As much as the name of our country, Nigeria keeps appearing in the same sentence with negative words like internet fraud, embezzlement, robbery, poverty and corruption, our country remains notable for birthing many notable global stars. Hustle is in the Nigerian blood — provide the platform and you will discover there are yet many Nigerian stars waiting to be born.
The names on this list of top 10 Nigerians that are making global impact proves that whether you were born in Nigeria or not, as long as you are specially gifted and possess the Nigerian hustle spirit—as one with a Nigerian origin, you will be heard worldwide. Here are the top 10 Nigerians that are making global impacts:
Burna Boy taking first place on this list is purely intentional. With the moves he is making of recent that’s had him sing alongside other top international artistes on Beyonce’s The Gift album, give an interview on Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show, perform on Jimmy Kimmel’s live show and receive the BET award for Best International Act, it seems perfectly fitting that he appears on top of the list of top 10 Nigerians that are making global impact.
Genevieve Nnaji is to Nigerians what Meryl Streep or Jennifer Aniston is to Americans: admired, loved and respected. Aspiring Nigerian actresses long to be like her. And that admiration and respect tripled with the release of her Netflix-sponsored movie, Lionheart. Genevieve Nnaji is one of the Nigerian actresses pushing Nollywood to greater heights.
The vivacious and ever-smiling Yvonne Orji came into limelight for her recurring role as Molly in the hit HBO series Insecure. She was also featured in Kevin Hart’s Night School. You’d hardly guess that Yvonne Orji grew up in Nigeria judging by the way she mingles so well with Americans, effortlessly speaking their ‘y’all’ accent. Yvonne Orji was born to Nigerian parents in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Call her the queen of contemporary Nigerian literature and no one will debate that. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has carved a niche for herself like her respected predecessor Chinua Achebe did. One of her international best-selling books titled Half of a Yellow Sun was made into a Hollywood movie featuring popular actor Chiwetel Ejiofor. She is also a juggernaut of the feminist movement in modern times. Her book, Dear Ijeawele or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions shook the literary scene around the globe.
Even in the field of sports, Nigerians are a force to be reckoned with. Anthony Joshua whose full name is Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua is a Nigerian-British who has won several awards as a British professional boxer.
Just like Anthony Joshua, Carmen Ejogo is a British with Nigerian origin. She is known for starring in many Hollywood movies like The Avengers, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Sparkle, Selma, The Purge: Anarchy, Metro and Fantastic Beasts among others.
Chiwetel Ejiofor is the most popular international actor with Nigerian origin. Born to Nigerian parents in London, Chiwetel Ejiofor became a recognizable figure in Hollywood for starring in award-winning movies like 12 Years a Slave, Half of a Yellow Sun, Secret in Their Eyes and Deadly Voyage.
Jidenna whose full name is Jidenna Theodore Mobisson is a Nigerian-American who won the hearts of Nigerians with his charming looks, melodious songs, and classic dress style. His singles ‘Classic Man’ and ‘Bambi’ were hits worldwide.
David Oyelowo is another popular actor in Hollywood who was born to Nigerian parents in Oxford, England. He has starred in movies like Rising of the Planet of the Apes, The Butler, Middle of Nowhere, Blood and Oil and Small Island.
John Obi Mikel
This born and bred Nigerian is a respected name in the field of sports. John Obi Mikel has come a long way from the 17-year-old boy who kicked off his football career with local club Plateau United. Currently, worth $25 million, John Obi Mikel is a midfielder for Turkish club Trabzonspor.