Genevieve Nnaji, A Biography, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Genevieve Nnaji
Genevieve Nnaji in Weekend Getaway.png

Genevieve Nnaji in Weekend Getaway
Born 3 May 1979 (age 38)
Mbaise, Imo, Nigeria
Alma mater University of Lagos
Occupation Actress, model, singer
Years active 1987–present
Children 1

Genevieve Nnaji (/nˈnɑːi/;[1] born 3 May 1979)[2] is a Nigerian actress and singer.[3][4] She won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2005, making her the first actress to win the award.[5][6][7] In 2011, she was honoured as a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic by the Nigerian government for her contribution to Nollywood.[8]

Early life and education

Nnaji was born in MbaiseImo StateNigeria but grew up in Lagos, the fourth of eight children and was brought up in a middle class environment. Her father worked as an engineer and her mother as a nursery teacher. She attended Methodist Girls College (Yaba, Lagos), before transferring into the University of Lagos where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in creative arts. While at the university, she began auditioning for acting jobs in Nollywood.[7]


Nnaji started her acting career as a child actress in the then popular television soap opera Ripples at the age of 8.[9] In 1998 at the age of 19 she was introduced into the growing Nigerian film industry with the movie “Most Wanted”.[10] Her subsequent movies include Last PartyMark of the Beast and Ijele.[9] In 2010 she starred in the award-winning film Ijé: The Journey. She has starred in over 80 Nollywood movies.[citation needed]

Nnaji is considered to be one of the best paid actresses in Nollywood.[11][12] Due to her contributions to the Nigeria movie industry, she became the first actress to be awarded Best Actress at the 2001 City Peoples Awards, the award ceremony that previously had only recognized politicians and business conglomerates. She was also the first actress to be awarded as Best Actress by the Census Board of Nigeria in 2003.[13] In 2009, she was referred to as the Julia Roberts of Africa by Oprah Winfrey.[14][15]

In 2004 Nnaji signed a recording contract with EKB Records, a Ghanaian record label, and released her debut album One Logologo Line,[16] a mix of R&BHip-Hop and Urban music.[17]

In November 2015 Nnaji produced her first movie called Road to Yesterday,[18] later winning Best Movie Overall-West Africa at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.


Nnaji has featured in several commercials some of which include those of Pronto beverage and Omo detergent. In 2004 she became the “Face of Lux in Nigeria[19] in a highly lucrative sponsorship deal.[7] In 2008 Nnaji launched the clothing line, “St. Genevieve”, which donates its proceeds to charity.[6][20] In May 2010 Nnaji was appointed to be the official “Face of MUDin Nigeria.[21][22][23][24][25]

Awards and nominations

Nnaji has received several awards and nominations for her work, including the Best Actress of the year award at the 2001 City People Awards and the Best Actress in a Leading Roleaward at the 2005 edition Africa Movie Academy Awards.[5][7]

Africa Movie Academy Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2005 Best Actress In Leading Role Won
2008 30 Days/Keep My Will Nominated
2011 Tango With Me Nominated

Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2013 The Mirror Boy Best Actress Drama/Tv Series Nominated
2016 Road to Yesterday Nominated
Best Movie West Africa Won

Nigeria Entertainment Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2009 Best Actress Nominated
2010 Silent Scandals Best Actress Film/Short Story Nominated
Guiness Ultimate Survivor Best Actress Tv Series Won
2011 Tango With Me Best Actress Film/Short Story Nominated
2013 Doctor Bello Best Actress in Leading Role Nominated
2014 Half of a Yellow Sun Best Actress in Supporting Role Won
2016 Road to Yesterday Lead Actress in Film Nominated
Best Picture Nominated

Nollywood Movies Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2012 Tango With Me Best Actress Leading Role Nominated
Herself Viewers Choice- Female Won

Ghana Movie Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2010 Silent Scandals Best Actress-Africa Collaboration Won

Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2012 Herself Best Actress- Viewers Choice Nominated


Year Nominee/work Award Result
2013 Weekend Getaway Best Actress Leading Role Won

Zulu African Film Academy Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2011 The Mirror Boy Best Actress Won

Monaco Charity Film Festival Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2011 The Mirror Boy Breakthrough Performance (Actress) Won[26]

City Peoples Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2001 Herself Best Actress Won

Best of Nollywood Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2010 Silent Scandals Best Actress-Leading Role Nominated
2011 The Mirror Boy Nominated
Bursting Out Best Kiss with Majid Michel Won
Year Event Prize Recipient Result
2014 ELOY Awards[27] Brand Ambassador of the Year (Etisalat) N/A Nominated
2013 2013 THE FACE LIST AWARDS (USA) honoree[28]


