Efa Iwara (born: August 20) is a Nigerian actor, rapper, storyteller, and producer best known for his roles in The Lady Called Life (2022), King of Boys: The Return of the King (2021), The Men’s Club, and Rattle Snake: The Ahanna Story (2020). He is also famous for his Fall in Love song Ft. Plantashun Boiz.
Efa maintains a space as one of Nigeria’s most interesting multifaceted entertainers. He started as a rapper in 2006 with Open and Close Ft. Dammy Krane as one of his major hits. Rather than sticking to only music, he wore the boots of acting, and surprisingly, they seem to fit quite well and have won him several award nominations, including Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards for Best Actor in a Drama (2022).
There are Contradictions on the Exact Age of the Ibadan-Born Actor
Contrary to some claim that Efa Iwara was born on August 30, he was born on August 20 in Ibadan, Oyo State of Southwestern Nigeria. This date of birth is evident as he reaches to social media to celebrate his birthday every year on August 20.
In addition, his exact date of birth remains contradictory as sources have 1986 and 1990 as the year he was born. Nevertheless, Efa hails from a Cross-River State community called Ugep which is populated by the native speakers of Lokaa called Yakurr.
Who are Efa Iwara’s Parents and Siblings?
Efa’s father, Alexander Ubi Iwara, is a 80 year old professor in linguistics who has served as a lecturer at the University of Ibadan since 1971 before Efa was born.
In 1988, the older Iwara started as a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. He also worked as a Director, colloquium, Nigeria as well as served as the Coordinator of Institute Francais pour la Recherche en Afrique. The academic achievements of Efa’s father are numerous, and he is regarded as an influential linguist in Nigeria, with his name ranking in the Marquis Who’s Who list of linguistics and indigenous languages educators.
Prior to Alexander Ubi Iwara’s becoming a notable academician, he obtained a bachelor’s honors from the University of Ibadan, and 3 years later, in 1970, he obtained a Master of Arts from the University of Paris. In 1974, Efa Iwara’s father obtained a Doctor of Philosophy from one of the high ranking Universities in the world, the University of Wales. He also obtained a Master of Philosophy from the University of London in 1982.
Efa Ewara’s mother, Felicia Iwara, is also known as Felicia Ubi Obeten. She became married to Efa’s Father in 1972. She is an established librarian who also has a career with the University of Ibadan in Oyo State. She is known for one of her works on the Sociocultural and economic factors influencing the Use of HIV/AIDs information by Women in Ugep, Cross River State, Nigeria.
Efa is One of 5 Siblings
The Nollywood actor has 4 siblings; Kapoona Iwara, Jeesam Iwara, Ayei Ogwo, and Kebee Iwara. He is the most famous of his siblings. However, he is not the only entertainer. His older sister, Ayei, a mother of 2 who is married to Emeka Ogwo, was born on June 25, 1976, and is 80 years old. She is a lawyer, writer, poet, and spoken word artist.
His 42 year old brother Kebee Iwara was born on August 19, 2021. He is a photographer, music, and movie producer. Kebee has a huge influence on the life of Efa and is one of the reasons why the younger Iwara went into music.
Efa Iwara’s Education
The Ibadan-born actor attended Staff School, Ibadan, for his elementary education. He later headed to International School, Barth Road, Ibadan, for his secondary education. For his tertiary education, Efa went to the University of Ibadan, where he studied Geography and graduated with a bachelor’s degree.
He Started Music in 2006
Efa Iwara started exploring his music and acting talent when he was 9. At the time, he wrote his first rap music as well as performed in a school play and later focused on rap since his brother was also into it.
Professionally, he started music in 2006 as a member of a group of 4 called X-Factor. The other members of the group include DJ Clem, Bolaji, Jide, and Boye. After a while, the group disbanded. Afterward, he took a career as a solo artist with the release of a 5-track EP called Waka EP in 2011.
Further in his music career, Efa released Fall in Love (2014), featuring the now disbanded Plantashun Boiz, which included TuFace Idibia, Faze, and Blackface. In 2020, he released his debut album, Without a Pulse.
The Cross-Rivers Native Started Acting Out of Boredom
At 9, Efa acted in a school play based on Ola Rotimi’s The gods are Not to Blame. However, he stated that he started it professionally out of boredom. In another interview, he stated his venturing into acting was a mistake. He added that his manager had encouraged him to take auditions to help him perform on stage as a rapper.
From one audition to another, he began to keep the focus on acting. In 2011, as a professional, he got a role in Tinsel as a debate moderator
Shuga Brought Him Into the Limelight as an Actor
In 2013, about 2 years after Efa appeared in Tinsel, he interpreted the role of David in about 8 episodes of the TV series Shuga. The series is a drama that is cut across several countries about young people and their experiences with love, and lust, amidst other challenges.
A few years later, in 2016, Efa’s acting career broadened with another role in Put a Ring On It, where he brought the character of Uyi to life. Despite this, it was Rumor Has It (2019) that became his game changer. In the film, he played the role of a jilted lover who also has psychopathic tendencies.
Since then, the self-acclaimed entertainment polygamist has kept breaking through walls to take charge of many stages until he marked his name as one of the best new generations of Nigerian actors. He has appeared in blockbusters and some of Nigeria’s most daring and highest-grossing movies, such as King of Boys: The Return of the King (2021) as Dapo Banjo, and RattleSnake: The Ahanna Story (2020) as Bala, and This Lady Called Life (2020) as Obinna.
Efa Iwara’s Awards and Nominations
- Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards for Best Actor in a Drama (nomination, 2022)
- Most Popular Actor at Net Honours (nomination, 2021)
- Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award for Best Actor in a Drama (nomination, 2020)
- 2x Best of Nollywood Awards for Best Actor in a Lead Role – English and Best Kiss in a Movie (2020)
Efa Iwara Has a Career as a Producer and Storyteller
Apart from acting, Efa Iwara is also a storyteller and a producer. He attested that most of his storytelling had been done through music in lyrics.
In terms of production, he is known for producing a short film called Joseph – African Soldier (2022). It focuses on the life of a soldier (acted by Efa) and his life of fighting and dealing with PTSD afterward.
Efa Iwara’s Height and Other Body Measurements
Efa Iwara’s height is no less than 5 feet 5 inches. According to some sources, the actor could be as tall as 6 feet. However, since the geography graduate of the University of Ibadan has not given any insight into his exact height, all that is available on the internet is only an estimation.
Whatever the case, Efa seems to be taller than the average Nigerian man, who is about 5 feet 5.3 inches (165.9 cm) tall. Focusing on his other body measurement, Efa has an attractive muscular body, with his biceps being the most obvious.
Although he has not given a complete insight as to how he has achieved the fit body, it is not farfetched that a great number of Nollywood actors, such as Daniel Etim Efiong, Mawuli Gavor, and Stan Nze, among others, have built similar bodies through training in the gym.
To round this up, Efa Iwara is a leading Nigerian actor, storyteller, producer, and rapper with a career that has lasted more than a decade. His years in the entertainment industry have given him a place among the highest-ranking Nigerian actors of recent times. At the pace at which Efa grows in his career, his fame may continue to reach places, and perhaps his talent would earn him a spot in international movies.