8 World Famous Celebrities You Never Knew Were Nigerians

In this article I will be sharing with you 8 world famous celebrities you never knew were Nigerians. These celebrities are globally known worldwide and have featured in international blockbuster and action thriller movies in United Kingdom, United States of America, France, Australia and rest of the world.

Some are American Hollywood actors while some are British actors while some are international musicians and world TV presenters. These Nigerian celebrities are highly successful and influential. So after a careful study and research I present to you 8 world famous celebrities you never knew were Nigerians.

1. Zain Ejiofor Asher

Zain Ejiofor Asher is a British/Nigerian journalist, presenter and news anchor at CNN International who is based in New York City in the United States of America. She anchors CNN Newsroom on CNN International. Previously, Asher co-anchored CNN Newsroom on CNN America. In 2013, Asher joined CNN as a business correspondent based in New York City in the United States of America. In addition to financial reporting for CNN, she also had a monthly column in Money Magazine. Zain Ejiofor Asher was born on 27th August 1983 is Balham, London in the United Kingdom. She was born in Balham, London in the United Kingdom to Nigerian parents. She is the younger sister to Hollywood actor Chiwetel Ejiofor. She is of Igbo ancestry and her family originates from Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State in the south eastern part of Nigeria. She is a graduate of Keble College, Oxford University and Columbia University with a degree in Journalism, Spanish and French.

2. Carmen Elizabeth Ejogo

Carmen Elizabeth Ejogo is a British television and film actress, singer and a television personality. She began her career as a teenager hosting the Saturday Disney morning show from 1993 to 1995. She was born on 22nd October 1973 in Kensington, London in United Kingdom. Her film credits include Love’s Labour Lost, What’s The Worst That Could Happen, Away We Go, Sparkle and many more. She is also known for her role as Seraphina Picquery in the Fantastic Beast film series. She is the daughter of a Scottish mother, Elizabeth Douglas and a Nigerian father, Charles Ejogo. She attended the Oratory Roman Catholic Primary School and Glendower Preparatory School. In 2000, she married American actor Jeffrey Wright, whom she met while making the HBO film “Boycott” and the marriage is blessed with a son and a daughter, but presently she has divorced her husband Jeffrey Wright. Carmen Elizabeth Ejogo is also involved in the music industry, having collaborated with several artists since the 1990s. She wrote and sang lead vocals on the song “Candles” by English drum and bass DJ Alex Reece.

3. Wale Victor Akintimehin

Wale Victor Akintimehin, better known by his stage name Wale, is an American rapper. He first rose to prominence in 2006, when his song “Dig Dug” became popular in his hometown. Wale became locally recognized and continued recording music for the regional audience. He was born on 21st September 1984 in Northwest, Washington D.C in the United States of America to Nigerian parents of Yoruba descent. Producer Mark discovered Wale in 2006 and signed him to Allido Records in 2007. While signed to that label, Wale released several mixtapes and appeared in national media including MTV and various Black-American-focused magazines. In 2008, he signed a contract deal with Interscope Records for $1.3 million, and his debut album Attention Deficit was released in 2009 with hit singles like Chilling, Pretty Girls, World Tour, among others. The album received positive reviews from critics. In early 2011, Wale signed a contract deal with Rick Ross Maybeach Music Group.

4. Hakeem Kae-Kazim

Hakeem Kae-Kazim is a British/Nigerian actor best known for his work in the Starz television series Black Sails and his portrayal of Georges Rutaganda in the 2004 drama film Hotel Rwanda. He was born on 1st October 1962 in Lagos, Nigeria. He is currently married with kids. Hakeem Kae-Kazim was born in Lagos, Nigeria, where he spent his early years before his family re-located to London, England in the United Kingdom. His interest in acting began with school plays and The National Youth Theatre, which is when he discovered that he had a love for theatre and for acting. He trained at the Bristol Old Vict Theatre School in United Kingdom, graduating in 1987 and was offered a space with The Royal Shakespeare Company, where he continued his classical training. Hakeem Kae-Kazim is an appointed global ambassador for Africa 2.0, a civil society organization providing a platform for emerging and established African leaders to drive forward the transformation of Africa. Speaking about his role as ambassador, Kae-Kazim said: “I am truly honoured to be associated with Africa 2.0 – a pioneering platform for a new generation of African leaders to inspire and create a solid infrastructure- to shape a brighter future for our continent”.

