The Many Faces of Talented Nigerian Actress, Nse Ikpe-Etim

A badass on screen with more movies than we can count, check out the many faces the admirable actress Nse Ikpe-Etim has worn in acting through many years of her career.

Photo of the Nigerian Nollywood actress, Nse Ikpe-Etim

Unquestionably, among the best actors in the country, Nse Ikpe-Etim has been in the Nigerian movie industry for more than a decade. 

A native of Akwa Ibom and an alumnus of the University of Calabar's Theatre Arts department, Nse Ikpe-Etim began her acting journey in 1999, appearing in the family soap opera “Inheritance.”

Apart from being an actress, the 49-year-old is a culinary chef who spends her time shuffling between Lagos and London.

After tending to personal matters, she returned to Nollywood, starring in the Emem Isong 2008 movie "Reloaded,” in which she was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2009.

In 2012 and 2016, at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), Nse Ikpe-Etim was again nominated for the same category. She is a recipient of the prestigious Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA).

As one of Nollywood’s most sought-after actress and one who has played numerous characters, Nse Ikpe-Etim has exceptionally mastered the art of wearing different faces in movies. Whether she is a villain, someone from the ghetto, or suffering from mental illness, there are many roles we have come to love Nse Ikpe-Etim in.

As Ozzy in Quam’s Money

The 2020 movie “Quam’s Money”, brought back Nse Ikpe-Etim, who is one of Nollywood’s most talented faces. Her character, “Ozzy” in Quam’s Money is terrifying and beautifully portrayed. Using a soft yet brutal approach, Nse Ikpe-Etim did a great job torturing Falz in the movie.

As Donna in Glamour Girls

Nse Ikpe-Etim was among the few actors selected to star in the remake of the 1994 classic Nollywood movie Glamour Girls. Her character, Donna, is a boss lady in charge of selecting and grooming young ladies for older men to have fun and roll with. As always, Nse Ikpe-Etim brought life to not just her character but the film in general.

As Omoze in Reloaded

In the 2008 Emem Isong movie, which is the story of 4 women navigating their relationships and marriage, Nse wears the face of a devoted housewife married to a cheat. She received accolades for her role and was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 5th Africa Movie Academy Awards. 

She also played a similar role as “Susan Abbah” in the 2012 movie “Mr and Mrs,” which led to her being nominated at the 8th Africa Movie Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The Biyi Bandele movie Devil in the Detail also has Nse in a similar role. 

As Helen Ofori, Nse Ikpe-Etim never fails to express herself in front of the screen and delivers a stellar performance. From her body language to her facial expression, Nse immersed herself as a relatable wife.

As Ene in Shanty Town

The acclaimed Netflix Naija thriller series, which involves a group of call girls attempting to free themselves from the hands of a pimp, trended when it was released in 2023. 

With an incredible cast ensemble, the series sees Nse Ikpe-Etim in action. Her role as "Ene," the top-ranked personnel in Shanty Town, is nothing short of amazing. It was among some of the best performances Nollywood saw in 2023. 

She received a nod at the 9th Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for her performance as “Ene.”

As Mamba in Mamba’s Diamond

Nse Ikpe-Etim showed her villainous side again in this movie, playing the role of the deadliest crime lord the city had ever seen, named “Mamba”. 

Her performance and exhibition of a villain with a certain calmness, as well as ruthlessness, in the Williams Uchemba-produced movie, was outstanding. She carried herself every way one would expect a kingpin should.

As Nse in Journey to Self

In this story of sacrifice and friendship, Nse Ikpe-Etim wears the face of a strong and independent woman in a blissful marriage. 

Most times, Nigerian movies tend to showcase a strong, independent woman in a sad light—either their marriage is on the rocks or has hit rock bottom. Nse Ikpe-Etim of course brought life to the character “Nse” and received positive reviews for her execution. 

Not only was she praised, but she also received a nod at the second edition of the AMVCA for Best Actress in a Drama and won.

As Theressa in 4:4:44

Based on true events, the Izu Ojukwu 2022 movie “4:4:44” which revolves around the life of a couple dealing with mental health issues, sees Nse ikpe Etim take on a character suffering from mental illness. 

As usual, Nse Ikpe-Etim plays the character so effortlessly, bringing on another side of her acting talent that many haven’t seen. Her execution during manic episodes was solid.

As Ajiri in The Visit

This was another mind-blowing character Nse Ikpe-Etim plays. Her immediate switch from a local waffi lady to a prim and proper one in “The Visit '' was so refreshing to see. 

Nse Ikpe hands down-bodied the role with her switch from one language to another and her facial expression and mannerisms.

As Jumoke Randle in King of Boys: The Return of the King

This time around, her role as Jumoke Randle, ”The First Lady of Lagos” in the hit movie sequel turned series “King of Boys: Return of the King,” which was released on August 27, 2021, was nothing short of greatness. 

Nse Ikpe-Etim showcased steadiness and her ability to immerse herself, which contributed to bringing the character’s essence to life. As a result of her character portrayal, Nse Ikpe-Etim was greatly commended by anyone and everyone who saw the thriller series “King of Boys: Return of the King.”

As Mary in Phone Swap

The 2012 Kunle Afolayan movie tells the tale of a phone switch at an airport between two people and sees Nse play the role of a fashion designer who was taken advantage of by her boss. 

Her character was executed to the tiniest detail. Seeing the not-so-confident Mary come alive in “Phone Swap” was a delight because, in reality, Nse Ikpe-Etim is just the opposite: strong and confident.

As Ameh in Fine Wine

Nse Ikpe didn’t have a lot of screen time in the Nevada Bridge TV movie “Fine Wine,” which was about a man well into his 50s falling for a younger woman. But her role as an ex-wife to a wealthy businessman was spot on. 

The simplicity of her role made it crystal clear why she is indeed among the 1 percent of talents in Nollywood.

As Collette in A Tribe Called Judah

The 2023 Funke Akindele movie which captures the lives of the Jedidiah family, sees Nse Ikpe-Etim as a store manager. Always an impressive performer, Nse of course, beautifully fills out her role as well as dazzles as a supporting actor in the movie.

As Kate in Fifty

This movie about the lives of four women approaching or in their 50s features Nse as an event planner. Killing it as always, Nse made her character very relatable, reminding us why she is one of Nollywood’s fancied actresses. Her interpretation of the role was executed to perfection.

Wrap up

Since her debut in Nollywood, Nse Ikpe-Etim has been at the forefront, dominating the movie industry. She has grown from a newbie to a seasoned actor. 

Having paid her dues, Nse Ikpe Etim has earned her place on the list of the 1 percent of actors who can effortlessly wear any face given to them. 

Due to her lengthy filmography, it is impossible to get through every face the actress has worn in Nollywood. The aforementioned are prominent faces that have stood out throughout the years.