Nollywood actress, Omotola Jolade-Ekeinde, has been named amongst the 100 most influential people in the world, describing the 34 year old as “Africa’s most renowned leading lady.” The TIME Magazine made the announcement yesterday.
Jolade-Ekeinde was named in the 2013 icons category of the list alongside young Pakistani activist; Malala Yousafzai, US first lady Michelle Obama, Burmese pro-democracy activist; Aung San Sun Kyi, RnB diva; Beyonce, Justin Timberlake and controversial Italian footballer; Mario Balloteli.
Others in the category are Duchess of Cambridge; Kate Middleton, Chinese tennis champion; Li Na, three times Oscar award winner; Daniel Day-Lewis.
Writing a profile on the actress who recently launched a reality show about her life on M-NET; TIME’s movie critic, Richard Corliss, described Omotola as the “Queen of Nollywood.”
Fondly called OmoSexy by her fans, she has made 300 or so movies, from the 1996 Mortal Inheritance to the 2010 super production Ijé, shot partly on location in Los Angeles.
Married to an airline pilot she met on a flight from Lagos to Benin, Jalade-Ekeinde brings a juggler’s grace to her roles as actress, singer, reality-show star, mother of four and philanthropist (the Omotola Youth Empowerment Programme)” the profile reads.
Corliss said of Omotola’s recent claim in an interview that she will never go to Hollywood, saying that “success hasn’t spoiled Africa’s most renowned leading lady. Rather than going Hollywood, Omotola wants to stay Nollywood.”
According to Collins, Nollywood is the world’s most productive English-language film industry not Hollywood. “The world’s most productive English-language film industry is not Hollywood but Nollywood. The teeming Nigerian cinema grinds out some 2,500 movies a year, mostly direct-to-DVD quickies mixing melodrama, music and an evangelical Christian spin. (Think Bollywood via Tyler Perry.)” he said.
Jolade-Ekeinde is the only Nigerian on this year’s list same way President Goodluck Jonathan solely represented Nigerian face in 2012.
Others on the current list selected under different categories include US president Barrack Obama, newly-stalled Pope Francis I, Somalian president Hassan Sheik Mohamud, US Senator Rand Paul, Malawain President Joyce Banda, Jay-Z, Jennifer Lawrence, Joe Biden, Abdullah Ocalan, Aamir Kan, Tadashi Yanai, among several others.