Skip to main content
Flag of Nigeria


Federal Republic of Nigeria Africa Abuja 177,155,754 inhabitants 923,768 sq km 191.78 inhabitants/sq km nairas (NGN) population evolution

Famous people from Nigeria

Here is a list of famous people from Nigeria. Curious if anybody from Nigeria made it our most famous people in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.

Hakeem Olajuwon

Basketball Center

Hakeem Abdul "The Dream" Olajuwon is a retired Nigerian-American professional basketball player. From 1984 to 2002, he played the center position in the National Basketball Association for the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors. He led the Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. In 2008, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Listed at 7 ft 0 in, Olajuwon is considered one of the greatest centers ever to play the game. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Olajuwon traveled from his home country to play for the University of Houston under Coach Guy Lewis. His college career for the Cougars included three trips to the Final Four. At the time, he spelled his first name Akeem. Olajuwon was drafted by the Houston Rockets with the first overall selection of the 1984 NBA Draft, a draft that included Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton. In Houston he was nicknamed "Akeem The Dream" for his grace on and off the court. He combined with the 7 ft 4 in Ralph Sampson to form a duo dubbed the "Twin Towers". The two led the Rockets to the 1986 NBA Finals, where they lost in six games to the Boston Celtics. After Sampson was traded to the Warriors in 1988, Olajuwon became the Rockets' undisputed leader. He led the league in rebounding twice and blocks three times.

Hugo Weaving


Hugo Wallace Weaving is a British-Australian film and stage actor. He is best known for his roles as Agent Smith in The Matrix trilogy and Elrond in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy and The Hobbit film trilogy. He first rose to prominence for his performance as Martin in Proof. Other notable works include Tick in The Adventures of Priscilla, V in V for Vendetta, Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger and multiple roles in Cloud Atlas. He has also provided the voice Rex in Babe, Noah in Happy Feet and Happy Feet Two and Megatron in the Transformers film series as well as starring in numerous Australian character dramas. He has received many award nominations and wins during his career, including a Satellite Award, an MTV Movie Award and several Australian Film Institute Awards.

Fela Kuti

Afrobeat Artist

Fela Kuti also known as Fela Anikulapo Kuti or simply Fela, was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, pioneer of Afrobeat music, human rights activist, and political maverick.

John Obi Mikel


John Michael Nchekwube Obinna, commonly known as Mikel John Obi, John Obi Mikel or John Mikel Obi, is a Nigerian footballer, who plays as a midfielder for English club Chelsea and the Nigeria national team.

Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic. He was best known for his first novel and magnum opus, Things Fall Apart, which is the most widely read book in modern African literature. Raised by his parents in the Igbo town of Ogidi in southeastern Nigeria, Achebe excelled at school and won a scholarship for undergraduate studies. He became fascinated with world religions and traditional African cultures, and began writing stories as a university student. After graduation, he worked for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service and soon moved to the metropolis of Lagos. He gained worldwide attention for Things Fall Apart in the late 1950s; his later novels include No Longer at Ease, Arrow of God, A Man of the People, and Anthills of the Savannah. Achebe wrote his novels in English and defended the use of English, a "language of colonisers", in African literature. In 1975, his lecture An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" featured a famous criticism of Joseph Conrad as "a thoroughgoing racist"; it was later published in The Massachusetts Review amid some controversy.

Obafemi Martins


Obafemi Akinwunmi Martins is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a forward for Seattle Sounders FC and the Nigeria national team. He is known for his speed on the ball. After leaving Nigeria for Italy at age 16, he has since played for a number of top-division clubs around Europe. He began his senior career in 2002 at the Italian Serie A club Inter Milan, before moving to the English Premier League club Newcastle in 2006, and then the German Bundesliga club Wolfsburg in 2009. Having joined Russian Premier League side Rubin Kazan in July 2010, they loaned him to Birmingham City in January 2011. In club football, Martins has won the Italian Serie A title, the Italian Cup, and the Super Cup, all with Inter. With Birmingham he scored the winning goal in the 2011 Football League Cup Final. He has played European football with Inter, Newcastle and Wolfsburg, winning the UEFA Intertoto Cup with Newcastle. His highest scoring league seasons so far have seen him score 11 goals in the 2004–05 Serie A, and 17 2006–07 English Premier League. In international football, Martins has been in the Nigerian squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006, 2008 and 2010, and for the FIFA World Cup in 2010.

