Jim Iyke Biography: How Old Is The Actor and Where Is He From?

James Ikechukwu Esomugha, popularly known by his stage name Jim Iyke, is a Nigerian actor who has become one of the most highly talked about figures in Nollywood. Since his acting debut, Jim has endeared himself to many fans through his exceptional acting skills. The 45-year-old Nigerian actor has been described as one of the most hardworking veterans in the movie industry, as he is always seen making it big in his endeavors. The Anambra native has contributed extensively to the development and promotion of the Nigerian movie industry. Besides acting, he is also a movie producer and businessman.

Profile Summary of Jim Iyke

  • Full Name: James Ikechukwu Esomugha
  • Date of Birth: September 25, 1976
  • Age:45 years old
  • Place of Birth: Libreville, Gabon
  • Education: University of Jos
  • State Of Origin: Ogwugwu, Enugu Agidi, Anambra State
  • Ethnicity: Igbo
  • Nationality: Nigerian, Gabonese
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Children: Harvis Chidubem Iyke
  • Parents: Stephen Okolue (father), Ngozi Gladys Okelue Esomugha (Mother)
  • Occupation: Actor, Movie Producer, Businessman, Model, Philanthropist
  • Active Years: 2001 to date

Jim Iyke Is from Enugu Agidi of Anambra State, Nigeria

Jim Iyke was born in Libreville, Gabon, into the family of Mr. Stephen Okolue and Mrs. Ngozi Gladys Okolue Esomugha. The actor is of the Igbo ethnicity as his father, Stephen Okolue, is from Ogwugwu Village located at Enugu Agidi in Anambra State, Nigeria. He is the only son in his family with seven sisters. His parents spent their youthful years in Gabon and came back to Nigeria when Jim Iyke was young.

Although the occupation of the actor’s parents is unknown, Jim is said to come from a middle-class family. He grew up alongside his seven siblings, who are all girls. However, information about his sisters and what they do for a living is unknown. However, the actor has been seen flaunting pictures of them on his social media handles.

He Studied Philosophy In School

Though information about Jim Iyke’s primary school is unknown, he is known to have attended Federal Government College Kwali, Abuja. He schooled there from 1985 until 1991 when he obtained his senior school certificate. After graduating, he immediately advanced to the University of Jos in Plateau State, where he earned a diploma in Banking and Finance. Not long after, the multi-talented actor furthered his education in the same university and got a Bachelor of Science degree in Philosophy.

Jim Iyke Joined Nollywood In 2001

After his education, the Nollywood bad guy moved to Lagos, where he had his youthful struggling days. Like an average Nigerian who wishes to achieve his goals and make a difference. His zeal to venture into acting came up when he met Victor Opurum, a legal practitioner who encouraged him to fight to achieve his life career. He, however, made it clear to the Actor that he is multi-talented and can venture into many things in life.

He accepted the advice and geared into the actualization of his dreams. Jim Iyke’s essential educational background and other life experiences gave him an upper hand in the first phase as a Model. He ran adverts for many products as he is seen to have the physic, height, and other qualities required of a male model. Through his recognition in world modeling, Jim Iyke gained an edge in the Nigerian movie industry.

He kicked off with his acting career in 2001 and has featured in major and supportive roles in over 100 different movies to date. He is mainly known to portray an arrogant young millionaire, bad boy heading gangs, crazy lover boy, an extravagant fellow, the sassy bad boy, and much more. His acting prowess has helped him become one of the highest-paid and most sought-after Nollywood actors.

A Look At Jim Iyke’s Most Successful Movies and TV Shows

Between Kings and Queens

Jim Iyke performed extraordinarily in this 2010 movie directed by Joy Dickson. He took the role of Nnanna, who is a young prince from the black African Continent. In a bid to escape from his royal duties and responsibilities, he moved to America. His escape to the western country exposed him to risk beyond his control, which left him in a confused state of choosing between standing before the law or losing his sense of morality to gain his identity. He found himself in a complicated lifestyle which he was lured in through love and total freedom. At a point, it occurred to him that he was at the center of two options of choosing between deportation or accepting the lousy life of hanging onto life enjoyments in America.

