The biography of veteran Yoruba actress Iyabo Ojo is a lengthy plot that started when she was born in Lagos, Nigeria, on the 21st of December 1977; this makes her 43 years old. The only daughter of Mr. Adekunle Ogunro and his wife Mrs. Olubunmi Fetuga started life in Lagos State where she was educated. Going into the Nigerian movie industry in 1998, the actress started with cameo roles, and before long, she became a household name in the Yoruba arm of Nollywood, appearing in over 150 films and still counting. Though most of her movies were recorded in her native Yoruba language which became viewer’s favorites, we have seen the actress in a few English Language movies that were equally good.
Yes, Iyabo didn’t take long in proving her mettle in front of the camera as an actress, but the Abeokuta native soon discovered other career paths behind the camera in the areas of movie production, scriptwriting, and the likes. Today, she has produced quite a good number of movies, especially in her native language Yoruba and at the last count, she has 14 credits in that aspect. Her scriptwriting prowess is evident in the blockbuster movie entitled Silence which also comes under her movie production portfolio. Away from the entertainment scene. Iyabo Ojo is a veritable wheeler-dealer, excelling in the business world through her company Fespris Limited which represents a chain of businesses like restaurants, spas, lounges, movie distributorship, and the likes. Ojo’s contributions in the entertainment industry have rightfully reaped rewards in the form of awards.
Profile Summary Of Iyabo Ojo
- Full Name: Alice Olori Iyabode Omo Iadukeade Ogunro
- Date of Birth: 21st of December 1977
- Nationality: Nigerian
- Education: Lagos State Polytechnic
- Parents: Adekunle Ogunro and his wife Mrs. Olubunmi Fetuga
- Height: 5ft 6in
- Occupation: Acting, movie making, scriptwriting, business
- Years Active: 1998 to date
- Net Worth: $350,000
Iyabo Ojo’s Roots Are In Abeokuta, Ogun State
Born on the 21st of December 1977, Iyabo Ojo is 43 years old, the Yoruba movie star was born as Alice Olori Iyabode Omo Iadukeade Ogunro but changed her last name to Ojo after her nuptials with a Lagos-based movie marketer simply known as Mr. Ojo. Though their professions are not known, her dad has been identified as Mr. Adekunle Ogunro while her mum is Mrs. Olubunmi Fetuga. Though the movie star’s father is said to be a native of Abeokuta, Ogun State, she was born in Lagos State where she spent her formative years.
Ojo shared her childhood with two older brothers, though their identities are not known. The actress is the youngest of the three children in the Ogunro family and from what is obvious, she is the only popular one as no other family member has surfaced in any of the known entertainment fields.
Growing up in Lagos, the blossoming actress acquired her basic education in the Gbagada area of the city, attending the National College, Gbagbada. Her days at the National College were quite memorable as Iyabo was very active in the school’s drama group. After completing her secondary education, the up-and-coming actress joined Lagos State Polytechnic where she studied estate management. Her course of study in the polytechnic may not have played any role in nudging Iyabo in the direction of the performing arts, but her gigs in secondary school would take some credits for directing her on the right path.
A Timeline of Iyabo Ojo’s Illustrious Professional Life
Iyabo Ojo’s passion for the performing arts came to the fore as far back as her secondary school days when she joined the drama group of her alma mater. This played a big role in shaping the actress into the veteran entertainer we all know today. However, her professional acting debut was made in 1998 when the thespian was just 21. At this point, Iyabo was struggling to adjust to life as a married woman and at the same time, create a niche for herself in the movie world.
Joining the AGN (Actors Guild of Nigeria) through the help of an industry friend Bimbo Akintola, Iyabo made her on-screen debut on the set of the 1998 English Language movie, Satanic. Her first gig opened an inroad into other juicy opportunities which the actress leveraged to emerge to the limelight. Being of Yoruba roots, the blossoming actress wasted no time in identifying with the Yoruba movie industry, and four years after her onscreen debut, Ojo debuted on the Yoruba movie scene in 2002 on the set of Baba Darijinwon.
It has been almost 23 years of unending activity in the Nigerian movie industry and Iyabo Ojo has proved her mettle as one of the most prolific actresses of her time. As of 2021, her movie credits were pegged at 150 and still counting. Besides, the actress is in her early 40’s and from what is obvious, we may not have seen the best of Iyabo Ojo yet; the movie actress is obviously in her prime. Below is a highlight of her key acting gigs.