Wole Soyinka


Akinwande Oluwole "Wole" Soyinka is a Nigerian writer, notable especially as a playwright and poet; he was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first person in Africa and the diaspora to be so honoured. Soyinka was born into a Yoruba family in Abeokuta. After study in Nigeria and the UK, he worked with the Royal Court Theatre in London. He went on to write plays that were produced in both countries, in theatres and on radio. He took an active role in Nigeria's political history and its struggle for independence from Great Britain. In 1965, he seized the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service studio and broadcast a demand for the cancellation of the Western Nigeria Regional Elections. In 1967 during the Nigerian Civil War, he was arrested by the federal government of General Yakubu Gowon and put in solitary confinement for two years. Soyinka has strongly criticised many Nigerian military dictators, especially late General Sanni Abacha, as well as other political tyrannies, including the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe. Much of his writing has been concerned with "the oppressive boot and the irrelevance of the colour of the foot that wears it". During the regime of General Sani Abacha, Soyinka escaped from Nigeria via the "Nadeco Route" on a motorcycle. Living abroad, mainly in the United States, he was a professor first at Cornell University and then at Emory University in Atlanta, where in 1996 he was appointed Robert W. Woodruff Professor of the Arts. Abacha proclaimed a death sentence against him "in absentia". With civilian rule restored to Nigeria in 1999, Soyinka returned to his nation. He has also taught at the universities of Oxford, Harvard and Yale.

Olusegun Obasanjo


Oluṣẹgun Mathew Okikiọla Arẹmu Ọbasanjọ, GCFR is a former Nigerian Army general and former President of Nigeria. A Nigerian of Yoruba descent, Obasanjo was a career soldier before serving twice as his nation's head of state, as a military ruler between 13 February 1976 to 1 October 1979; and as a democratic elected President from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007. His current home is Abeokuta, the Capital City of Ogun State, where he is a nobleman as the holder of the chieftaincy titles of the Balogun of the Owu Lineage and the Ekerin Balogun of the Egba clan of Yorubaland.

Jay-Jay Okocha

Soccer Midfielder

Augustine Azuka "Jay-Jay" Okocha is a Nigerian former footballer who played as a midfielder. He is known for his stepovers, skill, technique, and being 'so good that they named him twice'. He is a dual Nigerian-Turkish citizen, having acquired Turkish citizenship as "Muhammet Yavuz" while playing for Süper Lig team Fenerbahçe.

Nwankwo Kanu


Nwankwo Kanu, OON, or simply Kanu, is a retired Nigerian footballer. He was a member of and later captained the Nigerian national team for 16 years from 1994 until 2010. Kanu is a member of the Igbo ethnic group; his name, Nwankwo, means Child born on Nkwo market day in the Igbo language. Kanu has won a UEFA Champions League medal, a UEFA Cup medal, three FA Cup Winners Medals and two African Player of the Year awards amongst others. He is also one of few players to have won the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup and an Olympic Gold Medal. He made the second-most substitute appearances in Premier League history, appearing from the bench 118 times. He is also a UNICEF ambassador.

Victor Moses


Victor Moses is a footballer who plays for Liverpool on loan from Chelsea. Moses can play in a variety of positions, but in the first-team games he has taken part in so far, Moses has mostly played as a winger. Born in Nigeria, he represented England at under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels, but opted to play for the Nigerian national team as opposed to being fully capped for England.

Goodluck Jonathan


Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, GCFR, BNER, GCON is the 14th Head of State and current President of Nigeria. Prior to his role as President, he served as Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Governor of Bayelsa State and Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Jonathan is a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party.

Taye Taiwo


Taye Ismaila Taïwo is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a defender for Turkish Süper Lig side Bursaspor. He is well known for his powerful and accurate long shots, and is a dead-ball expert. Taiwo's primary position is left back

Yakubu Aiyegbeni


Yakubu Aiyegbeni, generally known simply as Yakubu, is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a striker for Guangzhou R&F and the Nigerian national football team. His nickname is "The Yak". His performances in the 2002–03 UEFA Champions League earned a loan move to English club Portsmouth which became permanent as they were promoted to the Premier League in 2003. He has since played for English clubs Middlesbrough, Everton and Leicester City before moving to Blackburn on the final day of the summer transfer window of 2011. He is the third highest scorer in the history of the Nigeria national football team, and represented them at four African Cup of Nations finals, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the football at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Sani Abacha


General Sani Abacha was a Nigerian military dictator and politician. He was the de facto President of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998. His regime was tied to human rights violations and allegations of corruption.



