Idowu Philips Biography 2021: Early Life, Career And Net Worth Of Legendary Actress Iya Rainbow

Idowu Phillips was born on October 16th 1942 at Ijebu Ode, a popular town in Ogun State, Nigeria. She is popularly known as Iya Rainbow. The name is the English translation of her late husband’s theatre group.

Iya Rainbow started her acting career in the 90s and she has appeared in hundreds of Nollywood English and Yoruba movies, she is no doubt a force to reckon with as far as the Yoruba movie industry and Nollywood is concerned.

Early Life/Education

Madam Idowu was born to Prophet Jacob Adebanjo Ifemade and Mrs. Ifemade. She had her primary education at African Methodist School and attended Anglican Modern School. After her primary and secondary education, she attended a nursing school.


Upon completion of her studies at the nursing school, Madam Idowu Philips worked as a nurse for 20 years. Since her late husband was theatrically inclined and had a theatre group, she worked part-time with the group, gaining mastery of the art.

At 45, and after having worked as a nurse for 20 years, Madam Idowu Philips quit nursing. She took over the leadership of her late husband’s movie group which soon became defunct. She took part in many movies both English and Yoruba. She became known for her role in Asiri Nla and has acted more than 500 movies since she started.


1997- Back to Africa

2000- Lagidigba

2002- Jesu Mushin

2002- Irepodun

2002- Eyin Ogongo

2003- N150 Million

2003- Ìfé òtító

2003- Fila Daddy

2003- Arewa okunrin

2003- Omo oku òrun

2003- Okun ife

2004- Okun ife 2

2004- Okan soso

2004- Okan soso 2

2004- Ògìdán

2004- Ògìdán 2

2006- Abeni

2006- Odun baku

2006- Mewa n sele

2006- Èebúdolá tèmi

2006- Agbefo

2006- Agbefo 2

2007- Orita Ipinya

2007- Olugbare

2007- Olóri

2007- Maku

2007- Kootu olohun

2007- Kilebi olorun

2008- Taiwo Taiwo

2008- Taiwo Taiwo 2

2008- Itakun ola

2008- Ìkúnlè kèsán

2008- Ikilo agba

2008- Igba ewa

2008- Aje metta

2008- Aje metta 2

2009- Ìpèsè

2009- Ìdàmu eléwòn

2009- Elewon

2009- Akoto olokada

2009- Akoto olokada 2

2018- Oga Bolaji

2019- Sugar Rush


In an interview, when asked why she has not been on screen in recent times, she claimed that the younger generation of actors now acted movies where her kind of roles are almost no longer needed.

She also mentioned that the roles available were for people with tattoos and people ready to dress irresponsibly.

Iya Rainbow In an interview with BBC Yoruba said when the police first reported that Baba Ijesha had been arrested, she reached out to comedienne, Princess, and pleaded with her for four days to drop the case against the actor but she refused.

According to the veteran actress, she did everything humanly possible to get Princess not to escalate the case but she did not succumb. This did not go well with Princess and some other Nigerians who believe Iya Rainbow was siding with Baba Ijesha.


Mrs. Idowu is a recipient of the City People Life Time Achievement Award amongst other awards she’s won.

Net Worth

Idowu Philips current net worth is estimated to be $500,000, her wealth is attributed to years of working as an actress, endorsement and ambassador deal with big brands like Airtel and also she is into Real Estate.

Personal Life

Madam Idowu was married to Sir Hubert Ogunde from 1960 until his death in 1990. They have 5 children including Sola Osborne, and Femi Philips. Having refused to remarry, she chose to focus on taking care of her children.

A Christian, she overtime has developed a very deep relationship with God. She says that God laid in her heart a burden to build him a church.

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