Meet TAT Inspiring Youth: Musa Darboe: A Young Gambian Actor Shining Bright In Nollywood With Nigeria Superstars 

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Musa Darboe, the young talented Actor

By: ML Drammeh 

From fantasizing the dream in the sandy streets of Brufut to discovering the dreams at the apex of  African movies, meet an iconic young Gambian film celeb,  Musa Darboe Junior, who is making surges in Africa’s biggest movie enterprise featuring in the same film with A-list Nigerian movie superstars including his role model and veteran actor, Osita Iheme (PawPaw). 

Born and raised in an extended family in Brufut, a country where the movie industry is virtually nonexistent, Musa Darboe Junior has defied the odds, employing his bare talent and appetite for success. He has gradually evolved into a budding superstar in Nollywood. 

Impressively, within merely six years in the industry, Musa has been featured in movies with extraordinary Nollywood stars, including his role model, Osita Iheme, popularly known as Paw Paw. 

 The Beginning of His Dreams In Acting 

During his formative years in Brufut, Musa, like many young Gambians, spent most of his after-school hours watching Nigerian movies. The persistent adventure stimulated his pursuit of becoming an actor. 

“I spent most of my childhood days watching Nigerian movies. It is a chronic habit for me. Since then, I began dreaming of becoming Line Pawpaw, my role model. Watching him at that young age, I dreamt of doing what they were doing. That triggered my journey into acting,” Musa Darboe told The Alkamba Times. 

Challenges In Pursuit of  Excellence 

Musa had a rough childhood, battling various difficulties, but that never blurred his vision of making a go-off in acting. He always wanted to be an actor and nothing else, not even becoming a journalist, a profession he used to have a taste in. He worked so hard and fixed his eyes on the price to turn doubters into believers that he could rock the stage with Nollywood superstars one day in his career. 

The movie industry in the Gambia is in its infancy in producing quality movies. Unlike many countries, the Gambia has no recognized school that offers acting as an area of study.  

Many youngsters in the Gambia have their dreams smashed in acting as a result of the country’s lack of progress in the movie industry or lack of support for uplifting budding movie stars. 

The youngster made the best use of his natural talent in acting to face off and beat those who studied acting and theater in fascinating movie auditions. 

As expected, Musa faced financial challenges financing his movie projects in the Gambia. In  021, he told The Alkamba Times that he would cease acting after facing financial challenges that nearly crumbled his movie career.

“When I returned to the Gambia, I premiered a new film I produced, but the turnout was deplorable. This dashed my hopes of producing more films in the Gambia, and all I can think of now is returning to Nigeria to continue my acting career. I was hoping to raise funds for my film premiering, but unfortunately, things turned out bad,” the young actor said.

Devotion powered by his indomitable desire to actualize his dream, Musa never rests on his laurels despite the financial challenge. He endured the economic issues and went to Nigeria to follow his dreams. His mentality overpowers the stiff financial obstacles that prevent him from realizing his dreams in Nollywood, and he declares his inextinguishable lust to be like Pawpaw. 

He told TAT that being the only Gambian actor currently in Nollywood and doing well means a lot to him. 

“Being the only Gambian actor in Nollywood and doing well is astonishing. I think it should be a proud moment for every Gambia. Gambians spend most of their time watching Nigerian and Senegalese films. I represent the Gambia in Nollywood because I use Mandinka when I speak in my movies. Most of my colleagues will ask where I am from, and I will tell them The Gambia,” he told TAT.

According to Musa, acting has significantly transformed his life. His talent in movies made him meet high-profile dignitaries, sit with them, talk, and share ideas. 

Movies He Featured In 

In his three years in Nigeria, Musa has appeared in highly-rated movies like Blood and Promise, Where My Heart Belongs, Life of Pain, A Reason to Love, Return of the Legend, Cruel Love, and The Caged Goddess.

He works with his role model, Pawpaw, in a thrilling movie titled “Rethink.” 

Amazingly, Musa not only acts but is also a scriptwriter, movie director, and producer. He has become an all-rounder in the industry. 

Some Notable Nollywood Superstars He Worked With

His hard work and talent enabled him to work with A-list Nollywood superstars in the same films. The e superstars include Osita Iheme, popularly known as Paw Paw, Destiny Etiko, Frederick Leonard, Jerry Williams, Denilson Igwe, Tessy Diamond, Adaeze Eluke, Chinere Wilfred, Emma Umeh, Ngozi Evuka, Lizzy Gold, Alex Cross, and Zubby Michael.

Musa with Nigerian veteran Actor Osita Iheme, popularly known as Paw Paw

Awards and Nomination 

Musa’s rare talent and incredible performances in movies he has been featured in cannot go unnoticed. Born in a coastal area in a tiny country in West Africa, Musa crossed borders and clinched international awards.

In 2021, he was crowned Best Young International Actor and Best Student Movie Producer at the annual African Movie Icons & Celebrity Awards in Sierra Leone.

In 2023, the young Gambian actor was crowned the Best Young African Actor of the Year at Nigeria’s 2023 Nollywood African Golden Awards. 

 This year, he is nominated at the annual NOLLYWOOD AFRICAN GOLDEN AWARDS 2024 as the Best Nollywood Language Movie Actor of the Year and The Best Young African Actor of the Year.

 A Nigerian Wife

Early this year, Musa married his Nigerian sweetheart, Chioma Odali.  Like a match made in heaven, Chioma is one of the most prominent young movie producers in Nollywood Asaba and owns Chirock Films Company.   The couple is expecting to produce top-notch movies shortly.

Musa with his beautiful wife

Musa Darboe Junior’s evolution from a mere dreamer of becoming an actor to sharing the same stage with notable characters with no formal schooling in movies or acting is so Gambian. It amplified the famous saying that Gambians are talented but not supported, killing many talents in the country. 

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