HomeBiographyOnyeka Onwenu Biography: Age, Career, Husband, Family & Net Worth

Onyeka Onwenu Biography: Age, Career, Husband, Family & Net Worth

Onyeka Onwenu was born on 31 January 1952, she is a talented Nigerian singer/songwriter, actress, human right activist, social activist, journalist, politician, and former X Factor series judge. 

Dubbed the “Elegant Stallion” by the Nigerian press, she is a former chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture.

In 2013 Onyeka Onwenu was appointed the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Women Development.

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Early Life

Onyeka Onwenu was born on 31 January 1952, Onyeka Onwenu hails from Arondizuogu, a small town in Ideato North, Imo State, and was raised in Port Harcourt. 

Onyeka Onwenu is the youngest daughter of Nigerian educationist and politician D. K. Onwenu. 

Onyeka Onwenu’s father died when she was four years old in an autocrash a week before his appointment as Minister for Education.

Career

Onwenu made an impact as a newsreader and reporter. In 1984, she wrote and presented the internationally acclaimed BBC/NTA documentary Nigeria.

A Squandering of Riches which became the definitive film about corruption in Nigeria as well as the intractable Niger Delta agitation for resource control and campaign against environmental degradation in the oil rich region of Nigeria.

A former member on the board of the NTA, she has also worked as a TV presenter, hosting the shows Contact (1988) and Who’s On? (1993) both on NTA Network.

Originally a secular artist, Onyeka Onwenu made the transition to gospel music in the 90s, and most of her songs are self-penned. 

Onyeka Onwenu continues to write and sing about issues such as health (HIV/AIDS), peace and mutual coexistence, respect for women rights, and the plight of children. 

Onyeka Onwenu began her music career in 1981 while still working with the NTA, releasing the album For the Love of You, a pop album which featured an orchestral cover of Johnny Nash “Hold Me Tight”, and her second album Endless Life was produced by Sonny Okosun. Both records were released on the EMI label.

Onyeka Onwenu’s first album with Polygram, In The Morning Light, was released in 1984. 

Recorded in London, it featured the track “Masterplan” written by close friend Tyna Onwudiwe who had previously contributed to Onwenu’s BBC documentary and subsequently sang back-up vocals on the album. 

After her fourth release, 1986’s One Love which contained an updated version of the song “(In the) Morning Light, Onyeka Onwenu collaborated with veteran jùjú artist Sunny Ade on the track “Madawolohun (Let Them Say)” which appeared in 1988’s Dancing In The Sun. 

This was the first of three songs the pair worked on together; the other two – “Choices” and “Wait For Me” – centred on family planning, and were endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria who used “Choices” in their PSA.

Onyeka Onwenu’s final release on Polygram was dedicated to Winnie Mandela, the subject of a song of the same name which Onwenu performed live when Nelson Mandela and his wife visited Nigeria in 1990 following his release from prison.

Onyeka Onwenu diverted to Benson and Hedges Music in 1992 and released the self-titled Onyeka!, her only album with the label, after which she made the transition to Christian/gospel music. 

Her latest collection, “Inspiration for Change,” focused on the need for an attitudinal change in Nigeria.

She is in partnership with Paris-based La Cave Musik, headed by a Nigerian cultural entrepreneur, Onyeka Nwelue and a UK-based Jungle Entertainment Ventures, headed by musicologist David Evans-Uhegbu. 

La Cave Musik is set to release her collection titled “Rebirth of a Legend”. In recognition of her contribution to music and arts in Nigeria, she has been celebrated by professionals like Mahmood Ali-Balogun, Laolu Akins, Charles O’Tudor, and former PMAN president Tony Okoroji among others in the arts industry in Nigeria.

In 2013, Onyeka Onwenu served as one of the three judges on X Factor Nigeria.

Education

Onyeka Onwenu possesses a BA in International Relations and Communication from Wellesley College, Massachusetts, and an MA in Media Studies from The New School for Social Research, New York.

Onyeka Onwenu worked for the United Nations as a tour guide before returning to Nigeria in 1980 to complete her mandatory one-year national service with the NTA.

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Songs

  • Iyogogo
  • Odenigbo
  • African Woman (Izunwanne)
  • Chibuzor
  • Mama Peace
  • Living Music
  • One Love (feat. Onyeka Onwenu)
  • Ochie Dike (Mama) [feat. Onyeka Onwenu]
  • You and I
  • Alleluya
  • African Woman
  • Egwu Ekene
  • Turmi
  • My World
  • Renewed
  • Mama Africa
  • Bia Nulu
  • Am The One
  • Help
  • Forever
  • Gbemi Leke
  • Dancing in the Sun
  • Keredim
  • Odenigbo
  • Ogo
  • Oh Brother
  • In The Morning Light
  • Greatest Love
  • Falling in Love
  • Change
  • My Everything God
  • How Do I
  • Onye Bu Nwanne
  • Peace Song
  • Nso Nso
  • One Nation
  • Gaba Niru
  • Ko Si
  • Just Because
  • I Am Blessed
  • Oh Woman
  • Hallelujah
  • My Fathers Child
  • African Woman (Izunwanne)
  • Renewed II
  • Wait for me
  • Holy, Holy
  • Onyeka Onwenu
  • I’m The One

Net Worth

Onyeka Onwenu is a talented Nigerian singer/songwriter, actress, human right activist, social activist, journalist, politician, and former X Factor series judge. She has an estimated net worth of $700,000.

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