5 Nigerian celebrities who swap career paths to follow their passions
By Patricia Uyeh
Making certain decisions do not come cheap. One of such decisions is that of career.Sometimes we find ourselves at the crossroads in our career and we can only pause to ask life changing questions. Virtually every one passes through this phase including celebrities, professionals and even business owners. Below is a list of Nigerian celebrities in diverse fields who got to a point in their lives when they had to let go what they had and followed their passion:
1. Chimamanda Adichie – Writer, Author
Did you know that she studied Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of Nigeria, at the request of her father? However, she had always dreamed of becoming a writer, a desire that she credits to Chinua Achebe, author of Nigerian literary works like Things Fall Apart.
Chimamanda quit studying Medicine after a year and a half and left Nigeria at age 19 for the United States to study communications and political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She transferred to Eastern Connecticut State University to live closer to her sister. Today, she is world renowned with her three bestselling novels; Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun and Americannah.
2. Okey Bakassi – Actor, Comedian
After his secondary education, Okechukwu Anthony Onyegbule a.k.a Okey Bakassi got admitted into the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Port Harcourt, and is a graduate of Agricultural Engineering. However, Okey Bakassi decided to build his career around his passion for entertainment. He became a professional movie actor in 1994 after his national youth service (NYSC). In October 2008, he was appointed Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Imo State on Entertainment Industry Matters and served till August 2011.
He is still very much active in the entertainment industry.
3. Kate Henshaw- Actress
Kate Henshaw spent one year at the University of Calabar studying remedial studies, and majored in Medical Microbiology at the School of Medical Lab Science, LUTH (Lagos University Teaching Hospital). However, in 1993 Henshaw, left her career in Medicine to pursue her dream of acting in movies. She auditioned for the lead role in the movie ”When the Sun Sets” and was handed the role. Since then, she has starred in countless Nollywood movies and is a recipient of several awards.
4. Dr Sid
Sydney Esiri popularly called Dr Sid is a doctor of dentistry. He is a graduate of the prestigious University of Ibadan. In 2004, he became a qualified dentist. During his school years his flair for entertainment could not be suppressed as he took part in school plays, dance competitions and concerts winning numerous awards along the way. He is currently signed on to Mavins record label. Dr Sid is an awardee of several accolades chiefly among them are 2008 Soundcity Music Video Awards: Fresh Video (Mo Hits allstars), Nigerian Music Video Awards: Best Afro Hip hop video (Mo’ Hits Allstars), Hiphop World Awards: Hiphop World Revelation of the year, amonsts others.
5. Omotola Jalade Ekeinde – Actress, Singer
Omotola’s original career ambition was to work in Business Management. While awaiting her results from University, she began modelling to earn a living. She had a brief stint at Obafemi Awolowo University and finally completed her studies at Yaba College of Technology Yaba (1996-2004), where she studied Estate Management. Omosexy as she is fondly called was introduced to acting, when she accompained a model friend of hers to an audition.
Her first acting role was in the 1995 movie, Venom of Justice directed by Reginald Ebere. She has appeared in over 300 movies, launched her music career in 2005 and in 2012, launched her reality show, Omotola: The Real Me.
This list is by no means exhaustive. Feel free to mention names of other celebs, who might have made a career swap.
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