Early Life of Genevieve Nnaji
Genevieve Nnaji is a Nigerian actress, model and singer born on the 3rd of May 1979 to an engineer father and a mother is a teacher. Genevieve hails from Mbaise, Imo State and was also born there, raised in Lagos in a middle-class family. She is the fourth of eight children.
The Mbaise-born actress is regarded as one of the leading Nollywood actresses seeing that she has been in the industry for over 25 years. She entered the industry at a very early age of 8. As a child actress Genevieve was featured in the popular soap opera Ripples. Young Genevieve was also featured in different television commercials like those of the Pronto beverage and Omo detergent.
Genevieve Nnaji’s Rise to Nollywood Fame
Genevieve Nnaji attended Methodist Girls College,Yaba after which she proceeded to the University of Lagos and
graduated with a degree in Creative Arts. While in the university Genevieve started auditioning for various acting jobs in Nollywood. She got introduced into the Nigerian Film Industry at the age of 19 with the movie ‘Most Wanted’.
As a young actress in the industry still working to create a niche for herself, she was featured in other minor roles in various movies. The other popular movies she later got featured on included; Last Party, Mark of the Beast and Ijele which is still considered as one of her best performances till date. The movie gave her a lot exposure and credence as someone who will later be loved by many.
Through her performances in various movies in the growing Nigerian Film Industry, she became a household name to many admirers of Nollywood. This admiration spanned beyond Nigeria even to the nationals of Kenya, South Africa, Liberia and Ghana. She starred in the movie Sharon Stone (2002) (V) and her fame spread across Africa and several European countries.
In an effort to project herself further in the industry she created a website in 2003. It turned to be one of the most visited sites in Nigeria on the internet with an estimated hit of about 3549 hits and 355 pages in 2 weeks.
As one of the first actresses in contemporary Nollywood, she has been honoured severally for her performances on the screen and many of them have been in other nations including the UK and the United States. She received the award as the Best Actress in 2001 for the City Peoples Award and the inaugural award for the prestigious African Movie Academy Awards in 2005. From 2001 till date she has received over 20 nominations many of which she also won.
As a model also she also won the much coveted search for the Face of Lux in 2004 after having the highest votes in the contest of many African celebrities. She also has had her beautiful face and smile placed on various billboards and television commercials. In 2004 also she ventured into music after being signed to a Ghanaian record label, EKB Records from where she released her debut album, One Logologo Line. The album was a mix of R&B, Hip-Hop and Urban Music.
As a way of giving back to the society, she launched clothing line, St. Genevieve in 2008 with many of the proceeds from it given to charity. In 2009, she added more feathers to her cap by being the first Nigerian actress to be featured on The Oprah Winfery Show, an episode on the most popular people around the world. Genny as she is always called has indeed created a name that will always be remembered in the heart of many Nigerians, she is often said to be the highest paid Nigerian actress and sometimes said to be the Julia Roberts of Nigeria.
The recent news about her is that she has always delved into making her own movies, with the first being Road to Yesterday which premiered last year and was nominated for three awards winning one of the awards (Best Movie in West Africa, 2016 African Magic Viewers Choice Awards). She also has a Nigerian Merit Award (Order of the Federal Republic, OFR) to her name and has also been honoured with a chieftaincy title from kith and kin in Mbaise, Imo State.
Some of her prestigious awards include; sexiest Nollywood actress by a poll conducted by Vanguard Newspaper in 2008, first ever celebrity to be featured on TELL magazine after their 20 years of publishing, ranked 19 in Forbes 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa, featured on Elle Magazine International Superstars: The Next Nigerian Crosscover Acts List (2013) and a feature in a Gambian movie, the Mirror Boy.
Genevieve Nnaji’s Relationships
Genevieve Nnaji has never been married; she has a daughter Chimebuka whom she had at the age of 18. Based on interviews she has granted, the father of her daughter is in the United States and not much is known about him. Some time ago, it was rumored that she was dating the musician, D’Banj but she refuted such claims saying the two of them are just good friends.