5. Jacob Taio Cruz

Jacob Taio Cruz is an English singer, songwriter, rapper and record producer. In 2008, he released his debut album Departure, which he wrote, arranged and produced. The album achieved certified gold status in the United Kingdom and earned him a Music of Black Origin Awards (MOBO) nomination. He was born on 23rd April 1980 in London, United Kingdom to a Nigerian father and a Brazilian mother. In October 2009, Jacob Taio Cruz released his follow-up album Rokstar, which includes the number one singles Break Your Heart and Dynamites. Jacob Taio Cruz collaborated with Kesha on the single “Dirty Picture”. Jacob Taio Cruz also wrote and recorded the song “Telling the World”. In 2012, Jacob Taio Cruz co-wrote David Guetta and Usher’s song “Without You”. Jacob Taio Cruz was born in London to a Nigerian father and a Brazilian mother. He attended Christ’s Hospital, a private boarding school in Horsham, West Sussex. Jacob Taio Cruz is the founder and chief executive officer of Rokstarr Music London, which in 2006 released his debut single “I Just Wanna Know”. The single charted at number 29 in the UK singles charts.

6. Adewale Akinnuoye

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is a British actor, director and former fashion model known for his roles as Simon Adebisi on Oz, Nykwana Wombosi in The Bourne Identity, Kurse in Thor: The Dark World, Killer Croc in Suicide Squad, Mr. Eko on Lost, Malko in the fifth season of the HBO series Game of Thrones. He was born on 22nd August 1967 in London, United Kingdom. He attended Kings College London and University of London, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and a Master’s Degree in Law. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje has received an award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild Award. Akinnuoye-Agbaje was born in London to Nigerian parents of Yoruba origin, who were students in the UK. When he was six weeks old, his biological parents gave him up to a white working-class family in Tilbury. This was a common practice in this era among Nigerian families, when parents sent young children to live in the UK with white foster parents in the hopes their children would have better lives. When he was eight years old, his biological parents brought him back to Nigeria but, as he was unable to speak the Yoruba language and forbidden by his parents to speak English, he was returned back to Tilbury in London shortly thereafter.

7. Adetomiwa Edun

Adetomiwa Edun is a Nigerian/British actor. He is best known for his roles as Sir Elyan in the television show Merlin, Young Marcus in Bates Motel and Alex Hunter in the football video games of FIFA 17, FIFA 18 and FIFA 19. He was born on 4th March 1984 in Lagos, Nigeria. He is currently 35 years old. He attended Eton College, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Christ’s College Cambridge and University of Cambridge. He has won the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Play. Adetomiwa Edun was born in Lagos, Nigeria to a Nigerian father Olawale Edun and half-Ghanaian and half-British mother Amy Adwoa Appiah. His maternal uncle is a philosopher, cultural theorist and novelist Kwame Anthony Appiah. Adetomiwa Edun moved to the United Kingdom at the age of 11 years old. In 2000, he appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as the character Clifford in the show Kassandra by Ivo Stourton. Following his graduation from the university, he played small parts in productions at the Almeida Theatre and the Liverpool Playhouse. In 2009, Adetomiwa Edun became only the second black actor to play Romeo at the Globe Theatre when he was cast in Dominic Dromgoole’s production of Romeo and Juliet. He also appeared in Slaves, a play by Rex Obano.

8. Nonso Anozie

Nonso Anozie is a British actor who has worked on stage, film, and television. He is best known for his role as Tank in RocknRolla, Sergeant Dap in Ender’s Game, Abraham Kenyatta in Zoo, Captain of the Guards in Cinderella and Xaro Xhoan Daxos in the HBO television series Game of Thrones. He was born on 28th May 1979 in London, United Kingdom to Nigerian parents of Igbo origin. He graduated from the Central School of Speech and Drama in 2002, and in the summer of the same year he played the role of Othello in the Williams Shakespeare classic play. In 2014, his role as Othello in Williams Shakespeare classic play won him The Charleson Award. Nonso Anozie played small roles as Think Tank in Guy Ritchie’s film RocknRolla. In 2008, he played the lead role in Cass, a British crime drama film recreating the life of Cass Pennant. In 2009, he appeared in the supporting cast of the BBC TV three-part 2003 Iraq War drama “Occupation” where he played a US Marine turned private military contractor. In 2011, he played Artus, a Zamoran pirate and close friend of Conan in Conan the Barbarian. That year, he was also cast to play the role of Xaro Xhoan Daxos in the HBO series Game of Thrones and was cast as Jackson Burke in The Grey. He also plays the role of Samson in the History Channel’s television ministries “The Bible”. In 2013, Nonso Anozie appeared in the film Ender’s Game as Sergeant Dap, and from 2013 to 2014 he played the role of Renfield on the NBC series Dracula.

Austine Ikeru
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