Aituaje Iruobe (born September 1, 1980, Akure, Nigeria, Age: 42 years old), popularly known as Waje, is a talented Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress. Waje was one of the judges of the debut season of “The Voice Nigeria” talent show in 2016.
Her moniker W.A.J.E is an acronym for Words Aren’t Just Enough. If you have listened to any one of this damsel’s renditions, you will also conclude that words aren’t just enough to properly describe the power and potential of Aituaje Iruobe’s vocals. Waje also means laughter in her native tongue.
Waje is a lot of things. She is is a talented woman in her 40s who contributes to the lives of others around her. Although she is a single mother, she is never shamed by it. The star had her daughter at an early age but it never affected her education and career negatively. Also, she is currently not in any relationship but has been spotted with a male celebrity whom people think is her future husband. We are yet to know her to stand on the rumor.
Waje Is Of Mixed Nigerian Ethnicity
The singer was born on 1st September 1980 as Aituaje Aina Vivian Ebele Iruobe in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. Her family later relocated to Benin City in Edo State where she grew up. Waje did not have a normal childhood as her parents got divorced when she was still very young. After the separation, her mother took care of her and her siblings. She is the first child of her parents and was exposed to many things early in life.
Judging by her full name, people conclude that Waje is either Igbo or Yoruba. The fact is that the singer’s mother is from Onitsha in Anambra State. Her father, on the other hand, is a Yoruba man. This evidently makes her Yoruba.
The celebrity got pregnant while still in secondary school, during her final year. She was still young but did not abort the pregnancy. Instead, she decided to keep the baby and gave birth to a daughter. Although she was not well guided at that age, she vowed to take good care of her daughter and not allow her to make the same mistake as she did.
She Is An Alumnus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka
Waje attended the Word of Faith Group of Schools. Her incredibly outstanding vocals in the choir won the heart of late Archbishop Benson Idahosa of the Church of God Mission International. He was impressed to the point that he took up the sponsorship of her education during her Secondary School days.
Proceeding to the University, Waje did not give up singing. She performed in shows and school functions. She graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, with a degree in Social Work. As she studied, Waje also gave part-time attention to other interests like tourism.
Waje’s Music Career Began in 2007
Waje has a unique vocal strength. A singer who covers three vocal octaves is indeed ultimately gifted in the field. She recalls listening to international vocal icons like Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. She has been singing since her teenage years as a choir member before joining the music industry. Her career began when she joined the eastern-based record label, Dome, where she released a couple of singles, including “Somewhere” and “Kolo”. She announced her presence in the Nigerian music industry with a remix of P Square’s “Omoge mi” in 2007.
Although Waje started out by doing free shows, she grew with time and has become a household name. In 2008, she became a faceless success after contributing vocals to P. Square’s hit track “Do Me”. She also worked on a couple of songs with the duo. In subsequent years, she featured in songs of a good number of high-profile Nigerian artists like Tiwa Savage and M.I. Waje and M.I famously sang the song “One Naira”. The singer has also famously had the privilege of sharing the stage with international acts like Wyclef Jean and Kerry Hilson.
Waje released her first self-titled album W.A.J.E in 2013, and in no time, she became a proper household name. Moving forward, she released two more albums: Red Velvet in 2018 and Heart Season (EP) in 2021. The singer is arguably one of the best Nigerian vocalists of all time. She has successfully worked on a wide range of music genres – R&B, Pop, Soul, Rock, blues, and hip-hop soul.
List of Waje’s Songs
Since she came into the music industry, Waje has continued to release songs. She has released two albums and an EP. Here is a list of some of her most famous songs.
- Ijeoma – 2013
- Fine Girl – 2013
- Bottom Line – 2021
- Time Na Money – 2013
- For a Minute – 2014
- Why – 2018
- So Inspired – 2014
- Chinese – 2021
- Omini Knowest – 2014
- Frenemies – 2019
- Kpolongo – 2018
- The Truth – 2018
- Udue – 2018
- Left for Good – 2015-2016
- Oko Mi – 2013
- Mountain – 2017
- I Wish – 2013
The Singer Has Taken Up A Few Acting Roles
Waje is an all-around entertainer. She started her career in the music industry and has expanded her coasts by adding acting to her career. She combined both, earns from them, and even though she wanted to quit music, she is still in the business.
In 2014, Waje added acting to her career list and showcased her skill as an actress in Stanlee Ohikhuare’s Tunnel. She starred alongside other personalities in the Nollywood industry like Femi Jacobs, Patrick Doyle, Nse-Etim, and Lepacious Bose. Also, she launched Hermanes Media, alongside Owawumi in January 2019. The media company specializes in content curation, film, and TV production, adverts, creative digital marketing, and brand event activation.
Waje wanted to quit music in March 2019 due to a lack of support and sponsorship in her musical career. She entered fully into the movie industry but found herself mixing the two careers. She featured in She Is in April 2019 and recorded the movie’s soundtrack with Omawumi.
List of Her Movies
Here’s a list of all the movies and TV series the actress has appeared in.
