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Nigeria is a diverse country comprising people of various ethnic nationalities and states. It helps to acknowledge the greatness of the country by highlighting natives of the country who have achieved remarkable success in their respective fields. There are a plethora of such individuals throughout Nigeria – in all 36 states – from Abia to Zamfara. 

We look at 5 influential men from Abia State that you will like to following on social media.        

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Sam Hart 

Sam Hart is a Nigerian businessman and the Director-General of the Abia State Marketing and Quality Management Agency. He is responsible for developing strategies to expand existing markets and identifies new ones for all goods produced in the state. 

In addition to this role, Hart has also held various key offices both at the federal and state level. He recently announced the successful dispatch of 50,000 made-in-Abia facemasks to recipients in Lagos; a result from the federal government’s measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Nigeria. 

Kanu Nwankwo 

Kanu Nwankwo, fondly called Kanu or Papilo from a popular TV ad, is a retired footballer and former captain of the Nigerian national team. He hails from Arochukwu in Abia. 

He started playing football at the young age of 15 and made his name as a footballer playing for notable clubs such as Ajax, Inter Milan, and English Premier League Club Arsenal. 

He caught the attention of the Football Federation after displaying outstanding skills and hence was selected to represent Nigeria at the 1993 FIFA Under 17 World Championships. 

This led to more fame for the footballer and subsequent opportunities to play for elite European clubs. He would later make iconic appearances alongside the likes of Jay-Jay Okocha and Daniel Amokachi, and go on to leave the legacy as one of the best players in African football history. 

His notable awards include a UEFA Champions League medal, a “UEFA Cup medal”, three “FA Cup medals”, and two “African Player of the Year” awards, amongst others. 


Bright Okpocha 

Bright Okpocha, aka Basketmouth, is a Nigerian comedian and actor who hails from Abia but was born and raised in Apapa, Lagos State.

The comedian began his career as a singer who was part of a 7-member group known as “Da Psychopaths”. He later switched to comedy and had his big break within a short amount of time. 

Basketmouth is known for his stand-up comedy concerts like Basketmouth Uncensored which holds around the globe, and the Africa Magic show “My Flatmates”. 

He has won several awards in different comic categories including the National Comedy Award and the awards for Best Stand-up Comedian of the Year.


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Mike Ezuruonye 

Mike Ezuruonye is a renowned Nigerian actor, filmmaker, and director. He is best known for his roles in movies such as Broken Marriage, Beyond Reason, Critical Decision, and many more

He made his professional debut as a director and had his big break after attending a film school in Canada to hone his craft. On his return, he went on to direct films such as Brother Jekwu and Divorce Not Allowed which received both local and international acclaim. 

He has won several awards such as the Best Lead Male at the 2014 Nollywood Movies Awards, the Best Actor of the Year (English) at the  City People Movie Awards, 2014, and Best Actor in Comedy ‘Brother Jekwu’, African Magic Viewers Choice Awards, 2016. 


Alex Ekubo Okwaraeke

Alex Ekubo is a Nollywood actor, television personality, and model who is a native of Arochukwu. He made his professional debut in the movie “Sinners in the House” which was produced and directed by Lancelot Oduwa Imaseun. 

He rose to fame after starring in the movie “Ladies Men” and has since featured in several other films both for television and film. 

Ekubo has won several awards including the Best Actor Award in a supporting role at 2013 Best of Nollywood Awards and the Favourite Male Emerging Screen Talent (African) at the 2014 Screen Nations Awards. 


Featured image source: allAfrica

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This article was first published on 6th May 2020 and updated on May 22nd, 2020 at 5:04 pm


My name is Samuel Okoruwa. I am an ardent researcher, reading is life and writing is fun.

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