Music

You May Remember These Early 2000s Songs by Nollywood Actors

Every now and then we find ourselves going back to listen to music from 2002 – 2009 or opening up YouTube to watch Nigerian movies from around the time. It’s never anything serious, just for the thrill and nostalgia. Recently, though, have you tried both? Yes, both — listening to music created by Nollywood actors of way back when. No?

Did you forget that in 2004, eight star actors were banned from Nollywood because they preferred market distributors to independent producers? The singular action caused a chain reaction of a few positives with the emergence of new actors in the film scene, some negatives as the banned actors were unable to find work in the acting business, and some we’re-not-sure-what-itives with dabbles into music by a few of the outlawed actors.

Let’s take you back.

Susana – Nkem Owoh

Before Bolanle, Olufunmi, Caro, Ada and Onyinye came Susana, a single by veteran Nollywood actor, Nkem Owoh aka ‘Osuofia’. At the start of the music video, he looks very pensive and unhappy. We later find out that he exhausted all his money spoiling Susana with tasty meals like isi-ewu, nkwobi and chicken pepper soup. He even gave expensive gifts to members of her family as declarations of his love. Heartbreak came along with his poverty as he thought she’d always be with him but in their case, when “money go / love go”.

I Go Chop Your Dollar – Nkem Owoh

No idea why Nkem Owoh sang this but this single reminds us of the story of Emmanuel Nwude, the man behind one of the largest cons in history. In the late 90s, Nwude defrauded an unwitting Brazilian bank manager of $242 million by convincing the manager to invest in a new airport in the country —the airport and plans for its construction of course, never existing. Nwude went to trial on fraud charges. We’re just going to close our eyes to the message here and give you ours instead: Section 419 of the Criminal Code provides for a punishable offence against the Federal Republic of Nigeria which sounds a lot like what he’s singing about .

National Moi Moi – Patience Ozokwor aka Mama G

If you ask us, we’ve seen worse government manifestoes. Known for acting as a wicked mother / step-mother through the peak of her acting career, fans came up with the nickname Mama G, the G standing for General. The long video above also includes some of her other singles, Iyo Ngwo Ngwo, This Kind Of Woman, and We Go Jolly. Mut4y & Wizkid sampled We Go Jolly, arguably her biggest song, in the 2017 hit, Manya. produced by Killertunes.

No More – Genevieve Nnaji

Genevieve has always been for women. Most of us didn’t realise it then, especially as the message of the song was glossed over by a rather elaborate music video, but No More is a song encouraging women to discover their power and leave abusive and harmful relationships. She sings, “No More hits ooo / No more Crying oo/ No more fighting ooo /No more tears o /I got my freedom power and more.” The track is a song off her album ‘One Logologo Line‘ released on December 11, 2004 in Accra, Ghana under Westside Music Inc. and produced by Kiki Branson.

Feel Alright – Omotola Jalade Ekeinde

Released in 2009, Feel Alright is one of the actress’ hottest singles. It was later added to her 2010 album, Me Myself & Eyes. Before the album, she shared her first project with the world in 2005, Gba, a 10-track LP including collaborations with Ruggedman, Pasto Goody Goody, Six O, Rymzo De Gusto. It was produced by OJB Jezreel. Omotola was able to create two full projects while appearing in hundreds of movies over the period and maintaining her spot in the film industry. Phenomenal. Although her dabble into the music scene didn’t meet the expected outcome, she can always say she tried — and she’s not even done. Back in May, the actress announced her second return to music, her “first love.”

Who Am I – Jim Iyke Feat. 2Face

Yes, Jim Iyke too. One of the top Nollywood lover boys of the 2000s also attempted to venture into music back in the day. In an interview in 2018, the actor spoke of his brief stint in the music industry. He said, ” I was interested in music and like everything else that I have foresight for, I saw where the career was going. I knew I did not know how to sing but I wanted to invest in the business, so I decided to try my luck. I did it so that no one would ever tell me that I did not try or I do not know anything about music.” Well, Jim Iyke, you tried.

Hi – Tonto Dikeh

We admit this isn’t a song of the early 2000s but it fit in here just right! Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh, made her debut into the music scene in 2012 with her upbeat single, Hi. She’d always done great in music videos if you noticed her in Patience Ozokwor’s Iyo Ngwo Ngwo … but not so good with her own music. There was a lot of hype around Hi upon release but it just didn’t grow into a major hit. Despite all the criticism, she released other songs, Ikebe & Sugar Rush .

There you go! Did you feel any nostalgia? Which songs sounded familiar? Will any of these tracks be added to your current playlist? Share and let us know in the comments!

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