• Friday, July 19, 2024
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What you need to know about Nigerian actors in Bel-Air

Nigerian actors in Bel-Air

The 2022 reboot of ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ one of the most popular TV series of the ’90s titled Bel-Air aired on February 13, 2022 on American streaming platform Peacock.

Dubbed by some movie critics as one of the ‘woke reboots’ of classic films of the past, the genre changes from a sitcom comedy to a more gritty drama series. The show equally acts as a reminder of the original sitcom that could compete with today’s entertainment and appeals to the audience that would be interested in watching the series.

With a stellar cast of Jabari Banks who plays Will and Adrian Holmes who plays Uncle Phill, Olly Sholotan a Nigerian-American actor, and Jimmy Akingbola an award-winning Hollywood actor whose parents were British emigrants from Nigerian take the roles of Carlton and Geoffrey respectfully.

Geoffrey had a change in his character from the bottler to the house manager while Carlton had gone from a nerdy preppy student who viewed his father as his biggest role model and is turned into a drug-dealing egomaniac whose only resemblance to the original character is him fitting in with the rich kids at school.

BusinessDay takes a look into the life and career of Akingbola and Sholotan the Bel-Air actors with Nigerian roots.

Jimmy Akingbola

Jimmy Akingbola, Nigerian cast of Bel-Air
Jimmy Akingbola

Jimmy Akingbola who plays Geoffrey on the reboot was born on April 7, 1978, in London, the United Kingdom to Nigerian parents.His parents split while he was a little boy, and his mother, who was Jimmy’s primary caregiver, became severely ill when he was only two years old.

Akingbola’s mother was forced to place her little son in foster care because she had no family to care for him. Akingbola was raised by his white foster family in the London district of Plaistow for the rest of his childhood.

Jimmy Akingbola went on to the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts

After introducing him to the arts and encouraging him to pursue a career in acting, Akingbola later praised his foster family as “amazing.” He went on to the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, where he studied acting for three years before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in the field.

Read also: Ego Boyo: Creating magic with filmmaking

Following graduation, Akingbola began acting in productions at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. The young actor learnt to hone his craft while becoming comfortable performing in front of a live audience on the stage.

Jimmy Akingbola

By the mid-2000s Akingbola started branching out to television and nabbed recurring roles on the British TV shows “Stupid” which aired on BBC from 2004-2006, “The Crouches”, 2003-05, and “HolbyBlue” from 2007-08.

Akingbola had a recurring role on the comedy series “Ballot Monkeys” in 2015, and he continues to obtain TV gigs long into the 2010s. Akingbola, on the other hand, yearned to create a name for himself in the United States after a decade on British television. So, in early 2015, he traveled to the United States for Hollywood’s pilot season with that mindset.

Jimmy Akingbola raked a recurring role on the superhero action series "Arrow"

As luck would have it, Akingbola raked a recurring role on the superhero action series “Arrow.” He appeared as Baron Reiter on the fourth season of the show, marking his American TV debut.

The British-Nigerian actor has won a good number of awards for works on British series like Blue/Orange, Rev, and Holby City.

Some of his awards are TMA Awards Best Supporting Actor 2005, BEFFTA Awards best TV actor, and best Film actor in 2010, Nigerian Entertainment & Lifestyle Awards Best TV actor, and Movie, Video & Screen Awards Best Comedy Performance in TV both in 2012, and many others.

Olly Sholotan

Olly Sholotan, Nigerian cast in Bel-Air
Olly Sholotan

Olamide Olly Sholotan is a Nigerian-American actor and a musician, He was born on April 5, 1998, in Atlanta, Georgia, to well educated parent Bosun Osos and Yemi Sholotan. he spent his childhood in Houston Texas

He went to Kinder High School in Texas, where he studied visual arts. Sholotan graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, on June 16, 2019, where he earned a degree in theatre, film, and television.

Olly Sholotan's debut was in a short film named Main Street in 2017

Sholotan began learning acting skills in high school days participating in several dramas with his fellow classmate which was admired by his teachers and judges

His debut was in a short film named Main Street in 2017. In 2018 he played in another short film titled Partying with Communists where he played a character named Jeremy. He also featured in 2020 films Lloyd and Run Hide Fight.

Olly Sholotan

In 2022 he landed the role of Charlton in the reboot of the popular 90s series Bel-Air which aired in mid February 2022.

As a singer, Olly is a Pop genre artist signed with the Lamintin Records music Label. He released his first album titled Jive in July 2018 and Soulful Gazing in 2020.