Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, or Omo Sexy as her fans nicknamed her, is a popular Nigerian actress that has been appearing in films since 1995. The actress has also ventured into the music sphere and previously modelled for big brands. We will see details of these and more in the biography of Omotola Jalade Ekeinde.
While the Nollywood superstar gained fame with her work in the entertainment industry; she is also a renowned philanthropist with many humanitarian endeavours to her name. Before we elaborate on Omotola Jalade Ekeinde’s life, we provide a concise list of some of the most important facts about her below.
10 facts about Omotola Jalade Ekeinde
- Omotola Jalade Ekeinde was born on 7th February 1978 to Yoruba parents from Ondo State, Nigeria.
- The actress made her Nollywood debut in 1995 in a film titled Venom of Justice.
- In 2014, she was honoured by the Nigerian government as a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) for her contributions to Nigerian cinema.
- Time magazine named her among the Time 100 list of most influential people in the world in 2013.
- Omotola Jalade Ekeinde married Captain Matthew Ekeinde in 1996 at the age of 18.
- She is a United Nations World Food Programme ambassador and an Amnesty International activist. She is also an ambassador for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- The actress was also a voting member of the 2018 Oscars for the prestigious Academy Awards.
- Omotola Jalade Ekeinde has acted in more than 300 Nollywood films since she began her career.
- She has won several awards at various prestigious ceremonies including the Nigerian Entertainment Awards, Africa Movie Academy Awards, Ghana Movie Awards, Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival, and many more.
- She has four children namely Princess, M.J, Meraiah and Michael.
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde Biography: Early life and education
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde was born as Omotola Jalade on 7th February 1978 to Yoruba parents from Ondo State. She grew up in Lagos and was the first and as well as the only female child of her parents. Her two younger male siblings are Tayo and Bolaji Jalade. Her mother’s name was Oluwatoyin Jalade and she worked at J.T Chanrai Nigeria, while her father, Oluwashola Jalade, worked at YMCA and the Lagos Country Club.
Omotola Jalade (as she was known then) had grown up in a financially stable family. She started early schooling at Chrisland School, Opebi, Lagos State. Then, she completed her primary school education at Oxford Children School in 1987. When it was time for secondary school, Omotola Jalade attended Command Secondary School in Kaduna State where she obtained her West African School Certificate certificate in 1993.
Not long after, she got admission into Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, but she did not graduate from the school. Instead, Omotola Jalade returned to Lagos and got admission into Yaba College of Technology in 1996. There she graduated with a first degree in Estate Management in 2004. This was after she had made a name in the Nollywood industry, married and had children.
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde Biography: Early career
The superstar, who had dreams of pursuing a career in business management did some modelling stints very early when she was just 17 years old before she ventured into Nollywood.
Omotola made her debut in Reginald Ebere’s film titled Venom of Justice, released in 1995. The actress had not planned on having an acting career. She once stated in an interview that she had escorted a friend to an audition. While there, the talent hunt asked her to audition, which she nailed and was offered the leading role.
Not long after, Omotola landed another major role in the same year when she got the lead role in the highly acclaimed 1995 film titled, Mortal Inheritance. Zeb Ejiro produced the film, which was directed by Andy Amenechi. The film is regarded as one of the finest films from Nollywood.
In 1997, she won two awards at the 1997 The Movies Awards (THEMA) for her role in Mortal Inheritance. She was 19 at the time and became the youngest Nigerian actress to achieve this feat.
After this big early start, the young actress became one of the most sought-after actresses in Nollywood at the time. She started featuring in many films from late 1997 onwards. Some of the most popular of these early films include Scores to Settle, Lost Kingdom and Korosogun.
