Tag Archives: #ThePowerList

Agbani Darego.

Agbani Darego, Franka Asindi, Terence Sambo… See 10 of the most powerful young people in FASHION #YNaijaPowerList

by Ifeanyi Dike Jr.

agbani darego-YNaija

Agbani Darego

This select set of individuals bestride the fashion industry elevated by their immense talent and sheer persistence. They are the Top 10 influencers in the industry and their names are more likely to be mentioned as custodians of the industry’s rich legacy.

Presented in no particular order, see THE LIST.

Oluchi Onweagba Orlandi won the first Nokia Face of Africa competition. Prior to that, she used to hawk wares having no idea how far her dreams would take her. Now she has many big endorsement and fashion shows to her name. She was awarded at last year’s Arise awards as Fashion Icon of the year.


Oluchi Orlandi

Omoyemi Akerele: Omoyemi served as fashion editor for True Love magazine till its end. Then she went on to launch her own website style house files. In 2011, she has run the MTN Lagos Fashion and Design week for 2 years now and both years have been recognised by international publications such as Vogue and The New York Times.

Elohor Aisien: She is the woman behind one of Nigeria’s top modelling companies, BETH Model Management, which has immensely launched the careers of many aspiring male and female models. She is the go-to agency for the topmost fashion shows in Nigeria and parts of Africa. Recently, she has been named the creative director of the forthcoming Miss Nigeria pageant. Elohor, an ex-beauty queen and entrepreneur took over as the creative head from former Miss Nigeria queen, Nike Oshinowo.

Dimeji Alara

Agbani Darego: Since Agbani won the Miss World title in 2000, she has soared high in the fashion and modelling industry. Agbani and Oluchi remain one of the only prominent Nigerian born and bred models making an impact in the international modelling scene. Agbani has walked international catwalks alongside some of the biggest models and has bagged several huge endorsements such as Gentle Touch, Arik Air etc.

Kola Oshalusi: It is easy to overlook Kola Oshalusi even though he is the most popular photographer in his area of specialty. He is like the Kelechi Amadi of fashion events. His work is mostly outdoors, red carpets of the biggest fashion events, specifically. He reports to ThisDay Style and Bella Naija and does not miss a single detail in capturing the ideal red carpet photo. Now broadening his brand, he is on the second season of a fashion reality TV show called The Making which he created. A show that focuses on emerging fashion designers and all the elements involved such as hair and makeup.


Franka Asindi

Franka Asindi: A lot of people are unaware that Complete Fashion first existed before Franka touched it because their earliest memory of complete fashion is the glamorous magazine she put out and we have all come to know, love and buy monthly. Vendors will tell you, Complete Fashion for which Franka is the editor is the highest selling glossy magazine in Nigeria. She is responsible for the magazines new image and what it stands for, setting an example for emerging magazines to follow. Last year she was nominated at the future awards as Young Person of the year.

Ezinne Chinkata worked with Wow as fashion editor and forced the magazine to live to its expectation with countless outstanding covers, most of which managed to create enough buzz of social media. She publishes with BellaNaija, Vogue Italia and is the new fashion editor for Genevieve magazine. She has won awards in styling and writing.

Lisa Folawiyo

Jewel by Lisa: When all is said and done, the Nigerian fashion industry will be remembered for two things, the fashion and Jewel by Lisa. Jewel by Lisa hasn’t clocked in the amount of years as some of Nigeria’s best designer such as Deola Sagoe or Tiffany Amber. International celebrities such as Kelis, Catt Sadler, Kendall Jenner, and Thandie Newton to name a few have been photographed wearing her clothes. Rumour has it that she specially crafts each of her designs with her signature jewel detail. She has won numerous awards and was recently part of the designers.