Tim Omaji, better known by his stage name Timomatic, is a Nigerian-born Australian singer-songwriter and dancer. Timomatic rose to fame as a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance in 2009 and placed seventh in the competition. In 2011, he appeared as a contestant on the fifth season of Australia's Got Talent and was placed third. Later that year, Timomatic signed with Sony Music Australia, and released his debut single "Set It Off" in November 2011, which peaked at number two on the ARIA Singles Chart and was certified triple platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association.

Joel Obi

Soccer Midfielder

Joel Chukwuma Obi or simply known as Joel Obi, is a Nigerian midfielder who currently plays for Internazionale and for Nigeria national football team.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is an Igbo writer from Nigeria. She has been called "the most prominent" of a "procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors [that] is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature".

Shola Ameobi


Foluwashola "Shola" Ameobi is a professional footballer who plays for Newcastle United as a striker. Born in Nigeria but raised in England, Ameobi was capped by the England under-21 team before making his Nigeria debut in 2012. He is the older brother of fellow footballers Tomi and Sammy. Ameobi has made more appearances for Newcastle than any other current player at the club, and received a winner's medal in 2010 when the team lifted the Championship trophy.

Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun

African hip hop Artist

Wizkid is a Nigerian recording artist, songwriter, and performer. He rose to prominence with his song "Holla at Your Boy". Banky W signed him to his record label, "Empire Mates Entertainment". Wizkid's most notable songs are: "Holla at Your Boy", "Don't Dull", "Love My Baby", "Azonto", "Pakurumo", "Tease Me/Bad Guys", and "Dance For Me" . Wizkid has worked with Bracket, Lynxxx, Iyanya, Wande Coal, Ice Prince, R2Bees, Wale, Young Jeezy, Akon, and Femi Kuti among others. Wizkid's debut album, Superstar, was released in 2011. He is currently working on Chosen, his second studio album scheduled for release in 2013.

2Face Idibia

African hip hop Artist

Innocent Ujah Idibia, better known by his stage name 2face Idibia, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and record producer. He is also variously called 2face, Tuface, 2Baba or Tubaba. He is one of the most decorated and successful hip pop artists in Africa. He is consistently ranked as one the best African musicians of all-time. He was a member of the defunct Plantashun Boyz and after it disbanded, continued his solo musical career. 2Face has received one MTV Europe Music Award, one World Music Award, five Headies Awards, four Channel O Music Video Awards and one BET award for his musical work, four MTV Africa Music Awards, one MOBO award, one KORA award, and numerous additional nominations.

Tony Allen

Musical Artist

Tony Oladipo Allen is a Nigerian drummer, composer and songwriter who currently lives and works in Paris. His career and life story have been documented in his 2013 autobiography Tony Allen: Master Drummer of Afrobeat, co-written with author/musician Michael E. Veal who previously wrote a comprehensive biography of Fela Kuti. As drummer and musical director of Fela Anikulapo Kuti's band Africa 70 from 1968 to 1979, Allen was one of the primary co-founders of the genre of Afrobeat music. Fela once stated that, "without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat." He has also been described by Brian Eno as "perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived."

Blessing Okagbare

Olympic Track and field Athlete

Blessing Okagbare is a Nigerian long and triple jumper and short sprinter. She is an Olympic and World medalist in the long jump, World medallist in the 200m, and the African record holder in the 100m. In May 2007, at the All-Africa Games trials in Lagos, she established a Nigerian record of 14.13 metres in the triple jump. At the 2007 All-Africa Games she won the silver medal in the long jump and finished fourth in the triple jump. In the latter competition her Nigerian record was beaten by Chinonye Ohadugha, who jumped 14.21 metres. As a 19 year old, she won a bronze medal in the women's long jump event at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Okagbare scored a 100 m/long jump double at the NCAA Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championship for University of Texas at El Paso, completing an undefeated collegiate streak that year. She won the Nigerian 100 m title in 2010, running a time of 11.04 seconds, and stated that she was opting out of the long jump in order to save herself for the upcoming African championships. At the African championships in 2010, she won gold in the long jump again with a distance of 6.62m while her compatriot Comfort Onyali took silver. Okagbare also won gold in the 100m distance with a run of 11.03s flat, while Gabon's Ruddy Zang Milama and compatriot Oludamola Osayomi won silver and bronze with runs of 11.15s and 11.22s respectively . She won her third gold at the end of the championship as part of the Nigerian 4x100m women's relay team. The team of Okagbare, Osayomi, Lauretta Okoh and Agnes Osazuwa set a new games record with a run of 43.43s, more than a full second ahead of the silver-winning Cameroonian quartet.

Nnamdi Oduamadi

Soccer Midfielder

Nnamdi Oduamadi Chidiebere, also known by his shirt name Odu, is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Italian Serie B club Brescia, on loan from Milan. He also plays for the Nigerian national team.

