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Meet Hakeem Kae-Kazim, World Famous Actor You Never Knew He Was a Nigerian

Hakeem Kae-Kazim /hɑːˈkiːm ˌkeɪ ˈkæzɪm/ (born 1 October 1962) is a British-Nigerian actor best known for his work in the Starztelevision series Black Sails and his portrayal of Georges Rutaganda in the 2004 drama film Hotel Rwanda.

Early life

Kae-Kazim was born in Lagos, Nigeria, where he spent his early years before his family re-located to London, England.[ His interest in acting began with school plays and The National Youth Theatre, which is when he discovered that he had “a love for theatre, for acting”. He trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, graduating in 1987 and was offered a space with The Royal Shakespeare Company, where he continued his classical training.

Film and television career

After working alongside Brian Cox and Ian McKellen for The Royal National Theatre, Kae-Kazim made a successful transition into British television, appearing in The BillTrial & Retribution and multiple episodes of popular BBC series Grange Hill.[ He then moved to South Africa, where he became well known for film and television roles.  However, it was his role as Georges Rutaganda in the critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated film Hotel Rwanda, which brought him to international attention.

Following the success of Hotel Rwanda, Kae-Kazim re-located to Los Angeles, which brought a range of new opportunities his way. He went on to appear in Slipstream alongside Sean Astin and The Front Line before starring 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.[

Kae-Kazim appeared in various hit television shows including LostLaw & Order: Special Victims Unit and Criminal Minds. He also starred as Colonel Iké Dubaku in season 7 of the Fox television series 24 and the television movie tie-in 24: Redemption. Kae-Kazim continued to build up a following with roles in Gotham and Dominion, although his longest running role has been in the Michael Bay produced Starz series, Black Sails. Speaking about his character, Mr Scott, Kae-Kazim claimed to have based him on pirate of the time, Black Caesar. He played Samson in part one of the 2016 miniseries remake Roots. In November 2017, Kae-Kazim was cast in the recurring role of Cesil Colby on The CWreboot series Dynasty.

Kae-Kazim is currently starring in the BBC fantasy series Troy: Fall of a City as Zeus, king of the Olympians.

Voiceover work

Called the ‘Man with a Beautiful Voice’, Kae-Kazim has also done extensive voiceover work ranging from television and radio to video games. His voice has been featured in a number of well known video games including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Final Fantasy XIV, Halo 3 ODST, Halo: Reach, Guild Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, The Golden Compass and The Saboteur. Kae-Kazim has spoken of voice over work as being “a lot of fun”, and something he enjoys doing.

Humanitarian causes

Kae-Kazim is an appointed global ambassador for Africa 2.0  a civil society organisation providing a platform for emerging and established African leaders to drive forward the transformation of Africa.

Speaking about his role as ambassador, Kae-Kazim said: “I am truly honoured to be associated with Africa 2.0 – a pioneering platform for a new generation of African leaders to inspire and create a solid infrastructure- to shape a brighter future for our continent”

Filmography

Film

Year 2006Title The LibrarianRole Jomo
1999After the RainBingo
1999The Secret Laughter of WomenDr. Ade
2002Global EffectSatto
2003God Is AfricanFemi
2004Critical AssignmentJomo
2004Coming to South AfricaMike
2004Hotel RwandaGeorges Rutaganda
2005Coming to South Africa 2Mike
2005SlipstreamRunson
2005Out on a LimbD.I. Edwards
2005Othello: A South African TaleIago
2006The Front LineErasmus
2007Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s EndCaptain Jocard
2007Big FellasRay Whitehead
2007OthelloIago
2007The JinnAhmad
2008Tony 5Preacher
2009X-Men Origins: WolverineAfrican Businessman
2009The One Last Time (short)Batman
2009Hurricane in the Rose GardenEddie
2009The Fourth KindAwolowa Odusami
2009DarfurCaptain Jack Tobamke
2010InaleOdeh
2010Faith and Dreams (short)Rebel Leader
2011CIS: Las GidiCommander Mohammad
2011Black GoldDede
2011Man on GroundAde
2011Inside StoryValentine
2012Black NovemberDede
2012Last Flight to AbujaAdesola
2012The American Failure (short)Detective Matheis
2013Half of a Yellow SunCaptain DUTSE
2015The Boy (short)The Father
2015Dias Santana (completed)Obi Mukwa
2015Daylight’s End (post-production)Chris Whitlock
2015Chasing the Rain (post-production)Mutua
2015Yefon (pre-production)Fon Nto

Television

YearTitleRole
1987The District NurseAdemola
1988The BillKuzalo
1989SaracenBazantsi
1991Screen OneJerome
1992Double Vision (TV Movie)Barman
1993Runaway BayHenry Ornette
1994Love HurtsDesmond Matankube
1994Grange HillMr. Manyeke
1995Hidden Empire: A Son of Africa (TV Movie)Equiano
1996EllingtonTommy Knight
1996Testament: The Bible in AnimationHam
1997Trial & RetributionD.C. Cranham / DC Cranham
1997The Adventures of SinbadAli Rashid
2000Die Wüstenrose (TV Movie)Raad
2000Animated Epics: Moby DickQueequeg
2003Canterbury TalesYasouf
2004Human CargoYoussef
2004Mazinyo Dot QCharles
2004King Solomon’s MinesTwala
2005The TriangleSaunders
2006The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s MinesJomo
2006LostEmeka
2007CaneTommy
2007Law & Order: Special Victims UnitChuckwei Bothame
2011CIS: Las GidiCommander Mohammad
2008Ben 10: Alien ForceSir Connor
200824: RedemptionColonel Ike Dubaku
200924Colonel Ike Dubaku
2010The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest HeroesT’Chaka
2010Human TargetAndre Markus
2011Criminal MindsJulio Ruiz
2011NCIS: Los AngelesAbdul Habassa
2011Generator RexGhrun Set
2012Covert AffairsSomali Pirate
2012Strike BackSulaimani
2014GothamRichard Gladwell
2014State of Affairs
2014–2015Black SailsMr. Scott
2015DominionThe Prophet
2016VixenEshu
2016Roots (miniseries)Samson (Part 1)
2017Dragons: Race to the EdgeKrogan
2017–DynastyCesil Colby
2018Troy: Fall of a CityZeus

Voiceover

YearTitleNotes
2006Guild Wars: NightfallVideo Game
2007Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s EndVideo Game
2007The Golden CompassVideo Game
2009The Bourne ConspiracyVideo Game
2009Halo 3: ODSTVideo Game
2009The SaboteurVideo Game
2010Halo: ReachVideo Game
2010Final Fantasy XIVVideo Game (English version)
2011Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3Video Game
2011Saints Row: The ThirdVideo Game
2012Unit 13Video Game
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