Regina Askia-Williams (born Imaobong Regina Askia Usoro, born in Lagos Nigeria – Dec 16th 1967, is a Nigerian-born, American-based registered nurse (RN), healthcare and educational activist, television producer, writer, and public speaker, who found fame as an actress and model. Born to the respected family of Late (Elder) Askia Usoro ( the former Secretary of the Military Government of Cross River State and Head of Civil service) and Deaconess Nseobong Grace Askia Usoro –nee Etuk ( Special Ed teacher) , Askia has 7 siblings and a retinue of nieces and nephews Uncles, Aunts and cousins who live all over the globe.
Askia – Williams holds Bachelors in Biology from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, a BSN in Nursing from the College of Staten Island, NY and is actively pursuing licensure in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Wagner College, New York.
After gaining public recognition in Nigeria as a beauty pageant winner, Askia-Williams began a modelling career appearing in several Nigerian print and television commercials including Kessing sheen Hair Care, Visine Eye Drops by Pfizer, Nigeria, Collectibles clothing line amongst others. She modelled for the 2000-N-Six face cleansing range alongside her daughter, Stephanie Hornecker.
Askia-Williams’s acting break came in 1993, when she played gold-digger Tokunbo Johnson in Nigerian soap Fortunes (later Mega Fortunes) on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) a role which earned her critical acclaim and ushered in other roles in the Nollywood movie industry. Askia-Williams starred in several “Nollywood” films during the 1990s and early 2000s, most of which were filmed to be released directly to video, reaching a wide audience in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa such as Tanzania and Ghana.
She became one of Nigeria’s biggest acting celebrities. Askia-Williams’ films, and other Nollywood films are regularly broadcast by Nigerian television networks, including ITV, StarTV, and the state broadcaster TVT. Askia-Williams was compared to Elizabeth Taylor for her fame and unique hazel eyes. Some of works include
• Slave Warrior: The Beginning (video) (2007)
• Veno (video) (2004)
• Dangerous Babe (2003)
• Man Snatcher (video) (2003)
• Festival of Fire (2002)
• Vuga (video) (2000)
• Vuga 2 (video) (2000)
• Dirty Game (video) (1998)
• Full Moon
• Highway to the Grave
• Juliet Must Die
• Maximum Risk
• The President’s Daughter
• Suicide Mission (1998)
• Queen of the Night
• Red Machete
• Most Wanted
And in recent times Preacher man.
She has received several awards for her performances – including one for “Best Actress in Nigeria” by Afro Hollywood London in 2000 – and has produced several television shows and films.
2005 – She hosted a fashion show at the Nigerian Embassy in New York City to raise awareness for the plight of children’s social amenities in Nigeria
2006 – She hosted a charity fashion show at Lehman College in the Bronx, New York, which displayed the creations of top African designers and her own label Regine Fashions
In 2007, Askia-Williams was among several African women given an award by the Celebrating African Motherhood Organization (CAM) at a gala event in Washington, D.C
Askia-Williams maintains an active interest in supporting health consciousness and medical outreach in Nigeria and Africa.
Some of her projects include
Renaissance Network Africa – Askia partners with this group to explore avenues that will pave way for Africans and Americans of African origin to have good business relationships and investments. The group believes that one way to help rebuild the Africa is by encouraging Africa to work hand in hand with its diaspora. Renaissance Network Africa partnered with The Lagos State Water Front Development Board and Ministry of Tourism in a program where the Maryland Conference of mayors visited Badagry on a home coming / familiarization tour.
African Views – Askia works as Director of Health programs, where she presents an internet radio program which focuses of the myriad of Health issues in the African continent and amongst its Diaspora. Clinicians and practitioners as well as heads of industries are invited on a panel and listeners from across the globe call in with questions which they answer.
Her recent projects include – A campaign for nursing excellence in Nigeria, where she partnered with Inspire nurses to meet with heads of the nursing profession, nursing students and nurses, visited media houses in Nigeria to raise awareness on the poor career /work conditions Nigerian nurses face and suggested ways on how to turn things around for nurses and the Nigerian health care sector