Ahmed Musa

Soccer Midfielder

Ahmed Musa is a Nigerian footballer who plays as forward for Russian club CSKA Moscow. He is also a member of the Nigeria national football team.

Ramsey Nouah


Ramsey Tokunbo Nouah Jr, is a Nigerian actor. In 2010 he won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Taribo West


Taribo West is a Nigerian retired professional footballer who played as a defender. West represented the Nigerian national team in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups. He is known for the various unusual and colourful hairstyles that he has sported over the years.

T. B. Joshua


Temitope Balogun Joshua, commonly referred to as T. B. Joshua, is a Prophet of God, Christian minister, televangelist and faith healer. He is leader and founder of the ministry organisation The Synagogue, Church of All Nations, which runs a Christian television station called Emmanuel TV, available on satellite and on the Internet via the Streaming Faith broadcast portal. He is also a notable humanitarian, providing aid to minorities and the underprivileged on national and international scales via Another Ministry. He has been awarded various accolades, notably receiving the National Honour of OFR by the Nigerian government in 2008. He is recognised as one of Africa's 50 most influential people. Joshua is known for his popularity across Africa and his online presence, with over 650,000 fans on Facebook and hundreds of YouTube videos which have proved controversial and amassed thousands of views.

Vincent Enyeama


Vincent Enyeama is a Nigerian football goalkeeper. Since 2002, he has played for the national team of Nigeria. He currently plays for Lille OSC who he signed for in June 2011.

Ibrahim Babangida


General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, also known as IBB, was a Nigerian Army officer and military ruler of Nigeria. He ruled Nigeria from his coup against Major General Muhammadu Buhari on August 27, 1985 until his departure from office on August 27, 1993 after his annulment of elections held on June 12 that year. There is evidence of a severe lack of human rights under his regime.

Kalu Uche


Uche Kalu is a Nigerian football player who currently plays for Enyimba International FC.

Keziah Jones

Blues Artist

Keziah Jones is a Nigerian singer-songwriter and guitarist. He describes his musical style as "Blufunk", which is a fusion between raw blues elements and hard, edgy funk rhythms. Also his Nigerian roots in Yoruba music and soul music can be considered a major influence on his sound. He is known for his distinctive style of guitar playing, including his percussive right-hand technique which is similar to a bass guitarist's slapping technique.

John Utaka


John Chukwudi Utaka is a Nigerian footballer who currently plays as a striker for Turkish side Sivasspor of the Süper Lig. He is the older brother of Peter Utaka, who plays for Beijing Guoan in China. Utaka has played at two World Cups and three Africa Cup of Nations for Nigeria since his debut in 2002.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab


Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, popularly referred to as the "Underwear Bomber", is a Nigerian man who, at the age of 23, confessed to and was convicted of attempting to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253, en route from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, on Christmas Day, 2009. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed to have organized the attack with Abdulmutallab; they said they supplied him with the bomb and trained him. Connections to Al-Qaeda and Anwar al-Awlaki have been found, although the latter denied ordering the man to do the bombing. Abdulmutallab was convicted in a U.S. federal court of eight criminal counts, including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted murder of 289 people. On February 16, 2012 he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Muhammadu Buhari


Muhammadu Buhari was a Major General in the Nigerian Army and a former military ruler of Nigeria from December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985. The term Buharism is ascribed to the Buhari military government. He also ran unsuccessfully for the office of the President of Nigeria in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections. His ethnic background is Fulani, and his faith is Islam; he is a native of Daura in Katsina State of Nigeria.

Simon Scarrow


Simon Scarrow is a UK-based author, born in Nigeria and now based in Norfolk. He completed a master's degree at the University of East Anglia after working at the Inland Revenue, and then went into teaching as a lecturer, firstly at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, then at City College Norwich. He is best known for his Eagle Series of Roman Military fiction set in the territories of the Roman Empire, covering the second invasion of Britain and the subsequent prolonged campaign undertaken by the rump of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. To date there are eleven books in the series, with the 11th released in November 2011, Praetorian. The twelfth book has recently been announced and is due to be released in October 2013, The Blood Crows. He has also written another series, Revolution, focusing on Wellington and Napoleon, whose first title, Young Bloods, was published in 2006. The second volume, The Generals, was released on 31 May 2007 and the third volume Fire and Sword was released in January 2009. The fourth and final novel of the series was released in Jun 2010 and is called The Fields of Death. He started to publish a new series in 2011 titled Gladiator.

