School doesn’t guarantee success as exhibited by these top Nigerian personalities. Below is a list of successful celebrities that have shown to the world that they can make it without a university degree. According to reports, some were at the university but had to drop out due to certain reasons.
You have followed them, enjoyed their arts and aspire to be like them. They didn’t take the route taken by their peers. Read their pasts and be motivated.
1. Genevieve Nnaji
Genevieve Nnaji (born 3 May, 1979) is a popular name in the Nollywood industry. She is one of the most successful actresses in Nigeria. Despite being a very intelligent and successful woman, she did not acquire a university degree, even after saying she would go back to school for several years. Apart from acting, Genevieve owns a fashion line, St.Genevieve, launched in May, 2008.
Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun (born 16 July, 1990), well known as Wizkid is a popular song writer and singer. According to reports, he started singing at age 11 as Lil Prinz. However, he started his music career fully with Banky W’s music group, Empire Mates Entertainment (EME) in 2009.
Wizkid dropped out of Lead City University in his second year because of his music career, hoping to continue later.
According to records, Wizkid’s achievements in the music industry includes: a BET Award, a MOBO Award, 3 The Headies Awards, 2 Channel O Music Video Awards, 4 Nigeria Entertainment Awards, a Ghana Music Award, 2 Dynamix All Youth Awards, 2 City People Entertainment Awards, and a Future Award.
In addition, he has been nominated three times at the MTV Europe Music Awards as well as four times at the World Music Awards. He was ranked 5th on Forbes and Channel O’s 2013 list of the Top 10 Richest/Bankable African Artistes.
9ice (born Alexander Abolore Adegbola Adigun Alapomeji Ajifolajifaola, on 17 January, 1980) is a popular indigenous singer. 9ice who is now a politician attended Abule Okuta Primary School and CMS Grammar School, and dropped out from his Law course at the Lagos State University to concentrate on music.
On his achievements so far, 9ice won the Revelation of the Year Award and the Best Male Vocal Performer at the 2008 edition of the Hip Hop World Awards held in Nigeria. A month later at the first SoundCity Music Video Awards, 9ice was nominated in the category of Best New Artiste. 9ice’s biggest single is titled “Gongo Aso”. He is the founder of Alapomeji Records.
4. Mercy Johnson
Mercy Johnson (born in Lagos on 28 August, 1984) is a popular Nollywood star. She is one of the highest paid actresses in Nollywood. Mercy Johnson Okojie revealed that she got into the Nigerian movie industry because she failed the university entrance exams (JAMB) several times.
Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo (popularly known as D’banj, born 9 June, 1980) is a Nigerian singer-songwriter, harmonica player and businessman.
D’banj is one of the leading musicians in Africa. He reportedly dropped out of school when he was in Level 300 (Mechanical Engineering).
Record has it that he has won several music awards, including the awards for Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007, Artiste of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009, Best International Act: Africa at the 2011 BET Awards, and Best-Selling African Artist at the 2014 World Music Awards, Evolution award at the 2015 MTV Africa Music awards.
6. Don Jazzy
Michael Collins Ajere popularly known as Don Jazzy is one of the famous Nigerians who did not need education to achieve success. The prolific music producer and C.E.O of Mavin Records dropped out of Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma in his first year.
7. 2face Idibia
Innocent Ujah Idibia popularly known as 2face, attended Saint Gabriel’s Secondary School in Makurdi, Benue State. He enrolled at Institute of Management & Technology, Enugu (IMT), where he did his preliminary National Diploma course in Business Administration and Management. While attending IMT, he performed at school organised shows and parties. He eventually dropped out to pursue his music career.
2Face told Views Channel in an interview about how an incident where he was robbed, devastated and led to his decision to leave school to face music.
“I got robbed sometime in school. All my audio cassettes that I recorded, they took them. I was sad for like a year plus. I dropped out and I am like, ‘look, I am not continuing this thing I am going to follow music.’ I actually confessed to my parents. I told them the truth that I am not going back to school. I am going to Lagos, Festac town. All this waka wey I dey talk so, na molue… stuff, sometimes na fight we go fight. Them go pursue us from bus” he said.
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