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Genevieve Nnaji; Mental Health Saga, Controversies, Early and Career Life, And Her Networth


Here is the biography of Genevieve Nnaji.

Genevieve Nnaji, fondly known as genny in the Nigerian movies scene is a Nollywood actress, director and filmmaker. She began her acting career at the early age of 8years old with her feature in the 1988 Soap Opera “Ripple”.

Since then, she has stared in over 200 Nollywood movies with other notable actors like Omotola Jalade Ekinde, Jim Iyke, Emeke Ike, Kanayo O Kanayo, Richard Mofe Damijo and a host of others. She is the inaugural winner of the AMAA award in 2005, Face of Lux in 2004,first Oscar nominated Nigerian director(which was later disqualified) as well as other notable award.

In this article we will be diving deep into the biography of Genevieve Nnaji, her early life, career, awards, personal life and controversies. And most importantly Genevieve Nnaji Mental Health saga.

So without further ado, lets get into it.

Early life

Genevieve Nnaji  was born on May 3, 1979,  into the family of Chief Theophilus and Mrs. Benedatte Nnaji in Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo state, Nigeria. She is the 4th child of 8 children. Her father was an engineer while her mother was a school teacher.

Genevieve attended  Kemstar primary school, Surulere, Lagos. From there, she proceeded to Methodist Girls college Yaba,  Lagos for her secondary education. She later gained admission into the University of Lagos to study Creative Art on part time basis. But was unable to complete her studies because of the stress of her acting career. So she dropped out of school to focus on acting.  


Genevieve Nnaji began her acting career at the early age of 8 in the television soap opera “Ripple” aired on the Nigerian television authority (NTA) from 1988-1993 (it was the longest running soap opera in the channel). At 19, she feature in her first Nollywood movie “wanted”, although she played a cameo role of a Newscaster, that project launched her path to stardom.

She also acted in the 1999 movie “Ijele” where she the main character and gave a wonderful performance to steal the heart of not just Nigerians but Africans at large as Genevieve is a much adored figure by the Kenyan and south Africans as well as other African countries. Her role in the 2000 movie “Sharon stone” cemented her place in our hearts. Due to her contribution to the Nigerian movie industry, She was awarded Best actress of the year by the City People Award, in 2001, the first of its kind, prior to this award,” City people Entertainment” only awarded top Politicians, Entrepreneurs and top class people of society. So we can say Genevieve was the pioneer receiver of the award.

She has gone on to be pioneer awardee of a number of other awards including the African Movie Academy Award AMAA in 2005. In 2009, she was the first Nigerian actor to feature at the Oprah Winfrey titled “Meet the Most Famous people in the World’, that same year, she was the first actor to receive Best actress of the year award by Censors Board of Nigeria.

In 2003 she stared in the Movie “Blood sisters, where she once again showcased her multiple talents as she diverted from her usual good girl role to acting as the villain in the form of the wicked jelous sister. Blood sisters was her first collaboration with Omotola Jalade Ekinde.

In 2004, Genevieve ventured into music and was signed by EKB Records, a Ghanaian label, she released her first studio album that year “One Logologo Line” it received mixed reactions from her fan who encouraged her to go back to  acting where her forte lies. This came after a ban by the Nigerian acting society, they banned Genevieve and a host of other actors because of their exorbitant fee per movie. She returned back to the movie screen in 2005. She went on to act and produce more movies including;

  • Movies in 2004
    Private sin
    My first Love
  • Movies in 2005
    Games  Women Play
    Darkest night
  • Movies in 2006
    Girls cot
    30 days
  • Movies in 2007
    Keep my will
    Warrior’s heart
    Letters to a stranger
  • Movies in 2008
    Broken tears
    Critical condition
    Rivers of tears
  • Movies in 2009
    Silent scandal
  • Movies in 2010
    Tango with me
    Ijele ; the journey
    Mirror boy
  • Movies in 2011
    Sacred lies
  • Movies in 2012
    Weekend getaway
  • Movies in 2013
    Half of a yellow sun
    Doctor bello
  • Movies in 2015
    Road to yesterday.  She was the producer.
  • Movies in 2018 till date
    LionsHeart , a movie she directed.

Genevieve Nnaji directorial debut began with the movie “Lionheart” released in 2018 where she featured not just the director but also as co-writer, producer and main character, “Adaeze”, daughter of a Transport Company businessman at the verge of dying and so decided to will his business under his beloved daughter. But first she must prove herself worthy of the job against her Uncle.

Lionheart was nominated for an Oscars award, the very first Nigerian movie to be nominated. But was disqualified for not meeting academy requirements. The academy said “lionsheart did not meet with the language demand  needed for inclusion in the class because it was shot most in English. The category required that a good part have a dialogue track in non-english.

Although Lionheart had a whole scene conversed in Igbo, it was still disqualified. This disqualification by the academy attracted criticism from the international community accusing them of being bias and supporting only white Cast and Directed movies. Lionheart was disqualified a day before voting by the International community.

Genevieve in a twitter post reacted the to the disqualification by saying “ I am the director of LionHeart, and the movie interprets the way and manner we speak as Nigerians . English is included because it is the bridge between the 500+ languages spoken in our nation thereby making us #OneNigeria.”

 Lionheart was acquire by Netflix in 2018 and became the first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria. It was premiered at the Toronto international film festival in 2018.