Dimeji Alara: Dimeji worked with a roster of international publications such as Elle and Vogue before he moved back to Nigeria and started a successful career in styling that allowed him work with another roaster of Nigerian clientele ranging from television shows such as glow Naija sings to fashion magazine spreads. A year ago, he and acclaimed photographer, Kelechi Amadi Obi launched Mania magazine, a magazine that focuses solely on fashion and brings African and Nigerian fashion to full view.  Mania is one of the foremost fashion magazines in Nigeria

Terence Sambo: Terence is a fashion blogger currently residing In the UK, last year, he was flown for the Lagos design and fashion week because his fashion wisdom could not be overlooked. He is the youngest on this list and is well deserving to be here. He has been profiled by international publications such as the guardian UK for his unique take on fashion, culture and arts.


Age limit is 18 – 35


Ohimai Amaize

Uche Chuta, Dokpesi (Jr), Ohimai Amaize… See 10 of the most powerful young people in politics #YNaijaPowerList

by Joachim MacEbong

Ohimai Amaize

Ohimai Amaize

Nigeria is a country with a large number of young people who are demanding more from their government all the time, and taking a greater interest in politics. This increased interest has come with growing calls to actually get involved in the making of decisions that affect us all.

Below is a list of young Nigerians, in no particular order, who are beginning to make their mark in the political space.

Umar Bello Magaji is a lawyer who hails from Kaduna State. In 2007 he became the first National Student Leader of the PDP. He consequently became the Director Mobilization, PDP Youth Vanguard. He was a member of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council 2011 Youth Wing.  He was the 1st National Coordinator PDP Youth Cirucit. He presently is the President, Youth for Change Initiative. He is known in political circles as a massive mobilizer of youths in Northern Nigeria.

Uche Chuta

Uche Chuta was part of the Goodluck Sambo Campaign Group which was the organization saddled with the responsibility of getting the PDP Presidential Ticket. He then became the Head of Technology, Neighbour-2-Neighbour which was an outreach grassroots movement that contributed to the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan as elected President of Nigeria.

He has been at the forefront in pushing for government officials and entities to use social media and technology to improve governance and communication. He was also one of the founding members of the PDP Youth Circuit. He is presently pursuing a career in Public Service at the Federal Level.

Anthony Ehilebo is a British trained lawyer who also qualified at the Nigerian Bar. He is the Principal Partner at Ogbeide Associates, a leading law Firm based in Abuja. He is a founding member of the PDP youth circuit, and erstwhile national programme leader. He is rumoured to be prepping to run as PDP national youth leader when the next elective convention holds.

Ohimai Godwin Amaize: After working as Dele Momodu’s campaign manager for the 2011 presidential elections, Ohimai entered government service as Special Adviser (Advocacy) to Bolaji Abdullahi, first in the Ministry of Youth Development, and now in the Ministry of Sports.

Luke Onofiok: He became the first speaker of the Nigerian Youth Parliament in 2010, after serving as Personal Assistant to Godswill Akpabio in Akwa Ibom, his home state. After completing his tenure as Speaker, he won election into the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, where he is currently Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation and Finance, and Deputy Chairman, Committee on Information.

Akin Rotimi: He made his name in branding, working with companies like Rosabel, Verdant Zeal and BGL, before becoming Special Assistant on Communications to the Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi in 2011. He was a 2012 Future Awards nominee, for excellence in public service.

Ngozi Njemanze got a degree in Law from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2001, was admitted to the Bar in 2003, and earned a Masters from Harvard Law. She has worked as litigation counsel with Aluko & Oyebode, served as a Harvard Chayes fellow with the EFCC, and also with the World Bank as a legal associate. She is currently Special Assistant on Policy to the Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, and is a prominent member of the PDP ‘E-women’ founded by Kema Chikwe.

Raymond Dokpesi (Jnr): Raymond Junior is currently the Executive Director (Special Duties) at DAAR Communications, but is a very charismatic youth leader, who founded the Leage of Young Democrats. He’s also the Deputy Chairman of the PDP Youth Circuit.

Olumide Babatunde Osoba

Olumide Babatunde Osoba: He turns 36 in April, but is already nearly two years into his term as a member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Abeokuta North federal constituency, giving him experience that will be important for future responsibilities. Olumide is following in the footsteps of his father, Segun Osoba, who is a former governor of Ogun state.