By the early 2000s, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde was already regarded as an A-list actress. Her name was mentioned in conversations about the biggest Nollywood stars. She and Genevieve Nnaji acted as sisters in the popular Nollywood film, Blood Sisters. This film further added to Omotola’s popularity. You can watch the film here:
She and a host of other few Nollywood stars became the face of the film industry. She appeared in about 20 films per year between 2003 and 2005 and was reported to be a high earner as well. Not surprising, she was among those named in the Nollywood G8 ban controversy.
What is the Nollywood G8 ban?
The Nollywood G8 ban was a one-year ban placed on eight of the industry’s biggest stars in 2004 by film producers. Those implicated were Ramsey Nouah, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Genevieve Nnaji, Emeka Ike, Nkem Owoh, Stella Damasus, Richard Mofe-Damijo and Jim Iyke.
According to inside sources, the actors sidelined aggrieved producers and preferred to work with film marketers. Reports stated that their preference to work with marketers was because they paid better than independent producers. It was also alleged that the actors demanded high fees and under-delivered.
The ban precluded the implicated actors from engaging in any film projects during its duration. With their primary source of income temporarily blocked, many of the actors tried their hands at making music. Omotola too was among the few who ventured into music-making.
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde Biography: Music career
In 2005, the actress released her first music project, which was an album titled GBA.
GBA by Omotola Jalade Ekeinde contains 10 tracks and was produced by OJB Jezreel. Artistes such as Ruggedman, Pasto Goody Goody, Six O and Rymzo De Gusto featured on some tracks on the album.
Also in 2014, she released a single titled Barren Land and was featured on the remix of Strong Girl in 2015.
Many music experts agree that Omotola Jalade Ekeinde did not succeed in the music industry. However, one thing that remains most commendable is the fact that she tried her hand at it.
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde Biography: Later film career
Since making her official Nollywood debut in 1995 and appearing in over 300 films, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde is still very active in the acting industry although she took a hiatus between 2014 and 2017.
In recent years, she has delivered some memorable performances. For example, in 2010, she and Genevieve Nnaji gave a stellar display on Chineze Anyaene’s Ijé. The film earned her a nomination at the 2011 Nigerian Entertainment Awards.
Omotola was the lead actress for Ties that Bind, a 2011 drama that Leila Djansi directed. She got many nominations and won some awards at the 2010 and 2011 Ghana Movie Awards as well as at the 2012 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
In 2014, Omotola took a hiatus from acting to focus on other things because she said that the industry was crippling her creativity as most of the roles offered to her were similar and not challenging enough. After three years away, the actress returned to acting in the Sidomex Entertainment highly acclaimed film, Alter Ego, which premiered in July 2017. According to the actress, she could not resist the script, which threw light on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), also known as depression, as well as the sexual abuse of young people. Speaking about her return to acting during a media tour to promote the film, Omotola explains why she accepted the role. In her words:
“I wanted something that would bring value in entertainment and message – Alter Ego did it for me and I knew that was the project I needed to take.”
Watch the trailer for Alter Ego below
For her portrayal of Ada Igwe in Alter Ego, Omotola won Best Actress at the Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival in 2017 as well as the Best Actress at the African Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) 2018.
Other notable and widely recognised films that Omotola Jalade Ekeinde had acted in recent times include Last Flight to Abuja, A Private Storm and many more. You can find the list of Omotola selected filmography at the end of the article.
In May 2020, the actress who is also known as Omosexy celebrated her 25th year in the film industry. She marked the day with stunning pictures of herself on a dock and posted it on Instagram. She also invited fans to comment on what they would like to see her do, likely, in terms of her career.
Omotola: The Real Me TV Show
In 2012, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde launched a reality show called Omotola: The Real Me. The show aired on Africa Magic Entertainment, broadcasting on DStv. She aimed to use the show as a platform where her audience can follow up with the latest happenings in her career, business interests, family life and more. Here is a short clip of Omotola’s TV show:
The actress completed the first season of her reality show in 2016 according to a Pulse article. It seems she had discontinued the show after its maiden season as we found no information concerning the second season.