Year Film Role Notes
1987 Ripples
1998 Most Wanted
1999 Camouflage with Ramsey Nouah
2001 Love Boat with Ramsey Nouah
Death Warrant
2002 Valentino with Ramsey Nouah
Fire Dancer Nene
Sharon Stone Sharon Stone
Runs! Adesua with Gorgina Onuoha
Power of Love Juliet with Ramsey Nouah, Grace Amah
Formidable Force with Gorgina Onuoha & Hanks Anuku
Battle Line with Ramsey Nouah & Pete Edochie
2003 Above Death: In God We Trust with Pete EdochieKate Henshaw-NuttalRamsey Nouah & Zack Orji
Blood Sister with Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde & Tony Umez
Break Up with Ramsey Nouah
Butterfly with Ramsey Nouah
By His Grace with Tony Umez
Church Business with Ramsey Nouah & Segun Arinze
Deadly Mistake
Emergency Wedding with Tony Umez
Emotional Tears Helen
For Better for Worse
Honey with Ramsey Nouah & Pete Edochie
Jealous Lovers Chioma
Keeping Faith: Is That Love? with Richard Mofe-Damijo
Last Weekend with Ramsey Nouah
Late Marriage
Love Anita with Richard Mofe-Damijo & Segun Arinze
My only Love Angela with Ramsey Nouah
Not Man Enough
Passion & Pain with Ramsey Nouah & Desmond Elliot
Passions with Stella Damasus-Aboderin & Richard Mofe-Damijo
Player: Mr. Lover Man
Private Sin Faith with Stephanie OkerekeRichard Mofe-Damijo & Patience Ozokwor
Sharon Stone in Abuja Sharon Stone
Super Love with Ramsey Nouah & Pete Edochie
The Chosen One
Women Affair
2004 Bumper to Bumper with Georgina Onuoha
Critical Decision with Richard Mofe-DamijoStephanie Okereke & Mike Ezuruonye
Dangerous Sister with Tony Umez & Dakore Egbuson
Goodbye New York with Rita Dominic
He Lives in Me
Into Temptation with Ramsey Nouah
My First Love with Tony Umez
Never Die for Love
Promise Me Forever with Stephanie Okereke
Stand by Me
Unbreakable with Ramsey Nouah
We Are One with Stella Damasus-Aboderin
2005 Darkest Night with Richard Mofe-Damijo & Segun Arinze
Games Women Play with Stella Damasus-AboderinDesmond Elliot & Zack Orji
Rip-Off with Ramsey Nouah
2006 Girls Cot with Rita Dominic & Ini Edo
30 Days Chinora Onu with Segun Arinze – this film received 10 nominations at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2008,
including Best PictureBest Art DirectionBest ScreenplayBest EditBest Costumes and Best Sound[29]
2007 Letters to a Stranger Jemima Lawal with Yemi Blaq, Joke Silva and Segun Arinze
Keep my will
Warrior’s Heart
Unfinished business Nkem
Winds of glory Juliana
2008 Beautiful Soul Olivia this film received 3 African Movie Academy Award nominations for Best Screenplay,
Best Soundtrack and Heart of Africa[30]
Broken Tears with Van VickerKate Henshaw-Nuttal and Grace Amah
Critical Condition Ify
River of Tears Yvonne with Kate Henshaw-NuttalVan Vicker and Grace Amah
My Idol
Love my way Kayla
2009 Silent Scandals Jessie with Majid Michel & Uche Jombo[31]
Felicima Felicima with Alex Lopez[32]
2010 Ijé: The Journey Chioma Opara with Omotola Jalade EkeindeOdalys García & Clem Ohameze[33]
Tango with me Lola with Joke Silva
Bursting Out Zara Williams with Majid MichelNse Ikpe-EtimOmoni Oboli & Desmond Elliot[34][35]
Mirror Boy Teema with Osita Iheme[36]
2011 Sacred Lies Isabella with Olu JacobsDesmond Elliot & Nadia Buari[37]
2012 Weekend Getaway with Ramsey NoahIni EdoMichael Okpara
2013 Half of a Yellow Sun Ms. Adebayo with Chiwetel EjioforThandie NewtonOnyeka Onwenu, and OC Ukeje
Doctor Bello with Isaiah WashingtonVivica A. FoxJustus Esiri, and Stephanie Okereke
2014 The Truth with Olisa Guest TV Series
2015 Road to Yesterday Victoria with Oris Erhuero and Majid Michel
TBA Lion Heart Post production



