Genevieve Nnaji Biography: Who Is the Star Actress and How Old Is She?

Genevieve Nnaji is 45-year-old award-winning Nigerian actress and filmmaker known for her movies such as Ijele, Blood Sister, and most recently, Lionheart. 

By all accounts, Genevieve Nnaji, who is dubbed the Julia Roberts of Africa, is a remarkable and outstanding talent who has been in the spotlight since 1987 at the age of 8. At present, the 45-year-old actress has suggested that her acting ability matches up with the greatest actors ever in Nigeria for the decades she has been in the Nigerian movie industry, appearing in films such as Road to Yesterday, and Half of a Yellow Sun.

Nnaji has received several accolades, including Oscar nominations. Later, knowing that she could be more than just an actress, Genevieve added to her hats those of modelling, directing, and producing internationally accepted movies, including Lionheart. Lionheart holds the record as the first Netflix original film made in Nigeria. She is also a women’s activist and had a brief career in music.

Profile Summary of Genevieve Nnaji

  • Full Name: Genevieve Nnaji
  • Date of Birth: May 3, 1979
  • Age: 45 years old
  • Ethnicity: Igbo
  • State of Origin: Imo State
  • Education: Methodist Girls College, University of Lagos
  • Occupation: actress, director, producer, model, and women’s rights activist
  • Active: 1987 – Present
  • Popular Works: Ije: The Journey, Half of a Yellow Sun, Tango with Me, The Mirror Boy, Lion’s Heart

How Old is Genevieve Nnaji?

Genevive Nnaji is 45 years old in 2024. She was born on May 3, 1979, in Lagos State. Her zodiac sign is Taurus. Nnaji is considered one of the ageless actresses in the movie industry alongside Omotola Jalade.

The combination of her striking facial features, timeless elegance, and graceful aging makes her one of the most beautiful and ageless Nigerian celebrities. Her beauty is often described as naturally captivating and effortlessly radiant. Nnaji has gracefully embraced the aging process, maintaining her beauty and charm as she matures. She also serves as an inspiration to many women with her confidence and poise.

Genevieve Nnaji Hails From Imo State But Grew Up in Lagos

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Genevive Nnaji was born and bred in Lagos State although her place of birth is popularly reported to be Mbaise, Imo State. She gave a hint of her state of origin in a CNN interview. The beautiful actress was born as the 4th of 8 children of an engineer father and a nursery school teacher mother. Nnaji is of the Igbo ethnicity from Imo State and had a Catholic upbringing

Growing up, The Lion Heart star attended schools that included Methodist Girls College Yaba, Lagos. To obtain a higher education certificate, Nnaji headed for the University of Lagos, where she obtained a degree in Creative Arts. It was also when she was a student that she began scouting for roles as a young adult in the Nigerian movie industry.

She Made Her Screen Debut At The Age of 8, and Her Professional Career Began at 19

Nnaji made her first TV appearance in the 1987 soap opera Ripple at the age of 8. In later years still as a child, she appeared in commercials in several commercials before leaving the television scenery. While at the university, Genevieve Nnaji started scouting for roles in movies, which led to her acting career as a young adult at the age of 19 in 1998 in the film Most Wanted. Her fame nevertheless did not come immediately; hence, she continued to play minor roles.

Little by little, her talent began to be noticed in the Nigerian movie industry even when the industry had not become as popular as in recent times. Her being acknowledged at that time came with a new responsibility of wearing the shoes of many characters as an actress playing major and supporting roles in movies like Camouflage (1999), Love Boat (2001), and Fire Dance (2001).

In the progression of time in her career as an actress, Nnaji would feature in many other films that count up to 200. She has starred alongside other veterans such as Ramsey Noah, Emeka Ike, Pete Edochie, Olu Jacobs, and the late Justus Esiri, among others. At the age of 22 in 2001, Genevieve became the first in her field to win the City People Awards for Best Actress.

One of her major milestones in terms of finances as an actress came in 2009 when she was 30 years old. It was at that time that she became one of the highest-paid actors in Nollywood.

She was Featured On the CNN International show, Connect the World, in 2010

In 2020, Genevieve was interviewed by CNN, a space not many in her category have been able to take in Africa. In the interview, the dark-skinned actress would expose her love for her country and her reaching her greatest peak yet in her career.