- Nneka the Pretty Serpent 2020, as the Soothsayer
- She Is 2019, she featured in this movie and composed the soundtrack
- Fifty 2015, she composes a composer in this movie
- Heaven’s Hell 2019
- Tunnel 2014
Waje Has Received A Few Awards For Her Work
As a singer and actress, Waje has contributed a lot to the entertainment industry. As a matter of fact, she ranks high as one of the best Nigerian female vocalists, and her contributions to music have earned her some nominations and awards. Below is a list of some of her nominations and awards.
The actress has over 15 nominations some of which are;
- Best R&B artiste at the 2016 Nigerian Entertainment Awards.
- Best New Act in the 2009 Dynamix Awards
- Best Vocals in the Headies Award of 2010
- Best Vocal Performer in 2011 the Headies
- Best International Act in the 2014 Black Canadian Award
Here is a list of some of the awards she won.
- First runner-up in an MTV Base reality TV show, Advanced Warning.
- Best Vocal Performance Award in the South-South Awards of 2010
- Best Female Vocalist Award in the Hip Hop World Awards of 2011
- The 2011 Nigerian Entertainment Awards as the Best Female Vocalist
- Best African Act in the Daafa Afro-Europe Entertainment Awards of 2011
- Best Female Performer in the 2012 South-South Awards
- Her song “I Wish” in the W.A.J.E album won the Best Reggae/Dancehall in 2013
- She won the Best Female Artist award in the 2014 Eloy Awards
Other Endeavours Waje Is Engaged In
There are other things the singer and actress does for a living. Waje features alongside Tuface, Patoranking, and Timi Dakolo as judges for The Voice Nigeria. She is currently on a deal with telecommunication giant Glo as their brand ambassador. Also, she kicked off a food campaign with food enthusiasts, Chef Eros and Jamie Oliver in May 2016. She has a record label, Waje Music Entertainment, which produces most of her songs.
The Celebrity is a Philanthropist
In addition to her already tremendous package, the songstress is a humanitarian. Little wonder why she studied Social Work at the university. Waje has devoted a great deal of time to helping the less privileged youth and children, assisting in education and mental health projects. She renders these charitable gestures under Waje’s Safe House.
The Safe House is a foundation she founded in 2013 to help NGOs achieve their set goals. The first project of the foundation was a MEDIC (meaning Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children) that was called Project HELP (meaning Help Educate the Less Privileged). The project was to bring education to the less privileged of the Makoko region of Lagos State, Nigeria.
Stemming from her experience as a young mother, Waje is also passionate about women’s empowerment and enlightenment and has contributed to the cause.
When Did Waje Have Her Daughter?
The singer is a single mother. She has a daughter, Emerald Iruobe, whom she described as the best thing that ever happened to her. Waje was 18 years old when she became pregnant with her daughter, Emerald, and gave birth to her on 28th March 1999. In an interview, she revealed that she fell in love with her daughter’s father while writing her WAEC exams in secondary school. She kept it to herself until it was five months before informing her mother. She never wanted to abort her baby, so she decided to give birth to her.
On several occasions, Waje has shared pictures of mother and daughter on her social media accounts. Instead of regret, she said that her daughter is the best thing that has happened to her. She is not ashamed to be called a single mother, neither is she ashamed of her daughter and the circumstances surrounding her birth. She was sent out of the church choir when they found out that she was pregnant. But she never lost hope in God nor her singing career. She never stopped school either as she entered the university and graduated with a degree.
In her effort as a mother to raise her child by moral standards, she said that one of her rules is to never introduce male friends to her daughter. This is “because you don’t want to bring up a child in an environment where she thinks that it is okay to have men come in and go out of your life,” she said. Emerald turned 22 in 2021 and features in some of her mother’s songs and videos.
Waje’s Current Relationship Status
Waje revealed in an interview with Genevieve magazine that she has been dating. However, she didn’t disclose who the man was but said her male friends never visit her home no matter how close the relationship is. We are hoping that sooner or later, Mr. mysterious will come into the limelight.
The only confirmed relationship she has had is the one she had with her daughter’s father in secondary school. This is the only relationship she has admitted, even though she refused to reveal the identity of the man. For now, it is safe to say that our favorite beautiful singer is single and mingling. Even though there have been rumors about her relationship with Ric Hassani, she has not revealed anything about her relationship status with anyone.
What Really Happened Between Waje and Ric Hassani?
Concerning her relationship with Ric Hassani, Waje posted a romantic picture of her and the singer on her Instagram page in January 2021. Due to how they posed in the picture, and the caption she made on the post, stating “It’s time…”, many concluded that they are either love birds or were going to release a song together. These were mere rumors and assumptions.
The truth about the relationship between Waje and Ric Hassani is that Ric featured in Waje’s music video for the song “Best Thing” released on 22nd January 2021. The video shows that Ric is her best thing and they are all loving up. Pictures indeed speak, but this one was used to draw the attention of the fans to her next music video release. However, we are not sure if the sweet relationship is only on the video, or whether they are in a relationship in real life. And there is no comment yet from the duo whether the relationship is merely business or real.