Pseudonyms, pen-names, stage names, they are a very normal practice in the entertainment industry. For various reasons ranging from better branding to privacy, a number of popular entertainers, musicians, writers, and actors choose to use stage names.
Sometimes these stage names become so popular that audiences simply assume that the stage name of an act is their actual name when in fact it is not.
Today, we’ll be counting down 9 Nigerian Actors You Didn’t Know Use Stage Names and of course, I’ll be revealing to you the real names of each of these celebrities. Are you ready to jump in? Then let’s go!
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1. Femi Branch
Nigerian actor, director, and producer Femi Branch is an actor that started his career in 1991 and has gone on to star in a number of popular movies including Out of Luck, Love is War, Nneka The Pretty Serpent, and more. Even though fans of Femi Branch could right now swear that the actor’s last name is really Branch, that name isn’t even part of his government name at all.
Femi Branch’s real name is David Babafemi Mauton Osunkoya.
No “Branch” to be found.
2. Frank Donga
Nigerian actor and comedian, Frank Donga attained popularity after starring in the popular webseries The Interview on Ndani TV. Since then, he has gone on to star in movies like Three Thieves, One Lagos Night, and She Is. While this actor goes by Frank Donga on stage, his real name is completely different.
Frank’s real name is Kunle Idowu.
So wildly different from Frank Donga.
3. Kanayo O. Kanayo
Another name that you may be very surprised to find out isn’t the actor’s real name is the name Kanayo O. Kanayo. The name has a first name, middle name initialed, and a last name so it sounds like a fully complete name so you don’t even question it.
In actuality, Kanayo O. Kanayo’s real name is Anayo Modestus Onyekwere.
This is one that even I am very aware of now, still completely shocks me.
4. Saint Obi
Star actor Saint Obi who ruled the screens for such a long time before disappearing from the scene actually doesn’t go by the name Saint Obi on his passport.
Saint Obi’s real name is Obinna Nwafor.
The Obi evidently came from Obinna but where did Saint come from?
5. Okey Bakassi
Comedian and actor Okey Bakassi is known for his hilarious role in My Flatmates and movies such as Onye Ozi and Love is in the Hair. I don’t know why I didn’t question the name Bakassi but now that I see it again, it obviously isn’t his real last name.
Okey Bakassi’s real name is Okechukwu Anthony Onyegbule.
Another actor and comedian that goes by a stage name is popular entertainer Saka. While many people recognize Saka’s face almost immediately, not many people actually know him by name.
Saka’s real name is Afeez Oyetoro.
So completely different from Saka.
7. Ken Erics
Actor Ken Erics is a very popular actor who has starred in a number of Nigerian movies. When you hear the name Ken Erics, you immediately assume that this actor’s first name is Ken and his last name is Erics. But that is not actually the case.
Ken’s real name is Ekenedilichukwu Ugochukwu Eric Nwenweh.
His last name is actually not Erics, it is Nwenweh. It is easy though to see how he pulled out Ken Erics from his full government name.
8. Jim Iyke
One that is still very surprising to me is Jim Iyke. I could have sworn that the beloved actor’s first name was indeed Jim and his last name Iyke, but that is not the case.
Jim Iyke’s real name is James Ikechukwu Esomugha.
9. Segun Arinze
If Jim Iyke’s surprised me, Segun Arinze’s burst my brain! Do you know that Segun Arinze isn’t actually his real name? In fact, Arinze isn’t part of his name at all.
Segun Arinze’s real name is Segun Padonou Aina.
Speaking on why he changed it, Segun told The Punch “it was music that changed my name from ‘Segun Aina’ to ‘Segun Arinze’.” because he started off doing music.
Which of these names surprised you the most? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment on my Facebook post.