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14 Nigerian Actors & Actresses Really Making Waves In Hollywood [+Photos]

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Nigeria is without a doubt a country filled with lots of talented people and is the homeland to several people who are steady making the country proud outside its shores.

This lovely noon, the 36NG team has decided to celebrate this lovely set of people who are doing good with their talent in Hollywood and have featured in top rated movies and blockbusters. Find the list below:

holly-agbaje
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Nigerian-British citizen, born of Yoruba parents, in Islington, London.Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje has a law degree from King’s College London and a Masters in Law from the University of London. He is fluent in several languages including Yoruba, Italian, and Swahili. He can “get along” in a few other languages, including French.

Over the years, he has successfully infused Yoruba language into few of his characters in Hollywoodmovies, the most notable being “Mo ti so fun e teletele (I told you before), Ori e o pe (you are out of your mind) in theHollywood block buster, Bourne Identity.

His muscular and formidable body has earned him distinct roles in the movie world.
Akinnuoye-Agbaje has featured in blockbuster movies such as Bourne Identity, The Mummy Returns, The Legionnaire, Get Rich or Die Tryin,’ Unstoppable, GI Joe: The Rise of the Cobra, The Lost series and The New York Undercover series, best known for his roles as Lock-Nah in The Mummy Returns Akinnuoye-Agbaje has said he would direct a film about his life story.

Recently, he made a guest appearance in the second episode ofseason 8 of Monk, and also played Derek Jameson in the 2011 film, The Thing. He will also portrayed Kurse in the Marvel Studios film, Thor: The Dark World.

holly-hakeem1

Hakeem Kae Kazim

Hakeem Kae Kassim is a British trained actor, who was born in Lagos but moved to South Africa, where he lived and learnt his trade. He has since become a regular face in both
Hollywood and Nollywood, thriving even with endorsement deals.holly-hakeem2

Kae Kazim has apparently got some impressive roles in Hollywood movies some of which are The Pirate of the Carribeans: At World’s End, Hotel Rwanda, X- Men Origins: Wolverine, The Fourth Kind. The Forth Kind was written and directed by a Nigeria,
Olatunde Osunsanmi and also Last Flight to Abuja where he featured alongside Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde. Hakeem’s role in 24 is one of his unforgettable as he played Colonel Dubaku.

holly-chiwetel1
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Chiwetelu Umeadi Ejiofor is probably the most popular Nigerian inHollywood today. Good looking Ejiofor was born in London of Igbo parentage. His style of acting has not only earned him great roles in British and Hollywood movies, ithas also endeared him to directors, who seemto pick him as first choice when biography flicks are concerned. Ejiofor has some movies such as Amistad, 12 Years a Slave, Dirty Pretty Things, Salt, End Game, Inside Man, Four Brothers and Mind Games.holly-chiwetel2

Ejiofor was awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), in the 2008. In the same year, he made his directorial debut in the short film, Slapper, which he also wrote, based on an idea by editor/director, Yusuf Pirhasan. Ejiofor appeared alongside John Cusack in the 2009 film, 2012. The film went on to gross over $700 million, and is among the list of highest-grossing films of all times, placing fifth of top films of 2009.

This year, Ejiofor appears in the leading role in the BBC’s 2 drama series Dancing on the Edge, playing the part of band creator, Louis Lester.

"12 Years A Slave" New York Screening
Gbenga Akinnagbe

Gbenga Akinnagbe is a Nigerian American actor and writer, best known for his role as Chris Partlow on the HBO series, The Wire

Akinnagbe was born in Washington DC to Nigerian parents, while he was raised in Silver Spring Maryland.

Akinnagbe was in and out of trouble as a youth. He is the second oldest of six children, one older sister and four younger brothers. He is the first in his family to be born in the US. He attended Colonel Zadok A. Magruder High School in Rockville, Maryland. Akinnagbe attended Bucknell University on a wrestling scholarship, majoring
in political science and English.holly-akinnagbe2

He is the cousin of DC rapper, Wale. Some of his film roles include Damage, Blue Blood, The Wire and the latest of the movies he’s featured in is 24: Live Another Day where he acted alongside Keifer Sutherland popularly known as ‘Jack Bauer’.

holly-caroline1Caroline Chikezie

Caroline Chikezie is a Nigerian-British actress who was born and grew up on the streets of London. Being raised on the streets of London has made her one of the established British ctress of Igbo origin. She also found her way into prominent Hollywood movies and TV series after her role in Aeon Flux. Some of the movies in which she featuredare Eragon, Aeon Flux, Breaking and Entering, The Supernatural Tv series
and The Torchwood TV series.

