Africa’s not only known for its ingenuity, but business is also a top priority in the continent. Africans have an incredible ability to start new businesses and grow profitably while constantly reinventing themselves, setting industry standards, and radically changing their industries.
Even as public figures, they don’t just go about their celebrity lifestyles. They also take it upon themselves to think outside the box—and produce value for the world through African-owned businesses.
In this article, you will learn about famous African artistes who didn’t limit themselves to a particular career—and are proud, successful entrepreneurs.
Here Are 13 Famous African Artistes You Didn’t Know Are Proud Business Owners
- Anita Natacha Akide
Anita Natacha Akide, better known by her stage name Tacha, is a reality TV star, fashion entrepreneur, and Instagram influencer from Nigeria.
Following her expulsion from the well-known Nigerian reality show Big Brother Naija, Tacha increased the scope of her operations. Eventually, she entered the sportswear industry and made her fashionable athletic clothing line, NLNT.
She also runs an online store, @everythingtacha, which sells merchandise like power banks, clippers, lashes, face masks, and beauty products.
- Thembi Seete
Thembi Seete is a South African actress, singer, rapper, model, and entrepreneur. She co-owns a cleaning company, Clean Up Enterprise. And in 2018, she co-founded Azuri Beauty Bar with her close friends, media personality Mbali Nkosi and Sharon Kuzwayo. The beauty salon offers everything, including nail extensions and threading.
She also counsels fellow business owners to follow their passions, research, and be persistent.
- Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo
Nigerian superstar, Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, popularly known by his stage name Dbanj, is a musician and songwriter. Regardless of his career, the celebrity is also a savvy businessman.
In the agricultural industry, he launched Koko Garri, a company that turns cassava into garri. He also owns a 360 media company, D Kings men media limited, which has partnered with many reputable organizations like MTN and Bank of Industry, which helped them launch the CREAM platform in 2016. The CREAM platform is a digital platform for creatives in Africa.
- Mosunmola Abudu
Mosunmola Abudu is a Nigerian philanthropist and media tycoon who is passionate about telling African stories differently and changing the narratives for good. She is also the CEO of the famous Ebonylife group, which includes Ebonylife TV, Ebonylife media assets, and Ebonylife films.
While Ebonylife TV creates inspiring content that showcases a progressive Africa, Ebonylife films make the blockbusters that are the talk of Africa’s film industry. She produced great blockbusters like Fifty, Wedding Party, Chief Daddy, and Blood Sisters. Forbes mentioned her as “Africa’s most successful woman” because she’s achieved quite a lot in Africa’s sphere.
Mo Abudu spread her wings and launched Ebonylife Place, Nigeria’s first luxury entertainment resort, which includes event spaces for intimate gatherings, business meetings, and exhibitions. It also offers top-notch dining options, a rooftop bar, a boutique hotel, and lovely ocean views. She also founded Ebonylife Creative Academy, which offers free practical training courses in production, acting, and film directing.
Her businesses revolve around demonstrating to the world how great and influential Africa is, and she has made significant progress in this regard.
- Felicia Mabuza-Suttle
Felicia Mabuza-Suttle is a talk show hostess. She served as the first South African host of the well-liked Felicia Show, earning her the nickname “South African Oprah.”
She is the co-founder of Pamodzi Investment Holdings Ltd., which includes Harmony Gold and Foodcorp, two of the most renowned businesses in South Africa, and the executive producer of the US cable channel The Africa Channel.
In addition to being a bestselling novelist, Mabuza-Suttle runs the popular Back o’ the Moon restaurant in Gold Reef City.
- Catherine Kamau
Popularly known as “Celina” and “Kate Actress,” Cathrine is a Kenyan actress who has won awards for her work.
Apart from being an actress, Catherine is also a passionate entrepreneur. She established her House of Humba, an online beauty store that sells everything lip care, from lip balms to vegan sleep lip masks, exfoliating lip brushes, and more.
- Michael Collins Ajerah
Michael Collins Ajerah, one of the biggest record label owners in Africa, popularly known as Don Jazzy, is a music producer, songwriter, and entrepreneur.
Together with his brother, he founded Mavin Energy Limited, which supplies petroleum products like kerosene, fuel, and diesel to companies and homes. He also partnered with a technology expert, Dele Odufuye, to create a free wifi service for Mavin fans to stream music.
- Ntombezinhle Jiyane
Ntombezinhle, known by her stage name DJ Zinhle, is a South African DJ, producer, media personality, and businesswoman. Although Zinhle is successful in her music career, she also pursued her entrepreneurial dreams by founding Era By DJ Zinhle, an accessories brand for women. The brand has seen significant success in recent years.
- Boitumelo Thulo
Boitumelo Thulo Boity is a well-known television personality, rapper, actor, businesswoman, and model from South Africa. Thulo was named one of Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 in 2019 for her contributions to the music and entertainment industries.
Boity owns two extremely lucrative business ventures: the BT Signature alcoholic beverage brand and the Pink Sapphire fragrance line.
- Sithembile Xola Pearl Thusi
Sithembile Xola Pearl Thusi is a South African model, actress, and presenter. She is well-known for her performances as Samkelo in the love story Catching Feelings and Patricia Kopong in the ABC thriller Quantico and BBC/HBO comedy-drama series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.
Thusi is also a notable entrepreneur, having launched her hair care line called Black Pearl, a 100% natural hair care brand created through a partnership between her and Ntombenhle Khathwane.
Pearl Thusi also ventured into the alcohol industry by purchasing stock in the alcoholic beverage company Black Rose Gin.
- Constance Ferguson
Constance, also called Connie Ferguson, is a South African Botswana-based actress, filmmaker, producer, and businesswoman. She is most recognized for her part as “Karabo Moroka” on Generations, the most-watched soap opera in South Africa. She debuted in the program in 1994 and remained there until 2010, when she left to co-found Ferguson Films, a TV production company that has produced shows like The Queen, Igazi, The Gift, The Herd, The Throne, The imposter, The Hero, and The River.
The actress is also making waves in the beauty industry. She first launched into the beauty world in 2008 with her fragrance, True Self, and in 2013, she launched Connie Body Care which offers a range of body care products, including body butter, lotions, and shower gels.
- Bankole Wellington
Olubankole Wellington, popularly known by his stage name Banky W, is a Nigerian musician, songwriter, and producer. In 2009, he established a record label, Empire Mates Entertainment, which has produced internationally recognized artists like Wizkid.
Banky W is a multi-talented individual who excels in areas other than music. He is an actor, politician, motivational speaker, pastor, and ambassador to big brands like Uber, Ciroc Vodka, and Samsung. He is also an entrepreneur. His business, Sooyah Bistro, is a restaurant that deals in everything suya, from suya to suya burgers and shawarma for all suya lovers.
- Zainab Balogun
Zainab is a British Nigerian award-winning filmmaker, actress, model, social media influencer, and presenter at Ebonylife TV and Jumia TV. She’s popularly known for her outstanding performance in hit movies like the famous Chief Daddy, The Wedding Party, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel, and more.
She’s a passionate creative who loves the entertainment and lifestyle industry; this made her more invested in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. She co-founded the natural hair salon Wash & Go Beauty Ltd. to turn her passion into a business. Additionally, Zainab had secured numerous endorsement deals, including one with the Loreal Dark and Lovely line of hair products.
These famous African artistes are truly bringing honor to the continent through their work and are causing a stir abroad. Let their success inspire you and feed your passion and creativity.