There is a common saying that every human has seven lookalikes in the world.
If this is true, with the world’s population at an estimated 7.5 billion, it is unlikely that most people will ever get to meet even one of their lookalikes.
However, world leaders like presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and dictators are one of the most easily recognized faces, so it is no surprise that we get to notice whenever their lookalike pops up.
By lookalike, we mean people that naturally resemble the world leader and not someone who was made up or underwent surgery to look like them.
Sometimes, these lookalikes resemble the real person so much that they often start the business of pretending to be the real person.
Lookalike of: Kim Jong-un
Citizens of Hong Kong were startled when they saw North Korean President Kim Jong-un and United States President Donald Trump walking down a busy street.
Kim shouted “Die, America, die” before praising and advising Trump to turn the United States into another North Korea. He suggested that both countries became friends since they were both led by dictators.
Both men were not the real deal but imitators.
The Kim lookalike was a Hong Kong man called Howard while the Donald Trump lookalike is American musician, Dennis Alan, who was made up to look the part.
Both were hired to promote a new song.
Howard became famous as Kim’s lookalike when he dressed as Kim for April fool’s day in 2013.
He has Kim’s chubby chin and body shape but he takes the act further by wearing Kim’s trademark haircut and custom made, replica suits he made from watching Kim on television.
Howard looks so much like Kim that even North Korean athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympics mistook him for Kim. They only realized something was amiss after his poor Korean accent gave him out.
The North Korean athletes were not the only ones startled at having Kim at the Olympics.
Coupled with the fact that Howard often walked around waving a North Korean flag, many who did not quickly realize that he was a lookalike often wondered why Kim was walking around without his bodyguards.
However, Brazilians often mistake Howard for K-Pop musician, Psy.
9 Ilham Anas and Xiao Jiguo
Lookalikes of: Barack Obama
Former United States president, Barack Obama has two lookalikes.
The first is Ilham Anas, a photographer from Indonesia and the second is Xiao Jiguo, a former security guard from China.
Both men impersonate Obama for a living and`are paid to attend events as Barack Obama.
Anas looks so much like Obama that he is often stopped at airports. These days, he wears a hat and sunglasses so that people will not mistake him for Obama.
Prior to Obama’s first inauguration in January 2009, security analysts suggested that the Secret Service might be considering using a double for Obama, who they suspected of being targeted for assassination.
Anas quickly confirmed that he was not interested in the role because he did not want to get shot.
Jiguo on the other hand, quit his security guard job to totally concentrate on his Obama gigs. For $1,500, Chinese people and businesses can hire him to attend their events and star in their films as Obama.
While both men might look like Obama, none has his voice.
Anas’s voice sounds like that of a child, which is way too different from Obama’s trademark baritone voice.
Jiguo cannot even speak English. All he does at events is to introduce himself with the only English words he understands “Hello, I am President Obama” before reciting some gibberish that sounds like English.
A translator is always at hand to translate or rather, read out the Chinese translation of whatever he was supposed to say, to the audience.
8 Teresa Barnwell
Lookalike of: Hillary Clinton
Teresa Barnwell is a lookalike of former first lady and 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.
She has been working as a Hilary Clinton lookalike since 1993 and earns thousands of dollars every month traveling around the world and pretending to be Hilary Clinton.
Barnwell looks so much like Clinton that she caused a political scandal during the heated campaign period prior to the 2016 United States elections.
The scandal started after Clinton left a 9/11 memorial event due to health reasons only to reappear from her daughter’s New York home hours later.
People started suggesting that the second Hillary was not the real Hillary but a lookalike.
Barnwell, who was in Los Angeles, added fuel to fire when she uploaded a picture she had taken outside the same house few weeks earlier, on Twitter with the caption “Maybe I was in NYC today…you never know!”
Opposition supporters immediately claimed that the suspected lookalike was Barnwell and not Clinton.
Barnwell later deleted the picture and clarified that she was not in New York on the said date but no one was buying it.
Despite fueling a scandal and possible conspiracy theory, Barnwell is usually careful regarding the roles she takes when pretending to be Clinton.
One Hollywood producer once attempted to cast her in his film alongside lookalikes of John Kerry and Barack Obama.
The plot would have involved the three American politicians lookalikes bowing to some Arabian leaders and Clinton leaving a meeting in her underwear.
Barnwell turned down the job.
7 Javier Alonse and an Unidentified Brazilian Fan
Lookalikes of: François Hollande
Former French president, François Hollande, has two known lookalikes.
The first is an unidentified Brazilian soccer fan who was caught on camera during the 2014 World Cup and the other is Javier Alonse, a Spanish priest.
The picture of the Brazilian fan went viral on Twitter where people joked about Hollande dumping France for Brazil.
However, the man remains unidentified despite his fame.
Spanish priest, Javier Alonso, is the second lookalike.
He and Hollande have similar facial features and wear similar pair of glasses.
Alonso was first recognized as a Hollande lookalike when he appeared on a Christian television program.
A member of the opposition Union for the Popular Movement party (now The Republicans) noticed the similarity and posted a screenshot on Twitter.
No one took notice until a member of the Socialist Party, which Hollande also belonged to, reposted the picture. Then it went viral.
When asked what he thought about looking like Hollande, Alonso said it was Hollande who looked like him.
6 Luo Yuanpin
Lookalike of: Vladmir Putin
Chinese farmer, Luo Yuanpin, is the lookalike of Russian President Vladmir Putin.
