Like any other entertainment sector globally, Nollywood can take a lot of work to break into. Often, it takes years to make a name after gruelling hours of auditions, training, and attempts at networking. Yet, Africa Magic has made a habit of helping to break out new stars, and they’ve recreated the magic again with their latest crime drama series, Slum King.
When the company first announced the series, they touted the names of established cast members like Olarotimi Fakunle, Tobi Bakre, Idia Aisien, Bolaji Ogunmola, and Teniola Aladese. So, it surprised fans to see the highly-anticipated show open with young and mostly unknown actors. For the first two episodes, the young cast, led by Adeoluwa Akintoba, Paul Nnadiekwe, Ehis Perfect and Mide Glover, ruled the show and excelled.
Each of them shone and kept the audience spellbound with their brilliant acting. Adeoluwa played the younger Maje/Edafe before passing the baton to Tobi Bakre. Paul Nnadiekwe was the younger Imole: Baale of Oro Lede, taking on the difficult task of setting the stage for Olarotimi Fakunle. Ehis Perfect stole hearts with her brilliant rendition of Yagazie, ensuring Teniola Aladese could take on the role seamlessly. Finally, Mide Glover was the menacing Tequila. He played his part so well that viewers bonded over hating him, and he managed to be the perfect match for Gideon Okeke, who took on the role later.
Slum King follows the story of Edafe and how he went from a happy, football-loving teenager to a hardened criminal – Maje – after witnessing his family’s massacre because he forgot to lock their door. After his family’s murder, he moved to his Grandmother’s house, where he met Yagazie and her other friends, who helped to pull him out of his darkness for a little while. However, Tequila’s plotting against Imole to become the Slum King led Edafe down the rabbit hole again. After watching his grandmother die in his hands and killing her murderer, the police jailed him for 15 years. That became the start of his life in criminality and the end of his lofty dreams.
Adeoluwa Akintoba, who played Maje so beautifully that fans have clamoured for him to win the next AMVCA trailblazer, is a relatively new face. He is a 25-year-old actor, voice-over artist, and podcast host. He started professionally acting in October 2020 as Osaze in “Prophetess”. Since then, he’s been in over 20 films. Some include Schooled, No 1, Sis-Ties, iWant, Tigers Tail, Sista, Leaked, and The Man For The Job. Adeoluwa is one of the industry’s fastest-rising actors. He’s quickly becoming a household name.
Paul Nnadiekwe plays young Imole in Slum King and has gotten several accolades for how he spoke Yoruba in the show since he’s an Igbo man. With only four years of acting experience under his belt, Paul has featured in some impressive body of works before Slum King. It includes the highly acclaimed I Do Not Come To You By Chance, where he takes on the lead role. He also plays the lead in Coming Of Age, The Pretty Ones Are The Loneliest, and Everything Scatter. His other films include Street, The Secret Watch Dog, Unbroken, Secret Life Of A Troll, The Thanksgiving, and Purple Story.
Ehis Perfect perhaps has the least experience of the four, but that doesn’t mean she’s any less talented. She is a fast-rising actor and fashion illustrator with only two years of acting experience. She started her career in film in 2021 after completing a course at the Royal Arts Academy. Her most notable features include Selina, Customer Service, Cashing Feelings, and Slum King.
Mide Glover is as obsessed with art as his Slum King character is with being Baale. He is an actor, writer, filmmaker, and singer/songwriter who started acting professionally on screen in 2020. The artist has appeared in Strangers, IGE (the Biopic), A Little Time Left, Love Unusual, The Ringer, Progressive Tailors Club, and The Funeral. He has also independently written, produced and directed short films like Collide, Thy Will Be Done, Point Zero (which got him a nomination at the 2021 Young Writers and Creatives Award in the filmmakers’ category), and Little Miss. His stage credits include Visiting The Kunbis, The Family Reunion, Ifajuyigbe, Security Risk, and Jankariwo.
These actors, although appearing in only two episodes in Slum King, have proven that there are more talents in the industry, promising a bright future peppered with stellar acting. Mide, Adeoluwa, Ehis, and Paul are shining examples of what happens when the younger ones have the spotlight. Above all, they are a Nollywood lover’s dream because they highlight one very crucial fact – Nollywood’s future is bright!
Catch these brilliant stars every Sunday on Slum King. It airs at 8 pm on Africa Magic Showcase (DStv ch. 151 and GOtv ch. 12). You can also watch all previous episodes on DStv Catch Up, available on DStv Stream, and Showmax.