Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde: 10 things to know about 'Omosexy'

January 17, 2014 -- Updated 0941 GMT (1741 HKT)
Actress, singer and activist, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde is a leading Nollywood actress with some 300 films under her belt.
Actress, singer and activist, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde is a leading Nollywood actress with some 300 films under her belt.
HIDE CAPTION
Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde
Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde
Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde
Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde
Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde
Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Known by her fans as "Omosexy," Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde is a leading Nollywood actress
  • She has appeared in more than 300 movies over the years
  • In 2013, she was included in Time Magazine's list of the top influential people in the world
  • More than just a celebrity, she is a U.N. ambassador and an activist

(CNN) -- Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde is known as the Queen of Nollywood, Nigeria's booming movie industry. Since her 1995 film debut, the actress has appeared in some 300 movies, selling millions of videos and establishing herself as a Nollywood icon.

A prolific film siren, Jalade-Ekeinde has also carved out a successful career as a singer and reality TV star. But there's more to Nigeria's beloved celebrity than her glittering entertainment career. Here are 10 things to know about Jalade-Ekeinde.

She's an icon: Last year, she was named as one of the top 100 influential people in the world by Time Magazine, in the Icons category. "I think that's what gives me more satisfaction," she says. "The fact that I wasn't just recognized as an artist but as an icon -- I'm very grateful for it."



She is an activist: Jalade-Ekeinde uses her stardom to speak out about social issues affecting various African countries. An ambassador for the United Nations and an activist with Amnesty International, Jalade-Ekeinde has been on missions to Sierra Leone and Liberia.

She's a family woman: Jalade-Ekeinde is married to an airline pilot and is a mother of four children.

The story behind "Omosexy:" Her popular nickname, "Omosexy," was given to her by her husband -- and it has caught on. "That's my husband's pet name for me," she says, "and the fans love it and now people call me Omosexy almost more than Omotola."

Meet Nigeria's first reality star
Nollywood actress builds 'film village'

Her fans love her: Jalade-Ekeinde has amassed a large following -- in 2013, her Facebook page has surpassed 1 million likes. Today, it's 1.2 million, and counting ...

Her road to stardom was paved with childhood tragedy: Jalade-Ekeinde lost her beloved father in her early teens. She started working at 15 to help support her family, her first job being a model.

Her mother didn't like the idea of her young daughter acting and initially forbade Jalade-Ekeinde from doing so. Finally, she gave in after a film director, joined by the entire movie crew, went to her house to beg her to allow Jalade-Ekeinde to appear in the "Venom of Justice" movie.

She is part of "New Nollywood:" Keen to improve the quality of Nollywood movies, Jalade-Ekeinde is now building a film studio -- what she calls a "Village." "I've come to a place where I realize I have to leave something," she says. "I have to have a legacy.


"We need infrastructure; that's what we need now in Nollywood. We have the fans, we have the figures, we have people chanting and calling your name but we don't have infrastructure ... We need studios, we need film villages we need schools and that's exactly what I'm doing right now."

Cameras follow her around: Besides gracing the covers of several lifestyle magazines, the leading actress is also the first Nigerian with her own reality TV show, "Omotola: The Real Me."

She can sing too: Jalade-Ekeinde always loved music but decided to launch her singing career after she became an activist and started working with the U.N. World Food Programme. "I started going on all these missions and I came back and I saw so much I wanted to sing about it," she explains. "I've always wanted to sing all my life anyway, but that was the motivation I needed."

Read this: 10 things to know about Lupita Nyong'o

Read this: Netflix of Africa' brings Nollywood to world

Read this: Jeta Amata - 'I am Nollywood'

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
African Voices
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
Through a variety of exhibitions including one signed off by the artist himself, Nigeria is presenting J.D. Okhai Ojeikere to the world one last time.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 1812 GMT (0212 HKT)
Mulatu Astake may be the father of a musical genre: Ethio-jazz. But when he talks about the art form, he tends to focus on its scientific merits.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1212 GMT (2012 HKT)
U.S. response to Ebola is key for setting global example, writes global health advocate Idris Ayodeji Bello.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 1339 GMT (2139 HKT)
ALHAJI MUSTAPHA OTI BOATENG
Using his deep-rooted knowlege of herbs, savvy entrepreneur Alhaji Mustapha Oti Boateng had an idea to help his fellow Ghanaians.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1222 GMT (2022 HKT)
One of the most debilitating medical conditions in sub-Saharan Africa isn't fatal. In fact, it's easily curable.
December 8, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
Nigerian architect Olajumoke Adenowo reveals her tips for success, mentorship and what she'd like to do next.
December 5, 2014 -- Updated 1119 GMT (1919 HKT)
Pius Adesanmi: Activist diaspora insists on her story of Africa -- and social media has enhanced its voice.
December 5, 2014 -- Updated 1119 GMT (1919 HKT)
Developers, designers and big thinkers gather together on the rooftop of the Co-Creation Hub in Lagos to discuss ideas.
Pius Adesanmi: Activist diaspora insists on her story of Africa -- and social media has enhanced its voice.
December 1, 2014 -- Updated 1048 GMT (1848 HKT)
Amos Wekesa has seen a lot of changes in his country. Today, the self-made millionaire oversees Great Lakes Safaris, one of the largest tour operators in Uganda.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1010 GMT (1810 HKT)
Photographer Ernest Cole made it his life mission to capture the injustice of apartheid in South Africa.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0936 GMT (1736 HKT)
In the largely male-dominated world of the motorsport, South African superbike racer Janine Davies is an anomaly.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 1848 GMT (0248 HKT)
Athi-Patra Ruga,
For anyone that needs convincing that African art is the next big thing, they need look no further than 1:54, the London-based contemporary African art fair.
December 1, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
He's one of Malawi's best abstract artists and now the 40-year-old dreamer is revealing his journey in to the world of art.
Each week African Voices brings you inspiring and compelling profiles of Africans across the continent and around the world.
ADVERTISEMENT