Stephanie Okereke – a successful crossover?

Nollywood A-list Actress Stephanie Okereke was at the Cannes festival May 12 – May 23 for the screening of her film Through the Glass, made possible by a partnership between Stephanie’s production company Next Page Productions and ID communications Canada.

Stephanie, said to be the Angelina Jolie of Nigeria, seems set for a successful crossover to Hollywood and could be the link between the two film industries.

Through the Glass was screened to a very diverse audience on Monday, May 17th, giving a very international promotion to the ever growing Nollywood industry and one of its goals to reach a western audience.

Earlier this year, Stephanie joined Meryl Streep, Marcia Gay Harden, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Archie Panjabi, Julyana Soelistyo and Lauren Vélez for the Women in the World summit in New York. It was an extraordinary three-day session in which some of the most powerful women on the planet met to discuss global challenges and propose solutions, in a stirring call to arms. Co-hosted by The Daily Beast, Vital Voices Global Partnership, Diane von Furstenberg, and the UN Foundation and attended by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton among others, the event took place at The Hudson Theatre, Millennium Broadway Hotel. 145 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036. With over 350 global leaders in attendance, the event was a great success.

Stephanie was one of the seven acclaimed actors that dramatized the issues highlighted in the play Seven: a documentary play that tells the inspiring personal stories of women from seven countries, created by seven accomplished playwrights and inspired by conversations hosted by Vital Voices.

Stephanie read the role of Hafsat Abiola, human-rights activist and founder of Kudirat Initiative for Democracy. Meryl Streep read the role of Irish activist Inez McCormack (who, along with the other women whose stories are featured in the play, was at the summit). The other gifted actresses who be participated in the play were Marcia Gay Harden (Pollack), Lauren Vélez (Dexter), Shohreh Aghdashloo (The House of Sand and Fog), Tony-nominated Julyana Soelistyo (Golden Child) and Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife).

Stephanie Okereke entered the Nollywood scene in 1997 as a student at the University of Calabar. After graduating, her thirst for an acting career propelled her into Nollywood fulltime. Stephanie made her mark with the movie Emotional Crack which premiered at the African Film festival in April 2004. With Over 90 films to her name, Stephanie is continually building her brand in the movie industry. A recent graduate of the New York Film Academy, Stephanie has expanded her title to include director, producer and writer with the introduction of her latest movie: Through the Glass.

Since Stephanie’s marriage to former Super Eagles player husband, Chikelue Iloenyosi crashed two years ago; she has not been romantically linked to any other man, until recently when news of her alleged relationship to an emerging big boy broke.The latest about her right now is her sizzling relationship with Linus Idahosa, with whom she has been spotted at major events. Linus is a CNN Media Consultant and the MD of Del-York International, a media and marketing communications company that offers services that range from advertising, firm, production, events planning, to digital designs and broadcast communication.

Their alleged love affair, sources say , started after the accident the actress had few years ago on her way to Bayelsa State to attend the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) where she sustained injuries. Linus who read about her predicament in the newspaper promptly came to her rescue. After she was treated in a hospital in Port-Harcourt, Stephanie was flown abroad for proper treatment. Though, she was given a huge support by her state government, Linus was always very supportive of her during that trying period.

According to sources, one of the qualities Stephanie likes about this man, apart from his dashing looks, is his well-mannered attitude. He is very calm and has a sense of focus. Apart from stepping out together at some events, Stephanie also plays a key role in the guy’s business. She served as the Executive Director of one of his companies. Del- York.

The company which is now focused on revolutionizing the film making industry via some training has Stephanie also bringing in her acting expertise forward. She is a big fulcrum of support to her man Linus. One of Stephanie’s close friends who spoke to our source in her defence claimed that the relationship between the actress and Linus is purely a working one. Talk is however rife within the industry that the duo share more than a working relationship.

(onlineNigeria adapted)

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