- Satanic, 1998
- Agogo Ide, 1998
- Baba Darinjinwon, 2002
- 36 Kiniun, 2003
- Inu Obinrin, 2005
- Oro Lanre Pesije, 2005
- Pami Nku, 2006
- Odun’baku, 2006
- Olugbare, 2007
- Egun, 2007
- Taiwo Taiwo, 2008
- Opin Aiye, 2008
- Okanla, 2013
- Silence, 2015
- Beyond Disability, 2015
- Awusa, 2016
- Trust, 2016
- Ore, 2016
- Ipadabo, 2016
- Twisted Twin, 2016
- Kostrobu, 2017
- Gone to America, 2017
- Divorce not Allowed, 2018
She Became A Movie Producer In 2004
After the actress joined her tribesmen in Nollywood, playing major roles in Yoruba movies, Iyabo Ojo soon spied other career opportunities in the entertainment industry. She became interested in movie production and wasted no time in working towards that. Eventually, in 2004, her dream of producing movies was realized as she made her debut with the Yoruba movie entitled Bolutife.
With the level of success she recorded with Bolutife, Ojo was encouraged to expand her horizon in movie production, and before long, she was rolling out movies. Some of her early production credits include; Bofeboko, Esan Ololufe, and Okunkun Biribiri. In 2015, she came up with a movie that later became a blockbuster. Silence premiered in January 2015 at the Silverbird Cinema located in Ikeja, Lagos, with a stellar cast, including the likes of Alex Usifo, Joseph Benjamin, Doris Simeon, and Fathia Balogun. Silence soon became an award-winning movie, bagging the Best of Nollywood award.
Most of her films are targeted at addressing burning social ills concerning love, marriage, and religion. Iyabo Ojo’s work also brought her passion for empowering those with special needs to the fore. In 2014, she participated in the production of the movie Beyond Disability – the film was touching as it was educative on people with special needs. Ojo’s years in the movie industry have led her to collaborate with movie greats like Mercy Aigbe, Femi Adebayo, Odunlade Adekola, Desmond Elliot, and several others. As her acting credit is growing, the entertainer’s production credit is not doing badly at all. In her 23 years in Nollywood, she has recorded over 14 movies produced from the stables of Iyabo Ojo Films Productions.
She Started Displaying Her Prowess in Scriptwriting in 2015
From what is perceivable, Iyabo Ojo is a woman that wears many hats, she acts, produces films and in addition, the mother of two is also an adept hand at scriptwriting. In fact, in both Nollywood and the Yoruba arm of the industry, she is credited among the most talented writers. In addition to producing the blockbuster Silence, the actress also takes the credit for writing the plot, and for the records, Silence is counted among the highest budget movies we have seen in the last decade.
As a scriptwriter, Ojo has co-written movies with some of the best hands in West Africa, including Doris Simon and Fathia Balogun.
She Diversified Into Business in 2017
It would appear that Iyabo Ojo’s talent is not just limited to the entertainment world. The Yoruba actress has also proved her competence in the business world by launching Fespris Limited. The company which opened its doors for business in 2017 is a chain of businesses including an acting academy, a restaurant, a beauty parlor, a lounge, and many more.
The restaurant arm of the company is known as Fespris Abula Spot – a popular eatery in the nation’s capital Abuja where the actress sells the Yoruba delicacy, Amala including other local dishes.
There is also the Fespris World where she runs a makeup studio, spa, sells beauty products, does event management, as well as ushering services.
The lounge and bar have been equipped with a plethora of entertaining activities for the benefit of customers.
Fespris Production is the arm of the company that focuses on movie production, movie distribution, as well as the training of aspiring actors and actresses in the film industry.
Iyabo Ojo Bagged Her First Award As Far Back As 2007
Iyabo Ojo has been instrumental to the success of some notable Yoruba and Nollywood movies and her effort in the industry has not gone unnoticed. She has attracted awards, recognition, and accolades from several accredited bodies in the industry. Below is a comprehensive list of her awards and nominations:
- Best Crossover Actress won in the UK in 2007 during the African Film Awards.
