Onyeka Onwenu is a famous Nollywood actress, singer, songwriter, recording artiste, journalist, politician, social activist, human right activist, X Factor series judge, television personality, politician, entrepreneur and a philanthropist. She was born on 17th May 1952 in Obosi, a small town in Anambra State in the south eastern part of Nigeria. She is currently 65 years old.
She is originally from Arondizuogu, a small town in Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State in the south eastern part of Nigeria. She is the youngest daughter of the Nigerian educationist and politician D.K Onwenu. She is very creative, gifted, skillful and talented and has been described as an Elegant Stallion by the Nigerian press.
Onyeka Onwenu completed both her primary and secondary school education in Obosi, a small town in Anambra State in the south eastern part of Nigeria and obtained both her First School Leaving Certificate and West African Senior School Certificate.
After completing her secondary school education, Onyeka Onwenu proceeded to Wellesley College of Massachusetts in the United States of America and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Communication. After obtaining her first degree in International Relations and Communication, Onyeka Onwenu proceeded to The New School for Special Research in New York, United States of America and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Media Studies.
Onyeka Onwenu is currently married to Mr. Ogunlende and the marriage is blessed with two lovely sons, namely Tijani Ogunlende and Abraham Ogunlende. One of his sons Tijani Ogunlende is a graphic designer and photographer.
Onyeka Onwenu was a former chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture and also the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Women Development.
She worked for many years at the United Nations in New York, United States of America before returning to Nigeria in 1980, where she completed the mandatory one-year National Service at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) where she made an impact as an articulate, incisive and fearless reporter.
In 1984, she wrote and presented the internationally acclaimed BBC/NTA documentary called Nigeria, A Squandering of Riches which became the definitive film about corruption in Nigeria as well as the intractable Niger Delta agitation for resource control and campaign against environmental degradation in the oil rich region of Nigeria. She has also served as a board member of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
Onyeka Onwenu began her music career in 1981 while still working with the NTA, releasing her first album “For the Love of You”. She was originally a secular artiste when she began singing, but now she sings mainly gospel music and continues to write and sing about issues such as health (HIV/AIDS), peace and mutual coexistence, respect for women rights and the plight of children. Her latest effort titled, “Inspiration for Change” focuses on the need for an attitudinal turn around in Nigeria.
She is in partnership with Paris-based La Cave Musik, headed by a Nigerian cultural entrepreneur Onyeka Nwelue and UK-based Jungle Entertainment Ventures, headed by musicologist David Evans-Uhegbu. La Cave Musik is set to release her latest album titled “Rebirth of a Legend”.
In 2013, Onyeka Onwenu was named as one of the three judges on the Nigerian version of The X Factor. In recognition of her contribution to music, movies and arts in Nigeria, she has been celebrated by professionals like Mahmood Ali-Balogun, Laolu Akins, Charles O’Tudor and former PMAN president Tony Okoroji among others in the arts industry in Nigeria.
Onyeka Onwenu is also a politician. She is a member of the People’s Democratic Party. Onyeka Onwenu in the process of running to become the Local Council Chairman of her native land, Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State, was appointed as Chairperson of Imo State Council for Arts and Culture by the former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim.
On 16th September 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan appointed her as the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Women Development.
Onyeka Onwenu is also a pioneer of the Nigerian movie industry (Nollywood). She joined the Nigerian movie industry (Nollywood) in 1999 and acted in her first Nollywood movie “Not Your Wealth”.
Onyeka Onwenu has acted in more than 100 Nollywood movies which include Half of a Yellow Sun, Rising Moon, Muna, Lion Heart, Not Your Wealth, Conspiracy, Chain Reaction, Government House, Women’s Cot, The Tyrant, Omalinze, Every Single Day, Different World, To Love an Angel, The Trinity, etc.
In 2006, Onyeka Onwenu won the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the Africa Movie Academy Awards. In 2014, she starred in the Nollywood blockbuster movie “Half of a Yellow Sun” alongside with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton.
Onyeka Onwenu is currently one of the richest and most influential musician and actress in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $700,000.
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