Hakeem Kae-Kazim

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hakeem Kae-Kazim
Hakeem Kae-Kazim.jpg
Kae-Kazim at a 24 screening event in Los Angeles (2009)
Born (1962-10-01) 1 October 1962 (age 60)
Alma materBristol Old Vic Theatre School
Years active1987–present

Hakeem Kae-KazimListen /hɑːˈkm ˌk ˈkæzɪm/ (born 1 October 1962[1]) is a Nigerian-British actor and producer.[2][3] He portrayed Georges Rutaganda in the film Hotel Rwanda (2004)[4] and won SAFTA for his performance in the film Riding with Sugar (2020). He produced and starred in Man on Ground (2011), for which he received two Africa Movie Academy Award nominations.

On television, Kae-Kazim is known for his roles in the CBC miniseries Human Cargo (2004), the Starz series Black Sails (2014–2016), and the BBC series Troy: Fall of a City (2018).

Early life[edit]

Kae-Kazim was born in Lagos to a family from Abeokuta, Ogun State and re-located to South London when he was a baby.[5] His interest in acting began with school plays and the National Youth Theatre,[6] where he discovered his "love for theatre, for acting".[5] He trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, graduating in 1987[7] and was offered a space with the Royal Shakespeare Company,[6] where he continued his classical training.


After working alongside Brian Cox and Ian McKellen at the Royal National Theatre, Kae-Kazim began appearing on British television in episodes of The District Nurse, The Bill, Saracen, Screen One, and Love Hurts. In 1994, he landed his first recurring role as Mr. Manyeke in the seventeeth series the BBC children's series Grange Hill.[5] He then appeared in the ITV police procedural Trial & Retribution.

Kae-Kazim began living and working in South Africa when he was 25.[5] He made his feature film debut in Ross Kettle's After the Rain (1999) alongside Louise Lombard and Paul Bettany. However, it was his role as Georges Rutaganda in the 2004 Academy Award-nominated film Hotel Rwanda, which brought him to international attention.[8] That same year, he starred in the Canadian CBC miniseries Human Cargo, for which Kae-Kazim was nominated for a Gemini Award. He then appeared in the Syfy and BBC miniseries The Triangle.

Following the success of Hotel Rwanda, Kae-Kazim went on to appear in the films Slipstream alongside Sean Astin and The Front Line before playing Captain Jockard in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.[8] Kae-Kazim made guest appearances in the likes of Lost, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Criminal Minds.[5] He joined the cast of the Fox series 24 as Colonel Iké Dubaku for its 2008 tie-in television film 24: Redemption and its 2009 seventh season in 2009.

Kae-Kazim starred in the Nigerian films Inale (2010) and Last Flight to Abuja (2012), and also appeared in Half of a Yellow Sun. He produced and starred in Man on Ground (2011) about Nigerian immigrants to South Africa, earning Kae-Kazim nominations for Best Film and Best Actor at the 8th Africa Movie Academy Awards. He also had producing credits on the films Black Gold and Black November.

From 2014 to 2016, Kae-Kazim was in the main cast of the Michael Bay-produced Starz series Black Sails for its first three seasons as Mr Scott. Kae-Kazim stated his character was based on Black Caesar, a real life pirate of the time.[6] He had a recurring role in second season of Dominion on Syfy, played Samson in part one of the 2016 miniseries remake of Roots on the History Channel,[9] and had a role in the action horror film Daylight's End. In November 2017, Kae-Kazim was cast in the recurring role of Cesil Colby in the CW reboot series Dynasty. That same year, he appeared in the action film 24 Hours to Live.[10]

Kae-Kazim starred in the 2018 BBC fantasy series Troy: Fall of a City as Zeus, king of the Olympians. This was followed by a recurring role in season 2 of the Fox series Deep State.

For his performance in the 2020 Netflix film Riding with Sugar, Kae-Kazim won the South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) for Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film. He also appeared in the BBC America adaptation of Terry Pratchett's The Watch and the Sky One series Intergalactic, as well as the films Black Beauty, The Shuroo Process, and Godzilla vs. Kong. In 2022, Kae-Kazim starred in the Nigerian epic fantasy film Aníkúlápó and as Majordome the Starz adaptation of Dangerous Liaisons. In January 2022, it was announced he would make his directorial debut with the upcoming feature film It’s the Blackness, set in South London where Kae-Kazim grew up.[11]

Voiceover work[edit]

Called the 'Man with a Beautiful Voice', Kae-Kazim has done extensive voiceover work.[12] His voice has been featured in a number of well known video games including Final Fantasy XIV, Halo 3 ODST, Halo: Reach, Guild Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, The Golden Compass and The Saboteur.[13] Kae-Kazim has spoken of voice over work as being "a lot of fun", and something he enjoys doing.[12]


Kae-Kazim is an appointed global ambassador for Africa 2.0,[14] a civil society organisation providing a platform for emerging and established African leaders to drive forward the transformation of Africa.

