Nigerian

Nigeria, often referred to as the "Giant of Africa", is a country known for its diverse culture as it is inhabited by over 500 ethnic groups, each with its own unique language and traditions. The nation had been the home of numerous kingdoms and tribes before coming under British colonial rule. Nnamdi Azikiwe emerged as one of the leading figures of modern Nigerian nationalism and served as the first President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. Even though Nigeria went through decades of political turmoil, the ever resilient Nigerians continued making new strides in the areas of arts, culture, sports, and literature. The nation has produced poets and writers like John Pepper Clark, Ben Okri, Cyprian Ekwensi, Buchi Emecheta, and Helon Habila who have achieved fame on the international level. Nigerians have excelled in the field of sports, especially in basketball. Hakeem Olajuwon, Yinka Dare, Obinna Ekezie, Festus Ezeli and Olumide Oyedeji are some of the prominent sports stars in the country. Nigeria's human rights record remains poor giving rise to activists like Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi who has been associated with a number of international women's rights and philanthropy organizations. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous Nigerians.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya
47
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Mixed martial artist
Birthdate: July 22, 1989
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria

 2 Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon
13
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: January 21, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria

Hakeem Olajuwon is a former basketball player. Nicknamed The Dream, because of his dream-like ability to dunk effortlessly, Olajuwon is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketballers of all time. Apart from leading the Houston Rockets to two back-to-back NBA championships, Hakeem Olajuwon also helped the US national team win the Olympic gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics.

 3 Kamaru Usman

Kamaru Usman
24
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Mixed martial artist
Birthdate: May 11, 1987
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Auchi, Nigeria
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 4 Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe
7
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Nigerian novelist
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.

 5 Bennet Omalu

Bennet Omalu
2
Listed In: Physicians
Famous As: Pathologist, Neuropathologist
Birthdate: September 30, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Idemili South, Nigeria

Nigerian-American physician, forensic-pathologist and neuropathologist Bennet Omalu is most-noted for discovering chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football players. He was serving at Allegheny County coroner's office in Pittsburgh at that time. He presently serves as President and Medical Director of Bennet Omalu Pathology, chief medical examiner for San Joaquin County, and as professor at the University of California, Davis.

 6 Fela Kuti

Fela Kuti
8
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Multi-instrumentalist
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 Davido

Davido
26
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
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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 8 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
6
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 15, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Enugu, Nigeria

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer and feminist. She is popular for writing novels, such as Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun. She is credited with popularizing African literature among a new generation of readers, especially in the United States. In 2015, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People.

 9 Keiynan Lonsdale

Keiynan Lonsdale
4
Famous As: Actor
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.  

 10 Burna Boy

Burna Boy
5
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: July 2, 1991
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

 11 Kelechi Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Nigerian footballer
Birthdate: October 3, 1996
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Imo, Nigeria

 12 Jay-Jay Okocha

Jay-Jay Okocha
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: August 14, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Enugu, Nigeria

 13 Osita Iheme

Osita Iheme
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 20, 1982
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Abia State

 14 Muhammadu Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari
10
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Politician
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.

 15 John Obi Mikel

John Obi Mikel
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Nigerian footballer
Birthdate: April 22, 1987
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jos, Nigeria

 16 Wizkid

Wizkid
13
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
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.

 17 Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage
3
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 31, 1980
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lagos Island, Lagos, Nigeria

Tiwa Savage is a Nigerian singer, actress, and songwriter. After having created an opportunity to establish herself in the United Kingdom, Savage returned to Nigeria and played an important role in elevating the Nigerian music industry. In 2018, she became the first woman to win the MTV Europe Music Award under the Best African Act category.

 18 Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Author, Poet, Playwright
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.

 19 Nwankwo Kanu

Nwankwo Kanu
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: August 1, 1976
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Owerri

 20 Yvonne Orji

Yvonne Orji
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 2, 1983
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Port Harcourt, Rivers State Rivers, Nigeria

 21 Olusegun Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo
2
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Former President of Nigeria
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. 

