Bimbo Ademoye Is NOT Underrated, She’s Nollywood’s New IT Girl

October 21, 2022

It’s hard to stand out and steal scenes playing opposite actresses like Adesua Etomi-Wellington and Bisola Aiyeola, but that’s precisely what Bimbo Ademoye did as the third sugar sister in Kayode Kasum’s 2019 comedic thriller, Sugar Rush

Coming into 2020 as the film’s breakout star and the face of countless memes, Bimbo Ademoye has become an unstoppable force, transitioning from underrated YouTube and Iroko TV actress in films like, The Diary of a Crazy Nigerian Woman and One Long Day to a Netflix queen in Kunle Afolayan’s Aníkúlápó

My introduction to Bimbo Ademoye came with 2017’s Back Up Wife with Seun Akindele. Her role reminded me of Funke Akindele’s star-making turn in the original Jenifa from 2008. While it was funny, I was also scared of these roles — the razz village girl who unintentionally makes herself the butt of every joke — as we’d seen it become a trope Funke Akindele still struggles to escape from years after Jenifa. 

With new Nollywood constantly relying on comedic elements, whether they’re necessary or not, I’m not surprised Bimbo has successfully caught our attention. She was the funniest sister in Sugar Rush, the funny friend in Nneka the Pretty Serpent, and we can’t forget Ayinla from the legendary Tunde Kelani. 

However, while other performers grasp onto these funny elements like their lives depend on it, Bimbo seamlessly skates through like it’s nothing. Her jokes are timely, and her presence is so consuming that, half of the time, I worry for her back because it can’t be easy carrying an entire production from start to finish. 

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Comedy can often make characters one-dimensional, but Bimbo seems to have hacked the tropes she’s been given to present characters that feel real. Yes, her character is presented as a joke in films like Selina and Breaded Life. Still, instead of just laughing at them, you end up understanding their motivations and the fact that these could be real human beings, even though they’re exaggerated and fictional. 

After making Citation — a film which failed to make the post sex for grades statement it was aiming for, and Swallow — popular only for it’s wigs, production design and Ijeoma Grace Agu’s revelatory performance, Kunle Afolayan finally redeemed himself in my eyes with his latest Netflix project, Aníkúlápó.

The Yoruba epic was released in September 2022, and quickly became one of the most talked about Nollywood films of the year. Aníkúlápó also served as another reminder that men will disgrace you, even in the 1900s. 

Stealing the show once again as the seductive turned vengeful, Arolake, Bimbo eats into her role with a certain level of depth and nuance that, in my opinion, the script didn’t really deserve. You want her in the beginning of the film, pity her by the second act, and by the time the credits roll, she makes you understand that it pays to be wicked, sometimes sha. 

If there’s one thing Aníkúlápó showed, it’s Bimbo doesn’t have to be funny to keep you locked in by her performance. Another film that hinted at this side of her was Daniel Ademinokan’s 2018 redemption drama, Gone. That was the first time I thought, “Omo, this babe is going to go all the way.” 

It also doesn’t hurt that Bimbo actually has a personality off-screen. Her sense of humour and ability to turn what could’ve been boring sponsored ads into hilarious original skits has made her a social media darling with over two million followers. If you haven’t already, you really need to get into her instagram character, Iya Barakat

With the announcement of Sugar Rush 2 and Amazon Prime’s Gangs of Lagos coming soon, it’s safe to say Bimbo has made that transition from underrated to Nollywood it-girl status. I know we love it when our faves are underrated, but the truth is, Bimbo has become everyone’s fave, and honestly, that’s fine. It means we had taste from the start. 

As Nollywood continues to push itself with productions like Brotherhood and For Maria: Ebun Pataki, I’m super excited to see more of Bimbo Ademoye, and yes, as this tweet said, we’re still rooting for a Bimbo and Uzor Arukwe romcom

ALSO READ: How Damilola Orimogunje and Meg Otanwa Made “For Maria”, a Nollywood Game Changer

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