The American media and entertainment industry has many black celebrities of African descent, specifically Nigeria. Sometimes, people assume they are black Americans or from other African countries, the fact remains, they are Nigerians.
Here is a list of personalities who were born in Nigeria but raised overseas and those who were born and raised abroad.
- Chiwetel Umeadi Ejiofor
Chiwetel Ejiofor is a British Nigerian actor born 1997, in London. His parents are descendant of the Igbo tribe in Nigeria.
Chiwetel began acting at the age of 13 and later joined the National Youth Theatre in 1995. He eventually got a place in London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and three months into his course, he was cast by Steven Spielberg to play a supporting role in the film Amistad as James Covey.
Ejiofor has starred in numerous movies such as 12 Years a slave, Half of a Yellow Sun, 2012 and so on.
2. Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker is an American actor, director and producer. His ancestors come from Nigeria, indeed his father’s ancestors come from the Igbo tribe in the village of Nkwere. He visited the land of his ancestors and on that day, April 5 2009, he received the honorary title of Chief “Nwannedinambe de Nkwere” which means “a brother in foreign land. “
Whitaker is known for his role as dictator Idi Amin of Uganda in the film “Last King of Scotland.” He has also starred in several films such as Phone Booth, Panic Room, American Gun and so on.
3. David Oyelowo
Born April 1 1976 to Nigerian parents in England, David Oyetokunbo Oyelowo is an English actor and producer. His father is from Oyo State, Western Nigeria while his mother is from Edo State. He grew up in Tooting South London, until he was 6, when his family moved to Lagos and moved back to London when he was 14.
Oyelowo had a three year training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), finished in1998. His highest-profile role was as Martin Luther King Jr. in the 2014 biographical drama film Selma. He also took a lead role playing as a chess coach in Queen of Katwe.
Oyelowo has starred in other movies such as Planet of Apes, Jack Researcher, Lincoln, Blood and Oil (a film about Niger-Delta, oil, and militancy in Nigeria) and more.
4. Uzoamaka Nwanneka
Uzoamaka Nwanneka known as Uzo Aduba is an American actress, born February 10 1981 in Boston, US. Her parents are both Nigerians of Igbo origins.
Uzo is known for her role as Suzanne in Crazy Eyes and Warren on the television series Orange Is the New Black which she won an Emmy Award.
5. Wale Akintimehin
Olubowale Victor Akintimehin, better known by his stage name Wale, is an American rapper. He was born on September 21 1984 in Washington and hails from Ogun State.
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 has made musical collaborations with singers like Wizkid and Olamide.
6. Zain Asher Ejiofor
Zain Ejiofor is a British Nigerian News Anchor at CNN International. She is was born 27 August 1983 and raised in England. She is the younger sister of actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Asher graduated from Oxford University where she studied French and Spanish and graduated with a distinction in oral Spanish. In 2006, she earned an MS from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
She has anchored CNN’s special coverage around #MyFreedomDay, a global call to action that raised awareness of modern-day slavery all over the world, as well as the deaths of Fidel Castro, boxing legend Muhammad Ali and singer George Michael.
In addition to anchoring major breaking news stories for CNN, she has reported from the field on high-profile stories like the 2014 kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls by Boko Haram militants in Nigeria, and the 2013 terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon.