When it comes to playing ‘bad boys’ in old Nollywood, no one quite did it like Jim Iyke. He was a leader of cultist groups, a lone big boy on campus and sometimes, just a regular guy who enjoyed terrorizing a whole city and dare I say, he did it better than everyone else – which isn’t easy because everyone was doing it then.

To celebrate this icon and to explain why we are all obsessed with him, we are going to share six reasons Jim Iyke played the ‘old Nollywood bad boy’ role better than everyone else.

He always had an axe in his pocket

I’m not quite sure how Jim moved around with at least two small axes in his pockets without mistakenly chopping off his testicles but he did it and that just goes to show that he sabi the work. Also, why small axes? Who uses small axes? The answer = Jim Iyke.

Jim Iyke insulted people like he was waxing poetry

I would pay money for Jim Iyke to be rude to me and I am not kidding. Jim Iyke insulted people in a way that made it hard for you to not laugh. In Boy’s Cot, a film where Jim played a character who was super poor after university then turned to fraud and made big bank, Jim came across his ex-girlfriend and his friend – the friend had in the past lent money to Jim but now was dating Jim’s ex-girlfriend that left Jim because he was broke. After Jim gave said friend ₦500,000 to pay him for the ₦150,000 he owed him – let’s keep in mind that this was the early 2000s so that was really a lot of money – he turned to his girlfriend and then gave her ₦100,000 because, in his words, he remembers that she loves money and also had some cheap things. After a moment’s pause, he said ‘nah, I’m not that generous, give me back my money.’ The way I screamed after that scene, wow!

For some reason, Jim always had money on him

Speaking of money, another reason Jim was undeniably iconic is that not only did he always play the role of the rich kid, but for some reason, he always had a lot of physical cash on him. Who moves around with a briefcase or Ghana-Must-Go bags full of hundreds and maybe millions of Naira? Jim Iyke, that’s who.

He was a fashion boy

I’ll start considering the other old Nollywood bad boys icons when they get their fashion game on to the same level with Jim Iyke. This man has been serving us looks forever! Whether he is wearing suits, jeans and a durag, to that one time he only wore jeans and a single, a versatile fashion icon. He deserves a CFDA fashion icon award, that’s all I’m saying.

No one has nailed the bad boy accent quite like Jim Iyke

If you watched old Nollywood movies, then you know the one I am talking about: basically, imagine a mix of the American accent with a British accent with something that sounds like what people consider a Jamaican accent. The other boys definitely tried but Jim Iyke? He never needed to try, he was born for it!


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.