GRASS TO GRACE- SMALL BEGINNINGS OF SOME TOP CELEBRITIES.
It is very common to feel stuck in a rut especially in a pandemic like this where most personal goals are forced to a halt. However, there is hope for a better tomorrow. Here is an inspiring list of celebrities, how they started and where they are today. This could help you know hope is still meaningful.
Number one celebrity who made it from a very humble beginning is:
The handsome popular actor with net worth of $4.5 million didn’t always have all that money. Born of a Yoruba woman to an Israeli, he had to suffer alongside his siblings when their dad abandoned them.
According to Nouah, he ventured into acting because of financial challenges. He needed funds for his GCE examination, and all effort to get the fund proved abortive. Therefore, he followed his friend’s advice and attended an audition that marked the beginning of his career in the Nollywood industry. Now, after more than two decades of acting, Ramsey Nouah has earned himself a comfortable lifestyle, married and blessed with three lovely kids.
Number two on our list is P-SQUARE
The twins, Peter and Paul Okoye known as P-square for their singing and dancing skills, didn’t always have it rosy. You can see the way up is from the bottom and these twins weren’t exempted from that rule.
They began enhancing their skills right from secondary school days in Jos where they constantly sang, danced and mimed and later attended music school. Peter once worked as a supermarket attendant and Paul did some electrical repair for pay. Their hardwork began paying off gradually, making the world entertained by their good music and their energetic music videos. In 2017, both of them worth more than $130 million till they separated and went solo. They can be called one of the richest singers in Nigeria. You too can make it by steadily building your skills and staying consistent.
The forty-one year old Nigerian actress, producer and director who won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2005, making her the first actor to win the award, is one of top ten richest Nollywood actress. She started on a rough note of having to push through life after her mom discovered she was four months pregnant and had to have her baby at 17. We all know teenage pregnancies isn’t easy but Genevieve didn’t let that deter her, she pulled through and still push forward today to be the best she was created for.
In November 2018, it was reported Genevieve Nnaji’s net worth in dollars is $7.5 million.
The American TV host, actress, producer, and public figure, Oprah Winfrey has been named one of the most influential celebrities on the planet many times. She is also the first black woman who became a billionaire. But Oprah’s childhood looks like a terrible thriller movie. Her mother was a housemaid and she had no time to raise her daughter, this is why Winfrey spent her first six years living with her grandmother. Later, her mother took her back and they moved to an old ghetto in Milwaukee, Winconsin, USA.
When Oprah was nine years old, she was molested by her cousins, her uncle and his friend.
At the age of fourteen, she ran away from home because she had problems with her mother. Then, she got pregnant and had a premature baby that died soon after. After that, her mother sent Oprah to live with her father. He was ready to pay for her education, so at the age of 17 she had already won a competition on eloquence and became a student at Tennessee State University where she studied communication. At the same age, she became a CBS reporter and her career as the most famous TV host began. Today, her networth is $2.6 billion.
The Lagos born vibrant woman with Kogi roots, captures the heart of many with her funny and heart touching roles. Stardom wasn’t given to her, she worked for it. Mercy’s childhood was spent in the barracks due to her father’s military job, he was often transferred from one location to another.
The children often had to drop out of schools because the family did not have enough finances. Mercy herself had to work from a young age to bring some money into the family. Even though Mercy had a pretty tough early life and upbringing, she did not let it break her or stand in her way to success. After failing the entrance exams at the university, Mercy changed her mind and decided to become an actress. This profession turned out to be just right for her, as she had a huge acting talent.
Mercy is considered to be one of the richest actresses in Nigeria. Her net worth is about $1 million. Today, she enjoys her stay in the States with her family after the delivery of her fourth child.
Last on our list is our very own…
Joseph Benjamin is a Nigerian actor, model, voice-over Artist and television presenter mainly known for co-hosting MTN’s Project Fame, a talent reality show, and starring in the movies “Tango With Me”, “Mr. and Mrs” and “Murder at Prime Suites”. He won the ‘African Actor of the Year’ award at the 2012. A few years back, he might have asked you for money in the bus as a bus conductor.
