Omotola Jalade-Ekehinde is a popular Nigerian actress, singer, former model, activist and humanitarian. With numerous high-profile awards to her credit, huge following, business accomplishments and humanitarian efforts, Omotola has placed herself on a pedestal in the society and world at large. She is the first African celebrity to receive over 1 million likes on her Facebook page. Omotola is one of the pioneers of the video film era of Nigerian cinema, becoming one of the most watched actresses in Africa.
Early life and background of Omotola Jalade-Ekehinde
Born 7 February, 1978 in Lagos state, Nigeria, Omotola grew up in a family of 5: her parents and two younger brothers; Tayo and Bolaji Jalade. Her mother worked at J.T Chanrai Nigeria and her dad worked at the YMCA and the Lagos Country Club.
Omotola attended Chrisland School Opebi and Oxford Children School for her primary education. She had her secondary education at Santos Layout, and Command Secondary School, Kaduna. For her tertiary education, Omotola briefly attended Obafemi Awolowo University before completing her studies at Yaba College of Technology where she studied estate management. As a young girl, Omotola had always wanted to work in a business management firm but fate had better things in store for her. While awaiting admission into the university, she tried her hands on modelling to keep herself busy and fend for herself.
Her Acting Career
She bumped into acting when she accompanied her friend to a movie audition. While there, she got a role and that marked the beginning of her acting career. Omotola made her acting debut in the 1995 movie Venom of Justice, directed by Reginald Ebere. She was given the lead role in the movie, which set the stage for a flourishing career in the Nollywood film industry.
She got her big break after playing the lead role in movie Mortal Inheritance. In the movie, she played a sickle-cell patient who fought for her life despite the odds of survival. The film is regarded as one of the Nigeria’s best movies ever made. She clinched the award for the Actress in an English Speaking Movie” and “Best Actress Overall” at the (1997) Movie Awards. She was the youngest Actress in Nigeria at that time to achieve this feat.
Since then, she has featured in over 300 Nigerian movies. She has starred in several blockbuster movies, including Games Women Play, Blood Sisters, All My Life, Last Wedding, My Story, The Woman in Me, Last flight to Abuja amongst others. She became internationally acclaimed by making a brief appearance in VH1’s scripted series, Hit the Floor (2013).
The award-winning actress also featured alongside Genevieve Nnaji in top-rated Nigerian movie “Ije“. “Ije” was the highest grossing Nollywood film at that time. The movie launched the birth of cinematic movies in Nigeria.
Omotola who is known by the moniker “Omosexy” is considered Africa’s biggest box office actress. In 2012, the A-list actress launched her reality show, Omotola: The Real Me. She became one of the first entertainers in Nigeria to start a reality show. The reality show was aired on Africa Magic Entertainment, a M-net subsidiary on DStv. The show explores her personal life.
After three years of hiatus, she made a comeback by playing a lead role in a 2017 movie, Alter Ego alongside Wole Ojo and Jide Kosoko.
Her Music Career
The leading actress decided to delve into music by releasing her debut album “gba” in 2005. Other singles off the album are “Naija Lowa” and “The Things You Do To Me”. In 2010, she released her second album, Me, Myself and Eyes. One of the songs in the album, Barren Land was adopted by Amnesty International, a London-based non-government organisation for human rights.
Her third album saw her enlisting the help of The Bridge Entertainment, working with renowned producers and songwriters. She also had studio sessions with Kendrick Dean, Drumma Boy and Verse Simmonds.
In 2015, Omotola celebrated her 20th anniversary in the entertainment industry. In June 2018, Omotola alongside Femi Odugbemi, received invitations to join the 2018 Oscar voting members.
She celebrated her 25th anniversary in the entertainment industry on May 18, 2020.
Besides acting, Omotola has also lend her time, voice and resources seeking the welfare of people. Omotola became a United Nations World Food Programme Ambassador in (2005), going to missions in Sierra- Leone and Liberia.
Omotola also supports organisations such as Charles Odii’s SME100 Africa to empower youth and young women in the society. She has been active in the Walk the World project.
In 2011, the veteran actress became an Amnesty International campaigner participating in campaigns in Sierra-Leone and Niger-Delta of Nigeria.
She also joined ONE Campaign’s Poverty is Sexist Campaign which aims at promoting the need for women empowerment across the continent.
As a fierce human rights campaigner, Omotola went ahead to create her NGO Omotola Youth Empowerment Programme (OYEP). Through her NGO, she has organised empowerment walk and convention for hundreds of Nigerian youths. The NGO was established in remembrance of her late mother.
She also lent her voice in 2010 to the Rewrite The Future Campaign of Save The Children UK.
Omotola Jalade’s Relationship and Family Life
Omotola got married to Captain Matthew Ekeinde in 1996. They’ve been married for 24 years. Together, they have four children, Princess, M.J Meraiah and Michael. Capt. Matthew Ekeinde is a renowned pilot and aviation personality who has worked for several Nigerian and international airlines.
Her Endorsement deals
Omotola has amassed for herself a lot of mouth watery endorsement deals with many corporate brands. She is the brand ambassador for Scanfrost Appliance, Knorr Cube, Pamper Baby Diapers and B016 hair range by Ghanaian cosmetics giant, Ghaadour.
Achievements and Recognitions
Omotola has been honored as one of the top 100 influential people in Africa for the year by MIPAD in New York City following the opening of the 73rd UN General Assembly.
In 2012, CNN Travel noted Omotola’s famous tongue (accent) on their list of the world’s 12 sexiest accents. The Nigerian accent peaked at number 5 on the list.
She explored her public speaking skills by speaking at the 2013 edition of the WISE- Summit, held in Doha, Qatar.
In 2013, she was honoured in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world alongside Michelle Obama, Beyoncé and Kate Middleton.
On 9 November 2013, Oba Victor Kiladejo, the royal king of Ondo Kingdom conferred Omotola with a chieftaincy title in her hometown of Ondo State.
Omotola Jalade has made remarkable achievements in the entertainment industry.
In 2014, the Nigerian government honored her with a national prestigious title. She was conferred a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic, MFR for her contributions to Nigerian cinema.
In a list compiled by Yahoo in 2015, Omotola was listed among the highest-grossing movie stars one has never heard of; the listing included Shah Rukh Khan, Frank Welker, Bob Bergen, Jack Angel and others.
Her unparalleled outlook earned her a column “Omotola’s Diary” in OK! Nigeria Magazine.
Awards and Nominations
The Best Actress English at The Movie Awards (1997)
The Best Actress Overall at The Movie Awards (1997)
Best Actress at the City People Awards for Excellence (2004)
Best Actress & Grand Achiever at Global Excellence Recognition Awards (2004)
Best Individual & Symbol of Creativity at CEON (2004)
Most Friendly Actress at Youth Benefactor’s Awards (2006)
Best Actress-Africa Collaboration at Ghana Movie Awards(2011)
Actress of the Year at Eloy Awards (2012)
Pan African Best Actress at Screen Nation Awards (2012)
GIAMA Humanitarian Award at Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards (2012)
Popular Online Choice at Nollywood Movies Awards (2013)
Ebony Vanguard Award at Music Video and Screen Awards (2013)
Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (2014)
Female Entertainment Personality at City People Social Media Awards (2016)
Best Actress at Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival (2017)
Best Actress at Nollywood Travel Film Festival (2017)
Movie Icon of the Year at City People Movie Awards (2018)
Best Actress in Movies/TV Series at Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (2018)
Omotola Jalade’s Net Worth
Omosexy is one of the leading, most followed and respected actresses in Africa. Her estimated net worth is $3 million.