Top 5 Most Popular Actresses in Northern Nigeria (2021)

Top 5 Most Popular Actresses in Northern Nigeria (2021)

The Nigerian movie industry has a reputation in trailblazing and pace-setting in Africa and is the second biggest movie industry in the world in terms of output- trailing Hollywood. However the Hausa Kannywood industry has made it to the forefront in gaining popularity and fame, not only among the Arewa people but Nigeria at large; in contrast to how it was some years back. it’s therefore not surprising that some notable actresses in the Hausa cinema movie industry are taking Kannywood by the storm which has earned them fame among people. We will be looking at the 5 most popular actresses in the Kannywood industry today.

Let’s go!

1. Rahama Sadau

Rahama Sadau is one of the most popular kanywood actresses ever

Born on December 7, 1993, in Kaduna, Rahma Sadau is widely regarded as one of the prodigious and significant actresses, both in Kannywood and Nollywood movies.

She has appeared in many Nigerian movies both in Hausa and English and is one of the few Nigerian actresses that speaks Hindi fluently. Even though she rose to fame in her early 20s after joining the Kannywood movie industry with her first movie Gani ga Wane, it has always been her dream to act in a Bollywood movie,  alongside the famous Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra.

It has however been a great achievement for Sadau to be the first northern actress ever to be featured in Nollywood Movies, and also the first actress from Northern Nigeria to Debut in the Bollywood film industry.

Sadau joined the Kannywood movie industry in 2013 through Ali Nuhu, She played a few minor roles before gaining fame from her performance in Gani ga Wane and Jinin Jikina alongside the Kannywood actor Ali Nuhu.

Rahma won her first best Kannywood actress of the year in 2014. Furthermore, in 2015 and 2016, she bagged other awards. In 2017, she was nominated for the best actress of Nollywood award for the movie titled TATU and another Kannywood movie titled Matatace Shaida, the same year.

Apart from being considered a successful, and talented actress, she also happens to be one of the most beautiful actresses in Hausa cinema a feat which earned her the “Face of Kannywood” award in 2016.

Notable movies and series she appeared in include; Zero Hour, Up North, If I Am President, Rumana, Sons of the Caliphate, The Other Side, Ana Wata ga Wata, Alkalin Kauye, Jinin Jiki Na, Gani Ga Wane, Tatu.

2. Nafisa Abdullahi

Nafisa Abdullahi is another popular and talented Kannywood actress, producer, and also director.

Nafisa Abdullahi is another popular and talented Kannywood actress, producer, and also director. Born on the 23rd of January 1991 in plateau Jos, her love for movies saw her running her Bsc degree in theatre arts at the University of Jos.

In 2010, she joined the Kannywood movie industry as an actress and won her first award in 2013 as the best actress. She has now bagged nothing less than 16 awards in the industry, making her one of the most popular actresses in Kannywood today.

She has been featured in close to 100 films since she started acting. Among the movies which gained her popularity among people are Guguwar so, Sai Watarana, Raino, Dan Marayar Zaki, Labari na etc.

3. Maryam Booth

Popularly known as Maryam Booth, she happens to be one of the most popular actresses Kannywood has ever produced. She was born on 28 October 1993 in kano state. Even though she joined the Kannywood movie industry through her aunt, she no doubt took after her mother Zainab Booth, who was also a talented veteran Kannywood actress.

Among the movies, she featured in was Dijangala, which brought her to the limelight. Among her other movies that made her popular was Gani Gaka, Hakkunde, The Milkmaid, etc.

In 2020, she won the best-supporting actress category at the Africa movie academy awards.

Apart from acting which she is engrossed with, she also is the CEO of MBOOTH beauty parlour, where she is a make-up artist, designer, and dealer of accessories and fashionable clothes. She is also very popular on social media.

4. Maryam Yahaya

Maryam Yahaya is one of the youngest and talented Kannywood actresses

Maryam Yahaya is one of the youngest and talented Kannywood actresses, who was born on the 17th of July 1997, into the family of Ibrahim Bello and Ruqayya Bello in Kano state. She also attended primary and secondary school there.

Maryam, ever since her tender age, developed a passion for acting. This was due to being so engrossed in watching a series of Hausa movies. She got inspired by prominent actors in the industry; such as Ali Nuhu, Rahma Sadau, among others.

Having completed her secondary school education in 2015, she dashed her way into the movie industry and got debuted in a movie titled Gidan Abinci. Among her other movies include Barauniya, Taboo, Mansur, Hafiz, Wutar Kara, Gurrguwa, Sareenah, among others.

Although Maryam hasn’t won any major award, has been nominated several times for series of awards.

5. Hadiza Aliyu Gabon

Hadiza Aliyu Gabon is one of the most bonny and voguish Kannywood actresses in northern Nigeria. Born on the first of June 1989 in Libreville, Gabon, where she was also brought up, her mother is a Gabonese, while her father is a Nigerian.

Having completed her secondary school education in her place of birth, she wrote her A-level examination, aspiring to become a lawyer. But as time passed, she couldn’t continue chasing her dream of becoming a barrister with what looked like a personal issue, which resulted in her dropping out. She then, however, applied for a diploma program in the French language, which saw her working as a French teacher in a private school.

Upon Hadiza’s arrival in Nigeria from Gabon, she moved from Adamawa to Kaduna where she developed an interest in the Kannywood movie industry. Amenable to this, she sought the assistance of Ali Nuhu to launch her as an actress. In 2009, she debuted in the Kannywood industry upon casting in a movie titled ‘Artabu’ where she made her breakthrough.

Hadiza happens to be a diamond among other stones, in the Hausa cinema, which earned her the title ‘the screen Goddess.’ She features mostly in comedy series and action films. This talented multi-award winner acts in both Hausa and English movies. 

In 2013, she won the best Nollywood actress award for her appearance in Ali Yaga Ali and won another award in 2014.

Among the popular movies she featured in include: Daina Kuka, Kolo, Sakayya, Haske, Da kai Zan Gana, Mukaddaru, Basaja, Gidan Badamasi, Artabu, etc.

She also serves as brand ambassador for MTN Nigeria, Indomie Noodles Company, and was also unveiled by NASCON Allied Plc, a subsidiary of the Dangote group as Dangote classic seasonings brand Ambassador easily making her one of the most popular actresses in Kannywood as well as the one of the most recognized.


Kannywood is blessed with so many beautiful and talented actresses, but these 5 are by far the most popular.

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