Famous Nigerian Men

Find out more about the greatest Nigerian Men, including Chinua Achebe, Muhammadu Buhari, Uzodinma Iweala, Wole Soyinka and Olusegun Obasanjo
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 1 
Kamaru Usman
(Mixed Martial Artist)
Kamaru Usman
48
Birthdate: May 11, 1987
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Auchi, Nigeria
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 2 
Chinua Achebe
(Nigerian novelist)
Chinua Achebe
24
Birthdate: November 16, 1930
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ogidi, Nigeria Protectorate
Died: March 21, 2013

Chinua Achebe was a Nigerian poet, novelist, professor, and critic. Often described as Africa's greatest storyteller, Achebe is widely regarded as the father of modern African writing. He was the recipient of several awards and honors, including the Man Booker International Prize 2007. His novel Things Fall Apart is one of the most read books in Africa.

 3 
Davido
(Singer-Songwriter)
Davido
54
Birthdate: November 21, 1992
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
American-born Nigerian artist David Adedeji Adeleke, better known as Davido, studied business before venturing into music. He soared to fame with his hit tracks Dami Duro and If. He owns a record label, too. His song Fall was the longest-charting Nigerian pop track in the history of Billboard.
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 4 
Ime Udoka
(Former Professional Basketball Player and Head Coach of the 'Boston Celtics')
Ime Udoka
21
Birthdate: August 9, 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Nigerian-American NBA player Ime Udoka is known for his 7-year stint as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs. His association with experts such as coach Gregg Popovich has enriched his career and raised hopes that he will soon be hired as a head coach by a major team.
 5 
Burna Boy
(Singer)
Burna Boy
18
Birthdate: July 2, 1991
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 6 
Fela Kuti
(Multi-Instrumentalist & the Creator of ‘Afro-beat’, a Genre that Fuses West African Music with American Funk & Jazz)
Fela Kuti
27
Birthdate: October 15, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Abeokuta, Nigeria
Died: August 2, 1997
Political activist and Afrobeat inventor Fela Kuti initially performed with his band Koola Lobitos and later renamed it Nigeria '70. He was inspired by the Black Power movement, which also gradually transformed his musical style. He married 27 women in 1978, to mark the anniversary of the Kalakuta Republic attack.
 7 
Keiynan Lonsdale
(Actor)
Keiynan Lonsdale
18
Birthdate: December 19, 1991
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Australian actor, dancer and singer-songwriter Keiynan Lonsdale is best-known for playing Wally West/Kid Flash in The CW series The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. Other on-screen portrayals of Lonsdale includes Oliver Lloyd in the series Dance Academy and Uriah Pedrad in film The Divergent Series: Insurgent. He has also released the studio-album Rainbow Boy and worked as an MTV VJ.  

 8 
Jay-Jay Okocha
(Nigerian Former Professional Footballer Who Played as an Attacking Midfielder)
Jay-Jay Okocha
15
Birthdate: August 14, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Enugu, Nigeria
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 9 
Alex Iwobi
(Nigerian Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Midfielder)
Alex Iwobi
20
Birthdate: May 3, 1996
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria
 10 
Kelechi Iheanacho
(Nigerian Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Forward)
Kelechi Iheanacho
18
Birthdate: October 3, 1996
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Owerri, Nigeria
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 11 
Osita Iheme
(Actor)
Osita Iheme
12
Birthdate: February 20, 1982
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Abia State
 12 
Wizkid
(Singer-songwriter)
Wizkid
36
Birthdate: July 16, 1990
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Surulere, Lagos

Nigerian singer Wizkid soared to fame with chart-busting tracks such as Holla at Your Boy. A performer who has revolutionized the Afrobeats genre, Wizkid supported Nigeria’s End SARS protests against police brutality, on social media. In 2011, he was part of a paternity scandal but denied having fathered a child.

 13 
Wole Soyinka
(Author, Poet, Playwright)
Wole Soyinka
13
Birthdate: July 13, 1934
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Abeokuta

Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian playwright, poet, and essayist. In 1986, he became the first sub-Saharan African to be honored with the Nobel Prize in Literature. As a young man, he worked with the Royal Court Theatre in London. In Nigeria, he was actively involved in the country’s freedom struggle. He has taught at various international universities.

