Genevieve Nnaji is officially “Nollywood’s first billionaire” according to Guardian Newspapers, having sold her recent movie “Lion Heart” to Netflix for $3.8 million (that is about N1,385,100,000). This single decision has increased genevieve nnaji net worth by a lot in just a short period of time.
The A-list Nigerian actress, movie director and producer has featured in over 100 Nollywood movies since she made her debut in the industry at the age of 19. Below is a brief summary of her life and acting career.
- Full names: Genevieve Nnaji
- Date of Birth: May 3, 1979
- Place of Birth: Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria.
- Occupation: Actor, Director, Producer (Nollywood)
- Estimated Net Worth (2019): $10 million
Genevieve Nnaji Net Worth
Nnaji officially became the first billionaire from the Nigerian movie industry, Nollywwod, after she struck a $3.8 million deal with Netflix for her movie Lionheart in 2018.
Presently, Genevieve Nnaji is estimated to be worth about $10 million which is about 3.58 Billion Naira currently. This shouldn’t even come as a surprise considering the fact that the star actor is an ambassador to several big companies out there like Amstel, MUD cosmetics etc.
Genevieve Nnaji Biography & Success Story
Like several successful people out there who are seen as role models by the younger generation, Genevieve Nnaji’s success story is that of grass to grace.
A look at her biography below shows clearly how she came from obscurity to limelight.
The screen goddess was born on the 3rd of May, 1979 at Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria. According to reports, her parents had a total of eight children of which she happens to be the fourth.
As at the time of her birth, her mother was a teacher in one of the Nursery schools around her locality while her dad worked as an engineer.
Though they were not all that rich, the parents knew the value of education and struggled to train Genevieve in school.
As a child, Genny never played with her studies. She took everything that had to do with her education very serious and was always among the smartest kids in her school.
After her primary school education, she moved on to Methodist Girls College, a secondary school located in Yaba, Lagos State.
There, she got an admission to study Creative Arts at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) where she graduated with a degree.
From here’s the Genevieve story gets really interesting (keep reading)
At the age of 8 while still in primary school, the young Nnaji made her debut as a child actor in the popular television soap opera then, Ripples.
Her Nollywood Career
A few years later at the age of 19, Genevieve Nnaji made her debut into the Nigerian movie industry. Her first Nollywood movie was titled most Wanted.
Her role in that movie quickly announced her presence in the industry and left Nigerians wanting to watch her more.
Her next movies “Last Party”, “Mark of the Beast” and “Ijele” cemented her name in the hearts of millions of Nigerians. Even if I forget every other movie she acted those early days of her career, Ijele will always remain fresh on my mind.
Also Read: Richest Women in Nigeria
Within the next few years , the star actress featured in so many Nigerian movies that established her as a force to reckon with in Nollywood.
As a matter of fact, on July 11, 2008, AllAfrica.com ranked her number 1 on the list of the Best Paid Nollywood Actresses.
According to the website, “it is no gainsaying the fact that no actress has taken Nollywood, with as much storm as Genevieve Nnaji, who evolved over time, like a colossus, to bestride the industry”.
In 2010, Nnaji starred in the multi-award winning movie “Ije: The Journey.”
2013, she starred in another popular movie “Half of a yellow Sun.” The award-winning movie that was inspired by the work of Chimamanda Adichie, one of Nigeria’s best authors presently.
Her 2015 movie “Road to Yesterday” also went very viral and while people were still celebrating that, Nnaji made her official debut as a director with her award-winning 2018 movie Lionheart.
On the 7th of September 2018, Lionheart was bought by the online streaming service Netflix for a record of $3.8million, making it Netflix first Nigerian movie. The movie was later premièred at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
Her Modelling Career
Apart from acting, Genevieve also ventured into modelling in the early 2000s and really made some bucks from it.
As a model, Nnaji has been featured in several brand commercials including those of Omo detergent and the beverage company, Pronto.
In 2004, she signed a very lucrative sponsorship deal with Lux (soap) and became the face of the company in Nigeria.
She is also the face of St. Genevieve, a fashion line she started in 2008.
Later in May 2010, Nnaji signed a deal with MUD Cosmetics and became the face of the brand in Nigeria.
Though she is no longer fully into modelling, Nnaji remains a source of inspiration for many upcoming models in the country.
Her Music Career
Was the actress ever a musician? Does she own a song out there?
You might be wondering after seeing the subheading “Her music career”
Well, Genevieve Nnaji was one of those movie stars in the early 2000s who capitalised on their popularity in Nigeria and beyond, to push a song or two to the public.
In 2004, the A-list actress signed a recording contract with one of Ghana’s leading recording label as at that time, EKB Records.
It was under the record label that she released one Logologo, her debut album which was a mixture of Hiphop, R&B and Urban music.
Although the album did not go as far as she probably expected, it did receive some positive reviews and even inspired other Nollywood actors that has also tried their luck with music, including Patience Ozokwor, Nkem Owoh, Mr. Ibu, Tonto Dikeh and several others.
Genevieve Nnaji Awards and Honours
The movie star is one of the Nollywood actors who have received the most awards and international recognition for her contributions to the entertainment industry.
Her hardwork and commitment has been greatly recognised both at the national and international level.
For instance in 2011, the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration honoured her as a Member of the order of the Federal Republic for her contribution to the growth of Nollywood.
Oprah Winfrey referred to her as the “Julia Roberts of Africa” in 2009.
Genevieve Nnaji is the first Nigerian actor to be awarded Best Actress at the City Peoples Awards 2001. Prior to that time, the award ceremony had only recognised notable business owners and politicians.
That is not even all. Nnaji is also the first actor to receive the Best Actress award by the Censors Board of Nigeria in 2003.
In 2005, the super talented actress made history again as the first actor to win the prestigious Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) for “Best Actress in a Leading Role.”
She was recently honoured with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the Prestigious Silverbird Man Of The Year Award 2019 for “Promoting The National And International Growth of Nollywood”.
Her other notable awards apart from the above mentioned includes:
- “Best Actress TV Series” by the Nigeria Entertainment Awards 2010
2014 “Best Actress in a supporting Role” by the Nigeria Entertainment
- 2010 Ghana Movie Awards for “Best Actress Africa Collaboration”
- “Best Actress in a Leading Role” by Nollywood and African Film Critics Awards (NAFCA) 2013.
- Zulu African Film Academy Awards 2011 for “Best Actress”
- 2011 Monaco Charity Film Festival Awards for “Breakthrough Performance (Actress)” and several others.
Genevieve Nnaji is a name that several Nigerians are familiar with when it comes to Nollywood movies. The A-list actress who started her acting career from a young age, is presently one of the richest actors in Nollywood.
So before you conclude there is little or no money in the Nigerian movie industry, remember that Genevieve Nnaji net worth in 2019 is $10 million. That is about N3.6 billion today.