Genevive Nnaji is part of the people who has successfully built her name to a point of not only stardom but also honor. The veteran actress is one of the few Nollywood legends who did not just act, they also set the pace and added relevance to the Nollywood industry on international stages and levels. This article aims at exposing who the Nollywood icon truly is.
Being uniquely beautiful and seamlessly ageless, Genevive has produced nothing less than quality on the screen making Her a revered icon and legend within not only Nollywood, but also Nigeria.
Genevive Nnaji was born on 3rd may 1979 to a middle class family from Mbaise, Imo State though she grew up in surulere and attended Kemstar Primary School in Surulere and methodist girls college, Yaba. Her family was later forced to move from surulere to Egbebda due to financial crises.
She is believed to not have attended the university but it’s affirmed that Genevive Is an alumnus of the university of Lagos where she studied creative art. Though she had to drop out in the early 1990s because juggling school and her career was excess work at the time.
EARLY ACTING CAREER
The actress having her primary education in surulere set the stage, as it exposed her early to cameras, Television, Auditions and movie roles. This exposure led to her landing her first role as a child star in the Zeb Ejiro’s Soap Operas, Ripples at the age of 8.
This period can be said to be the beginning of a revolutionary acting career, but a few years later, something happened that changed the trajectory of her life and career. Genevive got pregnant at 17, making her drop secondary school to give birth to her daughter.
At the early stage of her career, she auditioned for multiple roles as expected, but she still had difficulties convincing producers and directors that she was capable.
Director Elvis Obaseki, remembered seeing Genevive almost teary when he kicked against her casting in a film due to budgetary restrictions.
Five years later, he offered her an equivalent of 2.5 million naira to feature in a movie at the peak of her career, which she turned down.
She got her first professional role that brought her closer to stardom in 1998 when she played the role of a reporter in Ralph Nwadike’s movie, Most Wanted, at the age of 19. And two years later, she was recognised as best actress, 2001 by city Magazine.
This award was a big deal because city people magazine otherwise only featured politicians and corporate figures, never stars, he was the first and so a big deal.
Due to high pay demand, There was a ban by major film studios in Lagos and Onitsha stating that producers should not recruit big name actors, also dubbed the big five girls. It was alleged that they charged as much as 3 million for a role which was ridiculous and almost unattainable to producers because of the limited budget they worked with.
In this season of job scarcity and joblessness, Genevieve released her first music in an album. The album was heavily criticized and called wack at the time of release. It was not exactly great and since then the star has stuck to the screen.
Genevive is one Nigeria’s most paid actress being paid an average of $3000 for every movie she decides to feature in. She had a total net worth of about 5 billion naira which Is equivalent to $12 million.
She took the title of first Nollywood billionaire after her movie, Lionheart, premiered for $3.8 million. She owns luxury apartments across Nigeria and Ghana. And a car garage consisting of BMW, Mercedes Benz, range rover, etc
She holds many endorsement and ambassadorial deals, so much that she outweighs big stars and names. In 2004, she solidified this by being the face of Lux and the first Nigerian to do that. Genevieve is an iconic fashion model And even owns a clothing line.
The 44 year old actress is currently unmarried and has always kept her relationship status and activities private. She said in an interview:
“If I get married, I want to stay married, and staying married is not easy. It means you are completely in tune with your partner. It means you have found your soul mate and will have to be able to stand a lot of disappointments that will definitely come, but then again, you have to learn how to forgive,” she said.
And this might be why the veteran actress had decided to stay unmarried
Genevive has a daughter she birthed In 1990 at the age of 17 and is the main reason she dropped out of school earlier.
Genevieve holds multiple honorary and first time awards within Nigeria and beyond and a few of them being African Movie Academy award and was the first actress to bag this title amongst others
Genevive had starred in over 400 films sinvet her first Debut in 1998 and a few of them include,
– 30 Days,
– The Mirror Boy,
– Tango With Me,
– Weekend Getaway, and
– Lion heart.
WELCOME TO NETFLIX.
She shot and directed her first movie, Lion heart, which was a hit immediately after it was released. The move was acquired by Netflix for about $3.8 million dollars. This made it the first Netflix original from Nigeria and also made the icok the first Nollywood billionaire.
The movie was submitted as the first entry for the Oscar in the “Best International Feature Film” category, but was disqualified due to not meeting linguistic requirements.