Today Kogi state native, Joseph Benjamin, former conductor, waiter and security guard turned actor and presenter is one of the most sought after influential actors in Nigeria. And his net worth is estimated at $1 million.
So you see, fame, wealth and all that we wish for usually comes from hardwork and patience. Except you are lucky enough to have them given to you on a platter of gold, it is advisable you hang on to your dreams and never lose sight of them. Keep pushing.
Compiled by Chisom Juliet Obi
TOP THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MODE 9
Babatunde Olusegun Adewale is a popular Nigerian rapper and lyricist who goes by the stage name, Mode 9. The rapper has been in the industry for a very long time and is one of the leading rappers in Nigerian music history. He has recorded several albums and also had mixtapes released to his name. He is also a multi-award winning rapper, having a record of most wins at the Headies Awards. He owned the “Lyricist of the Year” award category for a long time and no one has been able to dominate as much as he did in recent times. Join me as I take you through his early life and childhood, music career, personal life and some of his songs.
MODE 9’S EARLY LIFE AND CHILDHOOD
The rapper was born on the 14th of June 1975 in London, United Kingdom to Nigerian parents who hailed from Osun State. He is the third children of his parents. His secondary school education was at Agboju Seconday School and then he proceeded to Federal Polytechnic, Bida in Niger State where he bagged a degree in Building Technology. His music influences were Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five.
MODE 9’S MUSIC CAREER
Mode 9 started music as far back as the early 2000s. He released his debut project in 2004 for “Malcolm IX”. The album enjoyed a fair amount of success and it helped gained the rapper popularity in the industry. He was known for his incredible rap style and fast became one of the lead rappers in the industry. He released another album two years later in 2006 for “Pentium IX”. At the time, he was already recognised as a good lyricist and rapper and he was already bagging awards for it.
Mode 9 didn’t stop at that, he released several other albums. He has recorded eight studio albums and five mixtapes to his name. He has also released five featured albums with the most recent recorded with Black Intelligence for “Hence4th” in 2018. His most recent album was in 2019 for “Monument”. The rapper, at a time, stopped releasing his albums in Nigeria because he felt Nigerians gave up on him.
His awards list is quite the collection. He has won 9 Headies Awards to his name and bagged the Lyricist Award of the Year seven times in a row, which still stands as a Headies record. He also has won a number of Channel O Awards for music videos.
MODE 9’S PERSONAL LIFE
Mode 9 loves to keep information about his personal life private. There is no known information about if the veteran rapper is in any relationship.
MODE 9’S SONGS
Some of his songs include;
- Where Una Dey
- Nigerian Girls
- Elbow Room
- Kaiser Flow
- 419 State of Mind
- It’s a Goal
- 360 Poetry
- Super Human
TOP THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MO CHEDDAH
Modupe Oreoluwa Oyeyemi Ola is a Nigerian singer, rapper and songwriter who goes by the stage name “Mo Cheddah”. She always loved music as a child and even started singing from a young age. Her big break came with the release of her song titled “The Finest” featuring Sauce Kid and Tito. Following the release of the track, Mo Cheddah went on to drop even more songs and then her debut album. “Komaroll”, “If You want me” and “Destinambari” featuring Phyno are three of her other big songs in her career. Join me as I take you through her early life and childhood, music career, personal life and some of her songs.
MO CHEDDAH’S EARLY LIFE AND CHILDHOOD
The talented singer was born on the 26th of October 1990 in Lagos though she hails from Osun State, Nigeria. She was the fourth of five children. She had her early education in Lagos with her primary school education at University of Lagos Staff school and her secondary school education at Our Lady of Apostles school in Yaba, Lagos. After that, she proceeded to the University of Lagos to pursue a degree in Creative Arts.
