Monday, August 7, 2017

It is Wrong To Call Genevieve Nnaji A "Nollywood Starlet"

It is Wrong To Call Genevieve Nnaji A "Nollywood Starlet"

There are two instances I have seen where foreign publications erroneously called the most celebrated Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji a "Starlet" and I felt slighted by it. The most recent one was by popular film writer and curator, Nadia Denton, curator of the Beyond Nollywood part of the Black Star season at the British Film Institute (BFI) and the author of The Nigerian Filmmaker's Guide to Success: Beyond Nollywood.
She called the Nollywood diva a "Nollywood starlet" in "7 Nigerian Filmmakers Extending the Nollywood Narrative" on the CNN.

It is wrong to call Genevieve a  Nollywood starlet! It is like calling a fully grown eagle an eaglet. 

2017 will be 30 years of Genevieve Nnaji's career as an actress which started decades ago in 1987 when she was an 8-year-old child actress in the popular TV soap opera, "Ripples" of Zeb Ejiro, one of Nigeria's most accomplished TV producers and filmmakers, before the emergence of Nollywood. She is one of the veterans and an indisputable Nollywood diva and an icon of modern African cinema.  Therefore, it is  intellectually and professionally inappropriate to call her a "Nollywood starlet" in 2016!
Only someone who does not know the definition will do that. And a click on Google search will give you the definition. "A Starlet is a young actress promoted and publicized as a future star, especially in motion pictures; a small star or other heavenly body."

Even one of the fast rising Nollywood actresses, Adesua Etomi, the star of the highest grossing Nollywood movie,  "The Wedding Party" who joined Nollywood recently is no longer a starlet, but a full-fledged star in the Nigerian film industry.

Genevieve Nnaji has played leading roles in more than 50 movies and has won many notable awards you can see the list on Wikipedia.
She became the first actress to be awarded Best Actress at the 2001 City Peoples Awards; she  won the inaugural Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2005, making her the first actress to win the award; in 2009, she was referred to as the Julia Roberts of Africa by Oprah Winfrey and in 2011, she was honoured as a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic  by the Nigerian Government for her contribution to Nollywood.


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