Bamikole Omisore: Before becoming the diaspora coordinator for the Dele Momodu presidential campaign, Bamikole Omisore ran an entertainment outfit called So So Selective. He is currently Special Adviser on Media and Advocacy to the influential Senator from Kwara state, Bukola Saraki.

Age limit is 18 – 35.

Zubair Abubakar

Oluwatobi Soyombo, Clive Uche, Zubair Abubakar… SEE 10 Nigerian techies to look out for in 2013

by Kayode Nubi

Zubair Abubakar

Zubair Abubakar

I do hope I don’t get crucified for this list, as there are so many techies to look out for in 2013. However, I have gone ahead to filter with techies already doing stuff. I also tried to cover the different areas of tech – from mobile to web development, as well as creative development to new media.

Zubair Abubakar: Developer turned startup founder and BlackBerry enthusiast. With bragging right of his Nigerian Constitution app downloads in the hundreds of thousand, Zubby is one techie you want to be friends with. He believes developing for feature phones is the route to mobile market domination and when not developing he’s talking Azonto, BlackBerry, and mobile technology.

Celestine Ezeokoye: He says he wants to bring order to the chaotic transportation sector in Nigeria and then Africa. Another developer turned startup founder, Celestine after winning the popular Microsoft Imagine Cup as a student recently launched Tiketmobile.

Bayo Puddicombe: If you have played or heard of the danfo game, then meet the brains behind it. Having enjoyed initial success, Bayo and Zubby joined forces as pledge51 to roll out Danfo Reloaded that has experienced bigger success. Pledge51 is almost closing the gap on the 500,000 download mark, but the best is yet to come of this duo.

Bayo Puddicombe

Constance Okoghenun: Perhaps the youngest developer and startup founder in the Nigerian tech ecosystem, Constance is still a student of University and co-founder of Tiketmobile – oh, these fella knows all there is to know about the bus transport sector, and wants to own it. He believes technology puts everybody on level plain. “Forget the industrial age, Africa’s skipped that to the information age” – he says.

Udeze Kene: This is 1 of 2 people I respect in the local tech space when it comes to design – web design, user interface and user experience. Udeze knows his stuff and it’s quite evident in works he has contributed to, including: Cchub, Growth Academy, I-HQ. Forget Themeforest or Wix, Kene is your go-to guy for designs. He codes them hard.

Clive Uche: This is second person. Clive’s got an eye for design and aesthetics. Very strong willed about his opinions. Partner at interesting tech startup, Bloovue, I see a whole lot more coming from this young lad.

Samson Aligba: A front and back end developer, Samson has proven himself with the birth of Eventiso – a startup that helps  manage online ticketing, registration, and automate promotion for events, where he serves as Chief Product Officer. He has also gone one step further to kick-off TIG Weekly – a live internet radio show accessible from any mobile device to discuss Tech In General.

Ahmad Mukoshy: Having rebranded from Aimtech to Gigalayer Q3, 2012, Ahmad is definitely heads-on in conquering the local space in terms of web hosting and domain name registration. Having met with him one-on-one, I see a young man with a focus and yearning to provide world class offerings across board in terms of product, support, and customer service.

Oluwatobi Soyombo

Oluwatobi Soyombo: He has a core interest in social media, and also runs a web development outlet on the site. Brains behind socialmeep.com – a blog focused on social media and its application in everyday living including business, branding, technology, government, and more.

Makinde Azeez: Founder and C.E.O. of Naijaloaded is last but not least on this list. Created in 2009, Naijaloaded has climbed into the top 50 websites in Nigeria – according to Alexa. According to his bio, he has contributed to the growth and development of the Internet in Nigeria, and that may not be too far-fetched, housing +500,000 users, as compared to Seun Osewa’s +1,024,423 on Nairaland.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.


#YNaijaPowerList: Toolz, Ebuka, Alkassim Abdulkadir, Linda Ikeji… See the most powerful young people in the media

by Wilfred Okiche


Tolu ‘Toolz’ Oniru

Media confers fame and many confuse fame with power. It’s not. These 10 bright young people on our power list have got what it takes to make things move and effect changes in their immediate space and they know it too.

