Queens of Nollywood: Regina Askia

September 17, 2019

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 take a week to honour seven legendary actresses who still impact the movie industry decades after their debut.

Today, we honour the delectable Regina Askia.

A literal queen of beauty.

Along with being a (former) actress and model, Regina Askia-Williams (born Imaobong Regina Askia Usoro), is a healthcare and educational activist, television writer, producer, and public speaker.

In 1988, Askia was crowned Miss Unilag (after transferring from the University of Calabar as a medical student). She competed in that year’s Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria contest and came in second place (even though she was the crowd’s favourite). She eventually held the title position the following year when the girl that won, Bianca Onoh, resigned.

Her time in the pageant circuit helped her launch a modelling career on the runway, along with print and television commercials. Her big break in the world of acting came in 1993 when she was cast in early 90s television soap opera, Fortunes, as the gold-digging Tokunbo Johnson.

Askia’s was able to parlay the critical acclaim she got for her role in Fortunes into a full-fledged acting career in Nollywood. She starred in a ton of movies during the 90s and early 2000s like Most Wanted, Full Moon, Highway To The Grave, Suicide Mission, Man Snatcher (LMAO), and many others. At the height of her fame, she was compared to Elizabeth Taylor and commanded N300,000 per role. Remember that this was in the 90s and early 2000s, so N300k was a huge deal.

With a degree in Biology, Askia quit acting in 2007 and moved to the United States to become a registered nurse. She earned her nurse practitioner degree from Wagner College and is now a family nurse practitioner in New York City. She is married to Ruldoph Williams and they have three kids together.

Askia has no regrets leaving the glamorous world of Nollywood behind. During a question & answer session on her Instagram page, she said that she is fulfilled with being a nurse, as it is a career that feeds her body and soul.

Though we miss seeing her on screens, we’re just happy that she’s out there living her best life. Because isn’t that what we all hope for?

Check back tomorrow (18/9/2019) when we honour another Nollywood actress, Joke Silva.

Astor George

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