Speaking about his role as ambassador, Kae-Kazim said: "I am truly honoured to be associated with Africa 2.0 – a pioneering platform for a new generation of African leaders to inspire and create a solid infrastructure- to shape a brighter future for our continent".[15]

Personal life[edit]

Kae-Kazim and his South African wife Bronwyn have three daughters. He has lived and worked in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Nigeria over the course of his career.[16]



Year Title Director Producer Notes
2003 God Is African Yes
2004 Coming to South Africa Yes Direct-to-video
2005 Coming to South Africa 2 Yes Direct-to-video
2011 Black Gold Yes
Man on Ground Yes
2012 Black November Yes
2017 Bypass Associate
2019 Comatose Associate
2020 Mugabe Associate
Cracka Co Television film
TBA It's the Blackness Yes


Year Title Role Notes
1999 After the Rain Bingo
The Secret Laughter of Women Dr. Ade
2002 Global Effect Satto
2003 God Is African Femi
2004 Critical Assignment Jomo
Coming to South Africa Mike Direct-to-video
Hotel Rwanda Georges Rutaganda
2005 Coming to South Africa 2 Mike Direct-to-video
Slipstream Runson
Out on a Limb D.I. Edwards
Othello: A South African Tale Iago
2006 The Front Line Erasmus
2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Captain Jocard
Big Fellas Ray Whitehead
Othello Iago
The Jinn Ahmad
2008 Tony 5 Preacher
2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine Nigerian Businessman
The One Last Time Batman Short film
Hurricane in the Rose Garden Eddie
The Fourth Kind Awolowa Odusami
Darfur Captain Jack Tobamke
2010 Inale Odeh
Faith and Dreams Rebel Leader Short film
2011 CIS: Las Gidi Commander Mohammad
Black Gold Dede
Man on Ground Ade
Inside Story Valentine
2012 Black November Dede
Last Flight to Abuja Adesola
The American Failure Detective Matheis Short film
2013 Half of a Yellow Sun Captain DUTSE
2015 The Boy The Father Short film
Dias Santana Obi Mukwa
Daylight's End Chris Whitlock
Chasing the Rain Mutua
Yefon Fon Nto
2017 24 Hours to Live Amahle
2020 Riding With Sugar Mambo
Black Beauty Terry
2021 The Shuroo Process Willie
Godzilla vs. Kong Admiral Wilcox
Marrying a Campbell Charles Campbell
2022 Aníkúlápó Kabiyesi, Ilu Ojumo


Year Title Role Notes
1987 The District Nurse Ademola 1 episode
1988 The Bill Kuzalo 1 episode
1989 Saracen Bazantsi 1 episode
1991 Screen One Jerome 1 episode
1992 Double Vision Barman Television film
1993 Runaway Bay Henry Ornette 1 episode
1994 Love Hurts Desmond Matankube 1 episode
Grange Hill Mr. Manyeke 11 episodes
1995 Hidden Empire: A Son of Africa Equiano Television film
1996 Ellington Tommy Knight 2 episodes
Testament: The Bible in Animation Ham 1 episode
1997 Trial & Retribution DC Cranham 2 episodes
The Adventures of Sinbad Ali Rashid 1 episode
2000 Die Wüstenrose Raad Television film
Animated Epics: Moby Dick Queequeg Television film
2003 Canterbury Tales Yasouf 1 episode
2004 Human Cargo Youssef Miniseries; 3 episodes
King Solomon's Mines Twala Television film
2005 The Triangle Saunders Miniseries, 3 episodes
2006 The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines Jomo Television film
Lost Emeka 1 episode
2007 Cane Tommy 1 episode
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Chuckwei Bothame 1 episode
2008 Ben 10: Alien Force Sir Connor Voice role; 1 episode
24: Redemption Colonel Ike Dubaku Television film
2009 24 Recurring role, 9 episodes
2010 The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes T'Chaka Voice role; 1 episode
Human Target Andre Markus 1 episode
2011 Criminal Minds Julio Ruiz 1 episode
NCIS: Los Angeles Abdul Habassa 2 episodes
Generator Rex Ghrun Set Voice role
2012 Covert Affairs Somali Pirate 1 episode
Strike Back Sulaimani 2 episodes
2014 Gotham Richard Gladwell 1 episode
State of Affairs 1 episode
2014–2016 Black Sails Mr. Scott Main role, 23 episodes
2015 Dominion The Prophet 4 episodes
2016 Vixen Eshu Voice role; 5 episodes
Roots Samson Miniseries, 1 episode
2017–2018 Dragons: Race to the Edge Krogan Recurring voice role, 16 episodes
2017–2019 Dynasty Cesil Colby Recurring role, 6 episodes
2017–2018 MacGyver Solomon 2 episodes
2018 The Looming Tower Commander Onyayango 1 episode
Troy: Fall of a City Zeus Miniseries, 7 episodes
2019 Love, Death & Robots Simon (voice) 1 episode
Deep State Joseph Damba 4 episodes
2020 Silent Witness Adam Brookham 2 episodes
2020–2021 The Watch Captain John Keel 2 episodes
2021 Intergalactic Yann Harper 4 episodes
2022 Dangerous Liaisons Majordome 6 episodes
Death in Paradise Marvin Peters Christmas special

