September 10, 2008


She is the stuff of which legends are made. A strong woman who, against all odds rose to become a dazzling success that fiction loving individuals get to read about in Jackie Collins or Barbara Taylor- Bradford novels. But her story is for real. Genevieve Nnaji is undoubtedly, Nollywood's most dazzling diamond yet.

Nollywood, the pet name for the Nigerian motion picture industry, has captured global fascination and is touted as being the third largest movie producing country after America's Hollywood and India's Bollywood, respectively. Nollywood has more fans outside, spread across Africa and other parts of the world than in Nigeria itself. It is in this buoyant industry that a home video is hardly produced without Nnaji on the cast list. She has acted major roles in nearly 200 home videos. Her earnings from a home movie is reportedly in six digits. She lives in the posh Ajah district in Lagos. And she moves about in the latest sleek cars. She has become not just a star but, a super star.

Her status received the mega star title when in addition to acting she released a musical album. Titled Hot Stuff, the album was first released in Ghana before its subsequent release in Sierra Leone. Her first musical performance in Sierra Leone took place at Old School Entertainment Complex at Abereen, west of the capital Freetown, on May 6 and at the National Stadium Lagos on May 7. She appeared at the event alongside Mohamed Kallon, Sierra Leonean international striker. Kallon remarked that Genevieve's album is a delightful blend of Afro beat and western lyrics. At the initial launch of the album in Ghana, different groups jostled for hosting the show with some of them offering 12,000 dollars for it.

Her super stardom was consolidated recently. Unilever, the international conglomerate, recently appointed her as the new face of Lux, a toilet soap. Her appearance in the television advertisement confirmed her star status; she was the star any young girl would aspire to be. Apart from the television advertisements, she also featured in the billboards advertisements.

Popularly called 'Genny' by her friends, Nnaji was born in 1979 to an engineer father and a mother who was a teacher. She attended Girls Secondary School Akwakuma, Owerri, Imo State. It was while in secondary school that she exhibited her artistic bent. Contrary to earlier protestations, she refused to forgo her fantasy of becoming a film star.

In order to actualise her dreams and not just fantasise about it, she left for Lagos. Initially, the roles were not forthcoming. But, she started with minor roles in Palace and Broad Street, two television soap operas. This opened the door for roles in Nollywood productions like Most Wanted, Agony, The Only Nigerian Girl, Camouflage, Fire Dancer, Mark of the Beast and so on. From her scintillating performance in these movies, her rating and popularity soared. She has been hailed as Nigerian Halle Berry and Africa's Janet Jackson.

Fans are already gearing up to witness her transition to Hollywood. Her innocent natural looks, petite figure and charisma in addition to her ability to let characters come to her easily brand her as Hollywood stuff! However, Nnaji is lukewarm about that. "Of course, it's not easy climbing up the ladder in Hollywood … Will I be able to cope with their professional standards? Will I be able to cope with the beauty rave and madness of Hollywood? Will I do my nose, do my chin, have breasts implant or enlarge my lips? Hmmm, questions that need answers!," she said. Completely assured of her abilities, she rather thought it is Hollywood that should be priming itself for her. She said, "the GOD I serve does not sleep... if He wills it, I will go to Hollywood and if He lets me get there, it's to make an African statement with my African-ness. The question should be "IS HOLLYWOOD READY FOR GENEVIEVE?"

Her characteristic bluntness on issues makes her unpopular with some people who mistake it for arrogance. But she takes such comments in her stride.

Rather, she takes solace in youngsters looking up to her. Her story gives many aspiring youngsters out there a chance to believe that they can also become what they want to become. It is no surprise she has got a lot of youngsters considering a career in the movies. She personifies everything they want to achieve in the movie business; she is beautiful, she is talented, she is famous and shooting upward every minute like the proverbial northern star. Everyone dreams of shinig like a star. The star today is Genevieve Nnaji.I LIKE THIS CHARMING LADY....DONT YOU?

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