Like Putin, Yuanpin has a broad head, sleek nose and high hairline.
The similarities does not end there. Both have blue eyes and are 1.74 meters tall.
Unlike Putin though, Yuanpin is a struggling farmer who lives in Anhui province of China.
Yuanpin came into the limelight in 2011 when his pictures were widely circulated in newspapers and over the internet.
He was even paid about $750 to appear on a television show where he was called Brother Putin.
Yuanpin was briefly forgotten but returned to the spotlight when Chinese President Jinping traveled to Moscow to visit the real Putin.
Despite his popularity, Yuanpin is not a rich. He is a poor single farmer who cannot afford a marriage.
5 Ursula Nawa-Wanecki
Lookalike of: Angela Merkel
Ursula Nawa-Wanecki — a Polish woman who emigrated to Germany in 1985 — is the lookalike of German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
Ursula resembles Merkel so much the first lookalike agency she contacted rejected her application because she bore too much resemblance to the Chancellor.
Taxi drivers often mistake her for Merkel and ask her “Where to, Chancellor Merkel?” whenever she enters their cabs.
In public, people often mistake her for Merkel and some even advise her on how to run the country.
The only difference between Ursula and Merkel is Ursula’s Polish accent. She jokes about this by telling listeners she speaks German with a Polish accent while at home.
For the keep, Angela Merkel’s grandfather is from Poland.
Ursula says she avoids controversial jobs that might cause negative publicity for Merkel.
She once turned down a film role that required her to go nude even though she did not turn down a 23 seconds short where she pretended to be a lesbian and kissed another woman.
The short caused a controversy since Angela Merkel is against same-sex marriage.
4 Jeannette Charles, Elizabeth Richard, Ella Slack and Patricia Ford
Lookalikes of: Queen Elizabeth II
Being Queen Elizabeth II’s lookalike is definitely big business if we are to consider the several women making a livelihood by pretending to be the Queen.
One of Queen Elizabeth’s longest serving lookalikes was Jeannette Charles, who was often employed as a Queen Elizabeth II lookalike from 1971 till her death in 2014.
During that period, she met celebrities like boxer, Muhammed Ali and starred in several films.
Elizabeth Richard is another Queen Elizabeth lookalike. She looks so much like Queen Elizabeth that she calls herself the “International Queen Elizabeth Lookalike”.
Richard travels around the world, attending parties and corporate events where she is paid to appear as the Queen.
Richard’s imitation of Queen Elizabeth does not end with the looks. She also dresses the part and wears similar clothing to the Queen.
Another lookalike is Ella Slack, who resembles the Queen so much that one will think they were separated at birth.
Slack has been standing in for the Queen during rehearsals for top government events like the inauguration of a new parliament or Trooping the Color that will be televised with the Queen in attendance.
Slack has been doing this for almost thirty years and has always refused payment as she insists she does it for the pleasure and honor.
The last Queen Elizabeth lookalike is Patricia Ford who is usually paid to tour the world as Queen Elizabeth.
Ford works as an examination invigilator and is often stared at by surprised students that confuse her for the Queen.
People also stop her on the streets or in supermarkets to ask her whether she is the real Queen.
3 Mariano Edelman
Lookalike of: Benjamin Netanyahu
Mariano Edelman is an Israeli comedian and lookalike of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Edelman even casts as the Prime Minister on Israel’s top weekly satirical show, Eretz Nehederet (A Wonderful Country).
Netanyahu once appeared on the show where both men wore the same suit, shirt, tie and sat together.
The Prime Minister even jokingly acted as if he was the one trying to look more like Edelman by checking his tie to confirm that it was the same worn by Edelman.
During Facebook’s Doppelganger Week (when people posted pictures of famous celebrities that resembled them) the Prime Minister posted a picture of Mariano Edelman as his lookalike.
2 Shao Jianhua
Lookalike of: Xi Jinping
Chinese man, Shao Jianhua, is the lookalike of the Chinese president, Xi Junping.
Jianhua does not rule over the world’s most populous country like his lookalike but is a meat pie seller who plies his trade near a University hostel in Changsha city, Hunan province, China.
Jianhua’s resemblance to Jinping shot him into the limelight as hundreds of people flocked to his store to have a taste of his pies and take selfies with him.
Sales skyrocketed and at the peak of his popularity, he was selling 1,600 pies per day.
However, no thanks to Chinese censorship, most of Jianhua’s pictures and videos have been deleted from the Chinese internet.
1 Bentley Browning
Lookalike of: David Cameron
Bentley Browning makes a living as an imitator and lookalike of Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron.
He lurks around Whitehall — close to the Prime Minister’s official residence — where he takes pictures with curious tourists who want to pretend they took pictures with the Prime Minister.
Some tourists are not aware he is a lookalike and even mistake him for the Prime Minister.
Browning also doubles as Nick Clegg, the former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
All he does to switch from Cameron to Clegg is to swap Cameron’s trademark blue tie for Clegg’s trademark yellow tie and adjust his hair.
Browning appears at all sort of events and advertisements that requires a Cameron lookalike.
When David Cameron told the press that he baked his bread himself, a television show hired Browning and a lookalike of Cameron’s wife to test several bread making machines.
So far, Browning’s imitation business has been a success.
He charges £500 for a whole day appearance and started hiring his own bodyguards after tourists mistaking him for David Cameron started mobbing him for selfies.