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde has been involved in philanthropic acts since her early days in Nollywood. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) appointed her as an ambassador in 2005. Her duty serving in this capacity required her to visit Sierra-Leone and Liberia to reach people in need. She also took an active part in the Walk the World project and joined Liberia’s then-president, Ellen Sir Leaf-Johnson, in the Walk the World campaign in Liberia.
The superstar actress runs an NGO project called the Omotola Youth Empowerment Programme (OYEP) that focuses on improving the lives of young people. She was also a very vocal supporter of the 2010 Rewrite The Future Campaign of Save The Children UK.
In 2011, she officially became a campaigner for Amnesty International and has used her position to raise awareness regarding maternal mortality in Sierra-Leone. She also used the platform to criticise the Nigerian government and Shell for the oil spill damages in the Niger-Delta.
Omotola is also among the supporters of SME100 Africa. The company, founded by Charles Odii, aims to empower young entrepreneurs and small and medium scale enterprises to succeed in Africa.
In 2017, Omotola was appointed an ambassador for United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. At the time, the actress stated that she intended to be an advocate for Goal 1 of the 17 SDGs. Goal 1 is concerned with ending poverty in all its form by 2030.
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde Biography: Personal life
Omotola Jalade and Captain Matthew Ekeinde got married in 1996. However, the couple held their white wedding ceremony in 2001 aboard an aeroplane with their family and friends present. She had her first child in 1997 shortly after they got married. Together, the couple has four children.
During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, we reported that Omotola Jalade Ekeinde had been worried after her husband, Captain Matthew Ekeinde, who was tasked with flying in Chinese doctors into Nigeria.
For further reading on this, see this article: ‘I don’t know how to feel’ – Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde says as she shares photos of her husband flying out Chinese nationals
Omotola lost her father in a tragic car accident when she was 12 years old in 1990 and her widowed mother subsequently raised her and her younger siblings. Her mother died in 2001 according to a eulogy she wrote in her honour on Mother’s day in 2017.
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde Biography: Net worth
The actress, who is also known as Omosexy, is regarded as one of the richest actresses in the whole of Africa. Her appearance in films is richly rewarded with huge sums of money. However, we had trouble verifying her exact net worth. This was because the figures we found online had huge disparities and were mostly assumptions with no facts to back them.
To put this into perspective, one blog says that Omotola Jalade Ekeinde is worth NGN650 million. Meanwhile, Legit estimates her net worth to be $3 million (or NGN 1.3 billion). While we cannot put an authoritative finger on what the actress’ net worth is, we can mention some of her sources of income.
Besides earning money from films, Omotola is also a brand ambassador to Scanfrost; a leading home appliances brand name in Nigeria. She was also an ambassador for Knorr, a major stock cube brand. A Pinterest post also mentions that the actress has an endorsement deal with Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA). These deals with such big companies likely place her in the top rankings of the wealthiest Nigerian celebrities.
At the end of this article, you will find a list of all the awards that Omotola Jalade Ekeinde has won. Thus, this section will just highlight some of her most significant recognitions. This is in addition to recognition by the United Nations we highlighted under the Philanthropy section.
In December 2019, Omotola was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State.
In 2018, Omotola was appointed a voting member of Academy Awards for the 2018 Oscars.
In 2014, the Nigerian government honoured her as a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) for her contributions to Nigerian cinema.
In 2013, Oba Victor Kiladejo, the Royal king of Ondo Kingdom conferred Omotola Jalade Ekeinde with a chieftaincy title in Ondo State.
TIME magazine listed her among its famous TIME 100 list of most influential people in the world in 2013.
OK! Nigeria magazine gave her a column titled Omotola Diary where she pens her thoughts and what she was experiencing daily.
Meanwhile, in 2015, a Yahoo! research revealed that Omotola Jalade Ekeinde was among the highest-grossing film stars that people around the world may have never heard of.
