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Africa’s Most Influential Actors And Actresses In Hollywood

Africa’s effect on the universe of film keeps on developing with an age of gifted performing artists and on-screen characters in world silver screen. Others have discovered a calling behind the cameras as innovative personalities.

Gavin Hood


The South African director came into the limelight when his screen adaptation of an Athol Fugard novel became the movie known as Tsotsi. Legendary film critic Roger Ebert wrote about the film: “I was surprised to find that it leads toward hope instead of despair; why does fiction so often assume defeat is our destiny? The film avoids obligatory violence and actually deals with the characters as people.”

Tsotsi would win an Oscar in 2005 and set Hood up as an A-list director. He has worked on X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Rendition, Eye in the Sky and Ender’s Game.

Djimon Hounsou

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The smile of Benin born Hounsou is one of the most famous on the silver screen. Even at the age of 54 , Hounsou is still one of the most sought after actors in the film business,because of his range. His longevity is testament to his talent and impact in Hollywood.

Genevieve Nnaji


The Nigerian actress is a trailblazer in African cinema after becoming the first truly continental film superstar of her generation. Nnaji broke the boundaries between film and off screen success with several endorsements to her name. Perhaps the first African actress to become instantly recognizable by her first name alone. She is still a force to be reckoned with after appearing in over 80 movies.

Lupita Nyongo

Nobody outside of Kenya knew Nyong’o five years ago but she is now truly a screen superstar after winning a best supporting Oscar for her turn as Patsey in the critically acclaimed 12 Years a Slave. That has been followed by major roles in some of the biggest films of the past three years including Star Wars: The Force Awakens ,Queen of Katwe, Jungle Book and upcoming Marvel movie, Black Panther.

Charlize Theron

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There is no doubt that Theron is the most influential African working in Hollywood at the moment. The South African screen siren won an Oscar for her role in Monsters and has been nominated twice again for her role in North Country and Young Adult. She is still a much sought after leading lady but she has found time to start a production business Denver and Delilah Productions which has produced the critically acclaimed Mindhunter series for Netflix.


Written by How Africa

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