Segun Arinze, the ace Nigerian actor, has revealed how he got his stage name.


The film star, born Segun Aina, said he was given the stage name ‘Segun Arinze’ in 1991 while pursuing a music career.

“I was also singing. In 1991, I was told someone wanted to sign me. ‘We are going to sign you on’. He came from Sony Music. So he called me and I signed the contract. He signed. And then he said ‘Okay we are going to start recording’,” he said in a recent chat with Biola Bayo on the ‘TalktoB’ podcast.

“Went to Ife to do Dramatic Arts. My dad did not like the idea because he wanted me to be a lawyer. At a point in time, I thought he was not going to pay my school fees to go and read drama.


“Then the National Theatre was running an open theatre then… ‘welcome new artiste Segun Arinze’. I said ‘excuse me sir what is this? I said why are you changing my name? The album came out – ‘Dreams’. Everywhere was ‘Segun Arinze, Segun Arinze. That was how the name got changed from Segun Aina to Segun Arinze in a nutshell”.

The 58-year-old movie star also revealed how he ventured into the voice-over industry.

Arinze said he was introduced to voice acting by Soni Irabor, the ace radio broadcaster. He also said he was paid N1,000 for his first voice-over in 1987.


“Soni Irabor walks in someday and he was looking for voice-over artiste. There was nobody around that day then he heard me speak,” he said.

“Then he said ‘You can do the voice’ Really? I cannot, he said ‘Yes, you can and I will see what you do’. And I did the voice-over. He paid me N1000. That was 1987. N1000 for just doing (voice-over). I said this is big. Coloured TV was N500 at that time.”

Arinze is currently the president of the Association of Voice-Over Artistes in Nigeria.


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