Despite not necessarily graduating from a tertiary institution, some of Nigeria’s biggest superstars have succeeded in their careers.
In this article, Naija News talks about seven celebrities who opted for a nontraditional route to success by dropping out of school early to pursue their passions.
Each of the celebrities on this list eventually achieved enormous success in their own right, but it is uncertain if they returned to school to complete their education.
1. Wizkid: The popular Nigerian Afro-beat singer, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, who recently clocked 32 began singing in the church choir at the age of 11.
He proceeded to Ijebu Ode Grammar School in Ogun State and kept up his musical pursuits throughout secondary school.
BigWiz subsequently enrolled in Lagos State University, but he later changed to Lead City University for his second year.
Due to his music career, the ‘Ojuelegba’ crooner eventually dropped out at the 200 level.
Despite his educational background, Wizkid’s musical career has grown rapidly as he has become one of the most sought-after musicians worldwide.
2. Mercy Johnson: Mercy Johnson, who began her Nollywood journey in 2003 is definitely one of the talented stars in the Nigerian movie industry.
However, she really never made it past the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination.
She once admitted during an interview that she entered the film industry despite repeatedly failing the university entrance exams (JAMB).
Mercy’s outstanding performance in her debut movie ‘The Maid’ marked the beginning of her success story and has become one of the remarkable talents in the Nollywood scenes to reckon with.
3. 2face: Nigerian legendary singer Innocent Ujah Idibia, popularly called 2baba enrolled at the Institute of Management & Technology, Enugu (IMT) after completing his secondary education at Saint Gabriel’s Secondary School in Makurdi, Benue State.
He obtained his preliminary National Diploma course in Business Administration and Management but dropped out to pursue his music career.
The singer during an interview on Channels TV said: “I got robbed sometime in school. All my audio cassettes that I recorded they took them. I was sad for like a year plus. I dropped out and I am like look I am not continuing this thing I am going to follow music. I actually confessed to my parents. I told them the truth that I am not going back to school.”
4. Genevieve Nnaji: Genevieve Nnaji attended Kemeesther Nursery and Primary school, Surulere, Aguda before moving to Methodist Girls College, Yaba, Lagos.
The single mum of one gained admission into the University of Lagos but she dropped out after bagging her first role in the movie titled ‘Most Wanted’.
This, however, didn’t hinder her from becoming one of the most successful actresses in the country.
5. D’banj: Nigerian singer, Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, the Kokomaster, reportedly withdrew when he was in 300 level while studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Lagos due to constant strikes.
6. Don Jazzy: The Mavin Records boss, Michael Collins Ajere, dropped out of Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma in his first year while studying Business Management.
After returning from the UK with the Kokomaster, the prolific record producer, audio engineer, and philanthropist has gone on to become one of the most successful people in the music industry.
7. Ramsey Nouah: The veteran actor grew up in Surulere, Lagos where he attended Atara Primary School and Community Grammar School.
Ramsey, whose entire career has been extremely successful, once admitted that he did not get a university degree.
He, however, obtained a diploma at the University of Lagos but decided to discontinue after that and pursue his acting career.