By Laju Arenyeka

“Why did you not mention Abdul Mutallab?” someone commented, after reading last week’s article.  The rest of the world does not need our help dragging our nation’s name in the mud; they’ve got that covered. But we as Nigerians need to be reminded that no matter how little the connection might be, there are stars out there whose roots are intertwined with ours. Now, even though the ‘L’ in Samuel L. Jackson does not stand for Lekan, there are a lot more Naija on the international scene.


Bukola Elemide aka A?was born in Paris, France to Nigerian parents. She was two years old when her family returned to live in Nigeria. A?grew up in Lagos, in the south-western part of Nigeria.  With trail blazing songs in English and Yoruba, and numerous awards home and abroad, this Jailersinger is taking no prisoners!


Chiwetel Ejiofor

Nothing is more attractive than a black man with an American accent. Well, apart from a black man with a British accent! Ejifor’s got both. This 35 year old actor born to Igbo parents in London has received numerous acting awards and nominations, including the 2006 BAFTA Awards Rising Star, three Golden Globe Awards’ nominations, and the 2008 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for his performance in Othello.

Dayo Okeniyi

Raised in Lagos Nigeria, Dayo Okeniyi, 24, began acting in the theatre at his elementary school. In 2003 Okeniyi moved from Nigeria with his family to the United States.

In 2012 Dayo Okeniyi landed the highly coveted role of “Thresh” in the successful motion picture franchise “The Hunger Games.” Since then Okeniyi has been cast in upcoming films “The Spectacular Now” and the “Runner Runner” alongside Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake.

The list goes on and on.  Adewale Akinnuoye-Abaje, also of Nigerian descent, stars in Bourne Identity, The Mummy Returns, the series. about Caroline Chikezie, our sister from the east who stars in hit TV series such as Supernatural and Torchwood? Not to mention Echikunwoke, the daughter of a Nigerian-Igbo father and an American mother.

This 29 year old is well known for her role as Tara Price on CSI Miami.So what if they have foreign accents and were raised thousands of miles away? You could still call them Nigerians!

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