In 2012, CNN Travel mentioned that the actress’ accent was among the 12 sexiest accents in the world.
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde is likely the first name on people’s lips when they want to talk about the most popular Nollywood actress. Her popularity stretches across 25 years of acting. SHe’s also actively engaged in philanthropic activities. Omotola is also recognised beyond the borders of Nigeria getting her mentioned in the same breath as Beyoncé and Michelle Obama.
The actress, who is a mother of four, is also enjoying family life. Her relative failure in the music world can also serve as a lesson that succeeding in one aspect does not mean you will automatically be successful in all fields and walks of life.
Additional Omotola Jalade Ekeinde information
- Mortal Inheritance (1995)
- Scores to Settle (1998)
- Lost Kingdom 1 & 2 (1999)
- Kosorogun 1 & 2 (2002)
- Beyond Belief 1 & 2 (2003)
- Blood Sister 1 & 2 (2003)
- I Have a Dream (2003)
- I Will Die for You (2003)
- Market Sellers (2003)
- My Best Friend (2003)
- Naomi (2003)
- Oyato (2003)
- Rescue (2003)
- The Outsider (2003)
- The Silent Book (2003)
- Touching Love (2003)
- True Love (2003)
- Shackles and the Rugged Cross (2003)
- A Kiss from Rose (2004)
- All My Life (2004)
- Die Another Day (2004)
- In Totality (2004)
- Last Wedding (2004)
- Masterstroke (2004)
- My Blood (2004)
- No One But You (2004)
- Pretty Woman (2004)
- Royal Family (2004)
- The Woman in Me (2004)
- Worst Marriage (2004)
- Brave Heart (2005)
- Games Women Play (2005)
- Queen of Hasso Rock (2005)
- Taste of Sin (2006)
- Jealousy (2006)
- Sister’s Heart (2007)
- Final War (2007)
- Desperate Sister (2007)
- Tomorrow Must Wait (2008)
- Temple of Justice (2008)
- Beyonce & Rihanna (2008)
- My Last Ambition (2009)
- Ije: The Journey (2010)
- Mind Game (2010)
- A Private Storm (2010)
- Ties That Bind (2011)
- Last Flight to Abuja (2012)
- Amina (2012)
- Blood in the Lagoon (2015)
- Alter Ego (2017)
Selected Omotola Jalade Ekeinde songs
1. GBA Tracklist
- Things U Do
- Don’t Flip
- Honey Boy
- Life or Death
- What U Looking At
- Baby Girl
- Show Me Love
- Things U DO To Me
- Barren Land (2014)
- Strong Girl (Remix) (2015)
List of Omotola Jalade Ekeinde awards
- The Movie Awards (THEMA) for Best Actress English (1997).
- The Movie Awards (THEMA) for Best Actress Overall (1997).
- City People Awards for Excellence for Best Actress (2004).
- Global Excellence Recognition Awards for Best Actress & Grand Achiever (2004).
- Civil Enlightenment Organization of Nigeria (CEON) for Best Individual & Symbol of Creativity (2004).
- NUSEC Awards for Best Actress (2004).
- 1st Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (2005).
- Youths Benefactor’s Award for Most friendly Actress (2006).
- 2011 Ghana Movie Awards for Best Actress-Africa Collaboration (2011).
- Eloy Awards for Actress of the Year (2012).
- Screen Nation Awards for Pan African Best Actress (2012).
- Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts Awards (BEFFTA) for Film Actress Icon (2012).
- 2012 Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards for GIAMA Humanitarian Award (2012).
- 2013 Nollywood Movies Awards for Popular Online Choice (2013).
- Music Video and Screen Awards (MVISA) for Ebony Vanguard Award (2013).
- City People Social Media Awards for Female Entertainment Personality (2016).
- Nollywood Travel Film Festival for Best Actress (2017).
- Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival for Best Actress (2017).
- Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) for Best Actress in a Movie/TV Series (2018).