World Changing Yoruba in the Spotlight: Gbenga Akinnagbe

In this world, there are people that use their fame and money to please themselves. Then there are the few people that use their fame to change lives! Those people are the ones that make an affect ! They are people that refuse to live in a skewed world when they have the power to change it. Mr. Gbenga Akinnagbe is one of those people. Born in Washington, D.C. to Nigerian parents and grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, Akinnagbe was in and out of trouble as a youth. He is the second oldest of six children, with one older sister and four younger brothers. He is the first in his family to be born in the U.S. He attended Colonel Zadok A. Magruder High School in Rockville, Maryland. Akinnagbe attended Bucknell University on a wrestling scholarship, majoring in Political Science and English. He played “Ben Ellis” in the episode Contenders on the TV series Numb3rs. In the summer of 2006, Akinnagbe performed the role of “Zim” in the NYC Fringe Festival’s “Outstanding Play” award-winning production of Modern Missionary. In 2003, Akinnagbe auditioned for the role of Chris Partlow on the HBO series The Wire and starting in 2004 began a frequent recurring role. In 2008 during the show’s fifth and final season, he was promoted to a series regular. In 2007, Akinnagbe appeared in the film The Savages with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney, and Philip Bosco. He appeared in the remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, which was released by Sony in June 2009. Akinnagbe made a guest appearance on a Season 10 Law and Order: SVU episode entitled”Hell” as Elijah Okello, a former Ugandan child soldier living in New York, facing deportation. In 2010 in Seattle, Washington Akinnagbe starred in world premiere play The Thin Place at The Intiman Theatre.  He was also in this fall’s movie Lottery Ticket and is currently in The Good Wife as Pastor Isiah Easton. His former co-star from the The Wire, Frankie Faison, portrayed his father on the show in several episodes. He is currently starring as Kelly Slater, a new nurse in the 3rd season of the Showtime series Nurse Jackie. He will be seen in the lead role of Jack in the upcoming Independent film “Home”, directed by Jono Oliver. He is currently playing a drug lord in the USA series “Graceland”

Many people know him by his role in the famous movie, “Lottery Ticket” or in the notorious HBO Original series, “The Wire”. However, what many people don’t know or are just figuring out is that there is more to this actor, producer, writer, and notable Yoruba man than what meets the eye. Currently, Mr. Akinnagbe is the founder of an organization called, We Are Liberated! According to the We Are Liberated website, this organization is “a movement around a message of unity, global justice, and freedom that are anchored in dates of liberation”. Basically, this organization is all about inspiring people to act and help each other! For more information about this awesome, non-profit organization visit its

I would really urge us to support our fellow Yoruba man in changing the world!

gbenga akinnagbe

1 Comment

  1. I was privilege to have a close encounter with this young man and I noticed his enthusiasm about Yoruba would propel him to showcase it to the modern world in a new dimension through his Hollywood experience. I wish he attempts to do it now, hitting the iron while it’s still hot !

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