Nigerians are generally known worldwide to be well-travelled.
As a result, we have families from Nigeria who have settled well into foreign countries. A lot of kids from these families later grow up to become celebrities who have become household names in foreign countries.
In the case of some of these celebrities, their names give away their Nigerian roots while you’ll have to a little bit of research to connect the others to Nigeria.
On our list this week, we look at 10 of these international celebrities who are of Nigerian descent.
1. Hakeem Kae-KazimKazim’s passion for acting began at an early stage back in school. [Instagram/HakeemKaeKazim]
Hakeem Kae-Kazim was born in Lagos on October 1, 1962. He spent his early years in Nigeria before relocating to the United Kingdom with his family. His passion for acting began at an early stage in school.Kazim’s road to stardom for many came after he starred in the hugely successful Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End as Captain Jocard. [Instagram/HakeemKaeKazim]
He is well known around the world for appearing in some of the most critically acclaimed movies including ‘Hotel Rwanda.’ Kazim became well-known after he starred in the hugely successful Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End as Captain Jocard. He followed it with a role in the blockbuster, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
He has featured in several Nigerian movies including ‘Last Flight to Lagos,’ and ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun.’
2. Taio CruzTaio Criuz [Wikipedia]
For those who aren’t aware, the popular American singer, Taio Cruz is a Nigerian. He was born Adetayo Ayowale Onile-Ere to a Nigerian dad and a Brazilian mom in London. Cruz can be credited to be the brain behind several hit songs for other top musicians in the United States of America and Britain.He has won several awards including ‘Best British Song’ at the 2004 Brits Awards, and ‘Breakthrough Artist’ at the 2010 American Music Awards [OfficialPSD]
The singer dropped several singles that made it to charts in the UK but he rose to stardom in 2009 when he released the single ‘Break Your Heart‘ which topped the UK charts for three weeks. His 2014
He has won several awards including ‘Best British Song‘ at the 2004 Brits Awards, and ‘Breakthrough Artist‘ at the 2010 American Music Awards.
3. Uzo AdubaUzo Aduba [Instagram/UzoAduba]
Her name gives it away but many have still missed it that Uzo Aduba is of Nigerian descent. She became popular to Nigerians when she starred and gave a very remarkable performance in the NetFlix series ‘Orange Is the New Black.’Uzo Aduba has won several Emmy awards for her role in ‘Orange is The New Black’ [Instagram/UzoAduba]
Aduba is originally from Nigeria but was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
She won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014, an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2015, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series in 2014 and 2015.
4. John Boyega
John Boyega [Instagram/JohnBpyega]
Only a few on this list identify with their Nigerian roots like John Boyega. Born John Adedayo Bamidele Adegboyega in the Peckham district of London on 17 March 1992, the Hollywood movie star kicked off his acting career at an early stage.John Boyega is probably one of the most popular foreign based celebrities in Nigeria [Instagram/JohnBoyega]
He is best known for playing Finn in the Star Wars sequel trilogy films The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017), and The Rise of Skywalker (2019).
Boyega as he is fondly called, has become a frequent visitor to Nigeria.
5. WaleWale’s full name is Olubowale Victor Akintimehin [Instagram/Wale]
From the first day, Nigerians heard about this rapper, everyone fell in love with him. Maybe because of his talent or his Nigerian roots. Born Olubowale Victor Akintimehin to Nigerian parents, Wale grew up in the United States of America.
The Maybach Music record label artist is one of the most popular rappers in the United States of America. He has worked with several music stars on hit singles. The rapper has also worked with several Nigerian musicians including Wizkid and Olamide and also identifies with this Nigerian roots.
6. SkeptaSkepta performing live at Homecoming concert 2019
Skepta’s real name is Joseph Junior Adenuga and he is from Ogun state in Nigeria.Wizkid and Skepta perform ‘Bad Energy’ at a concert
The British born rapper visited Nigeria in 2018 and was conferred the chieftaincy title “Amuludun of Odo-Aje“ by the traditional ruler of Odo-Aje.
7. Tyler The Creator
Tyler Gregory Okonma has a Nigerian dad and an American mother of mixed African-American and European-Canadian descent [Instagram/FeliciaTheGoat]
Tyler The Creator is an American musician, songwriter, producer, actor, and visual artist. Born Tyler Gregory Okonma, to a Nigerian dad and an American mother of mixed African-American and European-Canadian descent, Tyler’s love for music started at a very early age.Tyler The Creator [Instagram/FeliciaThe Goat]
At the age of 14, he taught himself to play the piano. He rose to prominence in the early 2010s as the co-founder and de facto leader of alternative hip hop group Odd Future.
Tyler has several awards to this credit including a Grammy Award, a Brit Award, and an MTV Video Music Award.
8. RotimiRotimi’s full name is is Olurotimi Akinosho and he was born in 1988. [Instagram/Rotimi]
Rotimi was born in Maplewood, New Jersey, to Nigerian parents; his father an investment banker of Yoruba origin and his mother of Igbo origin. His full name is Olurotimi Akinosho and he was born in 1988.Rotimi [Instagram/Rotimi]
Rotimi is a famous singer and actor in the United States of America. His break out role in Hollywood was his role as Andre Coleman on the popular TV series, ‘Power.’
Just like some guys on this list, Rotimi loves Nigeria and visits frequently. In 2019, the music star got for himself a penthouse in Nigeria for his birthday.
9. ChamillionaireChamillionaire’s real name is Hakeem Seriki [Instagram/Chamillonaire]
For those who fell in love with rap in the early 2000s, Chamillionaire was one name that stood out. However not many know that he is originally from Nigeria. His real name is Hakeem Seriki.
He signed to Universal Records in 2005 and released The Sound of Revenge. It included hit singles “Turn It Up” featuring Lil’ Flip and the number-one, Grammy-winning hit “Ridin‘” featuring Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
The rapper in recent years has taken a back seat from the music industry and focused on his entrepreneurial skills. He currently is part of Los Angeles-based venture capital firm Upfront Ventures.
10. JidennaJidenna is a Nigerian-American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. [Instagram/Jidenna]
Unarguably one of the most stylish celebrities in the world, Jidenna needs little or no introduction. Born Jidenna Theodore Mobisson, Jidenna is a Nigerian-American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer.Jidenna Theodore Mobisson [Instagram/Jidenna]
Jidenna was born in the United States of America to a Nigerian dad and a Caucasian in 1985. His family moved back to the US after a few years in Nigeria when he turned 5.
The music star rose to fame in 2015 when he released the hit single ‘Classic Man.’ Since then there has been no holding back for him as he has dropped several hit singles.