We’ve put together 24 Famous Celebrities You Probably Didn’t Know Are Nigerians. Some of the celebrities 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.
1) Adetomiwa Edun
British actor Adetomiwa Edun was born in 1984 in Lagos to a Nigerian father from the Yoruba tribe and a half-Ghanaian, half-English mother. Edun, who relocated to the United Kingdom
at the age of 11, has featured in movies like Slaves, Law & Order: the UK, The Hour, Passengers. He is popularly known for his role in the TV series, Merlin, where he played Sir Elyan. He became the second black in 2009 to play Romeo at the Globe Theatre.
The famous rapper was born to Yoruba parents from Ogun State. Olubowale Victor has spent the most part of his life in the U.S.He is well known in his home town. His parents relocated to the U.S from Australia in 1979, years before when Wale was born
3) Chiwetel Ejiofor
Chiwetel Ejiofor is a very popular actor in Hollywood. The British born actor was born to upper middle-class Nigerian parents of Igbo descent. The grammy award nominee filmmaker, debut in the film Amistad, directed by Steven Spielberg. He has since acted, produced, and directed several movies.
Hakeem was born in Lagos, Nigeria, where he spent his early years before his family relocated to London, England, He has featured in several hit movies like, 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.
5) Taio Cruz
Jacob Taio Cruz (born Adetayo Ayowale Onile-Ere) was born to a Nigerian father and a Brazilian Mom. The U.K born R and B pop singer adopted Taio Cruz as his brand name when he ventured into music. He has won several awards including the BRIT Awards, Billboard Music Awards, ASCAP Awards, and American Music Awards.
6) Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is one of Nigeria’s most famous celebrities around the world. He was born in Islington, London, England a Yoruba parents. He is best known for his roles in The Mummy Returns, get rich or die trying, Pompeii, The Bourne Identity, and in TV series Lost and Oz.
7) Uzo Aduba
Uzoamaka Nwanneka “Uzo” Aduba is an American actress. She was born in Massachusetts, U.S to Igbo parents. She’s 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.
8) Dayo Okeniyi
Dayo Okeniyi was born in Jos and in Lagos before he later relocated with his family to the United States. He has featured in movies like Terminator Genisys, Caveman, Runner Runner, TV Shows like Revolution, endless love
9) Caroline Chikezie
Caroline Chikezie was born in England to Nigerian parents but was sent to a boarding school in Nigeria at a point, in an attempt to make her abandon her dreams to become an actress. She chose acting instead of 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’.
10) Nonso Anozie
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’. He was born and raised in London, England
11) Hope Olaide Wilson
Hope Olaide Wilson was born on August 16, 1985, in the UK as Hope Adjoko Olubunkonla Olaide Wilson. She is an actress and producer, known for Spenser Confidential, Solace and Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All by Myself (2009).
12) Richard Ayoade
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 stageplays in the UK.
He made his first Hollywood appearance in 2012 after starring in the comedy ‘The Watch,’ alongside Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill.
13) David Oyelowo
Hollywood actor, David Oyelowo was born on April 1, 1976, in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, to Nigerian parents. His highest-profile role to date was in Selma, a 2014 biographical drama film on Martin Luther King Jr. He has also featured in movies like Butler, Small Island, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Middle of Nowhere, Lincoln, and Blood and Oil,’ (a film about Niger-Delta, oil, and militancy in Nigeria).
14) Adepero Oduye
American actress, Adepero Oduye may not be the most popular Nigerian-American actress on this list. However, she featured in ’12 Years A Slave alongside another Nigerian actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor.’ She also 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.
15) Sophie Okonedo
Sophie Okonedo was born to a Nigerian father and a Jewish mother, Sophie Okonedo is a British actress and singer.
16) John Boyega
John Boyega is a British-Nigerian who was born in London to Nigerian parents. His debut movie was in 2011 title Attack the Block. He also played Ugwu in Half of A Yellow Sun and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
17) Ashley Madekwe
Ashley Madekwe was born in South London, England to a Nigerian father and an English mother. Ashley has featured in several movies and TV shows notably Revenge and America series Salem
18) Toks Olagundoye
Toks was Born in Lagos to a Norwegian mother and a Nigerian father. As a youth, she was educated in Nigeria, Switzerland, and England. She’s known for her role as Jackie Joyner-Kersee in the TV sitcom ‘The Neighbors’.
19) Sade Adu
Helen Folasade Adu is one of the most popular musicians in the world. The Iconic American R&B singer and Grammy award winner, Helen Folasade Adu was born on January 16, 1959, in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. She moved to Holland-on-Sea, Essex, to live with her mother, when she was 11 then she later moved to London where she studied fashion design at Saint Martin’s School of Art before starting her career as a singer. She is best known for her hit song ‘Sweetest Taboo. And has won numerous awards.
20) Tracy Ifeachor
Tracy is a British-Nigerian television and theatre actress. She’s featured in movies Doctor Who Christmas special, The End of Time’, and TV series ‘Crossbones’.
21) Olurotimi Akinosho
Rotimi Akinosho was born in New Jersey to Nigerian parents. He appeared in the high grossing film ‘Divergent’, in ‘Black Nativity’ and in ‘Imperial Dreams’. He is popular for the role he played in power as Dre. He starred as Darius Morrison on the Starz Network original drama series Boss. Rotimi is also the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of FrontRoSeat Productions. He is also a musician. He visited Nigeria in 2019 and was warmly received by Nigerians
22) Carmen Ejogo
Carmen Elizabeth Ejogo was born in 1973 in London and began her career as a teenager. Carmen was born to a Nigerian Nigerian Father and Scottish mother. The British actress has featured in ‘What’s the Worst That Could Happen?’, ‘The Purge: Anarchy’ and ‘Selma’.
23) Zain Ejiofor Asher
Zain Ejiofor Asher is a news anchor at CNN International and is the younger sister of Hollywood actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor. Asher studied French and Spanish at Oxford University and also is a graduate of Journalism.
24) Shirley Bassey
Dame Shirley Bassey is a British-born singer. The veteran vocalist was born to a Nigerian father, and an English mother, from Teesside in the northeast of England.
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