King Sunny Adé

Musical Artist

"King" Sunny Adé is a popular performer of Yoruba Nigerian jùjú music and a pioneer of modern world music. He has been classed as one of the most influential musicians of all time.

Brown Ideye


Aide Brown Ideye is a Nigerian football forward currently playing for Ukraine Premier League side FC Dynamo Kyiv.

Michael Eneramo


Michael Eneramo is a Nigerian football striker, currently playing for Beşiktaş in the Süper Lig.

Ice Prince

Pop Artist

Panshak Zamani, better known by his stage name Ice Prince, is a Nigerian Hip hop recording artist best known for winning the 2009 Hennessy Artistry as well as for his song "Oleku". He won the 2013 BET Awards for "Best International Act Africa". Ice Prince is currently signed to Chocolate City.

Emmanuel Olisadebe


Emmanuel Olisadebe is a retired Nigerian-born Polish football striker. After moving to Poland and having a successful career with Polonia Warszawa where he won the championship title as well as Polish SuperCup with them he would attract the interests of the Polish national team after he was eligible for Polish citizenship. He participated in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

James Reyne

Rock Artist

James Reyne is an Australian rock musician and singer/songwriter both as a member of the iconic 1980s band Australian Crawl and solo work.

Aliko Dangote


Alhaji Aliko Dangote, MFR, GCON is a Nigerian business magnate, with an estimated net worth of $16.1 billion USD as of March 2013. Based in Nigeria, he is the owner of the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities with operations in his homeland and several other countries in Africa, including Benin, Cameroon, Togo, Ghana, South Africa and Zambia. Dangote is ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 43rd richest person in the world and the richest man in Africa.

Victor Anichebe


Victor Chinedu Anichebe is a Nigerian footballer who plays for West Bromwich Albion. He has been described as a fast and powerful player, in the mould of a "traditional" centre forward, although he has played on the right of midfield.

Victor Obinna


Victor Nsofor Obinna is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a second striker for FC Lokomotiv Moscow.

Samuel Peter

Professional Boxer

Samuel Okon Peter, nicknamed "The Nigerian Nightmare," is a professional heavyweight boxer and the former WBC heavyweight champion Peter rose to prominence as a professional fighter following a string of spectacular knockout wins in his early career, at a time when the division was fragmented. He has won a portion of the heavyweight crown and scored notable wins over James Toney and Oleg Maskaev. Samuel Peter is also the only man to have been defeated by both Klitschko brothers.

Toto Tamuz


Toto Adaruns Tamuz Temile, known simply as Toto Tamuz is a Nigerian-born Israeli footballer who plays for FC Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast.

Dayo Ade


Dayo Ade is a Canadian actor who played Bryant Lester "BLT" Thomas in seasons 3-5 of the Degrassi Junior High series. He currently appears as nurse Leo Beckett on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television series Cracked. He also had guest appearances in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Borderland", in the Alias episode "The Awful Truth", in the Scrubs episode "My Malpractical Decision", and in the Charmed episode "We're Off to See the Wizard". He recently appeared in the Lost episodes "What Kate Does" and "Lighthouse"

Tijjani Babangida

Soccer Midfielder

Tijani Babangida is a retired Nigerian footballer, who played as a winger. Known for his pace, his playing style was sometimes compared to that of Marc Overmars. Babangida spent the majority of his playing career at Ajax. Overall, he played in five different countries on three different continents. At club level, Babangida spent nine years in Netherlands, playing for VVV-Venlo, Roda JC and Ajax, winning the Eredivisie plus KNVB Cup double with the latter side. He played over 30 games for his national side, including four at the 1998 World Cup in France. He participated in two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and won the 1996 Olympics with Nigeria. Babangida made his international debut in 1994. He lost his place in the squad right before the 2002 World Cup. After a two-year lay-off from international football, Babangida was recalled to the Nigeria team for the 2004 African Cup of Nations preparations in Tunisia.

Celestine Babayaro

Soccer Midfielder

Celestine Boyd Jonto Hycieth Babayaro is a former Nigerian footballer. He was named after Pope Celestine V.

Dick Tiger

Professional Boxer

Dick Tiger CBE was a boxer from Ubahu village, Amaigbo, Nigeria, who emigrated to Liverpool and later to the United States of America. Tiger was a member of the Igbo ethnic group. Tiger was a talented boxer, commercial venturer, and Biafran rebel.

Ikechukwu Uche


Ikechukwu Uche is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays for Villarreal CF in Spain, as a striker. Known for his acrobatic goal celebrations, he spent most of his professional career in Spain, having arrived in the country before the age of 20.

Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola


Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, often referred to as M. K. O. Abiola, was a popular Nigerian Yoruba businessman, publisher, politician and aristocrat of the Yoruba Egba clan. He ran for the presidency in 1993, and is widely regarded as the presumed winner of the inconclusive election since no official final results were announced. He died in 1998, after being denied victory when the entire election results were dubiously annulled by the preceding military president Ibrahim Babangida because of alleged evidence that they were corrupt and unfair.

Daniel Amokachi


Daniel Owefin Amokachi is a Nigerian former professional footballer of Idoma descent and assistant manager of the Nigeria national football team. As a player he was a striker from 1989 until 2005, starting his career with Ranchers Bees before earning notability by playing outside his native country with Premier League side Everton, as well as Club Brugge and Beşiktaş before initially finishing his career in the United States with Major League Soccer club Colorado Rapids. He returned to Nigeria in 2005 to briefly play for Nasarawa United, who he went on to manage before moving on to Enyimba. He is now in his second spell as assistant manager of Nigeria.

Michael Olowokandi

Basketball Center

Michael Olowokandi is an athlete and actor.

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde


Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, pronounced is a leading actress, singer, and philanthropist from Lagos, Nigeria. Since her Nollywood film debut in 1995, she has appeared in an astounding 300 films, selling millions of video copies. After receiving numerous high-profile awards, launching a music career, and amassing an enviable fan base, the press has revered the Screen Nation ‘Best Actress’ as The African Magic. She is the first African celebrity to receive over 1 million likes on her Facebook page. Today, she is not only noted for her incomparable showbiz accomplishments, but is also applauded for her remarkable humanitarian efforts. Over the years, Omotola has been a pioneer in the Nollywood film industry, successfully becoming the most watched actress in Africa. She was recently honored on the 2013 Time 100 Most Influential People In The World List alongside Michelle Obama, Beyonce and Kate Middleton. In early 2013, Omotola made her U.S. television debut in VH1's scripted series, Hit the Floor.

Finidi George

Soccer Midfielder

Finidi George is a Nigerian retired footballer who played as a right winger. After making a name for himself at Ajax in the Netherlands – being a leading figure in a team which won eight major titles, including the 1994–95 UEFA Champions League – he played several years in Spain with Real Betis, also having a brief spell in England before retiring. Finidi was an important member of the Nigerian team during the 1990s, appearing in two World Cups.

Uwa Elderson Echiéjilé

Soccer Defender

Elderson Uwa Echiéjilé, simply known as Elderson, is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays for S.C. Braga in Portugal, as a left defender.

Usman dan Fodio


Shaihu Usman dan Fodio, born Usuman ɓii Foduye, was the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate in 1809, a religious teacher, writer and Islamic promoter. Dan Fodio was one of a class of urbanized ethnic Fulani living in the Hausa States in what is today northern Nigeria. A teacher of the Maliki school of law, he lived in the city-state of Gobir until 1802 when, motivated by his reformist ideas and under increased repression by local authorities, he led his followers into exile. This exile began a political and social revolution which spread from Gobir throughout modern Nigeria and Cameroon, and was echoed in a jihad movement led by the Fula ethnic group across West Africa. Dan Fodio declined much of the pomp of rulership, and while developing contacts with religious reformists and jihad leaders across Africa, he soon passed actual leadership of the Sokoto state to his son, Muhammed Bello. Dan Fodio wrote more than a hundred books concerning religion, government, culture, and society. He developed a critique of existing African Muslim elites for what he saw as their greed, paganism, or violation of the standards of Sharia law, and heavy taxation. He encouraged literacy and scholarship, including for women, and several of his daughters emerged as scholars and writers. His writings and sayings continue to be much quoted today, and are often affectionately referred to as Shehu in Nigeria. Some followers consider dan Fodio to have been a mujaddid, a divinely inspired "reformer of Islam".

Abubakar Tafawa Balewa


Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, KBE was a Nigerian politician, and the only prime minister of an independent Nigeria. Originally a trained teacher, he became a vocal leader for Northern interests as one of the few educated Nigerians of his time. He was also an international statesman, widely respected across the African continent as one of the leaders who encouraged the formation of the Organization of African Unity. Nicknamed the Golden Voice of Africa because of his oratory, he stands as one of only three National Heroes of the Nigerian Nation.

