Idowu Philips was born on 16 October 1942 at Ijebu Ode, a city in Ogun State, southwestern Nigeria. She attended African Methodist School and Anglican Modern School for her primary and secondary education. Her stage name “Iya Rainbow” stems from “Osumare” (meaning “rainbow” in British English), the name of the theatre group of Sir Hubert Ogunde, who died in 1990. Idowu Philips worked as a healthcare assistant in general hospitals in
Nigeria for several years and occasionally acted in theatre. Idowu ventured into full-time acting after the death of her husband – Augustine Ayanfemi Phillips (who worked closely with the late patriarch of Nigerian Film Industry Sir Herbert Ogunde. She has featured in several Nigerian films, including Apaadi, Eru, and Aje ni iya mi among others). Idowu has five children.
As she graduated from city university she share photos on Instagram.