Before the glitz and glamor, some of our Nigerian celebrities had some crazy jobs most of us wouldn’t be caught pants down doing.
From Mercy Johnson who worked as a maid to John Okafor ‘Mr Ibu’ who was a butcher, hairdresser and firewood seller, below are 10 Nigerian celebrities with crazy jobs before stardom:
1. Joseph Benjamin – Security Guard, Waiter, Bakery Worker
Nollywood actor, model, and voice over artiste Joseph Benjamin was once a bus conductor, bakery worker, security guard and shoe seller before he found fame.
He was once reported saying, “I’ve moved from being a bus conductor, security guard, waiter, worked in a Bakery, sold shoes at Balogun; then moved into IT before acting.”
2. Timaya – Plantain seller
Before the Egberipapa 1 of Bayelsa started churning hits, he was just an ordinary plantain seller on the streets of Port-Harcourt.
Remember his popular song, ‘Plantain Boy‘? Well, that was actually a true story about the singer’s struggles before hitting fame.
3. Don Jazzy – Drummer, Security Guard
In 2000, while Don Jazzy was in London. His uncle had invited him to play the drums for the local church. He also gained employment at McDonalds and as a security guard.
4. MI Abaga – Failed comedian
Popular rapper, MI Abaga before hitting fame ventured into comedy, but left Comedy for music when nobody laughed at his jokes.
According to him, he was embarrassed when nobody laughed but him.
5. Patoranking – Rat Poison Seller, Bricklayer
Patoranking moved from selling rat poison on the streets of Lagos to being one of the most popular dancehall artiste in Nigeria right now.
Patoranking while collecting his Headies Next Rated award in 2014 revealed he was a former bricklayer and rat poison seller.
6. Tonto Dikeh – Errand girl, Cleaner
Nollywood actress Tonto Dikeh wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth, she could barely meet her needs in school and had to beg friends for assistance. In return, she would clean their rooms or do their course work.
In an Instagram post sometime ago, the mum of one said, “Uni life waz so hard for me, handouts I could not afford I beg frm hand to hand jst to eat! Den wil be jeans @ alaba market if d jeanz is longer Dan me I will cut it to my size n I will say iz rugged jeans! I will ask frdz for favour b4 they help they will ask me to do somtin for dem eg clean their room, help with course work jst to hav 2000 nair gosh.“
7. Peter and Paul Okoye – Attendant, Electrical repairer
Peter once worked as a supermarket attendant and Paul did some electrical repair for pay. Now, the story is much different; as they have shows outside the country and own houses abroad.
8. Banky W – Salesboy
Banky W once worked in fast foods outlets, clothing stores and as a knife salesman, selling knives from door to door.
He was once quoted saying in an interview, “I once worked in fast foods outlets, clothing stores and as a knife salesman, selling knives from door to door. That way, I gathered money to pay for studio recording time. I was recording with a close friend at that time.
9. Mercy Johnson – Housemaid
Before the fame, money, expensive cars and house, Mercy Johnson was once a housemaid. According to her, “When I recall my humble beginning, I give thanks to God. When I remember how we moved into an uncompleted building and had to take cover whenever it rained because of the condition of the house; how my brother did a menial job as a bricklayer to earn a living and i a housemaid those days when we rolled over a stick to cover the windows up till the point when I started acting and raised money to cover the roof.“
10. John Okafor – Firewood seller, Hair dresser, Butcher
You could call him a Jack of all trade. From being a master firewood seller to hair dressing and working at an abattoir, John Okafor popularly known as Mr Ibu never had it easy.
According to him, growing up was hard and he had to do several odd jobs to feed his family.