Sunday Oliseh

Soccer Midfielder

Sunday Ogorchukwu Oliseh is a former Nigerian footballer and coach, who in his active player career played as a midfielder. He now lives in Baelen

Ben Okri


Ben Okri OBE FRSL is a Nigerian poet and novelist. Okri is considered one of the foremost African authors in the post-modern and post-colonial traditions and has been compared favorably with authors such as Salman Rushdie and Gabriel García Márquez.

Nosa Igiebor

Soccer Midfielder

Emmanuel Nosakhare Igiebor, commonly known as Nosa or Nosa Igiebor, is a Nigerian footballer who plays for Real Betis as a central midfielder. He was called up to Nigeria's 23-man squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Innocent Emeghara


Innocent Emeghara is a Nigerian-born Swiss footballer currently playing for the Italian Serie A club Livorno, on loan from Serie B club Siena.

Stephen Keshi


Stephen Okechukwu Keshi is a Nigerian football manager and former football defender who has managed the Nigeria national team since 2011. He is one of only two people, along with Egypt's Mahmoud El-Gohary, to have won the Africa Cup of Nations as both a player and a coach.

Alki David


Alkiviades "Alki" David is the heir to the Coca-Cola Hellenic shipping and bottling company and digital media entrepreneur whose companies include FilmOn.TV Networks, Channel 3 Dish Networks in California and Nevada, Channel 8 Los Angeles, KILM Channel 64 Los Angeles, . David has also appeared in feature films, including The Bank Job, and on UK TV.

Chinedu Obasi


Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi is a Nigerian footballer. He plays as a second striker for German club FC Schalke 04, and has made seventeen appearances for the Nigerian national team.

Julius Aghahowa


Julius Aghahowa is a Nigerian footballer who is currently free agent. He was known for his pace and his back flips when he scores goals.

Kenneth Omeruo


Kenneth Omeruo is a Nigerian footballer who plays for English Premier League club Chelsea as a Centre Back .

Murtala Mohammed


General Murtala Ramat Muhammed was a military ruler of Nigeria from 1975 until his assassination in 1976. He is widely recognized as a hero in the country.

Obafemi Awolowo


Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo was a Nigerian nationalist, political writer and statesman. His first name, Obafemi, means 'The king loves me' and the surname Awolowo, the source of his nickname, Awo, means 'The mystic commands honour'. A Yoruba and native of Ikenne in Ogun State of Nigeria, he started his career,like some of his notable contemporaries, as a nationalist in the Nigerian Youth Movement of which he became Western provincial secretary, and was responsible for much of the progressive social legislation that has made Nigeria a modern nation. He was an active journalist and trade unionist as a young man, editing The Nigerian Worker amongst other publications while also organizing the Nigerian Produce Traders Association and serving as secretary of the Nigerian Motor Transport Union. After earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Nigeria from a London University through correspondence, he went to the UK where he earned a law degree as an external student. While there, he founded the Egbe Omo Oduduwa, a pan-Yoruba cultural society, which set the stage for the formation of the Action Group, a liberal nationalist political party. As Leader of the Group, he represented the Western Region in all the constitutional conferences intended to advance Nigeria on the path to independence. He was the first Leader of Government Business and Minister of Local Government and Finance and first Premier of the Western Region under Nigeria's parliamentary system, from 1952 to 1959, and was the official Leader of the Opposition in the federal parliament to the Balewa government from 1959 to 1963. In addition to all these, Awolowo was the first individual in the modern era to be named Leader of the Yorubas, a title which has come over time to be conventionally ascribed to his successors as the recognized political leader of the Yoruba peoples of Nigeria.

Nedum Onuoha


Chinedum "Nedum" Onuoha is footballer who plays for Queens Park Rangers. He is a defender, typically a centre back, but he can also play at right back or left back.

Efe Ambrose


Efetobore "Efe" Ambrose Emuobo is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a centre back or right back for Scottish Premiership club Celtic and the Nigeria national football team. Ambrose has represented Nigeria at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, the Summer Olympics and at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Eniola Aluko


Eniola "Eni" Aluko is a Nigerian-born, English football forward who plays for Chelsea Ladies of the FA WSL. Aluko moved with her family to Birmingham when she was one year old. Since she grew up in England, she chose to represent England at international level.

Danny Shittu


Daniel Olusola "Danny" Shittu is a Nigerian footballer who is currently playing for Millwall for the second time in his career.

Herbie Hide

Professional Boxer

Herbie Hide is a British boxer of Nigerian heritage from Norwich fighting in the cruiserweight class. Hide is a two-time world heavyweight champion, having held the WBO title twice including a reign of nearly two years from 1997 to 1999.

