American Celebrities With Igbo Ancestry

Apr 23, 2023 ByClaire Miles

Many Igbo-Americans are making the United States proud while simultaneously honoring their roots. They are spread over a variety of professional fields. Others are making waves in the American entertainment business, while some are making a name for themselves in sports.

Emeka Okafor is a well-known American basketball player. He went to the University of Connecticut after graduating from Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas. His NBA career included stints with the Washington Wizards, Delaware 87ers, and New Orleans Pelicans. Emeka was the first child in the family to be born in America. Pius Okafor, his father, is from the Igbo ethnic group. Chiwetel Umeadi Ejiofor is a Nigerian-born American actor. He is most known for his role as Darryl Peabody in the 2010 American action thriller Salt, where he co-starred with Angelina Jolie. He was nominated for Best Actor at the 2014 Academy Awards for his work as Solomon Northup in the 2013 film “12 Years a Slave.”

Nneka Nnamani is a retired American indoor volleyball player who was a member of the US National and Olympic teams. She took part in two Olympic games, in 2004 and 2008. In 2004, she became the second woman in history to be named to the United States Olympic team. Her parents immigrated from Nigeria to the United States for better educational possibilities. Okonma, also known as Tyler The Creator, is a rapper and record producer who rose to prominence in the early 2010s as one of the hip hop group Odd Future’s co-founders. His father is Nigerian, and his mother is of Canadian and African American ancestry.

Chiwetel Ejiofor attends "The Woman King" UK Gala Screening at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on October 03, 2022 in London, England.

Getty Images/Getty Images Entertainment/Gareth Cattermole

Other noteworthy mentions include TD Jakes, a well-known pastor, author, and filmmaker from the United States. He is The Potter’s House’s bishop. Another name that comes up is Nonso Anozie, best known for his roles as Sergeant Dap in Ender’s Game, a 2013 American military science-fiction action film, and as Xaro Xhoan Daxos in Game of Thrones, an American fantasy drama television series. Ugo Mozie is a creative executive from Nigeria. Mozie’s clients have included Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, Travis Scott, Beyonce, J. Balvin, and most recently, Adam Waheed.