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Nse Ikpe-Etim was born on 21 October 1974 in Lagos. Etim attended Awa Nursery School and Command Primary School in Kaduna State, from where she then furthered her studies at St Louis College, Jos, and the Federal Government Colleges in Jos and Ilorin. She said that her family was often transferred to various regions of Nigeria due to her father's career with the Central Bank of Nigeria. Etim got her first degree in Theater Arts from the University of Calabar.
She came into prominence in 2008 for her role in Reloaded. She was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 5th and 8th Africa Movie Academy Awards for her role in Reloaded and Mr. and Mrs., respectively. In 2014, she won the Best Actress in a Drama award at the 2014 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for playing "Nse" in Journey to Self.
Oct 21, 1974 (age 46 years)