Is Adesua Etomi A Great Actress Or Is There Something Else?

Adesua Etomi hype

In June or July 2020, someone started a conversation on Twitter about Adesua Etomi-Wellington’s career. It wasn’t meant to be a conversation because it wasn’t a question. She tweeted that Adesua wasn’t any good but gets roles because of her light skin features. Twitter went crazy. When I saw the tweet, the first thing that came to my mind was “it’s a lie”. Then I read the tweet again and saw that the tweet can be separated into two.

One, is Adesua Etomi a great actor or not?

Two, if she is not a great actress, why is she getting roles?

The second part of the tweet is a lie. Adesua Etomi’s fairer skin has nothing to do with her popularity as a Nollywood superstar. Nigerian men may seem to favour lighter skins and many women may think lighter is more beautiful as bleaching cream sells rather highly here, but we love black beauties and we appreciate talents regardless of colour. Genevieve Nnaji, Stephnie Okereke, Chioma Akpotha, Mercy Johnson, Ini Edo, etc were all women we fell in love with in pre-Cinema Nollywood.

Jim Iyke, Adesua Etomi, Thrill in 'The Set Up'THISDAYLIVE

In the cinema era, we have come to love Lota Chukwu, Linda Usifo, Ini Dima-Okojie, Beverly Naya, etc. All dark-skinned. All really talented. So no, Adesua Etomi-Wellington’s complexion has nothing to do with her rise and rise in Nollywood.

But the first aspect of her tweet is valid. Is Etomi a great actress or is there something else? In Lang201 in Zaria, we were taught thesis statements. To make Prof. Dili happy, let we employ a thesis statement for this: In this essay, I would explore the movies of Adesua Etomi to tell whether she is a great actress or just living a hyped life then draw a final conclusion by seeing (in the case that she is not great) why she is so popular.

Here are the movies I intend to judge the performance of Adesua Etomi.

Falling, September 2015

A Soldier’s Story, September 2015

The Arbitration, August 2016

Wedding Party 1, 2016

Ten Days in Sun City, 2017

The King of Boys, 2018

Up North, December 2018

The Set Up, August 2019

Muna, October 2019

Sugar Rush, December 2020

I would analyze her performance in each of these ten movies and give her a grade out of ten then calculate the mean score. 5/10, she is average; 6/10, she is above average; 7/10, she is really good; 8/10, she is great; 9/10, she is really great; 10/10, perfect. Why selected just ten of her movies? Because these have all if not her most popular shows. My thinking is, if you are great and I select ten of your most known work and analyze them, you should turn out great. If I analyze ten popular songs of Davido or Wizkid or Burna Boy, would they turn out great? Now, do you get the point?

I included the directors of the movies below because I believe it might help with perspectives. To avoid tainting this essay with prejudice, I excluded “Wedding Party 2”. If Etomi was in “Chief Daddy” (shudder), I would have excluded it as well.

Let’s do this.


Director: Niyi Akinmolayan; Role: Lead

“Falling” is one of the films in which Adesua Etomi gave one of her strongest performances on the big screen. In the beginning, we see her and her husband played by Kunle Remi in the love, the kind of love that breaks you into tiny pieces and then molds you back into your partner’s body. Then Kunle gets involved in an accident and is on life support. Everyone tells her to let go, give the word and he will be let go. She says no.

Then the struggle begins. The character of Blossom stirs things up. I think one thing that went for Adesua in this movie is the freedom of being just Adesua Etomi, the freedom to really get involved romantic and not hold back. Mrs. Wellignton wouldn’t have killed this character.

Adesua Etomi pulled an 8/10 in this movie.

A Soldier’s Story

Director: Frankie Ogar; Role: Supporting

Mrs. Wellington’s role in this film was really limited. She appeared three or four times in the whole movie. Linda Ejiofor and Daniel K. Daniel ran the show and they did it in that East-Central African accent that shows the foreign setting of the art. Adesua played the wife of Major Edgar and we see her when her husband is about to depart for the war front, when she grieves his “death”, and when she is now under the care of Colonel Bello. She played this role well, not rocket science in nature, still.

You have to be a terrible actor to mess up a three-scene role. I will give her a 5/10.

The Arbitration

Director: Niyi Akinmolayan; Role: Lead

The Arbitration is Nigeria’s big screen’s biggest contribution to the unreliable character form of narrative. We have Dara played by Etomi and Gbenga played by OC Ukeje telling us their versions of what happened and they are completely crazy and different. And Akinmolayan showed is each point of view in technicolour. You don’t just know who to believe besides the fact that Gbenga is a little or more than just a little son of a bitch.

The end of the movie can be improved upon but we won’t hold it against Adesua. She gets 6/10 for this post.

Wedding Party 1

Director: Kemi Adetiba; Role: Lead

“Wedding Party” is the first movie of Adesua I watched. I liked the movie but that doesn’t remove from the fact that it isn’t a credible story nor one to laud for its aesthetics. It is actually a good movie for the laughs, and even here they overdid it with the character of Emma Og My God.

