Who Is Beverly Naya? Biography of The Nigerian-British Actress

Beverly Naya is a British-born Nigerian actress, model, scriptwriter, producer, and entrepreneur. She started acting in 2008 and won her first award in 2010 as the Most Promising Talent at the Best of Nollywood Awards. Beverly has succeeded in the Nigerian movie industry venture, producing and acting in many highly acclaimed movies, including Guilty Pleasure, Forgetting June, When Love Happens, The Wedding Party, and many others. Here is everything to know about her early life and full biography.

Profile Summary of Beverly Naya

  • Full name: Beverly Ifunaya Bassey
  • Date of Birth: 17th April 1989
  • Age: 32 years old
  • Place of Birth: London, UK
  • Ethnicity: Igbo
  • State of origin: Delta state
  • Nationality: Nigerian, British
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Education: Brunel University Uxbridge, London
  • Occupation: Actress, producer
  • Years Active: 2008- present

Beverly Naya is an Igbo Girl Born in London

She was born as the only child of her parents on the 17th day of April 1989 in London England, United Kingdom. Though her parents are based in the UK, they originally hail from Ibuzor in Oshimili North local government, an Igbo part of Delta State. There is no further information about her parents and what they do for a living.

Actress Beverly and her mother
Actress Beverly and her mother image source

Beverly mentioned that she grew up in a difficult environment where she was bullied because of her skin color. She only began regaining her self-confidence in her 20s by learning to love herself and this enhanced her interest in contributing her best towards stopping discrimination in our society, especially in the film industry.

Ifunanya had all her education in the UK. After her early education, she went to Brunel University and studied Philosophy, Sociology, and Psychology. According to her, she felt like the course is not befitting for her after she graduated. So, she left it to pursue another degree in Drama and Dance at the same university. After that, she went ahead to Roehampton University where she studied script-writing, filmmaking, and directing.

She Relocated to Nigeria After Her University Education to Pursue a Career in Acting

Beverly Naya started acting at the young age of 19 while she was still at Brunel University. She started with acting in short films for British Broadcasting Corporation and The Metropolitan Police in projects which include Debbie Tucker-Green’s Stoning Mary, Psychosis, and Crave. She developed a passion for drama and acting and hence knew that it was what she wanted to do.

After her graduation, she decided to return to her home country, Nigeria to pursue a career in acting. In one of her interviews, Beverly Naya said she relocated to Nigeria, given the rapid growth she saw in Nollywood and the vast opportunities it creates for rising actors. According to her, she could only do a movie once a year back there in London but in Nigeria, she can shoot movies as often as she wants and also build a brand for herself.

She made her debut in Tinsel, M-Net’s production, where she acted as Bimpe Adekoya but rose to prominence with the 2012 blockbuster movie, The Meeting, and Lancelot Imaseun’s film titled Living in Exile. In 2013, Naya made her television series debut in Passport, a BET TV series shot entirely in Atlanta, Georgia. Immediately after concluding the TV series, she landed a supporting role as the feisty and seductive Yaya Giardia on M-Net’s number one soap, Tinsel. She is one of the four lead females in the TV series Sex and The City. Beverly Naya has acted in numerous Nollywood blockbusters alongside top Nollywood actors like Genevieve Nnaji, Majid Micheal, Adesua Etomi, Jim Iyke, and many others.

Her Famous Movies With Release Dates

  • Tinsel (2008)
  • Guilty Pleasures (2009)
  • Home in Exile (2010)
  • Death Waters (2012)
  • Up Creek Without a Paddle (2012)
  • Weekend Getaway (2012)
  • Forgetting June (2013)
  • Make a move (2014)
  • Stripped (2014)
  • When Love Happens – 2014
  • Before 30 (2015)
  • Skinny Girl in Transit (2015)
  • The Wedding Party (2016)
  • Dinner (2016)
  • Affairs of the Heart (2016)
  • The Wedding Party 2 (2017)
  • Chief Daddy (2018)
  • Lockdown (2018)
  • Fifty Shades Of Black (a documentary 2018)
  • In Sickness and Health (2018)
  • Demon Inside (2018)
  • The Eve (2018)
  • The Picture Perfect (2019)
  • Skin (a documentary 2019)
  • Across The Rising Sun (2019)

Beverly Naya’s Other Endeavors Beside Acting

As a result of their hard work and huge achievements, the British-born actress had revealed that her mother, Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Mo Abudu are her biggest source of inspiration. Besides acting, actress Beverly is also an activist who has promised herself to effect change and growth in her society. Given the discrimination and low self-esteem she went through as a result of her skin color while growing up in London, she produced a documentary on Netflix titled Skin.

Unlike racism, colorism is the discrimination of people based on their skin color and it is common among people of the same racial group. In Skin, Beverly thoroughly explores colorism, finding the true meaning of beauty by speaking to individuals who have struggled with the pressure to meet up with society’s standard of beauty based on color. Also, she is the founder of the campaign #FiftyShadesOfBlack which was birthed to empower black women and young girls to love themselves regardless of their skin color.

She Endorses Many Brands

The actress is also a model, and she achieves this mainly by the endorsements she continually signs with high-profile companies within and outside the country. Here are some of the brands she endorses.

  • She is a brand ambassador to Dark and Lovely
  • Beverly Naya is currently a brand ambassador for Schweppes and Guinness
  • LG Africa endorsed Beverly Naya as one of its brand ambassadors
  • She was the host of the Verve Life 2019 edition
  • Beverly Naya signed an endorsement deal with Darling Nigeria to be the brand ambassador of its numerous range of products
  • Beverly Naya is an ambassador for Nivea Nigeria

Awards and Nomination

  • 2010 – Most Promising Talent at the Best of Nollywood Awards
  • 2011 – Fast Rising Actress at the City People Entertainment Awards
  • 2014 – ELOY Awards nominee for the TV Actress of the Year
  • 2016 – Nominated for the African Magic Viewers’ Choice Award (AMVCA) in the Best Supporting Actress
  • 2018 – Best Actress at the Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival (TINFF)
  • 2018 – Forbes 30 under 30 Awards, Africa
  • 2019 – Official selection (Skin) at the Urban World Film Festival
  • The Skin was officially selected to play at the Slum Film Festival
  • 2019 – Official selection (Skin) at the San Francisco Black Film Festival
  • 2019 – The Skin was officially selected at the Africa World Documentary Film Festival
  • 2020 – The documentary – Skin, is an official selection of this year’s International Documentary Film Festival

Who Is Beverly Naya Dating Now?

Actress Beverly Naya lives a private life and does not relate her relationships on social media, hence, there is no information about who she is currently dating. However, she has been linked to a few men. In 2019, rumors went around social media that the actress is in a hot romantic relationship with Big Brother All-Star winner, Uti Nwachukwu. According to sources, they had been spotted at several events holding hands together.

Uti-and-Naya-
Uti-and-Naya – image source

Naya responded to the rumor in one of her social media pages by saying  This Insinuation is laughable. Please, let’s not start a rumor…..My boyfriend wasn’t too happy seeing this, Uti makes me laugh a lot, it’s always fun and games hanging out with him and nothing more.  From her response, the actress obviously has a boyfriend who is not Uti but has not disclosed his identity.

That is not all, it was also alleged that the British-born actress was in a secret romantic relationship with Enugu entertainer, Flavor N’abania. This rumor did not make rounds for a long time as the actress quickly debunked it, stating that she has never even met with the rapper for the first time not to talk of having a relationship with him. Beverly Naya currently puts a lot of her energy into building a sustainable career for herself in the entertainment industry.

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