Genevievie Nnaji: Mental health, public absence – recent controversies trailing Nollywood Queen

Genevieve Nnaji is a famous Nollywood actress, singer, model and entrepreneur. Genny as she is fondly called is also popularly referred to as the Julia Roberts of Africa. The thespian who is a screen goddess was born on 3rd May, 1979 in Mbaise, Imo State and grew up in Yaba, Lagos State, Nigeria. She is currently 43 years old.

Genevieve Nnaji

Growing Up

Genevieve Nnaji is the fourth child among eight children. She completed her primary school education in Yaba, Lagos State, Nigeria and obtained her First School Leaving Certificate.

After completing her primary school education, Genevieve Nnaji attended Methodist Girls College Yaba in Lagos State, Nigeria and obtained her West African Senior School Certificate. As a kid her dream was to become an actress which later became a reality.

While still in secondary school she was actively involved in drama, stage play and performing arts. After completing her secondary school education, Genevieve Nnaji proceeded to the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts. While still in the university as an undergraduate Genevieve Nnaji began auditioning for acting jobs in Nollywood movies.

Genevieve Nnaji


She started her acting career as a child actress in the then popular television soap opera “Ripples” at the age of 8 years old.

In 1998, she joined the Nigerian movie industry popularly known as Nollywood professionally and started acting in movies professionally at the age of 19. Her first movie is titled “Most Wanted”, an action thriller movie in which she acted alongside Ibinabo Fiberesima and Regina Askia in 1998. That was only the starting point for Genevieve who quickly carved a niche for herself and became many’s favorite.

She has since starred in over 200 Nollywood movies. Some of the movies she has acted include Most Wanted, Ijé, Last Party, Ijele, Mark of the Beast, Blood Sisters, Iron Heart, True Love, and many more.

In 2018, her movie Lion Heart was featured on Netflix. It became the first movie from African descent to appear on Netflix. The movie was sold at a whopping sum of 1.4 billion Naira ($4 million).

Genevieve Nnaji asides acting, is an entrepreneur, film producer and a serial investor. In 2008 she launched a clothing line popularly known as “St. Genevieve” in Lekki Phase 1 of Lagos State. She also has other brands like Genevieve Nnaji supermarket and salon in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria and donates income from her businesses to charity. She is considered the best paid actress in Nollywood as well as the most richest actress in Nigeria.

Mental Health

Genevieve has always been one who enjoys keeping a low profile, a feat she has been able to uphold successfully for many years. The actress has been a walking example of ‘top-of-her-game yet still lying low’.
However, since the beginning of the year, there have been rumours making the round that Genevieve Nnaji is struggling with a mental issue.

In January 2022, the thespian unfollowed everyone on her Instagram page. The move sparked reactions from her fans who wondered what went wrong but in March 2022, speculations highlighted as Genevieve began to drop cryptic and worrisome posts on her social media platform. She began making posts on her Instagram stories, urging Nigerians to move closer to God. Genny also claimed “mental health is more spiritual than physical”.

The dark-skinned mother-of-one on the 17th of March, made another disturbing post which was a video of the Quran, a praying mat and a grave. The post stated that ‘every soul will taste death’.

To cap it all, on May 3, 2022 when the actress clocked 43, she didn’t make a single post about it, which is quite unusual. Celebrating her birthday ‘in silence’ raised eyebrows and different theories were made by her fans who expressed worry that all is not well with Genevieve.

Public Absence – Recent Controversies

On April 20, 2022 Genevieve Nnaji (among other actresses) was called out for being absent from her friend and colleague, Rita Dominic’s wedding. Genny was also dragged for not acknowledging nor celebrating Rita which also sparked rumours that something was off with the actress.

On May 3, 2022 Genny also did not acknowledge her birthday which is unlike her. Her fans however took to her Instagram page to comment on old photos of her, praying for her to be healthy.

On May 9, 2022, the Nollywood diva deleted all her photos on her Instagram page without leaving a single one. There were speculations from a fellow actor, Uche Maduagwu that Genny was told by her lover to stay off social media and she agreed.

Recall on January 17 , 2022 it was discovered she had unfollowed everyone she was earlier following on Instagram.

On Tuesday, May 10, 2022, a popular blog, Gistlover alleged that the actress is suffering from a mental issue and has been seeking treatment in Houston, Texas.

The actress was allegedly admitted for psychosis in a hospital in Texas, which name was withheld for privacy purpose.

Gistlover claimed that the actress had a mental breakdown and had tattooed a cross on her body with a blade. According to the blog, her team members are trying to hide the news and were responsible for deleting all her Instagram posts. This single post made by the blog has sent social media into a fit, with many not sure of how to react.A certain US-based Nurse with the username Silfeese confirmed the rumor of Geneveive Nnaji battling a mental breakdown. The nurse claimed she was in the know for 3months but couldn’t say anything about it because she feels for Genevieve.

Genevieve Nnaji


Genevieve Nnaji is known to be a Christian but due to recent posts, she has left many confused about her religion. The actress has made conflicting posts both supporting Christianity and Islam.

She once asked her fans to rededicate their lives to God and get baptized and a few weeks apart, Genny made a post showing a Quran, praying mat and a grave.

Genevieve’s Daughter

Despite numerous rumours surrounding her personal life, Genevieve has managed to maintain her privacy.

She however has a grown up daughter who is already married. Genny had her daughter out of wedlock when she was just 17 years old. She was reportedly put in the family way by a guy she met during her secondary school days at Methodist High School Yaba, Lagos, who impregnated her and ran away. She single-handedly took care of her daughter and nurtured her till she became a full grown woman and now her look-alike daughter is married with a child.

Genevieve and her daughter


To many, Genevieve’s love life is shrouded in complete secrecy, yet she has been romantically linked with top  profile entertainers. 

Firstly, she was rumoured to have dated D’banj, shortly after the latter featured her in the music video of his Fall in Love song. But the Kokomaster later denied dating the actress, saying “I never had a crush on Genevieve.”

Asides D’banj, she was also romantically linked with Ramsey Nouah. Some years ago, it was rumoured that she lost her chance of getting married because her secret lover had called off their wedding which was billed to hold in Milan, Italy. He was said to have proposed to her around the time she was seen flaunting an engagement ring on her Instagram page.

But debunking the rumour in an interview, Genevieve said, “I am still single and I’ll get married but I would only make up my mind as soon as possible.”

Another rumour had it that the actress planned to marry Alhaji Ishaya Bako who directed her film, Road to Yesterday. The Imo state-born actress was said to have met Bako after she moved to Abuja from her Lagos Island base. They’ve worked on quite a number of projects together, including the critically acclaimed movie, ‘Road To Yesterday.’

Also, top musicians at one time or the other have openly confessed that they love Genevieve, with some going ahead to use her name to sing. Recall that when Patoranking released his wave making song, ‘My Woman, My Everything’, Genevieve’s picture was one of the first things he posted on Instagram to promote the song. His action was quickly translated to mean that he has the hots for the screen gem, and he hasn’t come out to deny that since then.

Besides, Banky W also once confessed that “I had a big crush on her at one point but now, we are really cool friends.”


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