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In Nigeria, some popular actors have crossed the threshold of filming and are now popular features in the Nigerian cyber space as they have become a part of the meme culture. Internet users now use their facial expressions in movies or snippets to make conversations livelier and more interesting. The PUNCH highlights some of these actors who have become meme kings in Nigeria.
This actor is unarguably one of the most used as a meme. Iheme, fondly referred to as Paw Paw, due to his role in the 2003 classic movie, Aki na Ukwa, his picture is a favourite meme among Nigerian internet users, especially when they write something funny or mischievous.
In 2011, he was honoured as a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Although the actor hails from Mbaitoli, Imo State, Nigeria, he grew up in Abia State and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the Lagos State University.
Early in his career, Iheme was often typecast in the role of a child.
In 2003, he rose to fame when he starred together with Chinedu Ikedieze in the comedy film ‘Aki Na Ukwa’, where they played the role of mischievous children.
Subsequently, the duo became, what many consider as one of the funniest Nollywood comedian pairings of all time.
They have played the roles of children in many of films, but later adopted more mature roles.
Iheme’s character has been trending through memes since 2019 on Twitter and other social media platforms. This eventually earned him a large global fanbase.
Ikedieze is another popular actor turned internet meme — thanks to his earlier projects, especially his role in the classic movie, Aki Na Ukwa, alongside his buddy, Iheme.
Most times, his meme is used alongside Iheme as both broke into the Nigerian movie industry about the same time.
He has featured in over 150 films in a career spanning 20 years, but acted in the role of a kid in most of his films during his early career due to his stature and physical appearance.
In 2011, he married fashion designer, Nneoma Nwaijah, and the couple had their first child in 2012.
Also a national award recipient, Ikedieze was also honoured with the Order of the Federal Republic, which was given by the then Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, for his immense contributions to Nollywood and to the economic growth of the country.
He is loved by many, thanks to the portrayal of his roles in movies.
The thespian is also one of the meme kings in Nigeria, based on his gestures while interpreting roles.
Although he was born and raised in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the actor hails from Otun Ekiti, Ekiti State.
He gained popularity with his lead role in Ishola Durojaye’s 2003 movie, Asiri Gomina Wa, and has acted in multiple Nollywood movies since then.
The actor is married with kids.
Nkem Owoh (Osuofia)
However, his face has crossed the threshold of the TV screens to the screens of smartphones and other internet enabled gadget.
Owoh was born in Enugu State, Nigeria. After his primary and secondary school, he attended the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta where he studied engineering.
During his university days, Owoh began acting in various television and film productions.
The thespian is famed for his role in the classic 2003 movie, Osuofia in London. He is also known for performing the song, I Go Chop Your Dollar, which is about advance fee fraud.
The song was featured in the film, The Master, in which Owoh plays the role of a fraudster.
Kanayo. O. Kanayo
Asides his impeccable portrayal of roles in films, the actor who is known for acting in occult movies, is a favourite among meme users in Nigeria.
He is a United Nations ambassador and national award recipient.
Kanayo was among various Nigerians honored by the government in 2014 during the centenary celebration.
The veteran actor is also a 2018 graduate of Law from the University of Abuja.
He also finished his Law School from the Abuja Law School located at Bwari, Abuja in the year 2020.
Born John Okafor, the comic actor is popularly known as Mr. Ibu.
Okafor is considered to be one of Nigeria’s most talented comic characters. His humorous acting is often characterised by acts of silliness, hilarious imbecility and a sharp disconnection from reality.
His previous roles have earned him a spot as one of Nigeria’s kings of memes.
The actor is from Nkanu West L.G., Enugu State.
After his elementary school, in 1974, Okafor moved to Sapele to stay with his brother after his father’s demise.
In Sapele, he did menial jobs so he could sponsor himself to school and support his family.
He then worked as a hairstylist, ventured into photography and also worked in a company that produces crates.
After secondary school, he was admitted into the College of Education, Yola, but pulled out due to financial difficulties. He later enrolled in the Institute of Management and Technology as soon as he was financially able to.