Waje’s real name is Aituaje Iruobe. She is a famous Nigerian singer. Her vocal range spans an eight-tone musical interval. She has performed with well-known Nigerian Afropop artists such as P-Square, Banky W, M.I, and others.
Early Life & Education
Waje was born on September 1, 1980, in Akure, Ondo State, which is located in southwestern Nigeria. Her parents moved to Benin City after her birth, so she grew up in Benin and attended both primary and secondary school there. Her parents later divorced when she was still young, causing her to have a difficult childhood.
Waje became pregnant during her final year of high school while taking her secondary certificate exams. She didn’t tell her mother about her pregnancy until she was five months along. Due to her unmarried status, she was temporarily barred from participating in the church choir.
She captivated the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa with her gospel singing, and he was so taken with her voice that he decided to support her throughout her secondary school years. Waje later relocated to Nsukka to attend the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where she earned a degree in social work. While attending university, she gave performances at school concerts and fellowships. She practiced by listening to artists such as Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin.
Waje began her career while studying at the University of Nigeria. Her vocal range spans an eight-tone musical interval. In 2007, she officially began her music career. In 2008, she appeared on the popular P-Square song “Do Me.” This song was well-known in various parts of Europe and Africa. She finished second in the Advanced Warning reality TV show competition hosted by MTV Base South Africa and Zain Nigeria. That’s when she began to gain widespread attention.
Waje has shared the stage with musicians such as Wyclef Jean in South Africa, where he opened for Kerry Hilson at a concert in Calabar. She has also worked with artists who have had successful singles, such as M.I. and P-Square on “One Naira” and “Do Me,” respectively. She collaborated with Dencia on the song “True Love,” and she has songs that have been nominated for and won awards. Words Aren’t Just Enough, her debut studio album, was released in 2013 under her own name.
Waje made her acting debut in the 2014 film Tunnel, alongside Femi Jacobs, Patrick Doyle, Nse Ikpe-Etim, and Lepacious Bose. Stanlee Ohikhuare’s film is about the life of a young preacher.
In November 2014, she debuted the music video for “Coco Baby,” a song co-written with Diamond Platnumz. In August 2015, she released the song “Left for Good,” which featured Patoranking and Godwin Strings. Waje worked with Bono on the Lagos campaign in 2015, and she was a featured artist on the campaign’s anthem, “Strong Girl.” The Voice Nigeria’s judges include Waje, 2face Idibia, Timi Dakolo, and Patoranking.
Waje and Omawumi founded Hermanes Media in January 2019, a media company specializing in film and television production, advertisements, content curation, brand event activation, and creative digital marketing. Waje announced her intention to retire from professional music making in March 2019. She stated that she was considering quitting due to a lack of support for her music.
In April 2019, Waje appeared in the Somkele Idhalama-directed film She Is. She worked with Omawumi to create the film’s soundtrack. In December 2019, she collaborated with another Nigerian rapper, Zoro, to release the song “Ngwa.” Philkeyz wrote the song, which has a ballad-like sound. The lyrics of the song are in Igbo. This song was the follow-up to her previous single, “Udue,” on which she collaborated with Mavin Records performer Johnny Drille.
Waje already has a child and she is a single mother. Amaka Iruobe is her sister who is also an actress who has been in supporting roles in the films First Cut and the popular soap opera Tinsel.
- 2022 WAJE 2.0
- 2021 Heart Season (EP)
- 2018 Red Velvet
- 2013 WAJE
Awards and Nominations
- Best Recording Of The Year 2013 (I Wish, W.A.J.E Album)
- Best Reggae/Dance Hall 2013 (I Wish, W.A.J.E Album)
- Best Vocal Performance Female 2013 (I Wish, W.A.J.E Album)
- Black Canadian Awards 2014 (Best International Act)
- Channel O Music Video Awards 2011 (Most Gifted Female Video)
- City People Awards 2011(Best R&B Female)
- Deafa Afro-Europe Entertainment Awards 2011 (Best African Art)
- Dynamix Awards 2009 (Best New Act)
- Eloy Awards 2014 (Best Female Artist)
- Exquisite Ladies Of The Year 2011 (Female Music Act Of The Year)
- Headies 2011 (Best Vocal Performer Female, Best R&B Single)
- Hip-Hop Awards 2010*Headies* (Best Vocals)
- Nigerian Entertainment Awards 2011 (Best Pop/R&B Artist Of The Year. Best New Act Of The Year)
- Nigerian Music Video Awards 2009 (Best New Video)
- Nigerian Music Video Awards 2011 (Best Contemporary Afro Video)
- World Music Awards 2014 (World Best Entertainer)
- World Music Awards 2014 (World Best Female Entertainer)
- World Music Awards 2014 (World Best Live Act)
- World Music Awards 2014 (World Bst Album)W.A.J.E
Influence & Impact
Through an organization called “Waje’s Safe House,” where she collaborates with different NGOs every three months to further their objectives, Waje worked with the young people in her community. The first initiative supported under Waje’s Safe House was the Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children, assisting Project HELP (Help Educate the Less Privileged) with the aim of raising money through Ring Back Tones with her singles “Oko Mi” and “I Wish” to allow children to continue their studies in the school in Makoko.
She was a well-known Nigerian performer who worked with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria to oppose vote-buying, electoral fraud, and other violent and thuggish practices.
Waje has accumulated wealth due to her experience in the music and movie industry in Nigeria. According to reports from many sources, she has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million.