 14 
Olusegun Obasanjo
(Former President of Nigeria)
Olusegun Obasanjo
9
Birthdate: March 5, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Abeokuta, British Nigeria
Initially a teacher, Olusegun Obasanjo had joined the army as he could not afford college. The People’s Democratic Party leader became the military ruler of Nigeria in 1976 but later handed over his powers to a democratic government. He also became the president 2 decades later. 
 15 
Nwankwo Kanu
(Nigerian Former Professional Footballer Who Played as a Forward)
Nwankwo Kanu
13
Birthdate: August 1, 1976
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Owerri, Nigeria
Height: 6'6" (198 cm)
 16 
Akbar Gbaja-Biamila
(American Former Professional Football Player)
Akbar Gbaja-Biamila
5
Birthdate: May 6, 1979
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 6'6" (198 cm)
 17 
Michael Boulos
(Tiffany Trump’s Boyfriend)
Michael Boulos
32
Birthdate: August 27, 1997
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria
Michael Boulos has mostly been in the news for dating Donald Trump’s younger daughter, Tiffany Trump. The Lebanese-French heir of businessman Massad Boulos is now the associate director of his Nigeria-based family business, SCOA Nigeria; the director of Fadoul Group; and the business development manager of Royalton Investment
 18 
Peter Odemwingie
(Former Nigerian Professional Footballer Who Played as a Forward or Winger)
Peter Odemwingie
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 19 
Ibrahim Babangida
(Eighth President of Nigeria)
Ibrahim Babangida
3
Birthdate: August 17, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Minna, Nigeria
Ibrahim Babangida is a Nigerian former politician and Army general. He is best known for his service as the eighth President of Nigeria from 1985 to 1993. An influential politician, Ibrahim Babangida also served as the Chief of Army Staff from 1 January 1984 to 26 August 1985.
 20 
Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe
(First President of Nigeria)
Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe
11
Birthdate: November 16, 1904
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zungeru, Nigeria
Died: May 11, 1996

Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe was a Nigerian political leader and statesman. From 1963 to 1966, Azikiwe served as the first president of Nigeria. Often referred to as the Father of Nigerian Nationalism, Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe played an important role in Nigeria's struggle for independence. He is also credited with establishing the University of Nigeria (UNN).

 21 
Obafemi Martins
(Nigerian Former Professional Footballer Who Played as a Forward)
Obafemi Martins
15
Birthdate: October 28, 1984
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 22 
Sani Abacha
(Nigerian General Who Ruled as the 10th Head of State of Nigeria)
Sani Abacha
6
Birthdate: September 20, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kano, Nigeria
Died: June 8, 1998
Sani Abacha was a Nigerian general best remembered for his rule as the tenth Head of State of Nigeria from 17 November 1993 until his death on 8 June 1998. An influential military leader, Sani Abacha also served as the Minister of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, and Chief of Army Staff between 1985 and 1993.
 23 
Chinedu Ikedieze
(Nigerian actor)
Chinedu Ikedieze
6
Birthdate: December 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bende, Abia
Height: 4'3" (130 cm)
 24 
Atiku Abubakar
(Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007)
Atiku Abubakar
4
Birthdate: November 25, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Adamawa State
Atiku Abubakar is a Nigerian businessman and politician. He is best known for his service as the Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. An influential political leader, Atiku Abubakar has unsuccessfully contested for the Office of President of Nigeria on multiple occasions. In 2022, he was chosen to represent the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 presidential election.
 25 
Yakubu Gowon
(Head of State of Nigeria from 1966 to 1975)
Yakubu Gowon
7
Birthdate: October 19, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kanke
Yakubu Gowon is a Nigerian former Army general and military leader. In 1966, he served as the Chief of Army Staff. From 1966 to 1975, he served as the Federal Commissioner of Defence. An important political leader, Yakubu Gowon also served as the Head of State of Nigeria from 1 August 1966 to 29 July 1975.
 26 
Ken Saro-Wiwa
(Nigerian Writer & Environmental Activist Who Led Nonviolent Campaigns Against Environmental Degradation)
Ken Saro-Wiwa
4
Birthdate: October 10, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bori, Nigeria
Died: November 10, 1995
Ken Saro-Wiwa was a Nigerian writer, environmental activist, and television producer. He is best remembered for leading nonviolent campaigns against environmental degradation of Ogoniland, home to the Ogoni people of Nigeria. Ken Saro-Wiwa's life and career inspired a couple of novels, namely The Other Side of Truth and Eclipse.  
 27 
Bola Tinubu
(Nigerian Politician Who Served as the Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007)
Bola Tinubu
9
Birthdate: March 29, 1952
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lagos State
Bola Tinubu is a Nigerian politician and accountant. He is best known for his service as the Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007. He also served as the Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 5 December 1992 to 17 November 1993. In 2022, Tinubu was chosen to represent All Progressives Congress in the 2023 presidential election.
 28 
Shola Ameobi
(Nigerian Former Professional Footballer Who Played as a 'Striker')
Shola Ameobi
3
Birthdate: October 12, 1981
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Zaria, Nigeria

