Meet 5 Hollywood Actors That Are Yoruba By Origin (Photos)


1. Donald Faison

Donald Faison is a Hollywood actor, comedian, and a voice artist.

He is best known for playing the leading role as Dr. Chris Turk in the ABC comedy-drama ‘Scrubs’, and a minor role in the film ‘Clueless’ in 1995. He has also starred in the TV Land sitcom ‘The Exes’ and was nominated for NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor for his performance. Apart from TV series, Faison has co-starred in movies like ‘Remember the Titans’, ‘Kick-Ass 2’, ‘Something New’ and many more.

He began acting since he was a child, and slowly progressed from school plays to television commercials to movies. Along with movies and sitcoms, he has also appeared in few music videos. In 2009, he participated in NBA Celebrity Game along with few other celebrities. In 2010, Faison appeared in comedy sitcom ‘The Odds’. Currently, he is hosting the comedy sketch show ‘Who Gets the Last Laugh’ and the game show ‘Winsanity’.

Donald Faison was born on 22 June 1974 in Harlem, in New York City, to Shirley and Donald Faison. His father was a building manager and his mother Shirley was a talent agent. He has an elder brother Olamide Faison who is also an actor. He is of Yoruba Origin.

2. Olamide Faison

Olamidé Aladejobi Patrick Alexander Faison, born July 21, 1983, is a Hollywood actor and singer.

He plays Miles Robinson on the children's television show Sesame Street. Born in New York City, Faison joined the cast in 2003. He is the third actor to play the role, after Miles Orman and Imani Patterson.

Faison is the lead singer and the guitarist for the Universal / Motown group Imajin. He spends much of his time between tapings of Sesame Street, practicing in the halls of the Kaufman Astoria Studios, where the show is shot. In 2010, Faison contributed background vocals on the song "Skybourne" from Currensy 's 2010 album Pilot Talk.

Olamidé is the youngest brother of Donald Faison, who starred in the NBC sitcom Scrubs. He is originally from Nigeria of Yoruba origin. His name is of Yoruba origin, meaning "my wealth has come." He is the ex-boyfriend of Bad Girls Club 's Natalie Nunn.

3. Hakeem Kae-Kazim

Hakeem Kae-Kazim was born on October 1st, 1962, in Lagos, Lagos State to Nigerian parents from Abeokuta, Ogun State. He is a Nigerian-born, English-raised Hollywood actor and has appeared in numerous British, American and South African television shows.

Kae-Kazim spent his early years before his family re-located to London, England. His interest in acting began with school plays and The National Youth Theatre, which is when he discovered that he had “a love for theatre, for acting”. He trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, graduating in 1987 and was offered a space with The Royal Shakespeare Company, where he continued his classical training.

Kae-Kazim is best known for his role as warlord and terrorist Colonel Ike Dubaku on the television movie 24: Redemption (2008) and Season 7 of the action series 24, in 2009. He made a notable guest appearance as Emeka in the 5th episode of Season 3 of the television series, Lost and had featured in several hit movies like, Pirates of the Caribbean, At World’s End; Coming to America, Hotel Rwanda, X-Men Origins; Wolverine, The Jinn, Hurricane in the Rose Garden and Big Fellas as well as many TV series including, Law and Order, Criminal Minds amongst others. 

In 2007 he was seen in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End, The Jinn, Hurricane in the Rose Garden, and Big Fellas. He has also appeared in numerous British, American and South African television shows, including Adventures of Sinbad, Grange Hill, Julius Caesar, Generations, S.O.S, Soul City, Madam and Eve, Mazinyo Dot Q, Justice For All, Fishy Feshuns, The Bill, Love Hurts, and The Canterbury Tales. He has also had roles in the direct-to-video releases Coming to South Africa (2004) and Coming to South Africa 2 (2005), both of which he produced.

Although, Kae-Kazim, in an interview revealed that he turned down several Nollywood scripts as such scripts did not match his standard, he was however, wooed into featuring in blockbuster Nollywood movies like, Last Flight to Abuja, Black November and Half of a Yellow Sun. The south-west born star was nominated in the category of Best Supporting Actor at the 2004 Gemini Awards and is a brand ambassador for telecommunications company, Etisalat Nigeria.

Kae-Kazim lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Bronwyn Kae-Kazim, and three children.

4. Oladayo Okeniyi

Oladayo Okeniyi, born June 14, 1988, is a Hollywood actor, popularly known for playing the role of Thresh in The Hunger Games and Danny Dyson in Terminator Genisys.

Dayo was born in Jos and grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and has four siblings. His father is a retired customs officer from Yoruba tribe of Nigeria, and his mother is a literature teacher from Kenya. In 2003, he moved with his family to Indiana, United States, from Nigeria and later moved to California. He earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications at Anderson University (Indiana) in 2009.

Prior to being cast in The Hunger Games, Okeniyi worked in local theatre and in film shorts. Okeniyi starred 2014 in the drama film Endless Love, also portrayed Danny Dyson in the 2015 film Terminator Genisys and starred in the NBC series Shades of Blue.

5. Rotimi

Olurotimi Akinosho better known by his stage name, Rotimi, is an American singer-songwriter, actor and model.

Rotimi was born in Maplewood, New Jersey, to Nigerian parents– his father an investment banker of Yoruba origin and his mother of Igbo origin, working for the government.

He attended Columbia High School, where he was a standout on both the varsity basketball team and the honors choir. He continued his studies at Northwestern University and graduated with a Communications minor in Business in 2010.

He is best known for his roles as Darius Morrison on the Starz Network"s Boss, and Dre on Power. Acting At his first with acting, Rotimi auditioned and subsequently got his first acting gig on Boss as drug dealer Darius Morrison. Rotimi also appeared in three episodes of American Broadcasting Company"s Betrayal.

Rotimi made his silver screen debut in film Black Nativity (2013).

Rotimi next appeared in the high grossing film, Divergent (2014). He was added to the cast of Starz" television series Power as a series regular, in the role of "Dre", the quick-tempered young protégé of Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson"s character.

Rotimi was also cast in a recurring role on Battle Creek as Danny. Fashion Rotimi is the lead model/spokesperson of rapper T.I.’s AKOO Clothing 2012 Spring/Summer campaign, April 2, 2012.