In a world where women are limited in several ways, Kate Henshaw continues to defy all odds. She makes everything she ventures into seem effortless. Even though she has had her own fair share of setbacks, she does not allow that deter her from pushing forward.

Kate Henshaw recently celebrated her 49th birthday and she sure doesn’t look it. Not only has she been able to retain her good looks, but she is also really physically fit. One can attribute this to her love and commitment to her fitness routine.

A good start

Kate Henshaw is popularly known as a multi-award-winning actor who has made an appearance in over 70 movies. She made impressive appearances in Chief Daddy, New Money, and 4th republic. She is, however, a multifaceted woman with several engagements including politics, business, philanthropy and even being a mother. 

Kate has done so excellently well as an actress in the Nollywood industry for over two decades that it is almost unbelievable that she was originally a health practitioner. Before she ventured fully into acting, she had a job at the Bauchi State General Hospital. She graduated from Lagos University Teaching Hospital as a Medical Microbiologist.

Nevertheless, her interests in the arts and entertainment industry led her to modelling and eventually acting. She made her acting debut with the 1993 movie titled “When The Sun Sets”. Other cast members in the movie included Bob Manuel, Kanayo O Kanayo, and the now-deceased Funmi Martins. This was her big break in the Nollywood industry as it led to many more parts in movies.

Kate Henshaw
Kate Henshaw: Photo by By Kaizenify – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Awards

Kate’s performance in “When The Sun Sets” was so brilliant that she got a THEMA award in 1996. Her fame started rising and her consistent performances led to many more awards. She won Best Actress at the 2008 African Movie Academy Award for her performance in 2007 “Stronger Than Pain”. In 2015 she won a Zulu African Film Academy Award. She also recently won the award of the best actress in a supporting role at the 2020 Rapid Lion award for her performance in the 2019 movie “The Ghost and The House of Truth”. 

In 2011, Kate joined the list of entertainers to be honoured by the Nigerian Government as the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic. The award was for her great contributions to the entertainment industry and the nation as a whole. She is also a recipient of the lifetime achievement award for the best-accomplished actress in Nigeria.

Entrepreneur

Kate’s successes are not limited to her acting career as she also has thriving business interests. She is an entrepreneur who makes smart investments. She currently owns a company that invests in different kinds of businesses. It is safe to say she puts her money to good use.

Politics

Kate pursued her interest in politics in 2014 and ran to represent her constituency in the Cross River house of assembly. She ran under the banner of the People Democratic Party but lost at the primary elections despite being a beloved candidate of the people. She was later appointed as the special adviser to the Cross River Governor, Benedict Ayade, the following year.

On her loss, she identified that one of the major setbacks was her gender. She stated that politics was mainly about money and connections. Good intentions did not guarantee the support she would have if she were a man. She also mentioned she will not be running again as she has spent a lot of her hard-earned money the first time. She related her ordeals and challenges during her political race in a documentary titled “My Nigeria-Kate Henshaw: Playing a part”.

This documentary later spurred a rumour about an electoral bribery scandal. The news went around after a video of her handing money to an electoral staff was shown on Aljazeera. She received quite a lot of backlash but was later vindicated when it became clear that it was simply an excerpt from her documentary. 

Kate Henshaw, The Humanitarian

Moving on from politics, Kate continues to do philanthropic works. She helps raise funds for underprivileged Nigerians with severe health issues. She is an ambassador for Action Aid Nigeria and has also been associated with several other Non-profit Organizations including ProjectAlert and Metro Woman Empowerment Foundation. Kate often engages in public speaking and has spoken on different platforms including TEDx. She is always willing to share in her pool of knowledge and continually advises youngsters to be the best versions of themselves.

Kate is known to be outspoken and blunt. She has used her influence to call out several societal issues regardless of the reaction she might receive. One of the many topics she was very vocal about was that of mothers using bleaching cream on their young kids. She is an active believer in human rights and she has constantly expressed this via social media.

Kate has undoubtedly become one of the most influential actresses in Nigeria. Consequently, she has multiple endorsements with both international and local organizations including Samsung, Onga, and Globacom Limited. She has been a judge for “Nigeria’s Got Talent” for years and was also selected among the 50 judges for “The World’s Best”, an international reality show. She has been listed among the highest-paid and subsequently one of the richest actresses in Nigeria.

It Must Have Been Love

Like many actors, Kate has also been a subject of a controversial relationship scandal. The actress had married Rod Nuttall in 2000 and both have a daughter together named Gabrielle. However, after 12 years of marriage, both announced their separation. Rumours started that the marriage ended as a result of infidelity. Some of the rumours had pressed that Kate had cheated on her husband with several well-known personalities. Others reported Rod had cheated on Kate with his secretary namely Angela Gordon.

Kate had denied all allegations, stating she only maintained a working relationship with these men. Rod, on the other hand, never made a statement. This led to several investigations that led the public to believe Kate may have been the victim in the whole hullabaloo. The actress has since not been linked romantically with anyone. She remains a good mother to her daughter whose life remains private.

A Fighter

All things considered, it clearly has not been a bed of roses for this talented Calabar-born actor. Kate Henshaw continues to strive in the face of adversity. As she once stated; “While there is breath in us, we keep pushing, keep giving our best. The wheels may turn slowly, but they surely turn. Keep your head up.”. It would seem she truly lives by these words as she continues to push relentlessly. A motivation for youngsters. Her talent may have gotten her recognition, but her hard work and resilience kept her at the top. 


Greyscale photo by @tybello

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