Mercy Johnson was a house help; Patoranking sold rat poison; Banky W was a sales boy - 10 Nigerians celebrities and the jobs they did before fame

There is a story behind every glory! Looking at the glamorous lifestyles celebrities live, one would think they were all born with silver spoons and have never tasted suffering. Most have been where you are today, have seen the hard life first hand and can soak garri without sugar. Here NET chronicles ten Nigerian celebrities and the weird jobs they did before fame came along.

1. Mr Ibu was a butcher and a hair stylist

John Okafor wasn’t always a comic act that made everybody laugh (Although a trained attorney). At a point in
his life he sold firewood to make a living. Later on, he doubled his hustle- becoming a butcher and a hair stylist.

2. Joseph Benjamin was a bus conductor

The dashing actor and model once worked hung on a bus and shouted ‘Ojuelegba, Ojuelegba!’ He said during an interview  I moved from being a bus conductor, to being a security guard, waiter, worked in a Bakery, sold shoes at Balogun and then moved into IT before I began my career as an actor.’

3. Harrysong was a fish seller

The singer and songwriter told NET TV that he once sold fish with his grandmother in the village.

4. Timaya was a ‘plantain boy’

Inetimi Odom was once a plantain seller- as he told in his song ‘Plantain Boy’.

5. Sanyeri was a shoe cobbler

The Yoruba comic once said in an interview that he once a shoe cobbler, who used the proceeds from his hustle to attend drama auditions.

6. Small Doctor was an okadaman

The singer was once a motorcyclist (okadaman) and told NET that since he had his big break, he’s only ridden a motorcycle once. Oh and he also dabbled into a little pilfering. But he was caught and beaten up. He never stole again.

7. Tonto Dike used to beg for food in uni

In spite of her family’s wealth, the Nollywood actress claimed she was once a beggar. According to her, university life was so hard for her that she used to beg from colleagues and strangers just to feed.

8. Banky W was a sales boy

To raise money for studio time as a college student in the United State, Mr W was a sales boy at a departmental store.

9. Patoranking used to sell rat poison

As Patoranking took home the award for Next Rated at the 2014 Headies, he revealed that only a couple of years prior; he was selling rat poison on the highways of Lagos.

10. Mercy Johnson was a housemaid

Before becoming a successful movie star, Mercy Johnson had a difficult background- she was a housemaid whose family lived in an uncompleted building.


  1. Good for them. Despise not the days of humble beginning.


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