One of the most enduring topics of discussion from the Nigerian film industry has been the Old Nollywood vs New Nollywood dichotomy. Nostalgia has helped sustain the careers of many of our beloved Nollywood veterans while the new industry blazes trails. Fans on each side of the divide have their reasons for picking a side on “Who is the better actress?” debate. Acclaimed actresses Genevieve Nnaji and Nigeria’s sweetheart Adesua Etomi are the contestants in the ring; and we are all trying to decipher who exhibited more talent and skills in their profession.
What started as an honest yet brutal critique of the Sugar Rush actress, Adesua Etomi, by a supposed fan on Twitter, snowballed into a large scale battle of the best. The tweet had read that Adesua Etomi, while a great person, isn’t an outstanding actor. She went further to state that the constant availability of leading roles for her was probably due to colourism and favouritism.
Adesua isn't a good actor — one Twitter auntie laidat pic.twitter.com/zC5RsBXSEB
— Instablog9ja (@instablog9ja) July 4, 2020
Some opinions had also arisen in corroboration of the initial position with some saying Adesua acts like she is bored and needs to develop significantly on her skills. Some referred to other roles she had played, stating that she had a track record of acting woefully inadequate in her movies.
You know the way Yara Shahidi acts?
Like she’s bored and is just doing this because she was told to do it?
That’s how Adesua’s acting looks to me.
— Fat Belly ‘Nenye (@The_Nenye) July 4, 2020
You people are complaining about Adesua’s acting in Sugar Rush. Lol 😂 what if you saw her in Mina, you will weep hot tears for the industry.
— Josh (@Oluwajosh_) July 4, 2020
As anticipated, opposing views and opinions met the tweets above with many saying Adesua Etomi is a great actress and should not be disregarded as anything less. Some declared that to play the colourism card was to undermine all the hard work Etomi had put into getting her roles.
Its only on twitter you people want to sound smart. Genevieve was the lead actress of sooo many movies in her prime but No that was not colorism. Say all the shit about Adesua's acting but don't even play the Colorism card because thats trash. Stop Undermining people's hardwork!!
— Rachael (@rahchellin) July 4, 2020
You are dropping movie reviews and adding Sentiments too!! She still said Colorism made them give Adesua role!! Bisola was as relevant as Adesua in that movie and she’s dark skinned.
— IYA ONI WEAVES 😋😋 (@Auntyfeyi) July 4, 2020
Some with a more nuanced stance declared that yes, one could say that Adesua is a “stiff” actress, it should, however, be discussed without making false claims of her getting roles due to colourism.
I think her “stiffness” as an actor should be addressed without involving colorism because she’s not the only actor that gets roles regularly despite being average. Some of the other Nollywood favs are darkskinned or somewhere in between. https://t.co/AND3fjTWfj
— gen sec, feminist coven (@ifbnw) July 4, 2020
Somewhere along the line, Nigerians had roped the acclaimed actress and producer, Genevieve Nnaji into the conversation; attempting to compare both actresses. People quickly rejected this premise saying Genevieve is miles ahead of the star, Adesua Etomi and that any attempt to compare the two is an insult on her accolades as a veteran actor. They declared that Genevieve exhibits much better acting skills.
Imagine comparing Genevieve to Adesua. You will just open mouth waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
They will not use comparison to insult you ooo
— Sir Dickson (@Wizarab10) July 4, 2020
Truth is if you watch old Nollywood, it's quite obvious that the actors from those days are leagues ahead of these new ones.
Adesua Etomi no act reach Stephanie Okereke, so I no see where the Genevieve comparison from dey enter. New Nollywood na just hype and Lekki friendships.
— 4 (@Probably_Dafe) July 4, 2020
While some people are dissing Adesua some are peddling the lies about Genevieve being in thesame category with Adesua's acting. The effrontery to even say this🙄.Bcos Genevieve has stopped playing some kinda roles doesn't mean she hasn't murdered them before. Lets be guided pls! pic.twitter.com/oRFIFRYwlS
— Preciousong 🇳🇬🔱 (@preciousong1) July 4, 2020
There were those with a different opinion altogether saying both Genevieve and Adesua were average actresses and that Mercy Johnson was the actress focus and praise should be placed upon for her extreme versatility in roles.
— Genevieve is an average actress… Adesua Etomi’s acting is underwhelming, even though she is yet to be stretched like Mercy Johnson . — Journalist – Gimba Kakanda pic.twitter.com/8GOHerC8KU
— – Viral Trendz (@TheViralTrendz) July 5, 2020
Mercy Johnson is a better actress above Adesua and Genevieve. If you say otherwise then you are being bias.
In physical expressivity, vocal projection, clarity of speech and emotional facility.
You can't compare. Mercy Johnson will give it to you anyhow you want it.
👑 I Stan pic.twitter.com/a5fa4MkTAV
— Nobel The Indaboski ❄🇳🇬 (@vhic3adibe) July 5, 2020
Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
Toluwanimi is available on Instagram and Twitter @nimi_onaks