Here comes the authentic story of one of Nollywood’s biggest and most celebrated super stars, Genevieve Nnaji. It’s another YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine special on the actress who is adored by many; a mini biography, if you like, and also served in the simplest of ways and formats:
1. She was born on May 7, 1979, in the city of Lagos.
2. Her middle name is Ifunanya, which means Love.
3. She hails from Umuebi-Amuzu, in Aboh- Mbaise, Imo State. And her people so love her that they honored her with a chieftaincy title.
4. Her father’s name is Theophilus and her mother, Benedette.
5. She is child No. 4 in a family of 8.
6. Their’s is a Catholic family.
7. She attended Kemistar Nursery & Primary School, Surulere, Lagos, Methodist Girls High School, Yaba, Lagos and ultimately, Girls Secondary School, Akwakuma, Owerri, Imo State.
8. Her desire to study either Law or English Language got truncated at some point, thus she couldn’t continue with her tertiary education.
9. She got into acting at age 8 via a role in Zeb Ejiro’s defunct soap, Ripples and after having modeled initially as a child.
10. Her first movie role ever was in Most Wanted, a Ralph Nwadike flick. Which was facilitated by actor Emeka Ojukwu, aka Torino, whom she met in a bus and they got talking.
11. She became pregnant as a teenager, and the result today is a daughter named Lily or Chimebuka, her native name.
12. So far, she has featured in over 50 movies – but she’s very selective now about productions she takes part in.
13. She was named the Best Actress in 2004 at the African Movie Academy Awards, AMMA Awards.
14. She once released a music album entitled No More, which didn’t really fly.
15. Blue is the favorite color of the actress who is one of the best dressed in her industry.
16. Her hobbies include singing, dancing, writing, reading and making friends.
17. Her father retired as a banker and used to work for the erstwhile African Continental Bank (ACB) while her mother is a teacher.
18. She’s been a Brand Ambassador for Lux Soap, Mud Cosmetics, Amstel Malt and Etisalat.
19. She owns a fashion line called St. Genevieve, which Jumia distributes exclusively for her.
20. The legendary Oprah Winfrey once described her as ‘Nollywood’s Julia Roberts.’
NB: First published September 2015