  1. Jump up^ “Pedro Pinto from CNN’s ‘African Voices’ pronouncing Nnaji’s name at 00:31 into the video”CNN. 29 March 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  2. Jump up^ “Nollywood’s finest”New Vision. Kampala, Uganda: New Vision Printing & Publishing Company Limited. 1 May 2005. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
  3. Jump up^ “Star Actress Genevieve Nnaji Reveals Success Secrets”Leadership. Abuja, Nigeria. 8 December 2011. Archived from the original on 21 January 2012. Retrieved 15 December2011.
  4. Jump up^ “Nigeria actress Genevieve ready to visit Zambia”Zambian Watchdog. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  5. Jump up to:a b Clayton, Jonathan (3 April 2010). “Nollywood success puts Nigeria’s film industry in regional spotlight”The Times Online. London, UK: Times Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  6. Jump up to:a b Ezenna, Uchenna. “ELAN PERSONALITY: Genevieve Nnaji”. Lagos, Nigeria: Timbuktu Media. Archived from the original on 7 June 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
  7. Jump up to:a b c d “Africa’s Most Famous Movie Star?”. Kent, UK: Newstime Africa. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  8. Jump up^ “6 Nollywood Stars Receive Nigerian National Honours”. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  9. Jump up to:a b “MIMI Lifestyle Magazine, February 2006: Interview with Genevieve Nnaji”. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  10. Jump up^ “Future Connector: Genevieve Nnaji”CNN International. Atlanta, GA, USA: Turner Broadcasting System. 27 October 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
  11. Jump up^ Mignot, Elisa (25 December 2009). “Lagos, capitale de Nollywood”Le Monde (in French). Paris, France: Éric Fottorino. p. 16. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  12. Jump up^ “Best Paid Nollywood Actresses Revealed”. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  13. Jump up^
  14. Jump up^ “Genevieve Nnaji: Is She The ‘Julia Roberts’ of Africa?” 14 February 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  15. Jump up^ “Genevieve Nnaji featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show” 29 September 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  16. Jump up^ “Genevieve at Blue Pie Productions”. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  17. Jump up^ “Genevieve: One Logologo Line”. Archived from the original on 3 December 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  18. Jump up^
  19. Jump up^ “Genevieve Nnaji & Lux advertisement”. London, UK: Unilever PLC. Archived from the original on 25 June 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
  20. Jump up^ Wehwe, Vivien. “Charity Runway; celebrities rise up for orphans”The Vanguard. Lagos, Nigeria: Vanguard Media. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  21. Jump up^ “MUD, Bellezza Cosmetics and Spa, and Genevieve Nnaji=One beautiful collaboration!”. Burbank, CA, USA: Make-up Designory. 22 July 2010. Archived from the original on 7 May 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  22. Jump up^ “Genevieve Nnaji is Face of New Make Up Line”AllAfrica.comAllAfrica Global Media. 21 May 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  23. Jump up^ Onyebukwa, Vivian (29 May 2010). “MUD Cosmetics berths in Nigeria”Daily Sun. Lagos, Nigeria: The Sun Publishing Limited. Retrieved 29 August 2010.[1]
  24. Jump up^ Falode, Kehinde (13 June 2010). “Make-Up Designory (MUD) debuts in Nigeria”The Nation. Lagos, Nigeria: Vintage Press Limited. Archived from the original on 16 June 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  25. Jump up^ Onyema, Ada (5 June 2010). “Genevive becomes face of MUD”The Punch. Lagos, Nigeria. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  26. Jump up^
  27. Jump up^ “Seyi Shay, Toke Makinwa, Mo’Cheddah, DJ Cuppy, Others Nominated”Pulse Nigeria. Chinedu Adiele. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  28. Jump up^
  29. Jump up^ “List of Nominees for AMAA 2008”. Retrieved 20 October 2009.
  30. Jump up^ “AMAA Nominees and Winners 2009”African Movie Academy Award. Archived from the original on 5 April 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
  31. Jump up^ Silent Scandals hits movie shelves soon”. Vintage Press Limited. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
  32. Jump up^ “Felicima: The cripple who loves Genevieve”. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  33. Jump up^ “Odalys García’s first feature film: Ijé -The Journey”. Retrieved 19 November 2009.
  34. Jump up^ Olukole, Tope (7 August 2010). “Nadia Bouari Visits Nigeria”Nigerian Tribune. Ibadan, Nigeria. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  35. Jump up^ “Genevieve, Majid Michale sparkle in Bursting Out”Vanguard. Lagos, Nigeria: Vanguard Media. 23 April 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  36. Jump up^ “Richest Nollywood Actresses” AllAfrica Global Media. 26 September 2010. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  37. Jump up^ Adedayo, Odulaja (11 March 2011). “Nigeria: Plate of Sacred Lies Dotted Only by Star Factor” AllAfrica Global Media. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
If you like this, please share!