A year before her CNN interview, she was featured in one of the biggest shows in America, Oprah Winfrey Show, where Oprah referred to her as the Julia Roberts of Africa. According to the actress, it was one of the highlights of her career because she is one of the few in her career in Africa to be recognized by the TV legend.

In the same year, the multi-award-winning actress became a presenter of the year’s Gulder Ultimate Search: The Gatekeeper’s Fortune in its Gulder Ultimate Search Celebrity Showdown 1.

She Produced Her First Film in 2015 

Genevive Nnaji produced her film Road to Yesterday in 2015 at the age of 36. The film won the Best Movie, Overall-West Africa, at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards. In 2017, she produced “The Royal Hibiscus Hotel,” which was followed by Lionheart (2018). In addition, Lionheart was the first movie that she wrote as well as directed.

The sensational actress boarded the train of producing movies knowing that she could offer much more than just acting.

Did She Retire From Acting?

No, Genevieve has not retired from acting. The screen diva says she will retire when she is too weak and weary to carry on with her acting career. However, it has been noticed that she does not feature in as many films as she did in the early to mid-2000s.

According to her, this is because she chooses quality rather than the number of movies she appears in. Hence, she needs to be meticulous about the scripts she receives.

Selected Films of Genevive Nnaji 

Movie  Year of Release Role
Farming 2018 Adaora
Valentino 2002 Valentina
Lionheart 2018 Adaeze
The Truth with Olisa 2014 Kene
Doctor Bello 2013 Adaeze
Half of a Yellow Sun 2013 Bianca
Weekend Getaway 2012 Jackie
Sacred Lies 2011 Emeka
Mirror Boy 2010 Rose
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The Figurine 1999 Ani
Tango with Me 2010 Lily
Ije: The Journey 2010 Anya
Silent Scandals 2009 Mary
Beautiful Soul 2008 Angela
Letters to a Stranger 2007 Kira
30 Days in America 2014 Trish
Darkest Night 2005 N/A
Critical Decision 2004 Amina
Private Sin 2003 N/A
My Only Love 2003 N/A
Power of Love 2002 Amina
Sharon Stone 2002 Sharon Stone
Death Warrant 2002 N/A
Most Wanted 1998 Patricia
Ripples 1989 Amaka
St. Mary 2002 Mary
Azima 2006 Azima
Road to yesterday 2003 Azuka
Love story 2004 Kate
Wedding bells 2002 Rita
Silent cry 2002 Ejiro
Mark of the beast 2006 Anoli
Ijele 1999 Oma
Keeping Faith 2002 Faith
Glamour Girls 1994 Sharon Stone

Selected Films of Genevieve Nnaji 

  • Farming (2018)
  • Velentino (2002)
  • Lionheart (2018)
  • The Truth with Olisa (2014)
  • Doctor Bello (2013)
  • Half of a Yellow Sun (2013)
  • Weekend Getaway (2012)
  • Sacred Lies (2011)
  • Mirror Boy (2010)
  • The Figurine (1999)
  • Tango with Me (2010)
  • Ije: The Journey (2010)
  • Silent Scandals (2009)
  • Beautiful Soul (2008)
  • Letters to a Stranger (2007)
  • 30 Days (2006)
  • Darkest Night (2005)
  • Critical Decision (2004)
  • Private Sin (2003)
  • My Only Love (2003)
  • Power of Love (2002)
  • Sharon Stone (2002)
  • Death Warrant (2001)
  • Most Wanted (1998)
  • Ripples (1987)
  • St. Mary (2002)
  • Azima (2006)
  • Road to Yesterday (2003)
  • Love Story (2004)
  • Wedding Bells (2006)
  • Silent Cry (2002)
  • Mark of the Beast (2006)
  • Ijele (1999)
  • Keeping Faith (2002)
  • Glamour Girls (1994)

She Has Won Multiple Awards in Her Career

Genevive Nnaji’s awards include:

  • The 19th Black Reel Awards (FAAAF) for Outstanding Foreign Film/World Cinema Motion Picture (2019)
  • Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for Best Movie West Africa (2016)
  • Nigerian Entertainment Awards for Half of a Yellow Sun (2014) and Best Actress TV Series (2010)
  • Nollywood and African Film Critics Awards (NAFCA) for Best Actress Leading Role (2013)
  • Nollywood Movies Awards for Viewers Choice -Female (2012)
  • Zulu African Film Academy Awards for Best Actress (2011)
  • Best of Nollywood Awards for Bursting Out (2011)
  • Ghana Movie Awards for Silent Scandals (2010)
  • Africa Movie Academy Awards for Best Actress in Leading Role (2005)
  • City People Award for Best Actress (2001)

She Had a Brief Career in Modeling and Music 

Genevieve had a short-lived modelling career, being considered one of the most beautiful women in Nigeria. In 2004, she became the Face of Lux in Nigeria, and in 2010, she was named the Face of MUD cosmetics in Nigeria. When she was 29 years old in 2009, Nnaji started her clothing line, St. Genevieve. She uses the proceeds from the line for charity courses.

Her music career kicked off in 2004 when she signed a record deal with EKB Records of Ghana. The label was responsible for dealing with her debut music album, One Logologo Line. Although her music career did not turn out as successful as her career in the movie industry, she could be heard outside the shores of Nigeria.

Though both careers were quite brief, she was able to make a name for herself while they lasted. Apart from making her music, she was a vixen in the 2008 Fall in Love award-winning song by D’Banj.

Genevieve’s album is an 8-track album with the following songs:

  • Me Bre Wo Ft. Obour
  • Thinking of You Ft. Kojo Antwi
  • Native Doctor Ft. Dede
  • One Logologo Line Ft. V.I.P
  • Bumo it Up
  • No More
  • Missing You
  • Genevieve

Genevieve Nnaji Became A Mother At 17

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Genevieve had her first and only daughter Theodora Chimebuka Nnaji at the age of 17. Her birth details are not open to public scrutiny. At first, the actress did not know that she was pregnant until a few months afterward.

She has kept the paternity of her daughter private, but speculations would go on that journalist Dotun Oladipo was the father of Chimebuka – a claim he refuted. Reports have juggled that Chimebuka became married in 2016 and had her first child, a son, in 2018. This claim has, however, not been confirmed as the public often mistakes her daughter for her younger sister, Dora Nnaji, a makeup artist who owns the NAJ makeup artistry studio in Yaba, Lagos.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Genevieve Nnaji?

Genevive Nnaji is a Nigerian actress, producer, and director. The highly acclaimed actress is the producer of the Netflix film, Lionheart. Nnaji is held in high regard within Nollywood and has been recognised with various awards, such as the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2005.

What is Genevieve Nnaji’s Age?

Genevive Nnaji is 45 years old in 2024. She was born on May 3, 1979, in Lagos State, Nigeria. Her zodiac sign is Taurus.

How Many Movies Has Genevieve Nnaji Acted in?

Genevieve Nnaji has acted in more than 80 Nollywood films in the course of her flourishing acting career. She debuted in the 1998 movie “Most Wanted” and has gone on to become one of the most well-known and prosperous actresses in Nigerian film history.

Is Genevieve’s daughter also an actress?

It’s unclear if Genevive’s daughter is pursuing a career in acting. Being a private person, Genevieve Nnaji hasn’t mentioned if Chimebuka is already following in her footsteps in acting.

Does Genevieve Nnaji have a twin sister?

No, Genevieve Nnaji does not have a twin sister. She is one of eight children born to her parents on May 3, 1979, in Lagos State.

Is Genevieve Nnaji The Richest Actress in Nigeria?

Genevive Nnaji is the richest actress in Nigeria in 2024. She has an estimated net worth of $15 million. Nnaji’s wealth stems from her successful acting career which has spanned over two decades and other endeavours within and outside the entertainment space.

How Many Children Does Genevieve Nnaji Have?

Genevive has one daughter named Theodora Chimebuka Nnaji. She had her at the age of 17. The actress has kept the paternity of her child away from the public ever since she had her.

How much does Genevieve Nnaji charge per movie?

Genevive Nnaji’s estimated fee per film sits between 4 million to 10 million. Her actual fee largely depends on the specific film, the budget, and the other actors involved. Being one of the highest-paid actresses in Nollywood, she commands a significant fee for her work based on her experience.


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