IgbereTV captured a throwback photo of Nigerian singer, songwriter, actress, civil servant and journalist, Onyeka Onwenu at Wesley College, Massachusetts, USA, 1975, at the age of 23.
Onyeka Onwenu was born on 17 May 1952. She is from Arondizuogu, a small town in Ideato, North Local Government Area of Imo State in the south eastern part of Nigeria. She is the youngest daughter of the Nigerian educationist and politician D.K. Onwenu. Her father died when she was four years old in an autocrash.
Raised and cratered for by her mother, she studied abroad, bagging a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Communication at the Wellesley College of Massachusetts, USA, and a master’s degree in Media Studies from The New School for Social Research in New York..
Onyeka Onwenu’s music career began in 1981 with the release of ‘For the Love of You’ and ‘Endless Life’ which was produced by Sunny Okosun in 1982, ‘The Morning Light’ in 1984, ‘One Love’ in 1986 and ‘Dancing In The Sun’ in 1988. She stands out as the only musician to have crossed Pop with Juju music and Highlife, and still produce ‘eargasmic’ sounds. Her songs like her writing advocate for unity and cultural cohabitation as well as picking on social issues, issues relating to health and women rights as well as the plight of children.
She emerged into the movie scene in 1999 with the movie ‘Not Your Wealth’ and has since then been debuted in over 100 Nollywood movies including, ‘Conspiracy’ in 1999, ‘Different Worlds’ in 2006 and in Chimamanda’s Half of a Yellow Sun which featured Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton in 2014. In recognition of her contribution to music, movies 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.
She was the former chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture and currently the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Women Development.