Nigerian former footballer Shola Ameobi is remembered for his long stint with English football club Newcastle United. He later also represented other clubs such as Notts County. Son of a pastor, he is quite religious and is associated with charitable organizations that work for religious freedom.

 29 
Moshood Abiola
(Nigerian Politician, Businessman, and Publisher)
Moshood Abiola
5
Birthdate: August 24, 1937
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Abeokuta, Nigeria
Died: July 7, 1998
Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola was a Nigerian politician, businessman, and publisher. Nicknamed the President Who Never Ruled, Abiola took part in the presidential elections in 1993. Unfortunately, the results of the election were annulled by Ibrahim Babangida, claiming that the election was corrupt and unfair. By the time of his demise, Abiola had become a symbol of democracy.
 30 
Rick Famuyiwa
(Film Director)
Rick Famuyiwa
5
Birthdate: June 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Laie, Hawaii, United States

Rick Famuyiwa is a Nigerian-American filmmaker and screenwriter. Some of his best-known works include the 1999 coming-of-age film, The Wood, 2002 romantic comedy movie, Brown Sugar, and 2015 coming-of-age film, Dope. Over the years, Famuyiwa has been vocal about the issues faced by African-Americans in the film industry and works hard to resolve such issues.

 31 
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
(Spiritual Leader and Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria)
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
0
Birthdate: July 31, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kano
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is a Nigerian spiritual leader and banker. He served as the Emir of Kano from 8 June 2014 to 9 March 2020. During his reign as Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi advocated cultural reform in Northern Nigeria. From 2009 to 2014, he also served as the Central Bank of Nigeria's governor.
 32 
Efe Ajagba
(Boxer)
Efe Ajagba
1
Birthdate: April 22, 1994
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ughelli, Nigeria
Height: 6'6" (198 cm)
 33 
Samuel Peter
(Boxer)
Samuel Peter
1
Birthdate: September 6, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Akwa Ibom, Nigeria
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 34 
Umaru Musa Yar'Adua
(The 13th President of Nigeria)
Umaru Musa Yar'Adua
4
Birthdate: August 16, 1951
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Katsina, Nigeria
Died: May 5, 2010

Umaru Musa Yar'Adua became President of Nigeria after winning the highly-controversial 2007 presidential election as candidate of PDP. He earlier served as Governor of Katsina. He went to Saudi Arabia in November 2009 to receive treatment for pericarditis. He was never seen in public again and although he returned to Nigeria in February 2010, he died in May that year.   

 35 
Dr. Alban
(Recording artist and producer with his own record label, Dr. Records)
Dr. Alban
4
Birthdate: August 26, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oguta, Nigeria
 36 
Bukola Saraki
(Nigerian Politician Who Served as the President of Nigerian Senate from 2015 to 2019)
Bukola Saraki
1
Birthdate: December 19, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Bukola Saraki is a Nigerian politician best known for his service as the President of the Nigerian Senate from 9 June 2015 to 11 June 2019. He also served as the Governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011 and as the Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 2011 to 2019.
 37 
Francis Uzoho
(Nigerian Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Goalkeeper)
Francis Uzoho
3
Birthdate: October 28, 1998
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nwangele, Imo State, Nigeria
Height: 6'5" (196 cm)
 38 
Korede Bello
(Singer-Songwriter)
Korede Bello
22
Birthdate: February 29, 1996
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lagos State

Nigerian singer Korede Bello was just 7 when he had started performing, using the pseudonym African Prince. His single Godwin later catapulted him to fame. Bello also boasts of a mass communication degree and has been associated with philanthropic activities such as cancer awareness programs.

