Gracing the Nollywood screens, Stephanie Okereke’s professional career took flight in 1997. Compromise 2 and Waterloo were Okereke’s first two debut films within the industry..
Starting from the beginning, Okereke has been a family woman. Raised by her mother and father, Mary and Chima Okereke, she is one of eight children. Okereke was born in Ngor Okpala in Nigeria and attended primary and secondary school in Delta State, Nigeria. Okereke then went on to pursue a degree in English and Literary studies.
She was always the center of entertainment for her family. It was only fitting that she eventually ended up on the big screen.
But, life has not always been picture-perfect for Okereke. The year 2005 dealt Okereke a tough hand.
Okereke on her way to the Africa Movie Academy Awards when she was involved in a fatal car accident, leaving her face and body burned and one leg broken, a near death experience for the famed Nollywood actress.
A tanker with faulty brakes swerved and hit her car, causing an instant explosion of plumes of fire.
Being strong in her faith, Okereke believes that it was by the grace of God that she is alive today.
“The accident was like a movie to me. I thought I would wake up and see that it was a film. But I realized that it was real. This prompted me to ask God if this was the end. But God told me it was the beginning. This was when I had the strength,” Okereke told several news outlets.
Okereke’s faith is what inspired her to fight through the pain.
“The accident has drawn me closer to God. I have learnt to take life easy and not to be too much in a hurry. My survival was not because I am an actress it was God’s favour,” Okereke stated.
In the quick moments where survival was all that was on her mind, Okereke was not thinking about the future of her career, but merely making it through until the next day.
“I said to the doctor, ‘are you going to cut off my leg?’ ‘No, no don’t worry, nothing is going to happen to you,’ he said.”
Although, her patience with her faith was continually tested as the next few years yielded a second, third and fourth surgery on her leg.
“Are you for real, God,” Okereke questioned.
The road of recovery for Okereke was intensive, but speedy. The life she had ahead of her was sweet.
In 2007, Okereke released Through the Glass, a film in which she was a scriptwriter, director, producer and actress.
Okereke had more success come her way in 2009 when the film was nominated for an Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Screenplay. Although the film did not win, the recognition seemed to exemplify her personal perseverance.
As 2012 rolled in, Okereke tied the knot with Linus Idahosa. The Okereke- Idahosa wedding was nothing shy of lavish.
The happy couple shared their special moments embraced by the romance of the Parisian surroundings.
Behind the lens of camera is where you begin to see the strength that comes from who Stephanie Okereke is. Her faith in God, determination and positive outlook on life will continue to propel her through her career.