With the release of Wives on Strike last month, a film written and produced by Omoni Oboli, Nollywood has clearly upped its game and now stands shoulder to shoulder with its Hollywood and Bollywood counterparts. Wives on Strike has been closely compared to Chi-Raq, a movie produced and directed by Spike Lee (Oldboy – 2013) which is also a comedy play in which women withhold sex from their husbands as punishment for fighting in the Peloponnesian War, but despite the script similarities, Omoni totally brings the story home with more pressing issues like child marriage and family planning.
Here are Ten major facts about the actress:
- She attended the Delta Steel Company Primary School, Delta Steel Company Technical High School (DSC THS) and then studied Foreign Languages at the University of Benin majoring in French.
- She was the Head Girl (94 set DSC THS), President of the Literary & Debating Society, plus Editor and President of the Press Club.
- She’s started acting in 1996 (when she was in the university) till present and her movie career started that same year with Bitter Encounter.
- In 2007 she co-produced The Rivals with her friend, Blessing Effiom (Two Brides and a Baby – 2011). This movie won the prize for Best International Drama at the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival. It was the first Nigerian film to be premiered since the festival’s inception in 2003.
- She got married in 2000 to Nnamdi Oboli and they have three sons; Tobe, Gozi and Chizi.
- She turned down a whopping $500,000 for a lead role in a high budget movie because she would have had to go nude on set.
- She has starred in Box Office grossing films like Fifty, Anchor baby, The Figurine, Render to Caesar, and 30 Days in Atlanta to name a few.
- Among other accolades, she’s also won the award for the Best Actress (Narrative Feature at the Los Angeles Movie Awards) and the Best Actress at the Harlem International Film Festival – both in 2010. Omoni then bagged the Big Screen Actress of the Year Award at the 2014 ELOY Awards for her movie Being Mrs. Elliot.
- She returned from a 10 year break in 2009 with the movie
- 2010 saw Omoni Oboli feature in the award-winning film The Figurine which won the Best Picture award at the 2010 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).
Born 22nd April 1978 and now 38, the Benin City born actress/writer/producer has been described by The Nation as the Reigning Queen of Nollywood. I believe this can be competitively contested with when placed beside other female actresses cum producers like Genevieve Nnaji (Road to Yesterday – 2015) and Uru Eke (Remember Me – 2016). If you’ve seen any of her movies, you may share your thoughts below.
Written by Tolu Kareem, an aspiring actor. Tweet @tolukareem.