‘Naijas’ Gift To Hollywood: Celebrities Who Are Achieving Glory For Fatherland (2)
An award winning Hollywood actor who was born in Lagos, Hakeem Kae-Kazim is best known for acting delightfully in Hollywood blockbusters like ‘X Men Origins: Wolverine’, ‘The Fourth Kind’ and as Georges Rutaganda in the 2004 drama film ‘Hotel Rwanda’. Star of the Nollywood epic film ‘Inale’, Hakeem who has featured in a couple of commercials produced in Nigeria and also starred in Obi Emelonye’s award wining feature ‘Last Flight to Abuja’ rose to fame playing George Rutuganda opposite Don Cheadle in the Oscar nominated ‘Hotel Rwanda’. It wasn’t long before he played in amazing films like ‘The Librarian’, ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ and the family favourite, ‘Pirate of the Caribbean’ and the hit TV show ‘24’.
Hakeem filmed in the country of his birth, Nigeria, for the first time in his life when he played the lead in the Nigerian film ‘Inale’, as directed by Jeta Amata and produced by Keke Bongos Ikwe. The film is set to the music of the foremost musician Bongos Ikwe and features songs from his past present and future. The story features an Idoma princess called Inale, who is said to have married the prize winner of a wrestling match. As soon as he wrapped up work on ‘Inale’, Hakeem promised that he will be back in Nigeria ‘to do some work’ so as to contribute in raising the bar of Nigerian movies and to make its presence really felt on the world stage. No doubt, Hakeem’s face has stayed familiar both on the local and international levels.
Born in Islington, London to Nigerian parents, Akinnuoye-Agbaje who has featured in so many blockbuster movies including ‘The Legionnaire’, ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin,’ ‘Unstoppable’, ‘Bourne Identity’, ‘The Mummy Returns’, and ‘GI Joe’: The Rise of the Cobra’ is one screen personality who is very proud of his roots. Star of the ‘New York Undercover’ series who holds a Master’s degree and who speaks Yoruba, Italian, and Swahili fluently and can get along in French and in a few other languages, Akinnuoye-Agbaje has over the years won himself a lot of fans back home because of the effort he makes to infuse the Yoruba language in some of the roles he has played in top Hollywood movies. For instance, the well-built actor is notable for infusing a line like ‘Ori e o pe’ (you must be completely out of your mind) in the box office hit ‘Bourne Identity’. Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s other screen credits include playing Derek Jameson in ‘The Thing’, ‘Mr. Eko’ in ‘Lost’, Simon Adebisi on ‘Oz’, ‘Malko’ in the fifth season of the ‘Game of Thrones,’ as Killer Croc in ‘Suicide Squad’ and playing Kurse in Thor: The Dark World produced by Marvel Studio. One of his career ambitions is to direct a film about his life story.
A product of Cornell University, the delectable Adepero Oduye was born in Brooklyn, New York City and she is one actress who is doing her fatherland proud. She has starred in the short film ‘Pariah,’ ‘Water,’ ‘The Tested’ and ‘Sub Rosa.’ She had her Broadway debut in the musical ‘Fela’ and also made guest appearances on ‘Louie’ and ‘Law & Order.’ Her most recent outing is starring alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor in the award winning film ‘12 Years a Slave].
Born to Nigerian parents, Judi, as the actress is simply called, has featured in BBC TV shows, ‘Casualty’ and ‘Easteneders’ and she played Zafrina in ‘Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn 2’. Her most recent effort is playing Joanne in ‘Heroes’, a film that premiered at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival. She also landed a series regular role in the upcoming 13-episode reboot of Tim Kring’s original sci-fi drama, ‘Heroes’ and recently featured on Fox’s crime comedy-drama ‘Backstorm’ as Lady Mah.
Gbenga Akinnagbe Born in Washington D.C to Nigerian parents and raised in Silver Spring, Marlyland, Akinnagbe shot into limelight when he featured as Chris Partlow on the HBO original series, ‘The Wire’. A product of Bucknell University majoring in Political Science and English, some of his film roles include Damage, Blue Blood, The Savages, The Taking of Pelham 123 and Edge of Darkness. He recently featured in the Nollywood movie Render to Ceaser that was in official selection at the 2014 edition of Fespaco. ).
An actress, singer and show host, Carmen Ejogo is a screen star and has had an impressive career as a singer and show host. Her screen career began in the UK in the early 1990s, with the children’s series ‘Saturday Disney’. Later, she hugged limelight when she starred with Eddie Murphy in ‘Metro’. As a singer, Carmen is accomplished. She appeared on four songs of ‘Sparkle’ original soundtrack album from the movie of the same name and sang lead on ‘Yes I Do’, and co-led vocals with Jordin Sparks and Tika Sumpter on ‘Jump,’ ‘Hooked on Your Love’ and ‘Something He Can Feel’. She also presented ‘The Carmen Ejogo Video Show’ and she has starred in a couple of stage and screen productions.
A product of the Central School of Speech and Drama, London, who received the Ian Charleson Award in 2005 for his performance in William Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’, Nonso Anozie is notable for his role in ‘The Grey,’ ‘Cinderella’ (2015) and ‘Atonement.’ Reputed as the youngest person in history to play Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear,’ professionally, Anozie won the 2004 Magnolia Stage Performance Award in China and was the first non-Chinese to be honoured with the prize of best actor.
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