- Excellent Performance on Stage won in 2011 during the BOTRA Award
- Best Feature Film award in 2011 at the International Film Festival Abuja
- Award of Excellence and Recognition won in 2011 from the Deluxe Magazine
- Best Actress in a Supporting Role won in 2012 during the Best of Nollywood Awards
- Best Actress of the Year won in 2013 at the CAMA Awards
- Woman of the Year won in 2015 at Africa Mouthpiece
- Best Actress of the Year (Yoruba) won in 2015 during the City People Movie Award
In addition to the aforementioned, Iyabo Ojo was recently honored by TikTok – the video-sharing app which awarded her for active use of the platform. Ojo’s funny content on the app got fans glued to their devices and before long, her videos started receiving massive viewership. After she received the award, the Yoruba actress came to express her joy and gratitude on the picture-sharing platform Instagram. We saw a video where she was dancing to one of Naira Marley’s tunes with the award in her hands.
During the TrendUpp Awards of 2021, TrendUpp Africa bestowed Iyabo Ojo with the Force of Influence award. The organizers said she merited the award for her activities on social media which depicts her as the most influential Nigerian on all the platforms.
She contended against the likes of Aisha Yesufu, DJ Switch, Don Jazzy, Pamilerin Adegoke, and Pastor Sam Adeyemi. Knowing Ojo, she wasted no time in taking to IG and other platforms to acknowledge the honor.
She Earned Two Nominations At the 2021 Yoruba Music and Films Awards Against All Odds
Since she staged a campaign against Baba Ijesha whose real name is Olanrewaju Omiyinka for the alleged sexual assault of a minor, Iyabo Ojo has been at loggerheads with the Theatre Arts & Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria abbreviated as TAMPAN. The Elders of Nigerian Motion Picture collaborated with the Board Of Trustees of TAMPAN to warn some actors over what was tagged as their ‘reckless accusations, embarrassment, and abuses’ against the association in particular and the movie industry in general. This led to the suspension of entertainers like Kehinde Adams (Lege) and Nkechi Blessing who were said to have fought dirty on social media over Baba Ijesha’s arrest.
On her own part, Iyabo’s offense was throwing insults at those who kept silent over the issue. Consequently, Members of TAMPAN were barred from casting both Nkech and Iyabo in any of their projects. Even in the midst of all these career setbacks, the Yoruba actress still emerged as a nominee in the upcoming Yoruba Music and Films Awards, not just once but twice. The two nominations were made in the categories of World Most Relentless Influential Act 2020-2021 and Best Actress 2020-2021.
Iyabo Ojo, who was obviously excited about the nomination, took to Instagram to share her nomination e-flier. The caption was rather touching, saying “2 categories! Whoever wins, we’re all winners.”
Iyabo Stole The Show At The Headies, Winning The Best-Dressed Female
The actress was at the 14th Headies Awards dressed to the nines when she was declared the best-dressed female. The beautiful actress has always been known for her remarkable dress sense which has made many think she’s a model. Obviously, the authorities at the helm of affairs in the entertainment industry are watching too and at the award ceremony hosted at Eko Hotels and Suites V.I Lagos, they finally honored the deserving actress.
Ojo Reaches Out To The Less Privileged Through Her Pinkies Foundation
Iyabo Ojo is one Nigerian actress who has proved to have the milk of human kindness flowing in her veins. The mother of two has accumulated an enviable fortune from the entertainment industry and she loves to share part of her wealth with the less privileged. Her passion to give back to society birthed the Pinkies Foundation, launched in May 2011, the outfit is a charitable organization with a major aim of reaching out to the underprivileged and kids with special needs. On the fifth anniversary of Pinkies which fell on the 1st of May 2016, Ojo threw a celebration party at the R&A City Hotel, located in Ikeja, Lagos.
Important to note that the Pinkies Foundation was named the Sexy Pinkies Foundation when it was launched in 2011 with the aim of bringing women of different ages and social strata together. However, the public misconstrued the aim of the foundation and soon, the name, “lesbian” was attached to it. Consequently, in 2014, she decided to change the name to Pinkies Foundation and alongside other women, they share ideas on life issues and also extend assistance to disabled kids and those with special needs.
While raising the banner for women and children, Pinkies Foundation has succeeded in undertaking several philanthropic activities. The institute of the blind received the foundation members in 2014. The next year in 2015, they registered their presence in Ijoko, Ogun State, where the Family Vocational Institute for Disable is located; Pinkies Foundation went there bearing gifts items. Pinkies’ 2016 project was conducted in Lagos State where the members came out in their numbers alongside other members of the public to walk against cancer in children.