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Onyeka Onwenu: The Elegant Stallion of Nigerian Music
Onyeka Onwenu is a Nigerian singer/songwriter, actress, human right activist, social activist, journalist, politician, and former X Factor series judge. Dubbed the \"Elegant Stallion\" by the Nigerian press, she is a former chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture. She has released several albums of pop, gospel, and soul music, and has starred in many Nollywood movies.
Onwenu was born on 31 January 1952 in Obosi, Anambra State, but grew up in Port Harcourt. She lost her father, a prominent educationist and politician, when she was four years old. She attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts and The New School for Social Research in New York, where she obtained degrees in International Relations and Media Studies. She worked as a tour guide for the United Nations before returning to Nigeria in 1980.
She began her music career in 1981 while still working with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), releasing her debut album For the Love of You. She later signed with Polygram and EMI, and produced many hit songs such as \"Iyogogo\", \"One Love\", \"Ekwe\", and \"You and I\". She also collaborated with other artists such as King Sunny Ade, Bongos Ikwue, Shina Peters, and Angelique Kidjo. She is known for her distinctive voice and style, as well as her lyrics that address social issues such as health, peace, women's rights, and children's welfare.
Onwenu is also a successful actress, having featured in over 30 Nollywood films. Some of her notable roles include Mama G in Half of a Yellow Sun, Chief Mrs Obiageli Onwuzurike in The Wedding Party 2, and Mama Africa in Lionheart. She has won several awards for her acting, such as the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in 2006.
Besides music and acting, Onwenu is also a journalist and a politician. She wrote and presented the acclaimed BBC/NTA documentary Nigeria: A Squandering of Riches in 1984, which exposed corruption and environmental degradation in Nigeria. She also hosted several TV shows on NTA Network. She was a member of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and ran for local government chairperson in Ideato North LGA of Imo State in 1998. She later served as the chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture from 2006 to 2010. In 2013, she was appointed as the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Women Development by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Onwenu is a mother of two children and a grandmother of three. She is also a devout Christian who has recorded several gospel songs. She is an inspiration to many Nigerians and Africans who admire her talent, courage, and resilience.
Sources: Wikipedia, YouTube, Instagram
Onwenu is also a humanitarian and a philanthropist who has supported many causes and organizations. She is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and has advocated for the rights and welfare of children, especially those affected by HIV/AIDS. She is also a founding member of the Women in Nigeria (WIN) group, which promotes gender equality and empowerment. She has donated to various charities and foundations, such as the Hope for Africa Foundation, the Onyeka Onwenu Foundation, and the Arondizuogu Patriotic Union.
Onwenu is also a writer and a public speaker who has published several articles and books. She wrote her autobiography titled My Father's Daughter in 2012, which chronicles her life story and experiences. She also wrote a book titled The Legend of Aku-nna in 1986, which is a fictional account of a young girl's struggle against the oppressive tradition of bride price in Igbo culture. She has delivered many speeches and lectures on various topics, such as music, culture, politics, feminism, and spirituality.
Onwenu is one of the most celebrated and influential figures in Nigerian music and entertainment. She has received many honors and awards for her contributions to the industry and society. Some of these include the Nigerian Music Awards (NMA), the Fame Music Awards (FMA), the Afro Hollywood Award for Outstanding Performance in Arts, the Zik Prize for Leadership, and the Nigerian National Honours of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) and Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR). She has also been inducted into several halls of fame, such as the Nigerian Music Hall of Fame, the Nigerian Movie Hall of Fame, and the Nigerian Women Hall of Fame. aa16f39245