The trend in present-day Nollywood is that most casting directors run after the younger generation for many of their major and supporting roles. However, veteran thespians like Ngozi Ezeonu has managed to remain revenant to date, appearing in respectable roles such as queen, wife, mother, and so on. Ngozi is a woman of many hats, she is an actress, a television personality, a former journalist, an entrepreneur, and philanthropist.
Born in the eastern part of Nigerian, Ngozi grew to become an iconic figure in the entertainment industry and has bagged a few awards for her efforts. The mother of four is very much active in the scheme of things and is likely to grace our screens in more entertaining roles in the future. Despite her level of prominence, there is still a whole lot more to learn about the Nigerian actress.
Ngozi Ezeonu Was Born And Raised In The Eastern Part Of Nigeria
Though she is an indegene of Ogbunike in Anambra State, Nigeria, Ngozi Ezeonu was born in the capital city of neighboring Imo State, Owerri. Ngozi celebrates her birthday every 23rd of May and the records captured her year of birth as 1963. Although we are still in the dark about the professions of the actress’ parents, their identities have been revealed as Mr D.O Ikpelue, father, and mother, Ezenwanyi Joy Nonyelum Ikpelue. Ngozi spent her formative years alongside six siblings out of which five are boys. However, the siblings are not known as the actress has never discussed them in public, thus, we cannot know the kind of family background she comes from.
Growing up, she attended primary and secondary school, and upon completion of her secondary education, the Nigerian entertainer decided to earn her keep, working in a beauty salon as a hairdresser. Ngozi has always had an interest in the arts which informed her decision to go for a diploma course in journalism. To achieve her aim, the actress enrolled in the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) where she proceeded to study journalism.
She Had An Early Career Gig As A Journalist
With her diploma course in journalism completed, Ezeonu went to look for employment in relevant field. As luck would have it, she landed a good one with Radio Lagos where she was engaged for a while. She equally left her mark at the Eko FM as a journalist. One thing that can be said for Ngozi Ezeonu is that she never envisaged her self as an actress. However, life as they say happens to everyone and in Ngozi’s case, it came with a complete change in career focus, moving the Nollywood star from news reporting to acting which she has proved to be her forte.
Her Acting Career Commenced in 1993
The movie Living in Bondage which hit the Nigerian movie stand in 1993 is among the first home videos to surface in the country. To date, the film has been considered the highest-grossing, as well as the bestselling Nollywood film of all time. In fact, it was thanks to Living in Bondage that Nollywood itself emerged to the limelight and we cannot talk about the early days of Nollywood without paying homage to veteran thespians like Ngozi Ezeonu. The actress played one of the characters that brought the plot of the movie to life.
After that, a chanced meeting with veteran movie director Zeb Ejiro changed her life. It was Zeb who cast the entertainer in a minor supporting role on the set of the hit movie Nneka the Pretty Serpent; Ngozi depicted the character of Nkechi, the best friend of the antagonist. Going forward, she started attracting the attention of movie makers who were willing to cast her in major roles. Ezeonu finally had her breakout role as a high society mistress, Thelma in Glamour Girls (1994), the film that shook the entire Nollywood and the world. In the blockbuster movie, she shared the screen with veterans like Gloria Anozie and Liz Benson, and has since gone ahead to appeared in over 250 Nollywood productions.
The Best Of Ngozi Ezeonu
As earlier mentioned, the veteran thespian has over 250 Nollywood movies to her credit and from what is obvious, she is likely to record more in the nearest future. Since her debut in the industry, she has been consistent in her onscreen appearances which earned her a place among the most prolific Nollywood stars. Perhaps her most prolific year was 2019 when the veteran appeared in nine movies, including Different Worlds, Seed of Destruction, Dusted Crown, Crazy Princess, On All Sides, Run Away From Love, If Trouble Comes, and Making a King. The movie titled Adesuwa in 2012 made here an award winner at the eighth African Movie Academy Awards when she was named Best Supporting Actress.
Even with hundreds of movies under her belt, there are still a select few we consider as the best of Ngozi Ezeonu, they include:
• Glamour Girls
• Shattered Mirror
• The Pretty Serpent
• Tears of a Prince
• Cry of a Virgin
• Abuja Top Ladies
• Family Secret
• The Confessor
• In the beginning
• The Kings and Gods
• Zenith of Sacrifice
• A Drop of Blood
• Divided Kingdom
• Diamond Kingdom
• God of Justice
• Women of Faith
• A private Storm
Ngozi Ezeonu Has Attained Iconic Status In Nollywood
The vetaran became an iconic figure in Nollywood mostly through epic films where she depicts roles like queen mother, royal queen, a respectable woman, a mastermind, a widow, a housewife, and many more. As time rolled by, Ngozi was considered as one of the most respectable Nollywood actress’ for obvious reasons. For one, the Anambra native has never appeared in nude roles, she may not be averse to romantic roles but Ngozi has never featured in any.
Again, we are yet to see her in roles where children are maltreated. By so doing, the actress has managed to keep her image protected and scandal-free. In fact, the 2019 Nollywood Honors Awards named her the The Most Outstanding Queen of Nollywood for her distinguished roles.
Today, Nogzi’s high moral standard in the Nigerian entertainment industry can only be matched by a select few, hence she is viewed in the light of a legend. According to the mother of four, she has a lot of younger ones who are looking up to her for inspiration and it wouldn’t be right to disappoint them. The screen goddess has worked with big names in the industry like Olu Jacobs, Kenneth Okonkwo, Harry B, Genevieve Nnaji, Don Brymo, and many others.
Her Celebrity Status Has Attracted A Few Endorsements
When an actor or actress has attained the status of an icon in the movie world, it goes without saying that he or she will attract some lucrative endorsement deals; this is exactly the case with Ngozi Ezeonu. The Most Outstanding Queen of the Nigerian film industry has inked deals with communication heavyweights like Globacomm where she currently acts as their ambassador. Her name is also linked to big beauty brands; Ngozi is sure raking in money from endorsements.