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Screenshot from 'Blood Sisters" via YouTube.

The 7 Best Genevieve Nnaji Movies

To celebrate Lionheart's Oscar nomination, we take a look back at the celebrated Nigerian actress' most iconic roles and where to watch them.

It's certainly not blasphemy to say that Genevieve Nnaji is Nollywood's greatest export. Across the course of her career—which spans over 20 years—Nnaji has achieved everything an actor is supposed to and played just about every role you can think of. She emerged as a promising child actor in the 80s, won our hearts with her heartbreaking performance in Ijele and cemented her status as a star with the iconic Sharon Stone role. She then went on to rule the Nigerian film industry (and our hearts) for several years.

Last year, she added a cherry on the delicious cake that is her career with her directorial debut Lionheart, a sentimental drama with a feminist undertone. The film birthed many firsts for Nnaji and Nollywood: it is the first Netflix original Nigerian film and Nigeria's first submission to the Oscars.

Lionheart took Nnaji to Canada for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)—where it was nominated for the Grolsch People's Choice Award—and Morocco for the International Film Festival Marrakech. A deal with a Hollywood-based talent agency followed, and suddenly our not-so-hidden gem became the apple of the world's eyes.

To celebrate the actor and her standout career, OkayAfrica presents you with seven of her most memorable performances. Check them out below.


Ijele (1999)

Ijele, the son of the gods and the most powerful man in Obiligwe, has eyes only for Oma. When she was sick, he traveled into the evil forest—where he wrestled whirlwind and crossed a river of fire—to find a cure for her. When the goddess of rain and the entire village try to force another bride on him, he refuses. As the passionate Oma, Nnaji delivers a performance that put her budding career on a pedestal.

Sharon Stone (2002)

Sharon Stone will be remembered as the star-making performance of Nnaji's career. She played the titular character, a conniving young beauty who thinks she is too pretty for one man. There are players and there is Sharon Stone—the greatest player ever in Nollywood. At the peak of her shenanigans, Sharon was engaged to three men at once: a young boy, Dallas; a military man, Tony; and a middle-aged man named Uche.

Blood Sisters (2003)

Despite her looks, Nnaji was never typecast as just "the pretty girl," because she convincingly portrayed a range of characters during the early stages of her career. In Blood Sister, she played her most memorable villainous role to date. Esther and Gloria are blood sisters, but Esther feels nothing but hatred for her elder sister. She is constantly threatened by her sister's better grades and luck with men. Her envy of Gloria pushes her to do something incredibly wicked.

The film is the first featuring Nnaji and Omotola Jalade, who played Gloria. Nnaji's searing performance as a wicked sister and stepmother and Jalade's embodiment of the good sister role birthed a rivalry between the two actresses (that existed only between their fans.)

Private Sin (2004)

Most of Nnaji's roles in the early 2000s required her to be sober and vivacious. Her characters often went from bubbly to lifeless at the drop of a dime and she always aced that transition. In Private Sin, she nails the dichotomy, once again, as Faith, a pastor's wife who leads a double life. In the church, she is a fierce worshipper, at home–she is a painfully cruel wife. Nnaji's charismatic performance as the sarcastic Faith has all her best qualities—she's charming, striking and dominating all in one.

Ijé: The Journey (2010)

After the vitriol that ran through Blood Sisters, it was only fair that the world got to witness another film in which Nnaji and Jalade played sisters that actually loved each other. In Ijé; the Journey, Nnaji's character Chioma leaves Nigeria for the United States to help her sister, Anya who's been accused of killing her husband. Just as she brilliantly acted a wicked sister, Nnaji aced the good sister role with another masterful performance—a reminder of her versatility.

Road to yesterday (2015)

After being somewhat absent from the big screen, Nnaji returned with Road to Yesterday, a sobering love story that follows an estranged couple who try to fix their marriage on a road trip. The flawless performance from Nnaji is the type we've have come to expect of her. This also marked the actress' first time acting as producer.

Lionheart (2018)

This Netflix Original is Nnaji's biggest and best film yet. Here she is a director, producer, co-writer, and star of the show. Her character, Adaeze is the most fitting (and competent) to replace her dad as the CEO of his bus company. But when an opportunity presents itself, she is overlooked for her feckless uncle, despite her impeccable track record. She, like most women, has to work even harder to prove herself worthy.

Adaeze may not be Nnaji's most challenging character, but it is one of the most important she has played thus far. Her performance is still striking as ever—simple but effective. The film's feminist undertone, rich display of Igbo culture, and comical elements ensured that a story about a hostile takeover remains enjoyable all the way through.

