Iniobong Edo Ekim popularly known as Ini Edo is a Nigerian actress with over 14 years of acting experience. She is a popular Nollywood face and has starred in over 100 films till date.
Ini is an indigene of Akwa Ibom State and she was born on April 19th, 1982. She is the second child out of four children. Her mother was a teacher and her father served as a church elder.
She revealed that she grew up in a strict a strict home in the midst of three siblings; three girls and one boy. Ini studied Theatre Arts at the University of Uyo where she earned a Diploma. She later studied English at the University of Calabar.In 2014 she got a scholarship to study law at National Open University of Nigeria.
Ini Edo’s sojourn into Nollywood began way back in 2000 while she was still in university. She got her first movie role during a school strike when she accompanied a friend of hers to an audition for a part in the movie, “Child of Destiny”. She always says that even though she earned a degree in Theatre Arts, she never really set out to go into acting. She initially wanted to go into law or become a television presenter. She has now appeared in over 100 movies since she started acting. Her first movie was done in 2003 and it was called ‘Thick Madam’ however her breakout role was in a 2004 film titled ‘World Apart’. In 2007 alone she featured in about 30 movies. Other films she has starred in include: ‘Games Women Play’, ‘Games Men Play’ and ‘Reloaded’.
Her father was not in full support of her acting when she first started out as he wanted her to complete her education first. She was also very young at the time.
Currently, Ini is one of the highest paid Nollywood actresses and she has also delved into movie production. She had a first stint as a producer in 2010 when she co-produced and starred in a film, ‘Memories of my Heart’ with Emem Isong.
CONTROVERSIAL MARRIAGE AND SEPARATION
In 2008, Ini Edo tied the knot with American-based Nigerian businessman Philip Ehiagwina. Her marriage was met with a lot of controversies as many claimed Iniobong stole her husband from his former wife, Ruth Okoro. The divorce between Philip and Ruth was messy and insultive words were traded between both parties. There were rumours in 2013 that the marriage was hitting the rocks as Ini was spotted at nightclubs in Lagos looking drunk and questionable. In 2014, she officially separated from Ehiagwina in a highly publicized breakup.
In January 2017, there were reports that she was allegedly dating oil magnate and CEO of Stanel Oil, Stanley Ugochukwu who was previously married as she was seen in Dubai with him on vacation.she however didnt comment on the allegations.
ENDORSEMENTS AND APPOINTMENTS
In 2013, she was announced as judge for the Miss Black Africa UK Pageant. Ini has always donated generously to charities and helped the less privileged and due to her philanthropic gestures, The United Nations appointed her as the United Nations Habitat Youth Envoy in 2011.
With quite a lot of mouth-watering endorsements with big brands like Glo Nigeria, Noble Hair, Chivita, Inec, Slim Tea and EKO Restoration Foundation, Ini Edo is definitely one of the richest and most sought after actress in Nollywood as she acquired a N70 million mansion in Lekki and drives a Brand New Mercedes G-wagon AMG G-65 which cost a whooping N38 million.
In 2016, Ini Edo was appointed The Special Assistant To The Akwa Ibom State Governor on Culture And Tourism, by Udom Gabriel Emmanuel in 2016 and is currently holding the office till date.
Best Of Nollywood Awards 2010 (Viewers Choice)
Golden Icons Academy Movie Award 2012 (Female Viewers Choice)
Ghana Movie Awards 2015 (Best Actress, African Collaboration)
Africa Movie Academy Awards 2015 (Best Actress Leading Role)
Nigeria Entertainment Awards 2016 (Best Actress TV Series)