a comedian and also a Theatre Arts lecturer at the University of Lagos where he handles Drama. The actor whose activity in the Nigerian movie industry spans almost three decades believes education is the key to attain a greater height in life.
Professor Akinwunmi Isola (b. Ibadan) is a Nigerian playwright, actor, dramatist, culture activist and scholar. He is known for his writing in, and his work in promoting, the Yoruba language. He commenced his academic work as a lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University. He was appointed Professor in the same University, year 1991. Isola wrote his first play, Efunsetan Aniwura, during 1961 and 1962 whilst still a student at the University of Ibadan. This was followed by the novel O Leku. His play became so popular, that a performance in Ibadan was watched by forty thousand people. Also, in 1986, he wrote and composed the college anthem that is currently being sung in Wesley College Ibadan.
Doyin Hassan is popular for his role in Saworeide and has gone on to appear in several Christian movies produced by Mike Bamiloye’s Mount Zion Film Productions. Doyin Hassan who holds a PhD in Marketing, is a senior lecturer in the department of Marketing in Lagos State University. He is also a former HOD at the department.