Adesua Etomi was decent here and, in many instances, more than decent with a spark of genius here and there.

I remember watching this movie with a commentator over my shoulder. Most of the time, her commentary was more interesting than the movie. The character of Etomi didn’t add to this awfulness. It’s a huge credit to her.

She gets 6.5 for this.

Ten Days In Sun City

Director: Adze Ugah; Role: Lead

Watching “Merry Men II” showed me how much AY has grown as a filmmaker. “Ten Days In Sun City” should be the worst movie in his arsenal that I have seen. T-T-Terrible movie this one. The storyline, the sequence, and the action are three things the movie got wrong. A movie can, sometimes, be saved by its actors.

RMD tried his best. Mercy Johnson tried her best. Adesua Etomi tried her best. These are not enough to salvage a movie in the mouth of a foul river. It fell in and what a blast of inconsistencies, boredom, and shallowness.

Adesua Etomi gets 6/10 for her efforts from Lagos to South Africa.

The King of Boys

Director: Kemi Adetiba; Role: Supporting

In “The King of Boys”, Adesua played the role of Sobowale’s adopted and beloved daughter. As a daughter and an accursed elder sister, she had mostly the basics to do in the show, fight her brother, strategize with her mother and defend her in public.

The assassination of her character accelerated the movie towards the climactic clash and if you feel like it, can say her character accomplished a lot dead than alive. It will be harsh but it will be the truth.

Her performance here gets 6/10

Up North

Director: Tope Oshin; Role: Supporting

Adesua Etomi-Wellington has played the role of Yoruba, Igbo, and other ethnic groups with relative ease. In defence of relative ease, in most of these cases, she just had to answer a Yoruba name and that was it.

In “Up North”, she acted Hausa with the shyness, unassumingness, and accent that comes with it. I tried to envision random popular actresses in this role and it doesn’t come out well. Maybe they have to be in character for it to make sense.

Etomi-Wellington gets all the credit. She gets 7/10.

The Set Up

Director: Niyi Akinmolayan; Role: Lead

“The Set Up” is a nice movie that was spoiled by its many red herrings to the point of confusion. The film was full of average performances from Joke Silva, Jim Iyke, Ayoola Ayolola, Dakore Egbuson, etc. It is one of those movies where half is enough. Tina Mba had an outstanding performance for which she was rewarded with an AMVCA nomination.

Adesua Etomi’s performance was a see-saw. Sometimes, great, sometimes, average. Overall, she is just above average; somewhere in the cusp of Tina Mba’s and the rest of the stars’ performances.

I was going to settle for a 6/10 rating for Etomi in this movie but that part of the scene, towards the end, where she confronts Madame (Tina Mba) after Edem (Jim Iyke) runs away is so powerful and it made me have a rethink. When Chike means to leave and Madame asks her “Is that all you have to say to me?” Etomi turned around, lowered herself a little and says: “You know I thought real hard and long about a speech. But no, fuck you! I won.”

I must have watched this scene 367 times. I rate her performance 7/10.


Director: Kevin Nwankwor; Role: Lead

The story of Muna is the story of many girls in Southern Nigeria. Taken from her village as a girl and sold into sex trafficking, Muna was born. When she gets her freedom, she wants more, she wants blood. In “Set Up”, we saw Adesua the hoodlum, but in “Muna” we saw Adesua the gangster, at home with guns, knives, and kicking ass and breaking bones.

Overall, it is a good movie and Etomi contributed to its goodness.

She gets 6.5/10. It should be more but I suspect a body double in the stunts.

Sugar Rush

Director: Kayde Kasum; Role: Lead

“Sugar Rush” is a badly made movie but Adesua is not to be blamed. The writers did terrible things to the script and went very close to insulting the viewers with the character and powers of Banky W. I think Uzor Arukwe had the strongest performance in the show while Omoni Oboli should strike this movie off her CV. As for Toke Makinwa, this movie should be her last if she actually have an iota of respect for cinema-goers.

Of all the title characters, I think Ademoye did the best while Big Brother star Bisola did the least. Adesua had the opportunity to create an unforgettable scene when she finds herself on her ass dragging her mother as Uzor Arukwe’s well take the old woman away. Adesua gives up mid-scene and this hurt her performance in this show. I would rate Ademoye 7, Adesua 6, and Bisola 5, but the scene I described above hurt Adesua.

Final score: 5.5/10.


Adesua Etomi Adesua is a fine actor. With an average of 6.35/10 rating, she is a good actor. She is not great yet. Perhaps she would be as Etomi looks like an actress with the capacity to become legendary. What’s up with the hype, you ask. Maybe she has brilliant PR. Maybe it is charisma. Maybe it is the fact that she is involved in movies that raked in the most money in the Nigerian box office. Or maybe it is because there are very few great actors and actresses in the scene so we call average ones good, good ones excellent, and good ones that rake in hundreds of movies legends.

Image source: Style Rave



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