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Stephanie Linus (Stephanie Okereke-Linus)

Encyclopedia » Biography » Actors/Actresses

A Classic Lady in Black, Stephanie Okereke-Linus is the quintessential example of elegant Nollywood femininity, she is nobility in the Entertainment industry and one of the few actresses who while being part of the old guard has found a strong role in the new Nollywood.

Welcome to Logbaby’s biography of Stephanie Linus.


Name: Stephanie Onyekachi Linus (nee Okereke)

Stage or nickname: Stephanie Okereke-Linus

Date of birth: February 5, 1980

Relationship Status: Married with a Son

Medium: Feature Film

State & Ethnicity: Igbo, Imo State


Stephanie Linus (nee Stephanie Onyekachi Okereke) is an A level Award winning Nigerian Actress, Director and Social Activist. She was born on October 2nd 1980. Prior to an illustrious film career, she was also the runner up for the 2002 Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria beauty pageant. She holds Nigeria’s prestigious national honour of MFR (Member of the Order of the Federal Republic). She holds a degree in English and Literary Studies from the University of Calabar, in Cross River State.

Recieving her MFR Award from Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan


Early Life:  

Stephanie was born in Benin City, Edo State but ancestrally she hails from Ngor, Okpala, Imo State. She is the 6th of 8 children born to Mary and Chima Okereke. She had a well travelled childhood, while hailing from Imo State, she had her primary and secondary education in Delta State and her university education in Cross River.


Acting Begins:

Growing up Stephanie entertained her family. In 1997 as a teen Stephanie starred in Compromise 2 and Waterloo. Right after she continued her studies at the University of Calabar, by 2002 she participated in the Most beautiful girl in Nigeria beauty pageant, coming in 2nd and adding to her national profile. Also in 2002, she became a major factor in the Nigerian movie industry for her beautiful performance in “Emotional Crack”, a film which earned eight awards and was eventually screened at the 2004 African Film Festival in New York.

From there on out it has been film after film, gracing the screen in some of the most popular movies in the early days of Nollywood.

Her Film Career:

Steaphanie Okereke-Linus as Dr Zara in the movie Dry.


She started acting professionally in 1997 and by 2003 she won two awards, in eight nominations at the Reel Awards and was already a star in over 10 movies.

In April 2005, while attending the African Movie Academy Awards in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, She was involved in a major car wreak in which her car caught fire and she suffered severe burns that could have cost her, her career. In passionate defiance she recovered quickly and immediately got back to acting.

Many see this incident as instruments to stirring up her engagement in activism.

In the midst of an illustrious career she enrolled in the New York Film Academy at Universal Studios, in Los Angeles, graduating in 2007.

After this training she produced a Nollywood/Hollywood feature, called ‘Through the Glass’, which premiered in October 2008 and won a Recognition Award from the California State Legislature and the City of Carson. It also secured a market screening at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival in France.

In 2010, Stephanie joined forces with DEL-YORK International (her husband’s media company) in bringing the prestigious New York Film Academy (NYFA) into Nigeria for a one-month workshop training young Nigerian filmmakers.

In 2014, she produced, Dry which won many awards including an Africa Movie Academy Awards and an Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards where she won the coveted best movie award. In dry she also played the numeral rolls of writer, director, actress and producer. This movie also tallied closely with her activism as it dealt with the issue of Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) and the challenges for child brides in Nigeria.

Okereke has starred in over 100 movies. Within the industry she is known for her tenacity, grace and natural acting abilities. For the viewing public, she comes across as honest, her beauty is distinct and unparalleled and her height and status capture the reverences of many male fans and the admiration and envy of female fans.




In 2010 She was featured in the CNN documentary – 50 years of Nigerian Independence and performed with Meryl Streep at a VIP stage reading of the play ‘SEVEN’ in New York as part of the Women in the World Conference, opened by then US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

In 2015 she was named ambassador for the Fight Against Violence on Women in Elections (VAWIE), an award championed by NDI and USAID.



Film Awards





Reel Award

Best Actress


Reel Award

Best Actress “English”


Afro Hollywood Award

Best Actress


Miriam Makeba

Award for Excellence in 2007


Montage Africa Women of Excellence Awards

Achievement In drama and entertainment


African Movies Academy Awards

Best Nigerian Film (Dry)


African Magic Viewers Choice Award

Best Overall Movie (Africa)


Pan African Film Festival

Programmers' Award Narrative Feature

Other Awards





Beyond the Tears Humanitarian Award

For her work against rape and Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF).


Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Member of the Order of the Federal Republic, MFR


Personal Life:

In 2004 Stephanie married former Super Eagles football player Chikelue Iloenyosi, a marriage which was later annulled by a Lagos high court in 2012. In her submissions to the court Stephanie levelled accusations of bigamy, infidelity, and fraud against Iloenyosi, claiming that at the time they got married, Chikelue was legally married to another woman in the United States of America. Till date, Illoenyosi denies the allegation of bigamy. Prior to this legal end to the marriage, Stephanie was already out of the matrimonial home in January of 2007. She claimed at the time that she was confronted by Iloenyosi’s alleged first wife (an Ijeoma Mba) as well as other women with whom he was allegedly having illicit affairs.

In April 2012 she married Linus Idahosa a Media Consultant. The wedding was lavishly held in a private ceremony in Paris, France. In attendance were 200 guests including family, friends and fellow Nollywood comrades like Genevieve Nnaji, Paul Obazele, Susan Peters, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Evang.Liz Benson, Lilian Bach, Monalisa Chinda, Emem Isong Ini Edo among others. Other special guests included Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta – Kingsley Kuku; Prince & Mrs Tonye Princewill, Minister for Aviation - Mrs. Stella Oduah, Osmoserve Chairman – Scott Tommey, Col. Mohammed Umar, Dame Toru Ofili, Group MD of UBA - Phillip Oduoza and many others.

The extragavance included a reception hosted by Frank Edoho of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Nigeria).

Stephanie Okereke-Linus at her wedding with Genevieve Nnaji and Kanayo O Kanayo


She has a son Maxwell Enosata Linus who was born in October 2015.

In an August 2016 interview with the Huffington Post (USA) she says of her hobbies and passions “I’m a deep lover of my country... Over the years, my love of acting has grown into other interests, such as filmmaking, with a strong desire to use my platform in order to drive positive change.

I love spending time with family and friends; I love travelling, discovering, and experiencing new things. I love cooking delicious meals, and I’m a sucker for a good fragrance. I have very little tolerance for mediocrity.”


Contacts/social media:






Updated 3 Years ago

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