When it comes to old Nollywood realness, we all know that the women were the ones who came on the scene and served hard. We’ve decided to honour legendary actresses who still impact the movie industry decades after their debut.

Today, we honour the charming Idowu Philips.

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Idowu Philips (Iya Rainbow) was born on the 16th of October, 1942 in Ijebu Ode, Ogun state, where she had her primary and secondary education. She was admitted into the nursing school and became certified as a nurse. For over 20 years she worked as a certified nurse in general hospitals across Nigeria and acted occasionally in the theatre. She was married to the late Augustine Ayanfemi Philips who worked with Hubert Ogunde’s theatre group.

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In 1986, after her husband’s death, Idowu Philips retired from nursing and ventured into full-time acting as a member of Hubert Ogunde’s theatre group. Her stage name Iya Rainbow is from the name of the theatre group Osumare, meaning Rainbow.

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Over the course of her career, Iya Rainbow has featured in several Nigerian films. At present, she features in Airtel ads as a Nigerian mother-in-law and always brings joy to our faces.

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We stan a dynamic queen!



Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.