Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya… Omotola Jalade Ekeinde’s fame has reached far beyond the shores of West Africa. And if you for some reason do not know her or know of her…let me be nice and enlighten you.
‘Omo Sexy’ is a Yoruba born, Nigerian actress of international cachet. She is regarded as one of the most popular and I daresay talented actresses that Nigeria’s Movie Industry, aka Nollywood can brag about. Not just for her ability to adapt to almost any role, her versatility and creativity is to be commended. She lives her characters.
Born in 1978 to the Jalade’s , Omotola attended Chrisland Nursery School, Opebi, Lagos and Oxford Children School, Santos Layout. She then proceeded to Kaduna for her secondary education at Command Secondary School . Without a graduate degree to her name, Omotola nevertheless excelled in the movie industry at a time when it was not the fad that it is now. She recently however, completed a HND course in Estate Management at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.
Her first role in a movie came in the film “Venom of Justice” in 1995, but it was the movie “Mortal Inheritance” also in the same year, where she played a sickle-cell patient who fights for her life even when she knows it might be futile, that shot her into instant stardom. The movie received rave reviews and is still repped as one of the best movies of its time.
Married quite early, after she had barely turned 18 in March, 1996, and mourning her Father’s passing, life may have seemed bleak, but the clouds quickly dispersed. More roles and more fame, there was no stopping Omosexy! Her filmography of blockbuster movies include, Ties That Bind (2011), A Private Storm, Ije: The Journey (2010), My Last Ambition (2009), Beyonce & Rihanna (2008), Temple of Justice (2008), Tomorrow Must Wait (2008), Yankee Girls (2008), Careless Soul (2007), Desperate Sister (2007), Final War (2007), Sand in My Shoes (2007), Sister’s Heart (2007),The Prince of My Heart (2007), Blood Ties, Games Women Play (2005) and lots more.
She has also tried her hands or ‘voice’ at singing and has released two albums-one in 2006 and another in 2009-cum-2010. Ermmm, I think she should stick to acting. I mean, she does it so beautifully!!! Omotola has, within a span of a decade and then some, played leading roles in numerous movies. She has played a prostitute, a prisoner, the lonely housewife, the bitchy manipulator and the girl next door.
Omotola was nominated in 2012 for the Best Actress in a leading role in the Nollywood Movie Awards (NMA) for her role in the film “Private Storm”. She was also nominated for Best Actress in Supporting Role in the 2012 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) for her role in the film “Ties that Bind”. She won some and lost some as the saying goes. Omotola was honoured as the First Ever African BEFFTA Film Icon for her contribution to the film industry in Africa, Europe and globally. The BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) Award is Europe’s biggest award ceremony that celebrates the achievements of black and ethnic personalities in showbiz globally. She also emerged as the Best Actress in the keenly contested 2012 Exquisite Lady of the Year(ELOY) awards. Omotola knocked out fellow industry heavyweights Ini Edo, Funke Akindele, and Nse Ikpe-Etim who are, in comparism to her, relatively ‘newbies’ in Nollywood. She was selected based on her performance in the movie ‘Ties that Bind’ which starred Ama K Abrebese and Hollywood actress Kimberly Elise.
Omotola’s popularity and box-office credibility was put to test when the movie “Last flight to Abuja”, opened at the cinema recently. The premiere has an unbeaten record as the biggest premiere of any movie with six packed halls. ‘Last Flight to Abuja’ also starred Hakeem Kae Kazeem, Jim Iyke, Jide Kosoko, Rita Dominic and others. The movie has already grossed 24 million, thereby making it the highest box office earner this year!
Also estimated as the highest paid and busiest actress, Omotola has appeared on several covers of Africa’s best-selling Magazines including, Elan, TW and Genevieve.
Nollywood aside, Omotola is an Amnesty International Activist and a UN Ambassador. She features as a writer for the Saturday SUN (Omotola’s Diary) and occasionally gets involved in Social Services for women and charity homes.
Omotola is a mother of 4, and we can only speculate as to how she keeps her home running; perhaps, her new reality show, ‘Omotola; The Real Me,’ will give us a sneak peek.
You are welcome as always…lesson learnt: “With or without a University degree…” Feel free to end this sentence in the comments section below.