 22 Akbar Gbaja-Biamila

Akbar Gbaja-Biamila
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: May 6, 1979
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

 23 Michael Boulos

Michael Boulos
13
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Tiffany Trump’s Boyfriend
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Lagos
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

 24 Genevieve Nnaji

Genevieve Nnaji
2
Famous As: Nigerian actress
Birthdate: May 3, 1979
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mbaise

 25 Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: 7th Director-General of the World Trade Organization
Birthdate: June 13, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ogwashi Ukwu, Nigeria

 26 Folorunsho Alakija

Folorunsho Alakija
1
Listed In: Business People
Famous As: Business Women
Birthdate: July 15, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria Protectorate

 27 Ibrahim Babangida

Ibrahim Babangida
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: 8th President of Nigeria
Birthdate: August 17, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Minna, Nigeria

 28 Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe

Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe
3
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: First President of Nigeria
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).

 29 Obafemi Martins

Obafemi Martins
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: October 28, 1984
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lagos

 30 Hausa Queen Amina

Hausa Queen Amina
6
Famous As: Queen of Nigeria
Birthdate: 1533 AD
Birthplace: Zaria, Nigeria
Died: 1610 AD

Nigerian warrior queen Amina ruled the 16th-century city-state Zazzau at a time when women leaders were hard to come by. Her 34-year-old reign saw her expanding her kingdom and developing trade routes. Some believe she was merely a mythical figure, but remnants of the walls she had built prove otherwise.

 31 Peter Odemwingie

Peter Odemwingie
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Retired Football player
Birthdate: July 15, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tashkent, Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union

 32 Henry Onyekuru

Henry Onyekuru
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Nigerian footballer
Birthdate: June 5, 1997
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Onitsha

 33 Toks Olagundoye

Toks Olagundoye
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 16, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria

 34 Rick Famuyiwa

Rick Famuyiwa
1
Famous As: Film Director
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.

 35 Bola Tinubu

Bola Tinubu
3
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Accountant, Politician
Birthdate: March 29, 1952
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lagos State

 36 Chinedu Ikedieze

Chinedu Ikedieze
2
Famous As: Nigerian actor
Birthdate: December 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bende, Abia

 37 Funke Akindele

Funke Akindele
1
Famous As: Nigerian actress
Birthdate: August 24, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ikorodu

 38 Yakubu Gowon

Yakubu Gowon
3
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Politician, Military personnel
Birthdate: October 19, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kanke

 39 Ken Saro-Wiwa

Ken Saro-Wiwa
1
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Writer, Environmental activist
Birthdate: October 10, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bori, Nigeria
Died: November 10, 1995

 40 Obafemi Awolowo

Obafemi Awolowo
5
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Political Leader
Birthdate: March 6, 1909
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ikenne, Western Region, British Nigeria
Died: May 9, 1987

Obafemi Awolowo was a Nigerian nationalist and statesman. He played a key role in Nigeria's independence movement. He began his career as a journalist and edited several publications. He later studied law and entered politics. As a politician, he was respected for his exemplary integrity and strong character. The Obafemi Awolowo Foundation was founded in his memory in 1992.

 41 Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola

Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola
1
Listed In: Business People
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: August 24, 1937
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Abeokuta, Nigeria
Died: July 7, 1998

 42 Atiku Abubakar

Atiku Abubakar
2
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Custom officer, Politician
Birthdate: November 25, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Adamawa State

 43 Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Banker
Birthdate: July 31, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kano

 44 Dr. Alban

Dr. Alban
0
Listed In: Musicians
Famous As: Recording artist and producer with his own record label, Dr. Records
Birthdate: August 26, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oguta, Nigeria

 45 Samuel Peter

Samuel Peter
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Boxer
Birthdate: September 6, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Akwa Ibom, Nigeria

 46 Bukola Saraki

Bukola Saraki
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 19, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius

 47 Korede Bello

Korede Bello
16
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
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.

 48 Shola Ameobi

Shola Ameobi
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Football Player
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.

 49 Omotola Jalade Ekeinde

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 7, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lagos

 50 Tanitoluwa Adewumi

Tanitoluwa Adewumi
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Chess Player
Birthdate: September 3, 2010
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nigeria