Last Flight to Abuja

Jim Iyke starred in the Award-winning movie shot in Lagos, alongside Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Jide Kosoko, Uru Eke, and Anthony Monjaro. The Last Flight to Abuja was nominated during the 2013 Africa Movie Academy Awards. Directed by Obi Emelonye, the movie was listed and distributed by Netflix. It was first released on June 29, 2012, in the United Kingdom. Barely two to three months, it was released in Nigeria. The smooth cruise and the afterward disaster unveiled a link in the destiny of passengers, which they had no choice but to follow. The storyline is said to be based on a true-life event, and Jim Iyke played the role of David.

Merry Men 1&2

The actor featured in Merry Men1&2 alongside Ay, Falz, Ramsey Nouah, Olamide, Iretiola Doyle, Alex Unusual, Regina Daniels, Ufuoma McDermott, Williams Uchemba, and many others. Iyke portrayed Naz, a member of a crew that brings corrupt politicians to book. In the second part, he settled down with Ayo’s sister, and all the four men gang had a turnaround decision of moving on with a better life but was called back by an event that would demand one more action before the final quit. The movie was commercially successful at the box office and critically acclaimed by moviegoers. Jim’s role was equally greatly applauded.

Bad Comments

In 2020, Jim Iyke returned to acting after being away for a long time. According to him, his absence is a sacrifice that he dedicated to his son. The young star featured in Bad Comment, directed by Moses Inwang, the famous director of Merry Men 2; Another Mission. Jim took to another identity different from his usual arrogant role in his previous movie. He went by the name Frank Orji, a successful businessman who embraced a revengeful journey after getting involved in internet harassment.

It featured the likes of Chiwetalu Agu, Osas Ighodaro, Patience Ozokwo, Sharon Ooja, and Benjamin Touitou. According to Jim Iyke, the inspiration behind the recent movie is a desire to give a statement that everyone can relate to. He wanted to change the role identity tagged on him in the movie industry, trying to bring in a role the children will be proud to be identified. The Nollywood giant decided to take it down to re-identifying himself in the movie industry.

The Adventurer (TV Show)

In 2017, Jim Iyke released a new TV show called The Adventurer, targeted at problems that directly affect African youths. The issues include youth police brutality and xenophobia attacks, with a view of unbiased public minds. The show is structured to get the voice of everyone and preferred solutions to be directed to the appropriate authorities. It is competitive and educative, with an ending point of interest in influencing the public with rightful human relationships. The participants are stretched from Cape Town, Dubai, Marrakech, Sydney, and Los Angeles. A compensating cash price of $10,000 is open for the winner, and another finalist will take home the sum of 300 thousand Naira only.

List of His Movies and TV Shows

Below is a list of the movie credits of the Nigerian multi-talented Actor:

  1. One Dollar
  2. Unforgettable 1&2
  3. The Intruder 1&2
  4. Rescue
  5. My sweetheart
  6. Love You Forever
  7. Lost Passion
  8. Jealous Lovers 1&2
  9. Extreme Measure
  10. Emotional Tears 1&2
  11. Break Up 1&2
  12. Blind Love
  13. A Night To Remember
  14. We Are One 1&2
  15. Virgin’s Night Out 1&2
  16. Two In Love 1&2
  17. Silent For life 1&2
  18. Silent illusion 1&2
  19. Royal family 1&2
  20. Ready To Die 1&2
  21. Promise Me Forever 1&2
  22. Promise And Fail 1&2
  23. Millionaire’s Daughter 1&2
  24. Love Temple 1&2
  25. Love From Above 1&2
  26. Love and Pride 1&2
  27. Life in New York
  28. Last Girl Standing 1&2
  29. Honeymoon Hotel
  30. Goodbye New York 1&2
  31. Feelings
  32. Deep Loss 1&2
  33. Deadly Kiss 1&2
  34. Cry Like Rivers
  35. Unexpected Mission 1&2
  36. Under Arrest
  37. Stronghold 1&2
  38. Saving The Crown
  39. Otelemuye 1&2
  40. Guys On The Line 1&2
  41. Diamond Forever 1&2
  42. Beyond passion 1&2
  43. Ultimate Risk 1&2
  44. The High Class
  45. Perfect Planner 1&2
  46. Jealous Heart 1&2
  47. Holy Cross 1&2 
  48. Games Men Play 1,2&3
  49. Fetal Seduction 1&2
  50. Women At Large 1&2
  51. The Weeping Tiger 1&2
  52. The Faculty 1&2
  53. Tears of Sacrifice 1&2
  54. Strong Men At Work 1&2
  55. Silent Wish 1&2
  56. Silent Whispers 1&2
  57. Show Me Heaven 1,2,&3
  58. Price of Peace 1&2
  59. Last Faculty 1&2
  60. A Better Place 1&2
  61. Heart Beats
  62. Total Love
  63. Royal Covenant
  64. Perfect Temptation
  65. Love My Way 1&2
  66. Life Incidence 1&2
  67. Holy City 1&2
  68. Excess Money 1&2
  69. Don’t Wanna Be A Player 1&2
  70. Beyonce and Rihanna 1&2
  71. Bad Blood 1,2,&3
  72. Kin’s Battle
  73. Save The Prince 1&2
  74. Runaway Prince 1&2
  75. Royal Madness 1&2
  76. No Man’s Land 1&2
  77. King of Kings 1,2,&3
  78. Heavy Heart 1&2
  79. Eyes Of The Nun 1&2
  80. Between Kings and Queens
  81. Power of a Kiss 1&2
  82. Last Flight to Abuja
  83. The Mechanic- Who Is The Man
  84. And Then There Was You 
  85. Palace War
  86. Learning Curves
  87. When Love Comes Around 
  88. A Star In Heaven
  89. Cruz 1&2
  90. Stalker 
  91. American Driver 
  92. Closure
  93. Seven and a Half Dates
  94. Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons 
  95. Dead Rite 
  96. The Set-Up 
  97. Cultural Crush
  98. Merry Men 2: Another Mission 
  99. Cold Feet
  100. Bad Comments

