Africa’s entertainment industry has caught the attention of the world with its rich culture and original stories and music. Many entertainers from the continent have rose to prominence and popularity in recent years, showcasing Africa as a cultural hub to be reckoned with.
There are so many talented young Africans in the entertainment industry. We simply can’t name them all, so we’ve highlighted 10 of the fiercest female Africans in entertainment who are making their mark in Africa and abroad.
1. Tolulope ‘Toolz’ Oniru
Nigeria’s Tolulope ‘Toolz’ Oniru is a successful businesswoman in media who was almost lost to the medical field, but realized that it wasn’t for her after a year of studying chemistry. She then changed course to study business and communications at the University of Westminster. Tools then went on to work in sales for about eight months before landing a job that would spark her passion for entertainment at MTV Networks Europe.
She later moved to the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, but her thirst for a new challenge and adventure led her back to her home country of Nigeria, and she moved to Lagos in mid-2008. While there, someone she knew told her go for auditions at one of Nigeria’s top urban radio stations called The Beat 99.9FM. She nailed the audition and was given a weekly slot. She quickly moved up the ranks and now hosts her own radio show called ‘The Midday Show with Toolz’, and is considered to be one of Nigeria’s most popular media personalities.
Outside of her radio work, Toolz also contributes to the MTV Base Official Naija Top 10 show and twice served as a judge for the Channel O Music Video Awards.
She has also won numerous awards, notably ‘Radio Presenter of the Year’ from the Nigerian Broadcasters Awards in 2010, and ‘Media Personality of the Year’ from the Nigerian Entertainment Awards.
2. Joselyn Canfor Dumas
Joselyn Canfor Dumas is a Ghanaian entertainment powerhouse who rose to prominence after being featured in a film titled Perfect Picture and being headhunted by one of Ghana’s biggest television networks to host their first in-house flagship talk show titled The One Show, which aired from 2010 to 2014. Joselyn currently hosts her own popular TV talk show At Home With Joselyn Dumas, where she interviews celebrities in the comfort of her home.
She has had a successful film career, with notable movies such as Adams Apples (which landed her a nomination for ‘Best Actress in a lead role’ alongside Hollywood Actress Kimberly Elise at the 2011 Ghana Movie Awards), Love or Something Like That (co-produced by her production company, Virgo Sun Company Limited), A Northern Affair and a series titled Lekki Wives.
Joselyn also co-produced one of Ghana’s most prestigious beauty pageants, Miss Malaika Ghana, from 2008 to 2010.
Her passion for giving back to society led to the creation of The Joselyn Canfor-Dumas Foundation, which addresses the needs of vulnerable children in Ghana.
She has won numerous awards, including ‘Best Instagram Page’ at the 2015 Blog Ghana Awards, ‘Best Actress’ at the 2015 GN Bank Awards and ‘Outstanding Personality in Creative Entrepreneurship’ at the 2014 All Africa Media Networks.
3. Terry Pheto
Terry Pheto is an award-winning actress and producer, best known for her leading role as Miriam in the 2005 Oscar-winning feature film ‘Tsotsi’.
She grew up in Soweto, and got her big break at the age of 21 when she was spotted by casting director Moonyeenn Lee in a theatre group in Soweto during the casting process for ‘Tsotsi’. She has also featured in the films ‘Catch A Fire’ and ‘Sekalli Le Meokgo’ in 2006 and ‘Goodbye Bafana’ in 2007 where she played the role of Nelson Mandela’s daughter Zinzi. She later played the role of Nelson Mandela’s first wife Evelyn Mase in the popular ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’.
Her television work includes productions such as ‘Zone 14’, ‘Hopeville’, ‘Jacob’s Cross’, and recently, ‘Rockville Season 3’.
Terry was named as the face of L’Oreal in 2008, and has graced the covers of numerous magazines over the years such as Elle, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and True Love Magazine. In 2011, she landed a recurring role of a heart surgeon in the popular international soapie ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’.
She now has her own production company called Leading Lady Productions, which recently produced ‘Ayanda and the Mechanic’, a film which was honored with The Special Jury Prize at the 2015 LA Film Festival.
4. Tiwa Savage
Nigeria’s popular female music artist Tiwa Savage started her music career started when she was a member of her high school band and began writing her own songs. At the age of 16 she landed an opportunity to be a back-up singer for George Michael, which lead to more singing opportunities with prominent artists such as Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan and Kelly Clarkson. She also has background vocal credits on Whitney Houston’s album ‘I Look To You’, and is signed to Sony ATV as a songwriter. Tiwa co-wrote Fantasia’s ‘Collard Greens and Cornbread’ track on the Grammy nominated album ‘Back To Me’, as well as Monica’s ‘New Life’.
She rose to prominence in 2010 with the release of her smash hit ‘Kele Kele Love’, followed by hit singles ‘Love Me, Love Me’, ‘Without My Heart’, ‘Ife Wa Gbona’, ‘Eminando’ and the recent smash hit with Mavin Records which also won ‘Song of the Year’ at the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards ‘Dorobucci’. She set up her own record label in 2010 called 323 Entertainment.
Interesting facts about Tiwa include that she was born and bred in Lagos, and graduated from the University of Kent in the UK with a degree in business administration and accounts. In 2006, she entered the UK’s X-Factor, and made it to the Top 24. In 2011, she co-hosted Nigerian Idol Season II alongside Illrymz, and acted alongside Nollywood heavyweights Joke Silva and Ireti Doyle in the stage adaptation of ‘For Coloured Girls’. Twins has won numerous awards, including ‘Best Vocal Performance’ for ‘Love Me, Love Me‘ at The Headies, ‘Best Female’ for the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards, and ‘Most Gifted Female’ at the 2014 Channel O Music Video Awards.
She married her manager Tunji “TJ Billz” Balogun in 2013, and they welcomed their first child in July 2015.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015