Posted on August 18, 2016
From Tunde Baiyewu of the Lighthouse family group and Sade Adu an international singer and artiste of the 90’s who did us proud offshore to the homegrown international Legends- Fela Anikulapo Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey, I.K Dairo, Oliver de Coque, Victor Uwaifo the list is simply endless. Let’s not even mention the stars of our age. Nigerians have regularly featured in the mainstream of global impact, influence, achievements and success in a broad spectrum of various human endeavours. Folks of Nigerian descent have always shown ingenuity solidly proving that the strains of greatness embedded in our genetic makeup.
Here are a few list of current trail-blazers with the Nigerian blood in their veins doing us proud offshore in entertainment industry:
- Lemar Obika-an English R&B singer, songwriter and record producer was
born on the 4th of April 1978, and is professionally known simply as Lemar. Lemar has had a run of chart success in the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia. He rose to fame after finishing in third place on the first series of British talent show Fame Academy, which was won by songwriter David Sneddon.
Since then, Lemar has had seven top ten UK singles and sold over two million albums. He is seen as one of the most successful artists to come out of a reality TV show. Lemar has also won two Brit Awards and three MOBO Awards to date and released his fifth studio album in 2012.
- Sophia Okonedo- Okonedo was born in London to Joan Allman
a Pilates teacher, and Henry Okonedo (1939–2009), who worked for the government. Her father was Nigerian, and her mother is Jewish. Okonedo was raised in her mother’s Jewish faith. When she was five years old, her father left the family, and she was brought up in relative poverty by her single mother.
Okonedo’s film career began in 1991 in the British coming-of-age drama Young Soul Rebels before appearing in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995) and Stephen Frears‘ Dirty Pretty Things (2002). She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Tatiana Rusesabagina in the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda. She received a Golden Globe nomination for the miniseries Tsunami: The Aftermath (2006) and BAFTA TV Award nominations for the drama series Criminal Justice (2009) and the TV film Mrs. Mandela (2010). Her other film roles include Æon Flux (2005), Skin (2008), and The Secret Life of Bees (2008)
On stage, she starred as Cressida in the 1999 National Theatre production of Troilus and Cressida. She made her Broadway debut in the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun and received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play and won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Ruth Younger.
- David Oyelowo:Born in Oxford, England, on April 1, 1976, to Nigerian
Parents David Oyelowo honed his passion for acting into award-winning stage work, as seen with dramas like Henry VI and Prometheus Bound. The 40 year old award winning actor is a seasoned stage actor who enjoyed a very successful career on the London stage, having received his formal training from the London Academy of Drama and Music Art. His TV projects have included Spooks, As You Like It, Small Island and The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, and he has starred in big-screen ventures like The Paperboy, Middle of Nowhere, Lincoln, The Butler and Interstellar. He has starred in a number of hit TV shows and movies – Spooks, The Butler, The Passion of the Christ and the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic, Selma – and is happily married to a British actress named Jessica. He has been nominated and won several awards.
- John Adebayo Adegboyega, known professionally as John Boyega is a
British-Nigerian actor best known for playing Finn in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh film of the Star Wars series. Boyega was born in Peckham, south London, to Yoruba parents, Abigail and Samson. His first role was a leopard in a play at his primary school.
Boyega attended Oliver Goldsmith Primary School. While acting in a play there at the age of nine, he was noticed by Teresa Early, the artistic director of Theatre Peckham, a learning theatre for young people who live in south London. After obtaining financial assistance from a hardship fund, he joined the theatre, spending his time there outside school hours between the ages of nine and 14. Boyega’s father, a preacher, had wanted Boyega to become a preacher too, but was supportive of his son’s theatrical interests. He enrolled at the University of Greenwich to study BA Film Studies & Media Writing, but later dropped out of the course to focus on his acting career.
- Uzo Aduba:The two time Emmy-Award winning actress was born to
Nigerian parents in Boston, Massachusetts in the US. Her family is originally from Achi in Enugu State. After a significant career on stage, she had some small roles on TV before her big breakout role in Netflix series, Orange is the New Black. Her character, Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren has gotten her major acclaim from the Hollywood community, along with her multiple accolades
- Chiwetel Ejiofor was born in London’s Forest Gate, to Nigerianparents
of Igbo origin. His father, Arinze, was a doctor, the mother, Obiajulu, was a pharmacist while his younger sister is CNN correspondent Zain Asher.
Ejiofor began acting in school plays at the age of fourteen at Dulwich College and joined the National Youth Theatre. He got into the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art but had dropped out in his first year, after being cast in Steven Spielberg‘s film Amistad. He played the title role in Othello at the Bloomsbury Theatre in September 1995, and again at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow in 1996, when he starred opposite Rachael Stirling as Desdemona
Ejiofor made his film debut in the television film Deadly Voyage in 1996. His first leading film role in 2002’s Dirty Pretty Things, for which he won a British Independent Film Award for best actor. He played Mike Terry, in the cult film Redbelt that received favourable reviews. He also received acclaim for his performance as a complex antagonist The Operative in the 2005 film Serenity. Ejiofor played a revolutionary in the 2006 film Children of Men. His singing and acting performance in Kinky Boots received a Golden Globe Award and British Independent Film Award nomination. He was also nominated for the BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award in 2006, which recognises emerging British film talent. Ejiofor’s performance in Tsunami: The Aftermath received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film in 2007.
- Tinie Tempah whose real nameis Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu, is an
English rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer. At 12 years old, Tempah conceived his stage name after viewing the music video for So Solid Crew‘s “21 Seconds“. He is signed to Parlophone Records since 2009, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group. He created his own record and fashion label Disturbing London (DL Records) in 2007 along with his cousin, Dumi Oburota.
After a couple of mixtapes, his long-awaited debut album, Disc-Overy, was released in October 2010. The album which was preceded by two British number-one singles, “Pass Out” and “Written in the Stars“, charted at number one and was certified Platinum the next year. In February 2011, he won two Brit Awards for Best British Breakthrough Act and Best British Single.
His second album Demonstration was released in November 2013. Preceded by top ten singles “Trampoline” and “Children of the Sun“, the album charted at number three and was certified gold by the BPI the next year. In June 2015, he released the first single from his upcoming third album, Not Letting Go. This gave Tempah his sixth UK number one, the most by any rap artist.
- Chet Anekwe was born in Nigeria and raised in NYC. His work spans
Hollywood, Nollywood and New York Theater. The award winning transatlantic actor and filmmaker can be seen in episodes of “New Girl” on FOX. As well as upcoming short films, “Witch Hunt” and “Castor Oil”, by award winning directors Solomon Onita and Puja Maewal.
Chet was nominated for African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) 2012 – Best Actor in a Leading Role for “UNWANTED GUEST”. Chet Anekwe WON 2012 GIAMA award for Best Actor in a Diaspora Film for “Bianca”. Chet Anekwe WON 2012 NAFCA award for Best Actor in a Diaspora Film for Unwanted Guest. Chet has given outstanding performances in“Phat Girlz” with Monique. He has also received many rave reviews for his theater performances. He He and the cast of “Real Black Men Don’t Sit Crossed Legged On The Floor” won the 2006 Viv Award for Best Ensemble cast, where the New York Times said watching Anekwe was “exciting”! He also received rave reviews for roles such as Mark Antony in “Julius Caesar set in Africa” and Paul Bratter in “Barefoot In The Park”. Anekwe received a New York City Viv award nomination Best Actor for his portrayal of Joseph Cinque in “Chap Am So (The Amistad Victory)”.