21 World Famous Celebrities You Never Knew Were Nigerians


Nigerians are known to travel far and wide. They not only survive in whichever country they find themselves, but become successful world famous celebrities at the long run.

In the entertainment industry today, there are several famous blacks that are excellent in their arts. People sometimes assume they are black Americans, or from other parts of Africa, but the fact remains, some of these actors and musicians are Nigerians by decent.

See Also: Top 20 Most Interesting Animated Films Suitable For Kids And Adults

The most popular among them is Chiwetel Ejiofor who starred in ’12 Years A Slave’, ‘Half of A Yellow Sun,’ ‘Deadly Voyage’, ‘Secret In Their Eyes,’ among others. Chiwetel was born and bred in the U.K by his Nigerian parents from the Igbo tribe.

Famous celebrities
Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave

Some of the stars on this list were born in Nigeria and grew up abroad, while some others were born and bred outside the country, nevertheless, they have either one or both Nigerian parents.

Let’s meet these world Famous Celebrities

1. Wale


Born as Olubowale Victor Akintimehin to yoruba parents from Ogun State, Rapper Wale grew up in the USA. He is as popular in the states as he is in his home country and has done music collaborations with singers like Wizkid and Olamide. The Maybach Music superstar, Wale, last visited his motherland in Febrary 2016.

2. Hakeem Kae-Kazim


Hollywood actor, Kazeem was born in Lagos State and is a native of Ogun State. He has featured in several hit movies such as ‘Hotel Rwandan,’ ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ ‘At World’s End and many TV series including 24, and Criminal Minds. He has also featured in some Nollywood movies like ‘Last Flight To Abuja,’ ‘Black November’ and ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun.’ Currently, Hakeem is a brand ambassador for Etisalat Nigeria.

3. Taio Cruz

Taio Cruz Wallpaper

British Singer, Jacob Taio Cruz was born in London. His father is a Nigerian while his mother is Brazillian. Born as Adetayo Ayowale Onile-Ere, the R and B pop singer adopted Taio Cruz as his brand name when he ventured into music. He was signed on a publishing deal at the age of 19 and has won several awards including the BRIT Awards, Billboard Music Awards, ASCAP Awards and American Music Awards.

4. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

The crowd cheers as Atticus (Adewele Akinnouye-Agbaje) defeats the "Roman Soldiers" in the Amphitheatre in TriStar Pictures' POMPEII.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is one of Nigeria’s best world famous celebrities. The former fashion model of Yoruba origin, and Hollywood actor, is best known for his roles in ‘The Mummy Returns’, ‘Pompeii,’ ‘The Bourne Identity’, and in TV series ‘Lost’ and ‘Oz’. He was born in Washington, D.C to Nigerian parents and is fluent in Yoruba, Italian and Swahili, aside English language.

5. Adetomiwa Edun


British actor Adetomiwa Edun was born in 1984 to a Nigerian father from the Yoruba tribe and a half-Ghanaian, half-English mother. Edun, who moved to the United Kingdom at the age of 11, has featured in movies like Slaves, Law & Order: UK, The Hour, Passengers. He is popularly known for his role in the TV series, Merlin, where he played ‘Sir Elyan’ and he became the second black in 2009 to play Romeo at the Globe Theatre. Tomiwa speaks English, Yoruba and French.

6. Uzo Aduba

Uzoamaka Nwanneka “Uzo” Aduba is an American actress who is known for her role as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on the television series ‘Orange Is the New Black’. Her parents are both Nigerians of Igbo origin.

7. Dayo Okeniyi


Dayo Okeniyi was born and raised in Lagos before he later moved with his family to the United States. The actor is popularly known for his roles in ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Terminator Genisys’.

8. Caroline Chikezie


Caroline was born in England to Nigerian parents but was sent to boarding school in Nigeria at a point, in an attempt to make her abandon her dreams to become an actress. She choose acting to taking over her father’s hospital in Nigeria. So far, the 42-year-old has featured in ‘Holby City,’ ‘Casualty,’ ‘Babymother,’ ‘ As If ,’ ‘Judas Kiss,’ ‘Free Fall’, ‘Torchwood’, ‘Cyberwoman”,’ ‘Supernatural,’ and ‘Brothers and Sisters’.

8. Nonso Anozie

Nonso Anozie arrives the premiere of "Conan the Barbarian" in Los Angeles, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. "Conan the Barbarian" opens in theaters Aug. 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Nonso Anozie is an English actor of Nigerian descent. Apart from movies, he was cast to play in the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Dracula’.

9. Hope Olaide Wilson


Hollywood actress, Hope Olaide Wilson is from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. She moved to the United States in 1996, and has featured in Tyler Perry’s movies ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself’, ‘After the Dark and Faith & Dreams’ amongst others. Hope speaks English, French, and Yoruba fluently and has won the 2009 Diversity Awards Female ‘Nova’ Award Recipient for promising talent.

10. Richard Ayoade

Gadget Man with Richard Ayoade Stephen Mangan

Richard Ayoade is a British actor born to a Nigerian father and a Norwegian mother. The comedian, actor and writer has written several award-winning stage plays in the UK.

Read Also: Top 10 Richest Nigerian Comedians

He made his Hollywood debut in 2012 after starring in the comedy ‘The Watch,’ alongside Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill.

Topics: > >