How Microbiologist Turned Herself Into Highest Paid African Actress

The goal wasn’t to be a millionaire or to be a star. That was not the goal. The goal was to find a goal… Of course that sounds rather corny, well, because it is James Earl Jones’s line, all the way from Hollywood. However, it excellently sketches the life of Kate Henshaw, Africa’s richest actress whom I would like to talk about today. Like Jones, she was young, industrious and looking for a purpose in life, because being a medical practitioner was not her calling anyway. In her twenties, all Kate had, was her will – to go after her heart’s desire somewhere yonder. Luckily she knew just where to go.

The Lucky Break                                                                                 

When an opportunity showed itself at her doorstep, Kate didn’t think twice; she quickly abandoned her job as a Microbiologist and applied for an auditioning. In 1993, she was invited for the audition where she was accepted and invited back for a role in a movie called When the Sun Sets. This happened to be her very first role in a Nollywood movie which opened door for a rather successful Nigerian Movie career. To this day, she has not only been involved in a series of Nigerian Movies, even unto the household name she’s become in Africa, Kate is, in fact, reputed to be the richest , highest paid , and successful actress in Africa. Her income comes from her numerous endorsement deals with some reputable and big companies and movie earnings. Kate Henshaw net worth is N67 Million Naira. She owns several buildings both in her hometown and other cities in Nigeria, businesses and a fleet of cars.

Kate Henshaw

Who Is Kate Henshaw

Kate Henshaw today, is a very popular Nigerian actress who has been in the movie industry for quite a very long time; she is a multi award winning actress with a massive fan base. She shows mostly in Nollywood home videos and soap operas. She is an actress with various endorsements.

But besides television, film acting upon which she has starred in over 40 Nigerian films, Kate Henshaw is also an activist, and most recently she ventured into politics.

In August 2015 she had announced that she would be running for a seat in Nigeria’s House of Representatives. Apparently because she wanted to change the way her hometown of Calabar in Southern Nigeria was represented in the House of Representatives, however, sadly she failed in the PDP Primary Election.

Early life of Kate Henshaw

kate (1)

Kate Henshaw, also known as Kate Henshaw-Nuttal was born on the July 19th, 1971in Calabar, Cross River State of Nigeria, to the family of four being the eldest of her siblings. She spent her early years of life in Lagos, Lagos State where she attended primary school education but later traveled back to Calabar, Cross River State where she attended her Secondary school education. She spent a year in University of Calabar [UNICAL] where she did her remedial studies before proceeding to University of Lagos where she read Microbiology at the School of Medical Lab science, Lagos University Teaching Hospital [LUTH].  She later worked on Bauchi State General Hospital after graduation.


In 1993 Kate Henshaw joined the audition for a movie role, where she played the lead role in When The Sun Sets. This was her first appearance in a major Nigeria movie. Kate Henshaw has since acted in over 40 Nollywood movies.

Speaking about her early days, in an interview, Kate explains that:

“It’s just few years ago that I started doing it professionally; when I started it was just a case of trying to see what it will bring out for me. The late JT Tom West, I will always be grateful to him for taking me to my first audition. After my first movie, different people started coming with different jobs and I was like, Yeah…”

In 2008, she won her first major movie award – African Movie Academy Award as the ‘Best Actress in a Leading role’ through her role in a great Nollywood film – Stronger than Pain. As a result of her huge contribution in Nigerian Home Movie – Nollywood, she was appointed alongside Dan Foster and Yibo Koko as the judges in Nigeria’s Got Talent, a Nigerian Reality Talent Show which is part of the Got Talent franchise. It was launched in 2012 on television stations AIT and NTA.

Kate Henshaw is a ‘hard woman’ in most of her movies and has been known to portray mostly the roles of an ‘iron lady’. One of the movies in ‘Stronger than Pain’, one of her best movies where she acted as Eringa, an abusive wife to her husband who happen to be Nkem Owoh.

Her role is aided by her natural fitness, agility, and, of course, beauty.

Personal Life

kate henshaw.PNG

She was married to Roderick James Nuttal for 12 years before their mysterious split. Media reports all suspect that he cheated on her. They had one daughter together, Gabrielle Nuttal.

Kate Henshaw is nonetheless known to be a very charitable, kind and God-fearing person. Speaking on her divorce in an interview, she said;

“It’s God. He makes things beautiful in His own time. I have no time to be wallowing in self pity. It wasn’t working anymore. It’s good to leave, rather than continue to manage it and live in strife and rancor.”

Kate Henshaw indeed lives up to the mantra of Black Girls Rock!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s