Genevieve Nnaji is an actress, movie producer, and entrepreneur. She is a screen goddess and is celebrated in Nigeria and beyond. Fame was not handed over to her on a platter of gold, she has experienced the ugly, bad and good and she did not let any of her experiences define her. She is very charismatic.
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Genevieve Nnaji Background
Genevieve Nnaji was born on 3rd of May, 1979 in Imo State but grew up in Lagos with her parents and siblings. Her father Theophilus Nnaji worked as an engineer and her mother Benedatte Nnaji as a nursery school teacher. She hails from Umuebi Amuzu in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State.
Genny as she is fondly called attended Methodist Girls College, Yaba, Lagos and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Arts from University of Lagos.
She is a single mother of one. Her daughter Theodora Chimebuka Nnaji is married and owns a makeup business called NAJ Artistry.
Genevieve Nnaji acted at the age of 8 in a popular soap opera, Ripples. She started earnestly at the age of 19 when she starred in the movie Most Wanted. She did well with her role and that opened doors after doors for her. Since then, Genny has featured in a lot of Nigerian movies like Last Party, Mark of the Beast, Sharon Stone Ijele and many more.
Genevieve Nnaji is one of the most successful actresses in Nigeria and it is believed that she is the highest paid actress in Nigeria. In 2009, Oprah Winfrey referred her as the Julia Roberts of Africa. It was announced in 2017 that Genny was starring in a movie titled Farming alongside Hollywood actors Damon Idris, Kate Beckinsale and Gugu Mbatha. The director of Farming, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje said that Farming will premiere on the 8th of September, 2018 at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
Genevieve Nnaji As A Producer
The Nigerian screen diva also produces and directs her own films. Her goal is to make the kinda of movies that she will love to see. She produced her first movie, Road to Yesterday in 2015. Road to Yesterday is an epic love story about a couple tying to mend their marriage on a road trip to a relative’s funeral.
In 2017, she debut as a film director in her second movie, Lion Heart. In her interview with Vanguard, she said ‘Film is what I love to do. Lion Heart is the beginning of a journey to explore and express my creative interpretation of storytelling – particularly African Stories.’ The movie is a tale of the hurdles of an Igbo family that runs a transportation business. The film which was shot at different serene locations in the eastern part of Nigeria will be launched at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
Some Genevieve Nnaji’s Blockbusters
- Ripples (1987)
- Sharon Stone (2002)
- Blood Sisters (2003)
- Games Women Play (2005)
- 30 Days (2006)
- Ije: The journey (2010)
- Mirror Boy (2010)
- Tango with Me (2010)
- Weekend Getaway (2012)
- Half of the Yellow Sun (2013)
- Road to Yesterday (2015)
Modelling And Other Business Interest of Genevieve Nnaji
Genevieve Nnaji was a one-time singer. She signed a deal with a Ghanaian record label, EKB records in 2004 and released an album titled One Logologo Line.
She launched a clothing line, St. Genevieve in 2014. St. Genevieve is a fashion brand with stylish dresses, trousers, tops and skirts that suits a wide range of events. The clothing line was later relaunched in collaboration with Jumai, Nigerian online retail store in 2016.
Genny models for many commercial brands and have had mouth watery sponsorship deals with many big brands. She was made the face of LUX in 2014 and also the face of MUD cosmetics in 2010. Other brands include Amstel Malta, Cintrion Energy Drinks, Polo- a fashion brand, Range Rover cars and Etisalat.
The Nollywood veteran is also a sizable investment in real estate. She owns houses in prestigious area in Lagos State, Abuja as well as Ghana.
Achievements of Genevieve Nnaji
- In 2010, Genevieve Nnaji anchored Gulder Ultimate Search Celebrity Showdown. Gulder Ultimate Search Celebrity Showdown is a Nigerian television reality series sponsored by Nigerian breweries to promote Gulder Lager Beer. The show lasted for three months and Emeka Ike, a Nollywood star emerged as the winner.
- In 2011, Genevieve Nnaji ranked 19th on Forbes list of 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa.
- In 2013, Genevieve Nnaji was featured on ELLE.com’s “International Superstars: The Next Big Cross Over” List.
Genevieve Nnaji’s Awards
- Best Actress at the City People Entertainment Award 2001
- Best Actress in leading role at Africa Movie Academy Awards 2005
- Best Actress TV Series at Nigerian Entertainment Award 2010
- Best Actress – Africa Collaborations at Ghana Movie Awards 2010
- Best Actress at Zulu African Film Academy Awards 2011
- Breakthrough Performance (Actress) at Monaco Charity Film Festival Awards 2011
- Viewer’s choice (Female) at Nollywood Movies Awards 2012
- Best Actress Leading Role at Nollywood Africa and Films Critics’ Awards 2013
- Best Actress in Supporting Role at Nigerian Entertainment Awards 2014
- Best Movie West Africa at Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards 2016
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Photo Credit: Instagram page of Genevieve Nnaji.