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From errand girl to security guard and housemaid | Tonto Dikeh, Mercy Johnson, Don Jazzy and other Nigerian celebrities who had crazy jobs before stardom

From Mercy Johnson who worked as a maid to John Okafor ‘Mr Ibu’ who was a butcher, hairdresser and firewood seller.

Before the glitz and glamour, 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 ofLagos 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.

By Golden pearl media
Tireni Adebayo

Tireni Adebayo is the Editor of Kemi Filani News. She has BSC in Mass Communication from the Redeemer's University and M.A in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos (2014 - 2015) where she majored in Public Relations and Advertising and Digital Media.  When she is not writing, she is either listening to music or reading her favorite books. Tel: +2348000000901 Address: Herbert Macaulay, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria Email:

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