Stephanie Onyekachi Okereke (born 2 October 1982) is a Nigerian actress, film director and model. She has received several awards and nominations for her work as an actress, including the 2003 Reel Award for Best Actress, the 2006 Afro Hollywood Award for Best Actress, and three nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2005, 2009 and 2010. She was also the runner up for the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria beauty pageant of 2002.
Stephanie Okereke was born in Imo State, Nigeria. She is the sixth child of eight children. She completed her primary & secondary school in Delta State before heading to the University of Calabar, where she graduated with a degree in English and Literary Studies.
Already during her teenage years in 1997 she starred in two Nollywood movies, Compromise 2 and Waterloo. During the 2002 Most beautiful girl in Nigeria beauty pageant Okereke reached 2nd place. A year later in 2003, Okereke received two awards at the 2003 Reel Awards for ‘Best Actress – English’ and ‘Best Actress of the year 2003’. After graduating from the New York Film Academy in 2007, Okereke released the movie Through the Glass in which she served as director, scriptwriter, producer and actress. The film received an African Movie Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay in 2009. Okereke has starred in over 90 movies.
Okereke was married (2004-2007) to a former Super Eagles football player Chikelue Iloenyosi, a marriage which a high court in Lagos in 2012 has declared null and void, because at the time they got married, Chikelue was already legally married to another woman in the US.
In April 2005, on her way to the African Movie Academy Awards held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria, Okereke was involved in a serious car accident that left her with burns all over and a broken leg. She recovered speedily from the accident and went back to acting.
In April 2012 Okereke married Linus Idahosa in Paris, France, at a private wedding ceremony that was attended by members of her family and scores of Nollywood actresses and actors.
Awards and nominations
2002: Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, Runner up
2003: What a Year Award for Best Actress
2003: Reel Award for Best Actress – English & Best Actress of the year
2004: Afro-Dublin Award, for Outstanding Actress
2004: Film Makers of Nigeria, Award For Excellence
2005: African Movie Academy Award, Best Actress in a Leading Role – nomination
2006: Afro Hollywood Award for Best Actress
2009: African Movie Academy Award, Best Actress in a Leading Role – nomination
2010: African Movie Academy Award, Best Actress in a Leading Role – nomination