Nigerian Global Star: The Elegant Stallion - Onyeka Onwenu

Onyeka Onwenu
Onyeka Onwenu (born 1 January 1952) is a foremost Nigerian performer with a string of successful, award-winning music albums and movies. In 2006, she won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a supporting role. Dubbed the “Elegant Stallion” by the Nigerian Press, this multi-talented Artiste is a Singer,Songwriter, Actress, Social Critic and Politician. She is a former chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture. She is currently the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Women Development.
Onyeka Onwenu and Kingsley Momoh
Onwenu possess a B.A. in International Relations and Communication of the Wellesley College of Massachusetts, USA, and a Masters Degree in Media Studies from The New School for Social Research in New York. She worked for many years at the United Nations in New York before returning to Nigeria in 1980, where she completed the mandatory one-year National Service, at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), in Lagos. In under one year at the NTA, Onwenu made an impact as an articulate, incisive and fearless Television Reporter. In 1984, she wrote and presented the internationally acclaimed BBC/NTA documentary called “Nigeria, A Squandering of Riches”.It became the definitive film about corruption in Nigeria as well as the intractable Niger Delta agitation for resource control and campaign against environmental degradation in the oil rich region of Nigeria.


Onyeka Onwenu has unsuccessfully pursued the dream of being Local Council Chairman(Mayor) of her native Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State. She was appointed Chairperson of Imo State Council for Arts and Culture by former governor Ikedi Ohakim. She has served on the board of the Nigeria Television Authority. On September 16, 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan appointed her the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Women Development.


Ms Onwenu began her music career in 1981 while still working with the Nigeria Television Authority. She has written some of the most memorable songs in Nigeria’s music history: “For the Love of You”, "In the Morning Light", "Endless Life", "One Love", "Dancing in the Sun", "Onyeka", "Greatest Love", "Let them say", "Wait for me", "Choices", "My Everything God" and “The Legend”. Onwenu continues to write and sing about issues as Health (HIV/AIDS), peace and mutual coexistence, respect for women rights and the plight of children. Her latest effort titled “Inspiration for Change” focuses on the need for an attitudinal turn around in Nigeria.
She is into partnership with Paris-based La Cave Musik, headed by Nigerian cultural entrepreneur, Onyeka Nwelue and UK-based Jungle Entertainment Ventures, headed by musicologist, David Evans-Uhegbu. La Cave Musik is set to release her collection titled, Rebirth of a Legend in November.


Year Film Role Notes
1999 Not Your Wealth

with Nkem Owoh
Chain Reaction
with Pete Edochie & Liz Benson
2004 Government House

2005 Women's Cot
with Joke Silva & Zack Orji - this film received 4 nominations and won 1 award at the 2nd Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2006[2]
The Tyrant
with Pete Edochie
Rising Moon

Omalinze Queen with Stephanie Okereke
Every Single Day

2006 Different World
with Ramsey Nouah
2007 To Love an Angel
with Ramsey Nouah
The Trinity
with Kanayo O. Kanayo
2013 Half of a Yellow Sun Odenigbo's Mother with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Genevieve Nnaji, Hakeem Kae-Kazim and OC Ukeje

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