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Meet Nigerian entertainers who recently received national honours

On Sunday, May 28, former President Muhammadu Buhari gave the approval for the 2023 special national honours to be given...

On Sunday, May 28, former President Muhammadu Buhari gave the approval for the 2023 special national honours to be given to 340 Nigerians and foreigners in a variety of categories who were adjudged to have contributed their quota to the development of the country. Entertainers were not excluded.


Nigerians and allies of Nigeria who have accomplished noteworthy deeds are annually awarded a variety of orders and decorations known as national honours. The National Honours Act No. 5 of 1964 established the program to recognize Nigerians who have contributed to the good of the country.

Here is a list of some entertainers with national honours:

Davido (OON)

Singer, songwriter and record producer, David Adedeji Adeleke popularly known as Davido was conferred with the Officer of the Order of Niger (OON) award. On Wednesday, he posted on his Instagram account to acknowledge the honour.

After releasing ‘Dami Duro’, the second single from his debut studio album Omo Baba Olowo (2012), from which six other singles – ‘Back When’, ‘Ekuro’, ‘Overseas’, ‘All of You’, ‘Gbon Gbon’ and ‘Feel Alright’ were used, Davido gained popularity.

Davido took home the Next Rated award at The Headies in 2012. He recorded the hit singles ‘Gobe’, ‘One of a Kind’, ‘Skelewu’, ‘Aye’, ‘Tchelete’ (Goodlife), ‘Naughty’, ‘Owo Ni Koko’, ‘The Sound’ and ‘The Money’ between 2013 and 2015.

A few months after announcing on Twitter in January 2016 that he had signed a record deal with Sony Music, Davido established the record company Davido Music Worldwide, to which artists Dremo, Yonda, and Peruzzi were previously signed.

In November 2019, Davido released his second studio album ‘A Good Time’, which was accompanied by the singles ‘If’, ‘Fall’, ‘Assurance’, ‘Blow My Mind’, and ‘Risky’. At the 2018 BET Awards, Davido won Best International Act, making history as the first African musician to accept an award on the main stage.

Davido was selected as one of the 100 most influential Africans by the New African magazine in 2019. On November 13, 2020, his third studio album ‘A Better Time’ was released, and in February 2021, he was named on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most promising young people.  On March 31, 2023, Davido released Timeless, his fourth studio album.

Davido is a well-known advocate for human rights in Africa and is a cultural ambassador for Nigeria. He is also among the most popular African artists on Twitter and Instagram.

Ayo Makun (MFR)

Popular comedian, Richard Ayodeji Makun widely known as AY was amongst the list of entertainers who received the Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) designation from former President Muhammadu Buhari.

AY is a Nigerian actor, comedian, presenter on radio and television, writer, producer, and film director. He serves as the host of the AY comedy skits and live shows. His debut film, ‘30 Days in Atlanta’, was produced by him and directed by Robert O. Peters. He received the title of UN Peace Ambassador in 2009. Ayo Makun gained attention after serving as the personal assistant and event manager for Alibaba Akporobome. He contributed to Gbenga Adeyinka’s “Laugh Mattaz” and The Sun (Nigeria) as a guest columnist, respectively, and wrote going “A.Y wire”

Kunle Afolayan (OON)

Nigerian film producer, actor and director Kunle Afolayan OON began his Nollywood career in 1999 as an actor in the movie ‘Saworoide’. However, he achieved global recognition with his directorial debut, ‘Irapada’, which won the Africa Movie Academy Award for ‘Best Film in an African Language’. His subsequent directing credits include ‘The Figurine’, ‘Phone Swap’, ‘October 1’ and ‘Citation’. In 2015, ‘October 1’ was the second best grossing Nigerian movie in Nigerian theatres at the time of its release. It won 16 major African film awards; a feat Afolayan would replicate two years later with ‘The CEO’.

In March 2021, Afolayan signed a three-film agreement with Netflix, which created a favourable precedent for other players in Nigeria’s rapidly expanding film industry. His most recent work, ‘Anikulápó’, became the highest-watched non-English Netflix original film just 11 days after its debut.

Charles Okpaleke (OON)

Nigerian film producer Charles Okpaleke OON, better known as Charles of Play, is well known for his skill in turning Nigerian classics into award winning films. ‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free’, his directorial debut, won seven awards at the 2020 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards. His next project, ‘Rattlesnake; the Ahanna story’ also won five awards at the 2022 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards. ‘Glamour Girls’, another of his works, is one of the most popular Nigerian films on Netflix.

Additionally, his game ‘Aki and Pawpaw: Epic Run’, which was based on the beloved 2002 movie ‘Aki and Pawpaw’, became the first game from Nigeria to top the global charts after receiving 100,000 downloads on iOS and Playstore in less than 30 hours. Charles Okpaleke is also a co-founder of Play Network Africa.


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