One of the Big Mamas of Nollywood is actress Ngozi Ezeonu who has remained relevant and influential over the years in the Nigerian movie industry. She is regarded by many as a role model to upcoming actresses. Her role in the movie Adesuwa earned her a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the 8th Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2012 and she continues to be active in Nollywood to date. Ngozi Ezeonu has carefully built a lasting career for herself in the entertainment industry and in addition to acting, the beautiful actress is an entrepreneur, and philanthropist, who previously worked as a journalist.
Ngozi Ezeonu is an Igbo Woman From Anambra State
Ngozi Ezeonu was born Ngozi Ikpelue to the family of Mr D.O Ikpelue and Mrs Ezenwanyi Joy Nonyelum Ikpelue. Though she was born in Owerri, Imo state, Ngozi originally hails from Ogbunike in Anambra State. She celebrates her birthday every 23rd of May and her birth year is recorded as 1965. Ngozi is the only girl out of her parent’s six children and she spent all her childhood years alongside her family. The actress doesn’t discuss her family in public hence there is no information about her parent’s nor siblings’ profession.
Ngozi attended primary and secondary school in Owerri. After her secondary education, she decided to do a little job before furthering her education. As such, she got a job to work as a hairstylist in a beauty salon. Meanwhile, Ngozi had always had an interest in performing arts in her younger years. So, she got a form to study a diploma course in journalism at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).
She Had a Brief Journalism Career Before Acting
Recall that her first paying job was as a hairstylist before she did the diploma course in Journalism. After completing the course, she practiced journalism for a short while before joining Nollywood. She landed a job at Radio Lagos where she worked as a morning news anchor. Ngozi also briefly worked at EKO FM and left her mark as a journalist. However, life happened, things turned, and she had a total change in her career from news reporting to acting, turning her long-time passion into a profession.
Her Journey Into Nollywood
Ngozi Ezeonu was introduced into Nollywood in 1993 by Zeb Ejiro, who offered her a role in her debut movie Nneka the Pretty Serpent – she played a lead supporting role. Ngozi played an outstanding role in the movie which later became a hit. In 1994, she had her breakthrough with the blockbuster movie that shook the entire Nollywood, Glamour Girls. She played the role of Thelma, a high society mistress alongside other veteran actors like Liz Benson and Gloria Anozie.
The Nollywood star has so far featured in over 250 blockbuster movies including; Dry My Tears, Women of Faith, Jay Boy Obodo Oyibo, Suicide King, In The Beginning, A Private Storm, About to Wed, Chimobi, Mother of Faith, Love of a Daughter, Royal Adventure, to mention but a few. In 2012, she starred in Adesuwa, a role that earned her a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the 8th Africa Movie Academy Award.
List of Her Best Movies
Even with hundreds of movies to her credit, there are a select few that are considered to be her best and most famous. They include:
- Tears of a Prince
- Shattered Mirror
- Women of Faith
- Palace War
- Broken Engagement
- Cry of a Virgin
- Divided Kingdom
- God of Justice
- A Drop of Blood
- Diamond Kingdom
- Child of Pain
- Glamour Girls
- Lion Heart
- Abuja Top Ladies
- Family secret
- A Private Storm
How Ngozi Ezeonu Grew To Become An Icon In Nollywood
Being a woman of exemplary character, Ngozi Ezeonu is very choosy when it comes to scripts. She once said in an interview that a lot of young ones look up to her and that she wouldn’t want to do anything that would disappoint them. She further disclosed that she does not fancy playing nude in a movie, romantic roles, or play roles where they mishandle children. Ngozi to date is known as a disciplined and reserved woman, as well as a mother figure in the Nigerian movie industry.
She has become an icon in the industry given her choice of roles wherein she mostly acts like a royal queen, housewife, widow, respectable woman, and queen mother. She has kept a high moral standard in the Nigerian entertainment industry as we are yet to see her in nude or romantic roles and by this, her image has been protected and scandal-free. Simply, Ngozi has earned a place as one of the most prolific stars in Nollywood and from what is obvious, she is likely to record more success in the nearest future.
She Has Won a Few Awards
The Veteran actress has not only received awards for her immense contributions to the entertainment industry but also to the economic growth and development of the country. Some of her awards and nominations include:
- 2007 – Most Accomplished Actress in Nigeria by Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2011 – National Award as a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the Federal Government of Nigeria
- Films Academy Award in Africa – Best Actress in Adesuwa
- In 2012, she was nominated for the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
- In 2013, she was also nominated for Nollywood Movies Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Her Iconic Status Has Earned Her a Handful of Endorsements Deals
Over the course of her acting career, the Nollywood thespian has her name linked with some top companies and brands. Considering the respectable height she has attained in the entertainment industry, Ngozi has attracted a few mouthwatering deals. Currently, she has an endorsement deal with the giant multinational telecommunication company, Globacomm where she is their ambassador. She recently bagged a deal with a leading African-based Healthcare company, AfrOganiks.
Rumors of Ill-Health Via Her Sudden Weight Loss
In 2013, the actress shocked the entire public with her tremendous weight loss. The actress who was known for her robust nature diminished drastically, losing over 50 percent of her body weight. This left her fans as well as the entire public pretty bothered about her health. It also led to several media reports claiming the actress was sick. But amid the insinuations, Ngozi Ezeonu came out to debunk the rumors of her being sick. She had stated categorically on different platforms that she wasn’t sick but explained it was her choice to lose weight as she had been battling with it for years. However, the veteran actress put an end to the aggressive weight loss journey, when she started experiencing chronic Anorexia (a lack or loss of appetite for food).