 39 
C. Odumegwu Ojukwu
(Nigerian Military Leader and Politician Who Ruled as the 1st president of Biafra)
C. Odumegwu Ojukwu
4
Birthdate: November 4, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zungeru, Nigeria
Died: November 26, 2011

An Oxford graduate, Nigerian military leader and politician C. Odumegwu Ojukwu started his career as an administrative officer. He later reigned at the governor of the Eastern Region in Nigeria and became the 1st president of Biafra. He won many accolades, including the honorary title of the Ikemba of Nnewi.

 40 
Muhammadu Buhari
(7th and 15th President of Nigeria)
Muhammadu Buhari
19
Birthdate: December 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Daura, Nigeria

Muhammadu Buhari is a Nigerian politician and the current president of Nigeria. Since becoming the president, Buhari has introduced many social welfare programs that address unemployment and poverty. The programs were mainly introduced to help increase economic development in the country.

 41 
Joseph Ossai
(American football player)
Joseph Ossai
1
Birthdate: April 13, 2000
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
 42 
Usman dan Fodio
(Founder and the First Caliph of Sokoto Caliphate)
Usman dan Fodio
7
Birthdate: December 15, 1754
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Gobir, Nigeria
Died: April 20, 1817

Fulani scholar, Sunni Islamic religious teacher, philosopher and revolutionary Usman Ɗan Fodio became the founder and first Sultan of Sokoto Caliphate in West Africa after defeating the Hausa Kingdoms in the Fulani War. Usman encouraged literacy and scholarship for both men and women. He is viewed as a Mujaddid by Muslims and considered the most significant reforming leader of Africa. 

 43 
Pete Edochie
(Actor)
Pete Edochie
1
Birthdate: March 7, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Enugu
 44 
Shehu Shagari
(The First Nigerian President to be Democratically Elected)
Shehu Shagari
2
Birthdate: February 25, 1925
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Shagari, Nigeria
Died: December 28, 2018

The great-grandson of a leader who founded his village, Nigerian politician Shehu Shagari served as the 6th president and the 1st democratically elected president of Nigeria. Initially a teacher, he joined politics as the secretary of the Northern People's Congress. He strengthened the economy of Nigeria and deported countless West African migrants.

 45 
Taribo West
(Nigerian Pastor and Former Professional Footballer Who Played as a Defender)
Taribo West
2
Birthdate: March 26, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 46 
Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi
(Nigerian General Who Was the Country's First Military Head of State)
Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi
5
Birthdate: March 3, 1924
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Umuahia
Died: July 29, 1966

Nigerian general Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi was named Johnny Ironside after facing an angry mob of Congolese people during the Congo Crisis and releasing hostages from Katangese rebels. He reigned as Nigeria’s 1st military head of state. He was eventually assassinated by a few Northern Nigerian officers.

 47 
William Troost-Ekong
(Dutch and Nigerian Professional Footballer Who Plays as a Centre-Back)
William Troost-Ekong
3
Birthdate: September 1, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Haarlem, Netherlands
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)
 48 
King Sunny Ade
(Singer)
King Sunny Ade
0
Birthdate: September 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ondo City, Ondo State, Nigeria
 49 
Ahmadu Bello
(The First and Only Premier of Northern Nigeria)
Ahmadu Bello
2
Birthdate: June 12, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rabbah bar Nahmani
Died: January 15, 1966

Nigerian statesman Ahmadu Bello was the only Premier of Northern Nigeria. The Sardauna of Sokoto, he was one of the main spokespersons for Northern Nigeria during the country’s struggle for independence. He is also remembered as a founding father of modern Nigeria. He was assassinated in Nigeria’s first military coup.

 50 
Joseph Yobo
(Nigerian Former Professional Footballer Who Played as a Centre Back)
Joseph Yobo
1
Birthdate: September 6, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kono, Rivers State, Nigeria
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)