Many Igbo men have made a name for themselves in the diaspora. They have built multi-million dollar businesses, pioneered innovations and become some of the wealthiest individuals in the world.
As we proceed, we will introduce you to the seven richest Igbo men in the diaspora, highlighting their impressive achievements and contributions to the global business landscape. Let’s get started.
Bennet is a forensic pathologist, who first discovered and published findings of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football players while working at the Allegheny County coroner’s office in Pittsburgh. Reports say Bennet was dismissed, insulted and ignored by NFL when he discovered evidence of the serious degenerative neurological condition affecting retired American football players. His struggles were captured by newsmen and a major motion picture, which saw Will Smith play the role of Omalu.
His increased profile mounted pressure on the NFL, who was finally forced to acknowledge the reality of Omalu’s findings. He was awarded the highest honor, Distinguished Service Award by the American Medical Association awarded Dr Omalu their highest honor. Benet graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka with a degree in medicine and worked for three years in Jos before relocating to the United States. His career and achievements have been captured in the book and movie – Concussion. Sources reveal that Omalu’s net worth is as high as $710 million.
Chiwetel is a Nigerian-British actor, writer and director who has received several awards, including being appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours. He has portrayed characters like Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave (2013), Vincent Kapoor in Ridley Scott’s The Martian (2015), Karl Mordo in Doctor Strange (2016) and Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness (2022).
The actor was born to Nigerian parents, Arinze and Obiajulu, who hail from Oyofo-Oghe in the Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State. Ejiofor caught the attention of Steven Spielberg who cast him in the critically acclaimed Amistad (1997) alongside Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins. He has since been seen on the big screen in numerous features including Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things (2002) where he won Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards. His net worth is estimated at $16 million.
Augustine is the world’s first black student, to earn a PhD. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of Southern California. He has been largely celebrated as a systems engineer and a philanthropist and mentor of youth. Augustine who hails from Delta State, achieved fame as the pioneer nonwhite member of NASA’s Safety Panel, after the U.S. Space Shuttle Columbia’s inflight disintegration, in 2003.
The Nigerian professor is popularly known in fields such as “fuzzy mathematics,” “intelligent controls” and “safety engineering”. He has a consulting firm, called Aeso Systems, used as a vehicle for acting. He also revealed that he created the award for graduate students at Georgia Tech. Esogbue was a foundation student at the Federal Emergency School of Science in Lagos. He relocated to the United States on a scholarship from The African-American Institute to study electrical engineering at the University of California-Los Angeles.
Obi Ozor is the CEO and co-founder of Kobo 360, Africa’s fastest-growing digital logistics platform. Obi was born in Abor, Enugu State. He was diagnosed with second-stage kidney failure which made him relocate to the United States to complete his high school education.
After completing his studies, Obi worked at J.P. Morgan as an investment banker before becoming the Operations Coordinator at Uber Nigeria.
He launched Kobo360 in 2016 when he discovered the need to ease the burden of logistics on SMEs in the country. Since its launch, Kobo360 has leveraged existing infrastructure in providing cost-effective logistics solutions for several SMEs and eCommerce platforms.
Through partnerships with key logistics players in the US such as Chisco Transport Group, DHL, UPS, Air France, KLM, and SA Airlines amongst others, Kobo360 has served close to 442 businesses, aggregated a fleet of 5882 trucks and moved 53.9 million kilograms of cargo since 2017.
Named among the Top Ten Most Influential Africans in the Diaspora in 2020, Afam is the CEO and Co-Founder of GEANCO Foundation. Afam who graduated from Havard University with a Law degree declined multiple corporate law firm offers in order to lead GEANCO full-time.
As a non-profit organisation, GEANCO leads complex surgical missions to Nigeria. It also runs an innovative program to fight anaemia and builds modern maternity clinics to help poor, vulnerable pregnant women deliver healthy babies. He has received support from billionaires and A-list celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, and Chris Rock, amongst many others.
Philip won the Gordon Bell Prize of 1989 through his work on the Connection Machine. A machine that utilizes 65,000 computers linked in parallel to form the fastest computer on Earth. This computer can perform 3.1 billion calculations per second, which is faster than the theoretical top speed of the Cray Supercomputer. His net worth is estimated between $1-5 million.
Philip’s program on the connection machine solved a 350-year-old packing problem that was considered to be one of the great unsolved mathematics problems. Reports say he designed the Hyperball computer which is able to forecast long-term global warming patterns. Philip who grew up in Onitsha, Nigeria received a full scholarship to Oregon State University to study math at the age of 17.
Anthony Lawson Obi, popularly known as Fat Tony, is a Nigerian American rapper that won the Best Underground Hip Hop award in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Born to Nigerian parents, formed a rap group with his friends in school and continued playing in bands with friends throughout his school days.
He released his debut studio album RABDARGAB in 2010 and released a collaborative album with producer Tom Cruz, titled Double Dragon, on Young One Records. Fat Tony also received the Best Solo Rapper award in 2013. His net worth is estimated at $1 million.
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