Blessed with a thrilling combination of pure beauty and brains, Zainab Balogun is a Nigerian actress, model, and television presenter who is admired for her charisma and charm onscreen. Starting out as a model in the fashion industry, Balogun has proven she is a multi-talented woman after she branched off to acting and TV hosting, stunning people by how much grip she has on all her different endeavors in the world of entertainment.
Zainab Balogun has starred in several movies since making her acting debut. Some of these movies are huge blockbusters. She has walked several runways and won awards for her work as a TV presenter. Her talent, beauty, and passion for the arts have made her stand out over the years. At 31 years of age, Zainab Balogun has made a name for herself and is respected for her craft around the country.
Revealing Facts About Zainab Balogun
These ten facts will shed more light on the early life and career of the Nigerian-British actress.
1. Zainab Balogun Was Born In London
She was born to Nigerian parents in the city of London, United Kingdom. It was also in London that she grew up with her family. Balogun was raised predominantly in Clapham, a district of South West London. It was later, by the time she was a grown woman, that she relocated to Nigeria.
Balogun was born on the 10th of October 1989. This means she is now 31 years old. While she was growing up, the actress moved around a lot. This was mainly because of the nature of her mother’s work which took her to different places. As a result of this, Balogun spent the major part of her formative years growing up with relatives in different places.
2. She Is An Egba Woman
Zainab Balogun may have been born and raised in London, but she knows everything about her Nigerian roots. The actress has revealed that she is actually an Egba woman. The Egba people are actually a subgroup of the Yoruba people in western Nigeria. Most Egba people are from the central part of Ogun State, that is Ogun Central Senatorial District.
As an Egba woman, Zainab Balogun has also revealed that she actually descends from a family that hails from Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State. Balogun surely knows how to keep tabs on her roots.
3. Zainab Balogun Is A Very Learned Woman
The actress is well educated and all the studies she had were in the United Kingdom. She had her secondary school education at the Sacred Heart RC Secondary School in London. While in school, she developed an interest in the arts and began to regularly take part in talent shows and school plays. This helped her grow her acting talent and set the stage for what she would accomplish later as a professional actress.
When she eventually graduated from the Sacred Heart RC Secondary School, Balogun went on to attend Christ the King Sixth Form College where she completed her A-Levels in Law, Psychology, and English Language & Literature. She later studied at the University of Kent in Medway.
4. Why She Decided To Become A Lawyer
Zainab Balogun is widely known as an actress and TV presenter today, however, while growing up, these were not the things she dreamt of doing. According to her, she dreamt of being a lawyer in her budding years. Narrating why she chose to become a lawyer, Balogun explained that, as a child, her mother used to ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her mum usually asked her this question whenever they were sitting in the business district in London where all the tall buildings were littered.
Whenever her mother asked her what she wanted to be, Balogun would look around at the tall buildings and would develop a deep-seated desire to work in one of them. She would then turn to her mother and tell her she wanted to become a lawyer because lawyers often had access to all the tall buildings in the city to have grand meetings with clients.
Zainab Balogun later decided to become an entertainment lawyer, especially because she already had a creative side of her that she was exploring at the time. When she eventually attended the University of Kent in Medway, she studied law and received a Bachelor of Law degree (LLB). Today, she has tapped more into her creative side and has left her legal side hanging. However, she has revealed that she may pick up her law degree at some point and actually practice the profession.
5. Zainab Balogun Was A Member Of A Music Girl Group
There’s no doubt she was very interested in music as a young child. In fact, while in secondary school, she actually studied music and eventually joined the school choir. Her activities with the choir helped her develop her singing skills and boosted her confidence as a singer, especially when it had to do with performing in front of an audience.
Balogun later formed an R&B girl group called Regné with two of her friends. However, not much is known about how far the group went with their aspiration to make music. But it is believed they performed around their school.
6. She Had A Glittering Modeling Career
Zainab Balogun started out as a model. She was scouted by Premier Models Management when she was just about 16 years old and was recruited into their ranks. This was not surprising, considering her incredible good looks and fine body build. After she got scouted by Premier Models Management, Balogun went on to have a productive career as a model.
She was featured in several international campaigns for different brands during her modeling days and made quite a fortune from all her efforts. She actually walked the runway of The New York Fashion Week and graced the pages of well-respected magazines. Some of the magazines she appeared in include Spell, Pride, True Love, Black Hair & Beauty, and Eso magazines among others.
7. Zainab Balogun Made Her Acting Debut In The Dark Knight Rises
As her modeling career grew, Zainab Balogun easily transitioned to making appearances in movies. In 2011, she made her acting debut when was cast to play a small role in The Dark Knight Rises, an American superhero film directed by the popular British-American film director, producer, and screenwriter, Christopher Nolan. Balogun was very thrilled with her appearance in the movie and described the experience as an unforgettable one.
In 2012, she went on to star in Material Girl, a British romantic comedy. The same year, she starred in another small role in Cocktail, an Indian romantic comedy-drama film. When she left the UK and relocated to Nigeria, Zainab Balogun starred in several Nollywood movies that put her name on the lips of many Nigerians.
