Nine popular Hollywood stars with Nigerian roots - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

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Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Nine popular Hollywood stars with Nigerian roots

By Our Correspondent


Hollywood is the most diverse film industry in the world. It has talents from around the globe and it is no surprise that Nigerians are counted among the successful in the American film industry.

Here is a list of famous Hollywood actors who are originally Nigerians:

1. Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo


She is a British-Nigerian actress, singer and songwriter, who played the lead role in the biopic Harriet and was nominated for several awards. Her full name is: Cynthia Onyedinmanasu Chinasaokwu Erivo. She was born in Stockwell England on 8 January, 1987 to Nigerian parents. Her mother is a nurse.


She attended La Retraite Roman Catholic Girls’ School. Erivo began a music psychology degree at the University of East London. However, a year into her degree, she was admitted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where her multi-talents blossomed.

Erivo ventured into films in 2018 with roles in the heist film Widows and the thriller Bad Times at the El Royale. In 2019, she portrayed abolitionist Harriet Tubman in the biopic Harriet, for which she earned nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

She is the recipient of several accolades, including a Daytime Emmy Award, a Grammy Award and a Tony Award, in addition to nominations for two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

2. David Oyelowo

David Oyelowo

David Oyetokunbo Oyelowo OBE was born on April 1, 1976 to Nigerian parents in England. His father is from Oyo State while his mother is from Edo State.

He grew up in Tooting south London, until he was six when his family moved to Lagos. The family moved back when he was 14. He had a three -year training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), finishing his three-year training in 1998.

He has played supporting roles in the films such Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Lincoln (2012), Jack Reacher (2012) and garnered praise for portraying Louis Gaines in The Butler (2013).

He is slated to star with Lupita Nyong’o in a film adaptation of the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie novel Americanah. The story follows a pair of young Nigerian immigrants who face a lifetime of struggle while their relationship endures.

3. Yvonne Orji

Yvonne Orji

Yvonne Anuli Orji is a Nigerian-American actress and comedian born on December 2 1983. She is known for her role in the HBO series Insecure. She was born to her Nigerian parents in Port Harcourt, Nigeria but was raised in Maryland, USA. Yvonne has starred in several films like Insecure, Jane The Virgin, Flip the script, etc.

4. John Boyega

John Boyega

John Adedayo B. Adegboyega was born on 17 March 1992 in Peckham England to Nigerian parents. He is known professionally as John Boyega.

He has played Finn in the Star Wars sequel trilogy films The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017) and The Rise of Skywalker.

Boyega’s other credits include historical drama film Detroit (2017), the science fiction film Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018), four episodes of the television series 24: Live Another Day and the drama Imperial Dreams (2014). Boyega received the BAFTA Rising Star Award in 2016.

5. Chiwetel Ejiofor

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Chiwetel Umeadi Ejiofor is a British-Nigerian actor. He was born and raised in the United Kingdom by his Nigerian parents. He is a descendant of the Igbo tribe in Nigeria. After enrolling at the National Youth Theatre in 1995 and attending the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, at age 19 and three months into his course, Ejiofor 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, The Lion King, Half of a Yellow Sun, Deadly travel and so on.

6. Uzo Aduba

Uzo Aduba

Uzoamaka Nwanneka “Uzo” Aduba is an American actress. She was born on February 10, 1981, to Nigerian parents in Boston, USA. Uzo is known for her role as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black, for which she won an Emmy Award.

7. Hakeem Kae-Kazim

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 in Lagos, Nigeria but originally from Ogun State. He has also featured in Nigerian movies like Last flight to Abuja, Black November.

8. Adetomiwa Edun

Adetomiwa Edun

Babatunde Adetomiwa Stafford “Tomiwa” Edun, is a Nigerian-born British actor. He is best known for his roles as Sir Elyan in the television show Merlin, Marcus Young in Bates Motel and Alex Hunter in the football video games FIFA 17, FIFA 18 and FIFA 19.

9. Carmen Ejogo

Carmen Ejogo

Carmen Elizabeth Ejogo is a British television and film actress and singer. She was born on October 22, 1973 to a Scottish mother, Elizabeth (née Douglas) and a Nigerian father, Charles Ejogo. She began her career as a teenager hosting the Saturday Disney morning show from 1993 to 1995. Her film credits include Love’s Labour’s Lost (2000), What’s the Worst That Could Happen? (2001) and Away We Go (2009).