From music to movies, to talk shows hosting and even sports, there are a lot of Nigerians, who have carved a niche for themselves internationally in these various sectors.
It definitely isn’t easy to blend in in a foreign land and even become a celebrity there… it’s gon take hard work! What’s good about this article is the fact that we actually have a handful of celebrities who hail from Nigeria and are recognized internationally as stars.
As it’s the first weekend of the love month, how about we spice it up with a few of these celebrities who have actually made a name for themselves internationally.
These stars actually hail from Western Nigeria which is referred to as “Yorubaland“.
So how about you take a cue from me and grab a bottle of coke and buttered pop corn as we take a look at these stars in the next couple of pages
Happy weekend folks!
1. GBENGA AKINNAGBE.
Starting off our list is Gbenga Akinnagbe (born December 12, 1978), the 37 year old is an American actor and writer, best known for his role as Chris Partlow on the HBO series,The Wire and also the last installment of 24 where he acted alongside Jack Bauer, Kiefer Sutherland.
Akinnagbe was given birth to in Washington, D.C., the son of Nigerian parents who are of Yoruba descent. He was raised in Silver Spring, Maryland.
2. ADETOMIWA EDUN.
This youngster is a British, Nigerian and Ghanaian actor, born to a Yoruba father and a Ghanaian mother.
Adetomiwa moved to the United Kingdom at the age of 11 and has featured in movies likeSlaves, Law & Order: UK, The Hour, Passengers.
He is famous for his role in the TV series,Merlin, when he played ‘Sir Elyan’ and he became the second black in 2009 to play Romeo at the Globe Theatre.
3. ADEWALE AKINNUOYE-AGBAJE.
The British actor and former fashion model of Nigerian origin, born to Yoruba parents, is best known for his roles as Lock-Nah in The Mummy Returns, Nykwana Wombosi in The Bourne Identity, Mr. Eko on Lost and Simon Adebisi on Oz.
4. JOHN BOYEGA.
This British actor had a quite illuminating shine for playing the role of Finn in the 2015 Hollywood blockbuster, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Born in Peckham, south London, to Yoruba parents, Abigail and Samson, the actor has other credits in historical fiction drama film,Half of a Yellow Sun (2013), Four episodes of the television series 24: Live Another Dayand the drama, Imperial Dreams (2014).
It should be recalled that he took a legendary Hollywood actor to eat Pounded Yam recently at a Nigerian restaurant in Peckham.
5. HAKEEM KAE-KAZIM.
Hollywood actor, Hakeem, was born on October 1, 1962, in Lagos State to Nigerian parents from Abeokuta, Ogun State. The star has featured in several hit movies such asHotel Rwandan, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and many TV series like: 24, Lost, Law & Order, Criminal Minds amongst others.
The actor has also featured in blockbuster Nollywood movies like: Last Flight To Abuja, Black November, Half Of A Yellow Sun.
He is a brand ambassador for telecommunications company, Etisalat Nigeria.
Seal‘s real names are, Henry Olusegun Olumide Adelo Samuel. He is a British singer and songwriter.
Born on February 19, 1963 to Nigerian father,Francis Samuel and mother, Adebisi Ogundeji, he was married to model/TV personality, Heidi Klum for seven years with three kids together before they got estranged in 2012.
The award winning R&B singer has won four Grammy Awards and an MTV Video Music Award amongst others. He has several hit songs like ‘Kiss from the rose’, ‘Crazy, ‘Killer’, “Lips Like Sugar”.
So who said Nigerian has never won a Grammy?
7. RICHARD ELLEF AYOADE.
British actor, Richard, born on June 12, 1977, to a Nigerian father and a Norwegian mother is a comedian, actor and writer and has written several award-winning stage plays in the UK.
The 38 year old is also a well-known face on British TV having starred in the highly popular, The IT Crowd. He made his Hollywood debut in 2012 after starring in the comedy The Watch alongside Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill.
8. JACOB TAIO CRUZ.
This British singer is actually of Nigerian heritage.
Born on April 23, 1985, in London to a Nigerian father and a Brazillian mother, the 30 year old Cruz, who started writing songs when he was aged 12, was signed on a US publishing deal at just 18 years of age.
He began his song-writing career at the age of 19 and has won several awards some of which are: BRIT Awards, Billboard Music Awards, ASCAP Awards and American Music Awards.
9. ADEPERO ODUYE.
The first female on our list is this delectable American actress, Adepero Oduye; who most of you might not really but I’ll give you an insight on how she featured in the Nollywood hit movie, “12 Years A Slave” alongside British-Nigerian actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor.
She is born to Nigerian parents from the Yoruba tribe. She played Alike in Pariah (2011), TV series, Law & Order amongst others.
She has received several awards, including a nomination for Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead.
10. HOPE OLAIDE WILSON.
Hollywood actress, Hope Olaide Wilson was born on August 16, 1985, to Yoruba Nigerian parents. Hope, who moved to the United States in 1996, has featured in the movie mogul, Tyler Perry’s movies ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself’, ‘After the Dark and Faith and Dreams’ amongst others.
As fluent as she is in English, she is also, in French, and Yoruba. She won the 2009 Diversity Awards Female ‘Nova’ Award Recipient for promising talent.
11. DAVID OYELOWO.
Quite popular Hollywood actor, David Oyelowo was born on April 1, 1976, in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, to Yoruba Nigerian parents.
The star has featured in movies like: The Butler, Small Island. In March 2010, he played the role of Keme Tobodo in the BBC’s drama series ‘Blood and Oil’ (a film about Niger-Delta area of Nigeria).
He has also played supporting roles in the films, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Middle of Nowhere, Lincoln, and garnered praise for portraying Louis Gaines in The Butler.
The moment y’all have been waiting for! Finalizing this interesting list is none other than famous rapper, Wale, who asides being one of the top notch rappers in the United States, is also very popular in Nigeria.
The rapper has featured in tracks with Nigerian singers like Wizkid in ‘Nobody But You’, Olamide in ‘Make Us Proud’.
The Maybach Music superstar, paid a visit to his motherland in December 2013, and is presently in Nigeria again.
It should be recalled that he played at popular OAP, Toolz’ traditional wedding ceremony alongside Wizkid.
And this the part where we close the curtains folks! Check on more juicy posts here. Blissful weekend y’all!