Onyeka Onwenu is unarguably the foremost Nigerian Female Artiste. A graduate of the Wellesley College of Massachusetts, USA, where she obtained a B.A. in International Relations and Communications and The New School of Social Research in New York, from which she earned a Masters Degree in Media Studies. Ms Onwenu has written some of the most memorable songs in Nigeria’s entertainment industry history.
Dubbed the “Elegant Stallion” by the Nigerian Press, the multitalented Artiste is a Singer/Songwriter, Actress, Social Critic and Politician. She worked for many years at the United Nations in New York before returning to Nigeria in 1980, where she completed her National Service, at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), in Lagos.
In under one year at the NTA, Onyeka made an impact as an articulate, incisive and fearless Television Reporter. In 1984, she wrote and presented the internationally acclaimed BBC/NTA documentary called “Nigeria, A Squandering of Riches”. It became the definitive film about corruption in Nigeria as well as the intractable Niger Delta agitation for resource control and campaign against environmental degradation in the oil rich region of Nigeria.
But it was in 1981 that Onyeka took her first and mighty step towards music, with the release of her first album “Endless Life”, produced by Sunny Okosun. It was an instant success. Onyeka followed it up with “For the Love of You”, In the Morning Light, One Love, Dancing in the Sun, Onyeka, Greatest Love, My Everything God and the most recent, “The Legend”.
Also called the Queen of African Pop, Onyeka stands out as the only musician to have crossed Pop with Juju music and Highlife, seamlessly combining English and local languages to deliver “developmental” songs of great social value. In her “Dancing in the Sun” album is a duet with King Sunny Ade which was hailed for its innovativeness and freshness of idea. The reaction to “ Madawolohun (let them say)” was tremendous, Onyeka’s fan demanded for more. She responded with two more duets “wait for me” and “Choices”, written by Onyeka Onwenu and produced by Lemmy Jackson. Unlike Let them Say which was a love song, Wait for me and Choices carry strong social messages. The themes were family planning, sex and birth control – topics which were taboo in the Nigerian Society but very important for a healthy and virile Nation.
Onyeka continues to write and sing about such issues as Health (HIV/Aids), Peace and mutual coexistence, respect for women rights and the plight of children. Her latest effort titled “Inspiration for Change” centers on the need for an attitudinal turn around in Nigeria.
As a Politician, Ms Onwenu has succeeded, through her persistence and perseverance, to draw attention to corrupt practices at the Local Government. Her eight year quest to become the Chairman (Mayor) of her Local Government in Imo State Nigeria and subsequent efforts by entrenched interests Imo State who fear that her record of integrity and good work would expose them, have made the Local Government issue a national concern.
In recognition of her contributions in Nigerian Entertainment Industry as well as her commitment to address the issues of national concern through her works, Ms Onwenu has won numerous national and international awards. Most recently, she was bestowed with the “Nigerian Woman of Distinction” Award at the country’s 50th Independence Anniversary Celebration, by the First Lady of Nigeria, Her Excellency Dame Patience Jonathan.
Eryca Freemantle is a Qualified Paramedical & Camouflage Corrective Specialist with the British Association of Skin Care as well as an award winning celebrity and international make up artist, industry intelligence, consultant, educator, author, corrective make up specialist, trend setter, key note and motivational speaker.
Eryca sits on the board of Panel of Experts at London College of Fashion, one of the most prestigious establishments in the world. She is an ambassador for Mark your Mark and a member of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW). .The industry loves her glamorous approach to fashion, photography, beauty and corrective make up, she is an acclaimed specialist and is commended by her colleagues in the industry all over the world.
Eryca has been in the industry for over 25 years. Firstly as a model, then a make up artist, which later progressed into her being labelled as an international make up artist. Her career started by sheer accident; she was involved in a near fatal car accident causing over 200 scars to her face, loss of hair and a near amputation of her left leg. Her positive attitude towards life encouraged her determination to proceed and be successful. This motivated her to learn about corrective make-up techniques and application to camouflage her facial scars and blemishes. It was her motivation that gave her the courage to embrace her beauty and at a time of such low self esteem. She had to make and design her own make up, for herself, to disguise her scarred face. Eryca has researched the make up artist industry intensely, travelling the globe, looking at trends and predictions. Through her research she was able to identify that she had something unique and very much in demand to offer, slightly more than the average make up artist. She had specialist industry knowledge combined with traumatic experiences, which is why she is known as a “survivor.” Eryca recognised that there was and still is a niche in the market of make up artistry that has been neglected. The area of WOMAN from African, Asian Oriental, Arabic, Mediterranean, and European, which in her eyes is “the world”, is still untapped. Therefore, she has armed herself with the profound knowledge, educated herself technically and culturally to develop an understanding of this diverse target markets. Among her many accolades, Eryca is an industry intelligent consultant for renowned cosmetics and make-up brands worldwide. She also offers advice on technical information such as product contents, trends, predictions, colours and themes.
Her contribution to the African beauty industry would be her rich experience and diverse talent. She teaches women how not to fear make-up and establish relations between them and their make-up through a series of workshops with top establishments globally.
Keynote and Motivational Speaker
When looking for a keynote speaker that will stand out amongst the crowd, Eryca Freemantle is the woman for you. Getting the right keynote speaker can make or break an event. Eryca Freemantle is uplifting, inspirational and is an acclaimed leader in her field. Eryca is an internationally known Celebrity Make Up artist and works with individuals and organizations of a very high caliber. She can cater to once-off tailored presentations or be involved in bigger programs. She has worked with choice keynote speakers from around the world; and delivers in a form that is catered to your specific event. Her experience and expertise with in the Fashion, Beauty and Make Up industry expands over 25 years. Eryca motivates, encourages, unites and emotionally lifts people of all ages and genders. She has had to deal with some of the most horrific incidents including a fatal car accident and has experienced bullying from very early on in her life. Being told that she would not amount to much, she would fail and not succeed in life. Now an acclaimed make-up artist and Industry Expert she has an amazing and inspirational story to tell.
Eryca’s words of wisdom, experience and expertise, as touched and changed lives of many. Her Keynote speaking and motivational talks have taken her from UK and beyond.
Eryca’s words of wisdom, experience and expertise, have touched and changed lives of many. Her Keynote speaking and motivational talks have taken her from UK and beyond.
The British Association of Skin Camouflage
Eryca has completed a four-day training initiative with us during which time her make-up artistry skills and empathetic approach were put to good use when creating acceptable skin matches for all the patients she met during the traiming. Her sensitivity and vibrant personality meant that she worked alongside her peer trainees, specialist speakers and the BASC training team with ease. Eryca’s main goal is the same as ours – to help others who have an image that is not considered socially acceptable. We are, therefore, proud to be associated with Eryca and to accept her as a Graduate Member of the British Association of Skin Camouflage.
BASC Principal Tutor, 2010