Henshaw-Nuttall was born in Cross River State, Nigeria, the oldest of four children. After completing her primary and secondary school in Lagos and Calabar, she spent one year at the University of Calabar reading remedial studies, and then majored in Medical Microbiology at the School of Medical Lab Science, LUTH (Lagos University Teaching Hospital) in Lagos. Henshaw-Nuttall worked at the Bauchi State General hospital. In 1993 Henshaw-Nuttall auditioned for an acting job in the movie When the Sun Sets and was handed the role. This was her first appearance in a major Nollywood movie. Henshaw-Nuttall has starred in over 40 Nollywood movies. In 2008 she won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for the film Stronger than Pain. She is presently "The Face of Onga"