She is a Nigerian-born, American-based family nurse practitioner (FNP), healthcare and educational activist, television producer, writer, and public speaker, who found fame as an actress and model.
In 1988, Askia-Williams – a former medical student who had transferred from the University of Calabar to the University of Lagos – was crowned Miss Unilag. That same year, she competed in the MBGN 1988 contest. Though she was a favorite to win, she placed second. However, she became the title holder the following year when winner Bianca Onoh resigned.
In 1990, Askia-Williams represented Nigeria at Miss Charm International held in Leningrad, Russia, and came second. She also made history by becoming the first Nigerian at Miss International in Japan, where she made an impact with the most outstanding traditional costume.
After gaining public recognition in Nigeria as a beauty pageant winner, Askia-Williams began a modelling career. As a model, she appeared in several Nigerian print and television commercials including Chicken George fast food, Kessingsheen Hair Care, boutique chain Collectibles, and most famously, Visine. She also worked on several runway shows.
In 2007, she modelled for the 2000-N-Six face cleansing range alongside her daughter, model Stephanie Hornecker. In 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, and in 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.
Askia-Williams’s acting break came in 1993, when she played gold-digger Tokunbo Johnson in Nigerian soap Fortunes (later Mega Fortunes) on NTA Network, a role which earned her critical acclaim and roles in Nollywood movies.
She has received several awards for her performances.