Chinedu Ikedieze


Chinedu Ikedieze, MFR is a Nigerian actor. He is best known for playing alongside Osita Iheme in most movies after their breakthrough in the movie Aki na Ukwa. In 2007 Ikedieze received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the African Movie Academy Awards.

Ogenyi Onazi

Soccer Midfielder

Ogenyi Eddy Onazi is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a midfielder for Serie A club Lazio.

Christian Obodo

Soccer Midfielder

Christian Obodo is a football defensive midfielder from Nigeria, who recently played for Belarusian Premier League side Dinamo Minsk. He was briefly kidnapped upon a visit to his native Nigeria in June 2012.

C. Odumegwu Ojukwu


Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was a Nigerian military officer and politician. Ojukwu served as the military governor of the Eastern Region of Nigeria in 1966, the leader of the breakaway Republic of Biafra from 1967 to 1970 and a Nigerian politician from 1983 to 2011, when he died, aged 78.

Agbani Darego


Agbani Darego, OON is a Nigerian model, best known as the first Black African Miss World.

Dickson Etuhu

Soccer Midfielder

Dickson Paul Etuhu is a Nigerian footballer who plays for Blackburn Rovers in the Championship. His younger brother Kelvin is also a footballer. He grew up in Peckham, south London, but plays international football for the Nigerian national football team.

Seyi Olofinjana

Soccer Midfielder

Seyi George Olofinjana is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a midfielder for Sheffield Wednesday. Olofinjana began his career with local sides Crown and Kwara United before moving to Europe with Norwegian side SK Brann. After two seasons at Brann he moved to English club Wolverhampton Wanderers. He became a regular at Molineux making 213 appearances for the club over four seasons before joining Premier League club Stoke City in August 2008 for a fee of £3 million. He played only the 2008–09 season with the team before joining another top flight side, Hull City, again for a fee of £3 million. At Hull Olofinjana struggled to hold down a regular place in the side and spent time out on loan before his deal expired.

Dele Adebola

Soccer Midfielder

Bamberdele Olusegun "Dele" Adebola is a Nigerian footballer who plays for Northern Premier League Premier Division side Rushall Olympic, where he plays as a striker.

Funke Akindele


Akindele Olufunke Ayotunde is a Nigerian actress. In 2009 she won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

Ini Edo


Ini Edo is a Nigerian actress. She began her film career in the year 2000, and has featured in more than 50 movies since that time. Edo is a Theatre Arts graduate of the University of Calabar. In 2008 she was married to American-based Nigerian businessman Philip Ehiagwina.

Israel Idonije

American Football Defensive end

Israel Idonije is a Nigerian-Canadian defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. Idonije was signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Manitoba. A draft pick of the now defunct Ottawa Renegades of the Canadian Football League, for whom he never played, Idonije spent the start 2003 season on the Cleveland Browns' practice squad prior to his release in September. He was subsequently signed to the Chicago Bears' practice squad for the final six weeks of the season.

Joseph Akpala


Joseph Eneojo Akpala is a Nigerian footballer. He currently plays for the Turkish side Karabükspor on loan from Werder Bremen.

Fiona Fullerton


Fiona Elizabeth Fullerton is a Nigerian-born British actress and singer. She is perhaps best known for her role as KGB spy Pola Ivanova in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill and as Alice in the 1972 film Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Femi Fani-Kayode


David Oluwafemi Adewunmi Abdulateef Fani-Kayode is a Nigerian politician, essayist, poet and lawyer. He was a member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. He is now with the opposition's All Progressive Congress. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria, on 16 October 1960 to Chief Victor Babaremilekun Adetokunboh Fani-Kayode and to Chief Adia Adunni Fani-Kayode. He is an Ile-Ife chieftain of Yoruba descent. Fani-Kayode was the Special Assistant to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was appointed the Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 22 June to 7 November 2006 and as the Minister of Aviation from 7 November 2006 to 29 May 2007.

Daniel Chima

Soccer Forward

Daniel Chima Chukwu is a Nigerian footballer playing as a striker for Molde in Tippeligaen.

Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi


Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi was a Nigerian soldier. He served as the Head of State of Nigeria from 16 January 1966 until he was overthrown and killed on 29 July 1966 by a group of northern army officers who revolted against the government.

Victor Ikpeba


Victor Nosa Ikpeba is a former Nigerian footballer who played as a forward for both club and country. Ikpeba played thirty-one international matches and scored seven goals for Nigeria. He played at the FIFA World Cups in 1994 and 1998. Ikpeba helped win the 1994 African Nations Cup and the Olympic football gold medal in 1996.

Katie Firth


Katie Firth is an actress and a vocal coach.