After roles in Holby City, Casualty, and the award-winning British film, Baby Mother,
Chikezie landed her first major role as bitchy Sasha Williams in As If in 2001.holly-caroline2

In 2004, she landed a regular role as Kyle Pascoe’s girlfriend, Elaine Hardy, in Series Four of Footballer’s Wives. Her other television works includes 40, Judas Kiss, Free Fall and Brothers and Sisters. She appeared as Lisa Hallett, a member of the secret organisation of Torchwood who had been transformed into a half-human half- Cyberman in Cyberwoman.

holly-sonniSonni Chidiebere

Sonni Chidiebere is a Nigerian actor also making mild waves in Hollywood.

This Nigerian-Igbo actor has earned minor roles in some blockbusterHollywood movies. They include Hotel Rwanda, Blood Diamond, District 9 and Lord of War. Born in Nigeria, he grew up in South Africa, where he started his acting career.holly-sonni2

holly-edunEdun Adetomiwa
Edun was born in Lagos, Nigeria, to a Nigerian father and a half-Ghanaian, half-English mother. Edun moved to the United Kingdom at the age of 11. He attended Eton College from the age of 13, before reading Classics at Christ’s College, Cambridge (University of Cambridge).

In his final year at Christ’s College, he won the dissertation prize for his thesis on Homer’s Odyssey. His father, a financier, encouraged Edun to enter banking as a career, and he interned with Citigroup. He considered studying for a Master of Philosophy degree, but decided to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) instead.holly-edun2

Edun is the coloured character in Merlin, who later became Prince Authur’s in-law and
knight. He has featured in a number of series and some films, which include Shakespeares Globe, Romeo and Juliet, The Merlin Tv Series, The Law And Order, UK TV
series.

holly-nonso1Nonso Anozie

Nonso Anozie, is a UK born Nigeria actor who is of Igbo origin, has made his way to become one of the fast rising actors in Hollywood.

Having featured in prominent Hollywood blockbusters, Anozie’s distinct Igbo intonation
came to fore in the Hollywood flick, Conan the Barbarian.holly-nonso2

His featured movies include Conan the Barbarian, The Grey, Rock and Rolla, Nanny Mcphee Returns and The Last Legion.

holly-valentine1
Ndoka Valentine Ndubisi

Ndoka Valentine Ndubisi would be easily spotted for his role in Fighting Temptations, where he acted alongside Beyonce Knowles. This apparently handsome man of Igbo decent has acted in a fewmovie flicks. Not much information isavailable on his background and
parentage.

However, he is known to have featured in movies like Fighting Temptations, Concrete Brown, Unforgiven Sins and Somebodies.

holly-adepero1Adepero Oduye

Adepero Oduye hails from Brooklyn, New York City by way of Nigeria. She is a graduate of Cornell University; and has studied acting with Wynn Handman, Austin Pendleton, and Susan Batson. Her name is pronounced “Add-eh-pair-o Oh-due-yay.”
Her theatre credits include Danai Gurira’s play Eclipsed, at the Yale Repertory Theatre.holly-adepero2

She featured in 12 Year A Slave alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor who’s also on this list. Other movies she’s featured in includes Steel Magnolias, Geostorm, The Door and Pariah.

holly-sophie1
Sophie Okonedo

Sophie Okonedo is another British actress with mixed parentage but of Nigerian paternity-from Edo State.

Okonedo, who rose to become one of the most sought after actresses in England, holds the prestigious award of OBE. With features in severalHollywood movies. holly-sophie2

Okonedo would be most remembered for her roles in Aeon Flux, Hotel Rwanda, Alex Rider, Operation Storm Breaker, Ace Ventura, Dirty Pretty Things, and Martian
Child.

holly-oyelowo1David Oyelowo

David Oyetokunbo Oyelowo is a classically trained stage actor who is of Nigerian origin, has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents. He was born in Oxford, England, to Nigerian parents; his father, Stephen, worked for an airline company and his mother for the railway.

Oyelowo graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), and received the “Scholarship for Excellence” from Nicholas Hytner in 1998.holly-oyelowo2

He has featured in movies such as Selma, Interstellar, The Butler, A Most Violent Year and more popularly Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

holly-uzo1
Uzo Aduba

Uzoamaka Nwaneka “Uzo” Aduba is an American actress of Nigerian origin.

The Igbo actress is known for her role as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on the Netflix television series Orange Is the New Black (2013–present), for which she won the 2014 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.holly-uzo2

She also won the 2015 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series.

Dayo Okeniyi at San Vincente Mountain Park
Dayo Okeniyi

Oladayo A. “Dayo” Okeniyi (born June 14, 1988) is a Nigerian American actor, popularly known for playing the role of Thresh in The Hunger Games.

Dayo was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and has four siblings. His father is a retired customs officer fromNigeria, and his mother is a Literature teacher from Kenya.holly-okeniyi2

In 2003, he moved with his family to Indiana, United States, from Nigeria and later moved to California.[1] He earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications at Anderson University (Indiana) in 2009.

Prior to being cast in The Hunger Games, Okeniyi worked in local theatre and in film shorts. Okeniyi starred 2014 in the drama films Endless Love and potrayed Danny Dyson in Terminator Genisys.

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