MO CHEDDAH’S MUSIC CAREER
Mo Cheddah’s music career started from when she was 12. She got signed to a record label named Knighthouse Entertainment when she was 13. At the time she was still in school and she expected to be a child star. She used to spend time in studios during her holidays. She released her first song when she was 17 and from there she became popular. The first single was titled “Las Birdie”. She went on to record the song with Sauce Kid and Tito titled “The Finest”. The song was a hit upon release and helped her gain even more popularity. The song ultimately launched her music career.
Following up the previous successes of her singles, she dropped another hit titled “If You Want Me”. The song also enjoyed a period of success and got her the award for Best New Artist at the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) in 2010. The video for the song also got Best Female Video at the Channel O Music Video Awards. Her debut album dropped in 2010 for “Franchise Celebrity”. She left her record label, Knighthouse Entertainment, after a while and went on to start her own which she called it “Cheddah Music”.
Mo Cheddah took a break from music when she was 21 because she wanted to enjoy a normal life. She came back after a couple of years.
MO CHEDDAH’S PERSONAL LIFE
She is married to longtime boyfriend, Bukunyi Olateru Olagbeji. Asides music, she is a fashion designer. She also runs a blog.
MO CHEDDAH’S SONGS
Some of her songs include;
- My Time
- Bad ft Olamide
- Tori Oloun
- Coming for You ft May D
- Destinambari ft Phyno
- See Me
- No be Money
- Wole Pelu Change
TOP THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT PRINCE NICO MBRAGA
Prince Nico Mbraga might not be very popular but his hit single titled “Sweet Mother” is one of the greatest African songs to be released till date. The song sold over 13 million copies, even more than any of the Beetles classic songs. Together with his band for a couple of years, Rocafil Jazz, he recorded several other songs though none of them was able to match the success and greatness of “Sweet Mother”. His style of music is known as Highlife. Unfortunately, the singer died in 1997. Join me as I take you through his early life, music career, personal life and some of his songs.
PRINCE NICO MBRAGA EARLY LIFE
The “Sweet Mother” crooner was born on the 1st of January in 1950 to a Nigerian mother and a Cameroonian father. He was born in Abakaliki part of eastern Nigeria though he hails from Obubra in Cross River State. His father was a music lover and he worked to get salary from sawing timber. When he was still young, his father bought a Phillips radio and from there he listened and grew interest in music. He listened to songs like Bobby Benson’s Taxi Driver and Rex Lawson’s Yellow Sisi. He spent a couple of years in Cameroon growing up in the late 60s during the Nigerian Civil War. While in school, he learnt how to play several instruments such as conga, xylophone, drums and the electric guitar.
PRINCE NICO MBRAGA MUSIC CAREER
His music style was influenced by his time in Cameroon. In 1970, he started music professionally as a member of a hotel band named “Melody Orchestra”. He later returned to Nigeria in 1972 and formed his own band, Rocafil Jazz. Their debut single wasn’t successful as they expected but they moved on to release a second for “I No Go Marry Your Papa”. The song enjoyed success locally in his part of the country.
Eventually the hit came with “Sweet Mother”. It came at a time when their recording contract had just been dropped by EMI. They got signed with an Onitsha based label named “Rogers All Stars”. He dropped the hit single with the band and then went as popular as going outside the country and then the continent. The huge success gained by the singer helped him go on tours in different countries including England. He performed with the likes of London based band, Ivory Coasters.
“Sweet Mother” appeared to be the only hit song the band would record and Prince Nico Mbraga quit music after a time when his band split and then he formed a new one. His hit song has been tagged as the best selling song in history by an African singer and was once voted as Africa’s favourite song by BBC. The song was also called “Africa’s Anthem”.
PRINCE NICO MBRAGA PERSONAL LIFE
After he quit music, he focused on managing his hotel in Ikom, Cross River State. He named the hotel Sweet Mother Hotel. Prince Nico Mbraga died in a motorcycle accident on 23rd June 1997.
PRINCE NICO MBRAGA SONGS
- I No Go Marry Your Papa
- Sweet Mother
- Family Movement
- Wayo Inlaw
- Good Father
- Free Education in Nigeria
- Love and Unity for Africa
- Adam & Eve
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