She was born April 23, 1981 in Benin City to Nigerian parents of Urhobo descent. Ufuoma hails from Delta State in Nigeria.
Ufuoma relocated to Jos, where she spent the better part of her early years, and later back to Lagos, where she currently docmicile.
At the age of seven, her father coined a pet name for her: ISIO (which means “star” in Urhobo). She was so named after the star actress of the TELEFEST programme put together by NTA Benin, The Pot of Life.
Ufuoma went to different primary schools, from Alama Private School Jos, Plateau state, Tunwase Nursery and primary school Ikeja, Lagos and finally Molly International Nursery and primary Ajao Estate, Lagos.
She then attended Federal Government College, Odogbolu, Ogun State for her secondary certificate and later bagged a degree in French language from the University of Lagos where she partook in a Federal Government scholarship holiday programme.
Ufuoma also has Certificates and Diplomas from Alliance Française and NIIT. She holds a Master’s degree in Public and International Affairs, also from the University of Lagos.
In 2011, she attended New York Film Academy in Los Angeles for an acting course and later on a film making course from Dov Simen’s Hollywood Film Institute.
Added to the number of degrees, Ufuoma obtained a certificate in Human Resource Management from the London Business School in 2013.
Ufuoma began her career as a photographic model in the year 2000 and later moved into beauty pageants.
By 2002, she participated in two mini-pageants, won the Miss Ebony Beauty Pageant. She again partook in her first national pageant, Miss Commonwealth (Vanessa Ekeke), where she won the Miss Congeniality prize.
Later the same year, Ufuoma emerged 1st runner up in the Queen Afrik Beauty Pageant (Tamilore Kuboye).
The versatile and highly talented Ufuoma again emerged the 1st runner up in 2003 at the Queen of all Nations Beauty Pageant (Dubra Fufeyin).
In 2004, she contested the Miss Nigeria Beauty Pageant where she emerged yet 1st runner up. She was crowned Miss Earth Nigeria and consequently represented the country at the Miss Earth 2004.
In February 2004, Ejenobor joined the Nigerian Movie industry. She acted her first movie, ‘The President Must Not Die’, directed by Zeb Ejiro. Her brilliant role in the said movie earned her subsequent roles in several Nollywood movies.
In May 2005, she played her first lead role in Life and Death and December the same year, she played Chibuzor on the Edge of Paradise TV series produced by Royal Roots Network.
In 2008, she took on the role of “Lillian Wright” in the TV series My Mum, and her role earned her nomination for best actress award at the 2010 Festival De Télévision De Monte-Carlo and The Terracotta Nigerian TV and Film Awards.
She was also nominated as the Actor of the year 2011 at the Future Awards
Ufuoma Mcdermott has since joining Nollywood starred in several movies, some of which include:
• Life Partner
• Queen of My Heart
• Private Storm
• Hot Island
• Wise in Law
• Merciful Mercy
• Emotional Blackmail
• My Experience
• Secrets and Lies
• Guy On the Line
• Life and Death among several others.
In January 2018, McDermott reprised her roles as “Mama Baby”, “Women Call Leader” and “Sister Esther” in the stage production Hear Word!, which returned for the second year in a row to Harvard and was staged at the prestigious American Repertory theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.SA.
The production covers various themes, which address issues against women in the society. The play, which made its debut in Lagos, Nigeria in 2014, also features top Nollywood talents of Joke Silva, Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett and Bimbo Akintola.
Hear Word featured at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2019, and McDermott, Joke Silva, Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett and other cast members performed at the Royal Lyceum, in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Guardian UK, in its review of the show described it as “at once tough and inspirational”, giving the play a three-star out of five.
In July 2019, McDermott put together a live-theater experience at the Eko Hotel and Towers in Lagos. The show tagged “The USM Show with Ufuoma McDermott” was a display of live music, dance performances and a debut of her stage production “The Magic of a Dream”.
The Magic of a Dream was directed by Toritseju Ejoh and featured acting performances from several notable Nigerian thespians including Femi Branch, Chioma Akpotha, Offiong Anthony (Thin Tall Tony), Akah Nnani and Zara Udofia-Ejoh.
The USM Show also featured live musical and comedy performances from a range of Nigerian entertainers, including, Teni the entertainer, Seyi Law and MC Abbey.
As part of her success in movie directing and production, Ufuoma in 2018 earned her sophomore production credit with the release of What Just Happened in cinemas across Nigeria.
In Summer 2015, she was part of the Relativity Education program from Nigeria, owned by Relativity Media in Beverly Hills.
Awards and Recognitions
Ufuoma has so far in the entertainment industry earned several awards and recognitions notably as:
• Best Actress of the Year (English) at the City People Movie Awards.
• Best Actress in a TV series Nominee – Nigeria Entertainment Awards 2011
• Actor of the Year 2011 Nominee- The Future Awards
• Best Actress nominee – Golden Nymph Awards 2010 (Monte Carlo Television Festival)
• Best Actress in a Drama series nominee, Terracotta TV and Film Awards
• Go Red Africa, Best Female Model, 2007
• African Youth Society, Role Model Award, 2009
• Represented Nigeria at the Miss Earth 2004 beauty pageant
• McDermott was a speaker at TEDx Rayfield, which held in December 2017
Her Personal Life
Ufuoma got married to Steven McDermott on 23 April 2010. She officially changed her name to Ufuoma McDermott on 23 May, 2014 at a Lagos High Court.
The marriage is blessed with two children.
Her Net Worth
Ufuoma Mcdermott is a big name in the Nigerian entertainment industry, rated one of the richest and most influential with a net worth of about $700,000 dollars.