Check out more Genevieve Nnaji roles in: 6 Terrifying Nollywood Horror Films to Watch This Halloween

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Still from 'Black Lady Goddess'

Check Out the Trailer for 'Black Lady Goddess,' a Satirical Afro-futuristic Series

The upcoming series, by Chelsea Odufu, centers on a "time period where humans have not only found out that God is a Black woman, but reparations have been issued to each person of African descent."

Black Lady Goddess is a new series from Nigerian-Guyanese filmmaker and content creator Chelsea Odufu.

The upcoming show, described as a "satirical afro-futurisitc" tale, takes place in the year 2040, when humans have come into contact with their creator—a Black woman.

"[Black Lady Goddess] follows the life of young activist Ifeoma Washington who is coming into her own in this time period where humans have not only found out that God is a Black woman, but after reparations in the amount of $455,000 has been issued to each person of African descent," reads the official synopsis. The show highlights how those of African descent grapple with the effects of ongoing Western Hegemony.

Still from 'Black Lady Goddess'

The show is heavily inspired by the Dogon Tribe of Mali, a group that has pioneered the study of astronomy for decades, and centers the experiences of Black women. "Black Lady Goddess submerges us into a world where God is a woman breaking away from the usual representation of God being a masculine figure, which we see throughout western canonical literature," says Odufu in an artist statement. "The goal is to break the chains of patriarchy and show that women can hold positions of power, authority, cultural significance and even the highest position of all, the creator of the universe."

Still from 'Black Lady Goddess'

The first season consists of eight 22-minute episodes, created, directed and written by Chelsea Odufu and written and produced by Emann Odufu.

Be on the lookout for the series premiere and check out the trailer for the pilot episode of Black Lady Goddess below.

Black Lady Goddess Pilot Episode Official Trailer www.youtube.com

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Watch the Trailer for 'Uncorked,' Starring Mauritanian-American Actor Mamoudou Athie

The upcoming Netflix film, about an aspiring sommelier, also stars Courtney B. Vance and Niecy Nash.

Netflix has released the trailer for its upcoming original film, Uncorked. The movie stars Mauritanian-American actor, Mamoudou Athie in the lead role as an aspiring sommelier.

The rising actor has previously starred in the films The Circle, as well as the Netflix series The Get Down.

The film was written by Insecure show runner Prentice Penny and was originally set to premiere at Austin-based festival SXSW before it was cancelled for the first time in 34 years due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Davido's Fiancé, Chioma Rowland, Tests Positive For Coronavirus

The Nigerian musician made the announcement via a heartfelt Instagram post on Friday.

Chioma Rowland, the fiancé of star Nigerian musician Davido, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The artist shared the news via Instagram on Friday, writing that he and 31 people on his team decided to get tested after returning back to Lagos from abroad. While he and the rest of his team received negative results, Rowland's test came back positive.

"Unfortunately, my fiancé's results came back positive while all 31 others tested have come back negative including our baby," wrote Davido. He added that they both showed no systems, but would be self-isolating as a safety measure.

"We are however doing perfectly fine and she is even still yet to show any symptoms whatsoever. She is now being quarantined and I have also gone into full self isolation for the minimum 14 days," he added. "I want to use this opportunity to thank you all for your endless love and prayers in advance and to urge everyone to please stay at home as we control the spread of this virus! Together we can beat this!"

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Juls Drops New Music Video for 'Soweto Blues' Featuring Busiswa and Jaz Karis

The Ghanaian-British producer heads to South Africa for the music video for the amapiano-inspired track.

Heavyweight Ghanaian-British producer Juls shares his first offering of 2020, and it does not disappoint.

The producer enlists South African music star Busiswa and London's Jaz Karis for the jazz-inflected "Soweto Blues," which also boasts elements of South Africa's dominant electronic sound, Amapiano. The slow-burner features airy vocals from Karis who features prominently on the 3-minute track, while Busiswa delivers a standout bridge in her signature high-energy tone.

"The song dubbed "Soweto Blues" is a song depicting the love, sadness and fun times that Soweto tends to offer its people," read the song's YouTube description. The video premiered earlier today on The Fader. "The energy is amazing, the people are lovely and I've found a second home — especially the vibrancy of Soweto," the producer told The Fader about his trip to Soweto for the making of the video "Jaz Karis is singing a love song, which is symbolic of my new love of Soweto and I'm honoured to have worked with Busiswa whom I have been a fan of for a long time."

Fittingly, the music video sees Juls traveling through the township, taking in its sights and energy. The video, directed by Nigel Stöckl, features striking shots of the popular area and its skilled pantsula dancers.

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