Nigerian

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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.
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 1 
Chinua Achebe
(Nigerian novelist)
Chinua Achebe
15
Listed In: Writers
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.

 2 
Sade
(Frontwoman of the Soul Band Sade)
Sade
26
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 16, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ibadan, Nigeria

Nigerian-British singer Helen Folasade Adu, or Sade Adu, often blends Afro-Cuban tunes with soul and smooth jazz in her music. The Grammy Award winner had initially studied fashion designing and been a model. The founder of the band Sade, she has released iconic tracks such as No Ordinary Love.

 3 
Burna Boy
(Singer)
Burna Boy
11
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 2, 1991
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
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 4 
Davido
(Singer-Songwriter)
Davido
40
Listed In: Musicians
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.
 5 
Fela Kuti
(Multi-Instrumentalist & the Creator of ‘Afro-beat’, a Genre that Fuses West African Music with American Funk & Jazz)
Fela Kuti
17
Listed In: Activists
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.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
14
Listed In: Writers
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.

 7 
Ime Udoka
(Former Professional Basketball Player and Head Coach of the 'Boston Celtics')
Ime Udoka
13
Listed In: Sportspersons
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.
 8 
Keiynan Lonsdale
13
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.  

 9 
Jay-Jay Okocha
(Footballer)
Jay-Jay Okocha
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 14, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Enugu, Nigeria
 10 
Osita Iheme
6
Birthdate: February 20, 1982
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Abia State
 11 
Kelechi Iheanacho
(Nigerian footballer)
Kelechi Iheanacho
13
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 3, 1996
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Imo, Nigeria
 12 
Wizkid
(Singer-songwriter)
Wizkid
27
Listed In: Singers
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 
John Obi Mikel
(Nigerian footballer)
John Obi Mikel
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 22, 1987
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jos, Nigeria
 14 
Wole Soyinka
(Author, Poet, Playwright)
Wole Soyinka
10
Listed In: Writers
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.

 15 
Tiwa Savage
(Nigerian Singer and Actress Known for Her Album ‘Once Upon a Time’ and ‘I Look to You’)
Tiwa Savage
8
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: February 5, 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.

 16 
Olusegun Obasanjo
(Former President of Nigeria)
Olusegun Obasanjo
5
Listed In: Leaders
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. 
 17 
Yvonne Orji
(Actress)
Yvonne Orji
2
Birthdate: December 2, 1983
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Port Harcourt, Rivers State Rivers, Nigeria
 18 
Obafemi Martins
(Footballer)
Obafemi Martins
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 28, 1984
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lagos
 19 
Folorunsho Alakija
(Business Women)
Folorunsho Alakija
2
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: July 15, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria Protectorate
 20 
Nwankwo Kanu
(Footballer)
Nwankwo Kanu
9
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 1, 1976
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Owerri
 21 
Akbar Gbaja-Biamila
(American football player)
Akbar Gbaja-Biamila
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 6, 1979
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
 22 
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
(Nigerian-American Economist Who Has Served in Several Ministerial Positions in Nigeria)
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
6
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: June 13, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ogwashi Ukwu, Nigeria
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a Nigerian-American economist and political figure. She served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2006 before serving as the Coordinating Minister for the Economy of Nigeria from 17 August 2011 to 29 May 2015. Ngozi also served as the Minister of Finance on two separate occasions; from 2003 to 2006 and again from 2011 to 2015.
 23 
Michael Boulos
(Tiffany Trump’s Boyfriend)
Michael Boulos
28
Listed In: Miscellaneous
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
 24 
Muhammadu Buhari
(7th and 15th President of Nigeria)
Muhammadu Buhari
17
Listed In: Leaders
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.

 25 
Hausa Queen Amina
(Queen of Nigeria)
Hausa Queen Amina
13
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.

 26 
Ibrahim Babangida
(Eighth President of Nigeria)
Ibrahim Babangida
1
Listed In: Leaders
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.
 27 
Genevieve Nnaji
(Nigerian actress)
Genevieve Nnaji
4
Birthdate: May 3, 1979
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mbaise
 28 
Peter Odemwingie
(Retired Football player)
Peter Odemwingie
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 15, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tashkent, Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union
 29 
Sani Abacha
(Nigerian General Who Ruled as the 10th Head of State of Nigeria)
Sani Abacha
3
Listed In: Leaders
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.
 30 
Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe
(First President of Nigeria)
Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe
6
Listed In: Leaders
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).

 31 
Chinedu Ikedieze
(Nigerian actor)
Chinedu Ikedieze
3
Birthdate: December 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bende, Abia
 32 
Henry Onyekuru
(Nigerian footballer)
Henry Onyekuru
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 5, 1997
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Onitsha
 33 
Atiku Abubakar
(Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007)
Atiku Abubakar
3
Listed In: Leaders
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.
 34 
Toks Olagundoye
2
Birthdate: September 16, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria
 35 
Funke Akindele
(Nigerian actress)
Funke Akindele
5
Birthdate: August 24, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ikorodu
 36 
Ken Saro-Wiwa
(Nigerian Writer & Environmental Activist Who Led Nonviolent Campaigns Against Environmental Degradation)
Ken Saro-Wiwa
3
Listed In: Activists
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.  
 37 
Rick Famuyiwa
(Film Director)
Rick Famuyiwa
2
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.

 38 
Yakubu Gowon
(Head of State of Nigeria from 1966 to 1975)
Yakubu Gowon
6
Listed In: Leaders
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.
 39 
Bola Tinubu
(Nigerian Politician Who Served as the Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007)
Bola Tinubu
7
Listed In: Leaders
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.
 40 
Moshood Abiola
(Nigerian Politician, Businessman, and Publisher)
Moshood Abiola
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
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.
 41 
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
(Spiritual Leader and Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria)
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
0
Listed In: Leaders
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.
 42 
Efe Ajagba
(Boxer)
Efe Ajagba
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 22, 1994
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ughelli, Nigeria
 43 
Shola Ameobi
(Nigerian Former Professional Footballer Who Played as a 'Striker')
Shola Ameobi
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
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.

 44 
Samuel Peter
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 6, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Akwa Ibom, Nigeria
 45 
Adetomiwa Edun
(Actor best known for his roles as Sir Elyan in the television show Merlin)
Adetomiwa Edun
1
Birthdate: March 4, 1984
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria
 46 
Usman dan Fodio
(Founder and the First Caliph of Sokoto Caliphate)
Usman dan Fodio
4
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. 

 47 
Dr. Alban
(Recording artist and producer with his own record label, Dr. Records)
Dr. Alban
3
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: August 26, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oguta, Nigeria
 48 
Bukola Saraki
(Nigerian Politician Who Served as the President of Nigerian Senate from 2015 to 2019)
Bukola Saraki
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 19, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
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.
 49 
Umaru Musa Yar'Adua
(The 13th President of Nigeria)
Umaru Musa Yar'Adua
3
Listed In: Leaders
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.   

 50 
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde
2
Birthdate: February 7, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lagos