TV Shows

  • Queen of Passion
  • True Repentance
  • 7 hours

Besides Acting, Jim Iyke Also Runs Other Businesses

Untamed Productions

In 2007, the Nollywood star ventured into movie production after founding a production company called Untamed Productions. The untamed productions since its inception to date have produced movies that have achieved a lot of success. Among these successful movies includes the Popular “1 Dollar” and the “2 Dollar”.  Jim Iyke made use of talented filmmakers and recent film production equipment in movie productions. The company is focused more on the writing and development of movie scripts.

Untamed Records

Jim Iyke also started a music record label called Untamed Records, which led to him producing his first album titled Who Am I?, featuring Tuface Idibia and Sound Sultan. Interestingly, Untamed records help in making all the unique soundtracks used in Untamed Movie productions.

He Gives Back to Society Through Jim Iyke Foundation

Jim Iyke also considered the less privileged, having the orphans at heart. He donated a more significant proportion of his returns from his untamed Record Album to different orphanage homes. He went further to found a Jim Iyke Foundation targeted specifically at children with disabilities who need special care. The Nollywood actor visited Kenya on a campaign titled “make a change” by Christopher Grey and Cecile in December 2012, which aimed to promote his charity organization to achieve a better life for people living with one form of disability or another.

Jim Iyke Has Also Bagged Several Awards and Nominations 

As expected, the Nollywood actor has won several awards and a nomination for his exceptional efforts in the movie industry from his debut to date. Below is the sequential arrangement of Awards and nominations by Jim Iyke in his career in the movie industry:

  • The Best Actor of Afro North American Award.
  • A Three-time winner of the Teenage Choice Award.
  • Best Youth Role Model.
  • Jim won the Best Actor at the Afro North America Award. (2016)
  • He was awarded the Teen Favorite Award. (2006)
  • The Actor was recognized as the Sexiest Man in Nigeria. (2008)
  • He was awarded the Best Actor at Africa Entertainment Award, New York. (2009)
  • Jim Iyke won the Mode Men Magazine Best Nollywood Actor of the Year. (2011)
  • He was recognized in his State and awarded the Best Nollywood Actor at the Anambra State Award. (2012)
  • The Actor was a Pan African Actor nominee at the Cameroon Entertainment Awards. (2012)
  • He bagged the Screen Nation Award for Best Nollywood Actor of the decade. (2012)
  • The international Actor won the Last Flight to Abuja Role Award award at the Kampala Nile Awards. (2012)
  • As a businessman, he won the Entertainment Entrepreneur Awards at the Kampala Nile Awards. (2012)
  • He won the Best Nollywood Actor at the Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards (GIAMA). 2015
  • Jim Iyke won the Festival Prize at the People’s Film Festival, New York. (2017)
  • He is undoubtedly a household name in Nigeria and many countries as he was awarded the Most Popular Nollywood Actor by NET Honours (2019).

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