For some, it may seem like yesterday when Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, fondly referred to as Omosexy, first appeared on their TV screens and won their hearts with her phenomenal talent.
The years that have followed since then have been characterised by ground-breaking movie roles, career-defining moments, and projects that have the “Omotola” trademark – elements.
Not only has she been successful in a competitive industry like Nollywood, but she has also attained a high level of longevity that most can only dream of. Acknowledging her success, Omotola took to Twitter last Monday to celebrate 25 years in the entertainment industry.
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As if her 25 years celebration was not already exciting news for many of her fans, Omotola also recently announced her plans to return to music which she calls “her first love”.
We highlight defining moments in Omotola’s career as she celebrates 25 years in entertainment.
Omotola started her career as a model with the hopes of studying business management in the university and later venturing into the business sector. Things took a different turn, however, after she accompanied a friend to a movie audition where she was introduced to the world of acting.
She made her professional debut in the 1995 movie Venom of Justice. This would mark the beginning of a thriving career in Nollywood. She went on to star in the critically acclaimed film Mortal Inheritance (1995), which brought her to limelight and made her a household name in the industry. Her newfound fame and talent led her to star in several blockbusters, including Games Women Play, Blood Sisters, All My Life, Last Wedding, My Story, The Woman in Me, and a host of others.
In 2010, she starred in her first cinema flick Ije, which was the highest-grossing Nollywood film at the time.
Today, Omotola is regarded as the golden standard in Nollywood and an actress who paved the way for many newcomers in the industry. She has been featured on Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world alongside Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, and Kate Middleton.
Other Interests and Business Ventures
Over the years, Omotola has displayed a strong sense of ambition and drive, venturing into other fields in and outside of entertainment.
Omotola launched her highly-anticipated music career in 2005. She released her first album titled gba, which consists of singles such as Naija Lowa and The Things You Do To Me.
In 2012, after the release of her sophomore album Me Myself and Eyes, Omotola took giant strides by working with a few prominent producers, who could help create a sound that would resonate with the American audience.
This experience led to studio sessions with Kendrick Dean, Drumma Boy, and Verse Simmonds, including a song with singer Bobby Valentino.
Reality TV Show: Being The First To Do It Yet Again
In 2012, Omotola shifted her focus to Reality TV. She launched her own show titled Omotola: The Real Me, on Africa Magic Entertainment. This made her one of the first Nigerian celebrities to star in her own reality show.
Philanthropy and Humanitarianism
The screen goddess is known for her remarkable humanitarian efforts in Nigeria. In 2005, she became a United Nations World Food Programme Ambassador, going on missions in Sierra-Leone and Liberia.
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Omotola channels her philanthropic efforts through her NGO project, called the Omotola Youth Empowerment Programme (OYEP). This project assembles hundreds of youths for empowerment walks and conventions.
She also joined ONE movement’s campaign, titled Poverty is Sexist, aimed at empowering women around the world who live in extreme poverty.
Through these projects and many more, Omotola has lent her voice and resources to various issues plaguing the society.
One of the most awarded actresses in Nigeria, Omotola has received over 40 international and local awards both in the entertainment industry and other ventures.
In 1997, she made history by becoming the youngest person to win Best Actress at The Movie Awards (THEMA).
In 2004, she won Best Actress & Grand Achiever at the Global Excellence Recognition Awards.
In 2005, Omotola won Best Supporting Actress during the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).
In 2006, she won Most Friendly Actress at the Youth Benefactor’s Awards.
Perhaps, her most notable achievement was appearing on TIME magazine‘s 2013 list of 100 most influential people in the world alongside Michelle Obama, Beyonce, and Kate Middleton.
In 2017, she made it to the list of Most Influential 100 People of African Descent at the United Nations by MIPAD.
Omotola is married to Captain Matthew Ekeinde. Together they have 4 children.
On several occasions, Omotola has spoken about her son, M.J Ekeinde, who has a passion for music like his mother. Captain E is a budding Nigerian music producer who has produced over 60 beats and has had studio sessions with a good number of artists in the country.
Her other children include Michael Ekeinde, Princess Ekeinde, and Meraiah Ekeinde.
Cheers to Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde for 25 solid years in the entertainment industry!
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