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2006 Guild Wars Nightfall Djinn / Additional Voices
2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Gentleman Jocard
The Golden Compass Nicholas / Samoyed
2009 The Bourne Conspiracy Additional Voices
Halo 3: ODST Dr. Endesha
The Saboteur Mingo
2010 Halo: Reach Jorge
Final Fantasy XIV Additional Voices English dub
2011 Saints Row: The Third Additional voices
2012 Unit 13 Ringo


Year Title Role Notes
1987–1988 Julius Caesar Various Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon / Barbican Theatre, London
The Merchant of Venice Prince of Morocco UK tour
Measure for Measure Claudio
1989 Othello Othello Theatr Clwyd, Mold
1990–1991 King Lear Edmund National Theatre, London
Richard III Tyrrel
1993 Macbeth Macbeth Bridge Lane Theatre, London[17]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2004 Gemini Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series Human Cargo Nominated
2012 Africa Movie Academy Awards Best Film Man on Ground Nominated
Best Actor in a Leading Role Nominated
2021 South African Film and Television Awards Best Supporting Actor – Feature Film Riding with Sugar Won


  1. ^ "Pulse List: 10 international celebrities of Nigerian descent". Pulse Nigeria. 10 August 2020. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  2. ^ "How chance meeting with director revealed my Nigerian roots —Hollywood Actor, Hakeem Kae-Kazim". www.ripplesnigeria.com. Retrieved 12 March 2022.
  3. ^ "11 Hollywood actors of Nigerian descent and their biography". Naija News 247. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  4. ^ "BN Saturday Celebrity Interview: The International Nigerian Actor and 'Man with a Beautiful Voice' Hakeem Kae-Kazim speaks Exclusively to BellaNaija!". Bella Naija. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Interview with Hakeem Kae-Kazim – ADUNAGOW Magazine". adunagow.net. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "THE BIG INTERVIEW: FTN interviews Lost, Hotel Rwanda and Black Sails star Hakeem Kae-Kazim". followingthenerd.com. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Hakeem Kae". www.gbmnews.com.
  8. ^ a b "The great black hope------Hakeem Kae-Kazim". nigeriafilms.com. Retrieved 10 February 2016.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Pauley, Nigel. "1970s slave drama Roots is returning – and it's set to be even more brutal". mirror. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  10. ^ Clarke, Stewart (24 November 2017). "Hakeem Kae-Kazim to Play Cesil Colby in Dynasty". Variety. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  11. ^ Yossman, KJ (20 January 2022). "'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End' Star Hakeem Kae-Kazim to Make Directorial Debut With 'It's the Blackness' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
  12. ^ a b KamerVibe. "INTERVIEW : The Hollywood Nigerian Actor and 'Man with a Beautiful Voice' Hakeem Kae-Kazim | KamerVibe.com | LatestVibe Magazine". www.kamervibe.com. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Hakeem Kae Kazim | Africability". africability.com. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Hakeem Kae-Kazeem's Africa 2.0 ambassadorship". This Is Africa Lifestyle. Archived from the original on 5 January 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  15. ^ "Kae Kazim Appointed New Global Ambassador for Africa 2.0, Articles | THISDAY LIVE". www.thisdaylive.com. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  16. ^ Enengedi, Victor (8 October 2013). "Hakeem Kae-Kazim speaks to NET: 'Nollywood has a long way to go'". Net. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
  17. ^ "Hakeem Kae-Kazim". BBA Shakespeare. Retrieved 4 March 2023.

External links[edit]