Genevieve has made her mark in the Nollywood industry with her topnotch acting performances described by international industry expert as nothing short of perfection, Oprah Winfrey described her as as the Julia Robert of Africa and  and Genevieve Nnaji has been recognized as one of the Best female Nollywood actress of all times with awards from numerous organization and agencies including,

2001Best actress of the yearIjele & Sharon stoneGenevieve NnajiCity people award
2005Best actress in leading role Genevieve NnajiAMAA
2010Best actress  tv seriesGuinness ultimate survivorGenevieve NnajiNigeria entertainment awards
2011Best actressThe Mirror boyGenevieve NnajiZulu African Film Academy Awards
2012Viewers choice awards Genevieve NnajiNigeria movie awards
2014Best actress in supporting roleHalf of a Yellow SunGenevieve NnajiNigeria entertainment awards
2016Best movie west AfricaRoad to yesterdayGenevieve NnajiAfrican Magic Viewers choice award
2018Outstanding foreign film\world cinema pictureLionHeartGenevieve NnajiFAAAF
   Genevieve Nnaji 


genevieve nnaji
genevieve nnaji

Genevieve doesn’t share much of her personal life on social media, she lives a very quiet life, void of public eyes and over the years she has been able to keep a low profile.

She has been described by many of her friends and colleagues as a beautiful soul, and very easy to work with.

Genevieve is not married but has a daughter (Chimebuka Theodora) who was born when she was 17 years old. She usually shares pictures of herself and her daughter and they look so much alike.

She is a girl child advocate and strong feminist, Genevieve is of the school of thought that women should be given a chance to air their views, marry who they choose and choose their career path.

She is often seen on her social media platform where she has over 8.5 million followers, talking about women’s right and contributing her voice to the issues in Nigeria.

Genevieve Controversy with Atiku

Genevieve has been five times accused of having an affair with the former Vice President of Nigeria and two time Presidential candidate of the PDP as her sugar daddy and tagging him as  the person sponsoring all her movies appearances, and her lifestyle. But she debunked this news in two different occasions, on air at the Teju Babyface Show and on a telephone call with Nigeria films. She said she has never met the Vice President not to talk of dating him.

Death rumor

Genevieve was rumored dead in 2005 and 2016, but she quickly debunked the news and reports later found out that an actress with similar name of Genevieve Nene who passed away in 2016 was mistaken for the Superstar actress Genevieve Nnaji.

Secret Husband

Geneveve Nnaji is a very secretive figure, she hardly share anything of herself online, I can categorically say the only thing about her private life most people are aware of, is her daughter who she had when she was 17 years old.

So, in 2017, when rumors of a secret husband and secret wedding reached the media’s ears, it wasn’t a surprise, it was reported the she got married to a white man in Portugal, and eventually plans on moving to Portugal in the coming years. Fans were happy for her but only wanted to see her supposed husband, the one who finally stole her heart.

But no one could confirm the report, till date it remains uncertain if Genevieve Nnaji is actually married. But I guess one thing was wrong in that report (about her moving to portugal) because in the next year, 2018, she was seen actively in Nigeria and even stared in her first directorial move, LOINHEART.

Genevieve And Wizkid           

In January of 2020, Genevieve was rumored to be in a romantic relationship with Wizkid, this came after both were seen in a compromising position in an event and later went on to throw love emojis at each other online.

Prior to this,  in an interview with Toolz in 2017, wizkid confirmed that he had a crush on Genevieve from watching her movies as a child. This is not the first time the actress is being tagged with a musician, it happened first when she was reported to be in a relationship with debanj. Debanj later debunked the news, saying Genevieve is a wonderful person but they are not dating.

Mental Illness Rumor.

In the early months of 2022, Genevieve deleted all of her post on instagram, unfollowed everyone and literally disappeared from social media. It was later rumored that she was going through some Mental health challenges in the US. As Genevieve is quite a secretive figure, no one could confirm this report, hence the news continued to spread like wild fire That “Genevieve Nnaji Was Going Through Mental Health Challenges”.

Later on her friend and blogger sophia came out to confirmed that the superstar actress was indeed sick and needed our prayers, she advised bloggers from spreading bad rumor about the actress  that she was under the influence of drugs. On may 11, 2022, genevieve posted a video on her instagram story, where she was  seen painting on a canvas, depicting a healthy and mentally stable Genevieve Nnaji.


Genevieve is regarded as the richest actress in Nigeria, according to statista.com her netwoth as of 2022 was estimated at 10 million dollars. She is the highest paid nolllywood actress in Nigeria as she charges between 3 to 10 million naira per script.

Her source of income doesn’t come from only her movies but endorsement deals as well as her fashion line which she launched to give back to charity, so half of the profits from the sales is given to charity. In 2004, Genevieve was the face of Lux after been voted highest among a crop of other female celebrities around Africa.  She also run a magazine called the “Genevieve Magazine”. She has also had other endorsement deals with;

  • Omo Nigeria, she did a commercial for them
  • Pronto (beverage), she did a commercial for them
  •  In 2010, she became the Face of MUD cosmetics Nigeria.
  • Etisalat Nigeria
  • Amstel Malta and more.

Genevieve Nnaji is indeed an icon in the Movie industry, one that has projected Nollywood beyond the frontiers of Nigeria and Africa. We pray for good health and quick recovery for her.

Drop your favorite movie of Genevieve Nnaji.

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