Our top African actors in the Hollywood scene have emerged as hot cakes, starring in most award winning movies for a while now and we have taken our time to present to you our ‘Top 10 African Actors In Hollywood”. Like it or not they are sexy, talented and black!

1. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje


Adewale was born in Islington, London even though his parents are Nigerian, from the Yoruba tribe. He has a law degree from King’s College London and a Masters in Law from the University of London and is fluent in several languages including Yoruba, Italian, Swahili, and English.


He is best known for his striking acting roles as the convict Simon Adebisi in the 1990s HBO prison series Oz, and as Mr. Eko on ABC’s survivor drama Lost. He was also in an episode of New York Undercover. He has numerous film credits since he began acting in 1994 and has appeared in many top films, including The Bourne Identity, in which he played a deposed African dictator, ‘Hitu’ the police officer in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, ‘Lock-Nah’ in The Mummy Returns, and ‘Heavy Duty’ in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

2. Nonso Anozie


Nonso Anozie was born in Lincoln, England is of Nigerian descent. In 2002, he played the role in William Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear, and won the Ian Charleson Award in 2004 for his performance in Othello.


Anozie played the lead in Cass a 2008 British crime drama film recreating the life of Cass Pennant. In 2009, he appeared in the supporting cast of the BBC TV three part 2003 Iraq War drama, Occupation where he played a US Marine turned private military contractor. In 2011, he played Artus, a Zamoran pirate and close friend of Conan, in Conan the Barbarian. That same year, he was also cast to play the role of Xaro Xhoan Daxos in the acclaimed series Game of Thrones and was cast as Jackson Burke in The Grey.

3. Idris Elba


Idrissa Akuna popularly known as  Idris Elba is an English actor, producer, singer, rapper, and DJ. Idris Elba was born in London on September 6th 1972, to a Sierra Leonean father and a Ghanaian mother. He is best known for his portrayal of a drug lord and an aspiring businessman Russell “Stringer” Bell in the HBO series The Wire, Detective John Luther in Luther, and Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Idris Elba has been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film, winning one, for Best Actor, as well as earning three Primetime Emmy Award nominations.


Elba has also appeared in hit films such as American Gangster, Takers, Thor, Prometheus, Pacific Rim and Thor: The Dark World. In addition to his acting work, he is a DJ under the moniker DJ Big Driis (or Big Driis the Londoner) and a hip-hop soul musician.

‘Private Garden’ Idris Elba

4. Chiwetel Ejiofor


Chiwetelu Umeadi known as Chiwetel Ejiofor, born of Nigerian Igbo parents who acquired UK Citizenship is a Britain’s top actor of film, television, and theatre. After enrolling at the National Youth Theatre in 1995, and then subsequently gaining a scholarship to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, at age 19 and only three months into his course, Ejiofor was chosen by Steven Spielberg to play a small part in Amistad as James Covey.


He has received several awards and nominations for his acting, including the BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award in 2006, five Golden Globe Award nominations, and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for his performance in Othello in 2008. In 2008, he was presented with an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the arts.

Ejiofor is known for his portrayal of Okwe in Dirty Pretty Things, The Operative in Serenity, Lola in Kinky Boots, Luke in Children of Men, and Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave for which he received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, along with the BAFTA Award for Best Actor.

5. Djimon Hounsou


Djimon Gaston Hounsou born April 24, 1964 is a Beninese American actor and model. Djimon Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Bénin, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou, a cook. He emigrated to Lyon in France at the age of thirteen with his brother, Edmond. Hounsou has been nominated for two Academy Awards.


Hounsou received wide critical acclaim and a Golden Globe Award nomination for his role as Cinqué in the 1997 Steven Spielberg film Amistad. He gained further notice as Juba in the 2000 film Gladiator. In 2004, Hounsou was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for In America, making him the fourth African male to be nominated for an Oscar. He won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Blood Diamond.

6. Peter Mensah


Peter Mensah born 27 August 1959 is a Ghanaian-British actor. Mensah was born in Accra, Ghana, and comes from an academic family. He was born to parents of Ashanti origin, and moved to Hertfordshire, England, with his father at a very young age.


He is best known for his roles in Tears of the Sun, 300 and Dead Space (video game). Recently he starred in the Starz original series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, and Spartacus: Vengeance. Mensah, who has practiced martial arts since the age of 6, played the character Oenomaus in Spartacus and was on the Spartacus Panel at Comic Con 2009 and 2011. He had a recurring role in the fifth season of True Blood. Surprisingly, he is the voice of Predaking, the dragon-like leader of the Predacons in Transformers: Prime.

7. Edi Gathegi


Edi Mue Gathegi born March 10, 1979 is a Kenyan-American film, stage and television actor born in Nairobi, Kenya. Gathegi grew up in Albany, California.


He appeared as recurring character Dr. Jeffrey Cole aka “Big Love” in the television series House, as Cheese in the film Gone Baby Gone and as Laurent in the films Twilight, its sequel The Twilight Saga: New Moon and Darwin in X-Men: First Class.

8. Gbenga Akinnagbe


Gbenga Akinnagbe (born December 12, 1978) is an American actor Born in Washington, D.C. to Nigerian parents and grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland. He is the second oldest of six children, with one older sister and four younger brothers. He is best known for his role as Chris Partlow on the HBO original series The Wire.


He played Ben Ellis in the episode Contenders on the TV series Numb3rs. In 2006, Akinnagbe performed the role of Zim in the NYC Fringe Festival’s Outstanding Play award-winning production of Modern Missionary. In 2003, Akinnagbe auditioned for the role of Chris Partlow on the HBO series The Wire and in 2008, during the show’s fifth and final season, he was promoted to a series regular.

9. David Oyelowo


David Oyelowo (born 1 April 1976) is a British actor. Oyelowo was born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, to his Nigerian parents. He first attended a youth theatre after being invited by a girl to whom he was attracted to and then studied theatre studies for A level at City and Islington College and his teacher suggested he should become an actor.


He began his stage career in 1999 when he was offered a season with the Royal Shakespeare Company playing roles in Ben Jonson’s Volpone, as the title character in Oroonoko which he also performed in the BBC radio adaptation and Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. In 2005, he appeared in a production of Prometheus Bound, which was revived in New York in 2007. In 2013 he starred in the American historical drama film, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, a film grossing over $167 million worldwide against a budget of $30 million.

10. Dayo Okeniyi


Oladayo A. “Dayo” Okeniyi (born June 14, 1988) is a Nigerian-born actor, He was born in Lagos and has four siblings. His father is a retired customs officer from Nigeria, and his mother is a Literature teacher from Kenya. In 2003, he moved with his family to Indiana from Nigeria and later moved to California.


Okeniyi is popularly known for playing the role of Thresh in The Hunger Games. In 2013 he starred in The Spectacular Now as Marcus and Perdeep in Runner Runner. Prior to being cast in The Hunger Games, Okeniyi worked in local theatre and in film shorts.

Which of the African actors is your favourite?

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