In 2015, she played the role of Angela in A Soldier’s Story, a Nigerian action drama film that made a lot of waves after its release. The movie won two Africa Movie Academy Awards and two Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards. In 2016, she played the supporting role of Wonu in The Wedding Party, a Nigerian romantic comedy-drama film that became the highest-grossing Nigerian film upon its release. The same year, she played the role of Linda in Ojukokoro (Greed).
The next year, in 2017, Zainab Balogun starred in The Wedding Party 2, a romantic comedy-drama film that is a sequel to The Wedding Party. This movie caused quite a lot of buzz upon its release. The same year, Zainab Balogun landed her first lead role when she was cast to play Ope in The Royal Hibiscus Hotel, a comedy film. Her performance won her some praise from critics.
In 2018, she scored another lead role when she was cast to play the title character in Sylvia, a thriller film. The movie also earned her praise from critics. The same year, she played the supporting role of Ireti in Chief Daddy, a comedy-drama film that became very popular upon release. Soon after, she played the lead role of Sade in God Calling, a gospel drama film alongside Richard Mofe Damijo.
8. She Co-founded A Web Series
While she was still in London, Zainab Balogun co-founded a web series with a friend. The web series was called “The J-ist TV” and it was an entertainment web series that highlighted African culture and a range of topical issues. After running the series for some time, she and her friend decided to bring the idea back home to Nigeria and see how it will thrive.
It was when they relocated back home to Nigeria that Zainab Balogun got a lot more involved with Nollywood. She started auditioning for movie roles and began to land gigs in film and TV hosting. Also, she still keeps the web series alive and it features interviews involving some of Africa’s top personalities.
9. Zainab Balogun Is A Renowned TV Presenter
After moving back to Nigeria, Zainab Balogun did not just get involved with acting, she also got into TV presenting and hosting. Balogun is now quite a renowned television presenter in the country. In fact, she hosted and produced shows for EbonyLife TV, a popular entertainment television network.
The actress has also produced other shows, including EL Now, a daily entertainment news show for the latest in fashion, music, and arts. Balogun is now working with popular Nigerian TV hosts, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and Lamide Akintobi on a daily hang-out talk show called The Spot. According to Zainab, The Spot is her favorite show yet because of how much fun they have while working on it.
It is noteworthy that Zainab Balogun actually sprung into the TV presenting arena with a bang, instantly making a statement with her style and charm onscreen. She is so good at her job that she has won different awards as a TV presenter, including;
- TV Presenter of The Year at ELOY Awards 2013.
- Sisterhood Awards for TV Presenter of the Year 2014.
- All Youth Tush Award for On-Air Personality of the Year 2014.
10. She Is Married To An Airline Boss
Zainab Balogun is now a happily married woman. The actress and TV host is married to an airline boss called Dikko Nwachukwu. They tied the knot as husband and wife traditionally on Sunday, the 13th of May, 2018, in the city of Lagos, Nigeria. They have been together ever since.
Balogun’s husband, Nwachukwu is a very wealthy man who happens to be the Founder of Jetwest Airways in Lagos. The man has also worked with different renowned companies in the country, including Aero Contractors and Red Investments. In addition to his business investments, Nwachukwu has served as a special adviser on trade and investment to the Abia State Government.
How Zainab Balogun Met Her Husband
Talking about how they met, Zainab revealed in a 2019 interview, that she and Dikko Nwachukwu were introduced to each other by Chigurl, a popular Nigerian comedian, singer, and actress who happens to be their mutual friend. Chigurl had told Balogun that Nwachukwu was a big fan of hers and that she would want her to meet with him.
When Zainab Balogun eventually met with Nwachukwu, they had coffee together and talked but she was not so sure that she wanted to have something really deep with him romantically at first so she told him they should just be friends. However, as time went on, Balogun began to really warm up to Nwachukwu and the couple soon built a really good bond. In fact, they became so close that he became someone that she would talk to all the time.
When they got to this stage, it became natural for a romantic relationship to blossom between them. They then took things to the next stage and got married in 2018.
Zainab Is 16 Years Younger Than Her Husband
Interestingly, there is a huge age gap between Zainab Balogun and her husband. The actress who was born on 10th October 1989 is now 31 years old. However, her husband, who was born in 1973 is about 16 years older than her.
But, the age difference between them is apparently not a problem at all as the couple knew all about this before trying the knot as husband and wife.
Nwachukwu’s Children Are Very Fond Of Her
It is noteworthy that before he met and married Zainab Balogun, Dikko Nwachukwu was married before. He got married to his first wife, a woman called Funmi in 2007. However, about eight years later, in 2015, Funmi sadly passed, leaving Dikko Nwachukwu deeply grief-stricken. Before she died, Funmi and Nwachukwu had two sons together – Ethan and Eli.
So, at the time Dikko Nwachukwu met Zainab Balogun, he was a widower raising two boys on his own. The good thing is, when Nwachukwu introduced Balogun to his children, they quickly became very fond of her. They started spending a lot of time together with her and just became really comfortable around her. This made her relationship with Nwachukwu a lot easier.
Eventually, when Balogun and Nwachukwu decided to get married, they called the boys together and told them about the plan. According to Balogun, Ethan and Eli were so happy to hear the news that they burst into tears. It was a very emotional scene that assured Balogun that all was well.
There has been no news so far that Zainab Balogun had any children of her own with Dikko Nwachukwu yet. However, it is clear that she enjoys the company of her stepsons.