There are few Nigerian actresses as iconic as Tonto Dikeh at the peak of her fame. During the early 2010’s, Tonto was at the very forefront of the wave of contemporary Nollywood films that explored cultural taboos like sex and homosexuality, sex work and unconventional relationships. Combined with films that literally flew off the shelves, Dikeh also became one of the first Nigerian celebrities to harness the power of social media, Twitter in particular, to build a wide and rabid fanbase. Everything she said went viral, her tweets made their way on to the blogs long before Instablog9ja became a thing.
In 2014 Tonto suddenly withdrew from the industry, citing her new marriage. She put her career as an actress on hold, and largely abandoned her social media following to focus on her new marriage to Olakunle Churchill. Two years later, Tonto Dikeh is newly single and ready to wrest her crown as the undisputed Nollywood queen of controversy. She is also returning to the big screen in the new Toyin Abraham produced film Celebrity Marriage. If you’ve seen Alakada, Abraham‘s biggest Nollywood success, then you’ll understand that her approach to filmmaking perfectly complements the over-the-top ‘method acting’ that Dikeh helped make mainstream. Directed by Pascal Amanfo and produced by Uchenna Mbunabo and featuring Odunlade Adekola, Abraham, Jackie Appiah and Kanayo O. Kanayo.
Has Tonto lost her spark? We’re about to find out.