She was born on the 31st of January 1952 in Obosi, a community in Anambra state in south eastern Nigeria. She hails from Arondizuagu town in Ideato Local Government Area of Imo state. She is the youngest in a family born to an educationist and a politician, Pa Onwenu.
Onyeka had her primary and secondary education in Obosi town in Anambra state where she obtained her first and secondary school certificates respectively.
She later went to Wellisley College of Massachusetts in the United State of America to have a degree in International Relations and Communication.
She again proceeded to the new school for special research in New York, USA for her Master’s degree in Media studies.
Upon graduation, Onyeka worked for some years in New York before returning to Nigeria for nation building.
She did her one year mandatory service with NTA, a programme that brought out her talents and shot her to fame and recognition.
Onyeka Onwenu began her musical journey as a secular artist in 1981 while still working with the Nigerian Television Authority. She released her first album “For the Love of You”. It was a beautiful song that greeted the Nigerian populace and recorded large commercial volumes.
She later on went singing and reflecting on the ills of the our society, health issue (HIV/AIDs) respect for women rights, plight of women and children considered to be more vulnerable in our society, peace and mutual co-existence among the tribal groups in Nigeria.
In 1984, Onyeka Onwenu wrote and presented the Internationally acclaimed BBC/NTA documentary on “Squandering of Riches” in Nigeria. It was a well articulated documentary which exposed the high level of corruption in Nigeria and environmental degradation in the oil rich Niger Delta region. It also centred on resource control and campaign against environmental hazards in the area.
In 2003, Onyeka Onwenu was named one of the three Judges in Nigerian Version of the X Factor. She has been described by the media as a living legend in recognition of her immensurable contributions to the entertainment industry in Nigeria. She was subsequently honoured by professionals like Laolu Akins, Charles O. Tudor, Mamood Ali-Balogun and Tony Okoroji, a former PMAN President and several others.
Onyeka is also a veteran Nollywood actress. She joined the Nigerian Movie industry in 1999 and has since made remarkable achievements in the industry.
She is creative, skillful and exceptionally talented Nollywood actress. She is gifted at the interpretation of movie roles brilliantly and can as well accept any character in most movies.
Onyeka has over 100 Nollywood movies to her name, some of which are:
• Government House
• The Tyrant
• Women’ Cot
• Rising Moon
• Half of a Yellow Sun
• Lion Heart
• Not Your Wealth
• Every Single Day
• To Love An Angel
• The Trinity
• Different World among others.
In 2014, Onyeka starred in a hit movie, “The Rising of the Yellow Sun” alongside Thandie Newton and Chiwetu Ejiofor. The same movie earned her an award for best actress in a supporting role at the African Movie Academy Awards.
Onyeka Onwenu is a recipient of the 2006 award for best actress in a supporting role at the African Movie Academy Awards.
Other achievements include:
September 16, 2013, Onyeka Onwenu was appointed by the former President Goodluck Jonathan as executive director and Chief Executive Officer of National Centre for Women Development.
Onyeka Onwenu was also in partnership with Paris-based La Cave Musik, headed by a Nigerian tycoon, Onyke Nelue and UK based Jungle Entertainment Ventures, David Evans Uchegbu, a musicologist. This joint ventures was meant to release her latest Rebirth of a Legend.
Onyeka has also served as a member of the board of the Nigerian Authority (NTA).
As a politician, Onyeka Onwenu was a member of PDP and vied for the position of a Local Government Chairman in her own area Ideato Local Government Area of Imo State. She was subsequently appointed Chairperson of Imo State Council for Arts and Culture by the former Governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim.
Onywk Onwenu is happily married to Mr. Ogunlende and the marriage is blessed with two children namely Abraham and Tijani Ogunlende.
Her Net Worth
Onyeka Onwenu is a veteran Nollywood actress, singer and television personality rated one of the richest and most influential with a net worth of about $700,000 dollars.