We present the 10 of the most powerful young people in the media space.

Linda Ikeji: The queen of the online media is quietly morphing into the queen of all media with her plans to take over tv and radio quietly bubbling under. Her ubiquitous eponymous blogspot is the single most powerful source of breaking news and general information and has long gone beyond it’s humble gossip origins. She makes bank like crazy and does most of this without even leaving the comfort of her bed. Now that is power.

Alkassim Abdulkadir: The reigning Future Awards winner for journalist of the year, Abdulkadir has in the course of  his career, stared fear straight in the eye and conquered. He has worked with international power houses CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera  and CCTV as well as local news outlets like Daily Times and Weekly Trust. He is currently news editor of the fast-growing Citizens Platform.

Linda ikeji

Ayeni Adekunle: 35 year old Ayeni Adekunle successfully straddles the fine line between old and new media. He runs Nigeria’s biggest online entertainment platform, TheNetng.com as well as the weekly newspaper Nigeria Entertainment Today. He is also CEO, Black House Media, a PR firm managing industry leaders such as The Headies, Hennessy artistry and Viacom.

Dimeji Alara: The Editor-in-chief of the high end Mania magazine has been steadily on course, trying (and succeeding) to make Mania magazine the ultimate fashion Bible. With it’s beautifully blinding photography and up to the minute editorial spreads, it won’t be long until Mr Alara commands the clout of a certain Anna Wintour. Okay, maybe not Ms Wintour, but you get the drift.

Funke Adetutu: Is a journalist and columnist with Business Day newspapers where she rose through the ranks writing incisive features that betrayed her age and gender. She is currently editor of the Business Life magazine and runs a popular weekly column called Starters.

Olamide Adedeji: Any artiste – upcoming or established who has had the privilege of having their music video played on music station Sound City probably has Mr Adedeji to thank for it. Long considered the Man Friday to Mr Tajudeen Adepetu’s Robinson Crusoe, Adepetu’s job title is Group channel producer, Consolidated Media Associates, home to Sound City and ONTV and his influence looms large, deciding what videos and programmes to greenlight. Simply put, at CMA, he’s the man.

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu

Ebuka Obi Uchendu: Hansome, astute, debonair and thoroughly professional, Obi-Uchendu has a background in Law but a love for the cameras. He made a grand return to television recently as host of the newly revamped youth TV show ‘Rubbin’ minds’ and has created buzz around the show not only for his good looks but also for the unflinching but friendly tone of his interviews. He is also published weekly on YNaija.com as a part of the well read Front page series and runs a blog on 360nobs.com.

Toolz: This vivacious, young OAP with a body to die for was born Tolulope Oniru but found fame with the moniker Toolz. She conquered our hearts from her base at urban radio station Beat FM before evolving her craft with the GTB funded web series, Ndani (The Juice) where she commands the presence of every A-lister worth their status. Her own website is currently up and running and it is a matter of time before she begins to run the world. It’s what talented girls like her do, innit?

Toyosi Ogunseye: A former CNN/Multichoice African journalist of the year (MSD/Health), Toyosi has shown uncommon dedication for her craft, going undercover to investigate stories that matter to her and rarely accepts no for an answer. A winner of The Punch Newspapers staff of the year (she was presented with a brand new car), Ogunseye was appointed Ag. Editor, Sunday Punch in January 2012 becoming one of the youngest editors in the country and is responsible for the weekly’s accessible aesthetics.

Uche Eze Pedro: Everybody goes to BellaNaija. It is so cool Oprah knows about it and CNN did a feature on it’s founder, the delectable Uche Eze Pedro. A bustling hub of lifestyle, fashion, entertainment and the occasional political dab, BellaNaija never loses it’s style and purpose – to be the arbiter of all that is fabulous in Nigeria. Mrs Pedro attracts the finest pick of young creatives – writers, stylists, photographers to create the industry’s benchmark and after more than 5 years, indeed everybody goes to BellaNaija.


Age limit is 18 – 35

Genevieve smiles

#YNaijaPowerList: Genevieve Nnaji, Cecil Hammond… See who else made our list of the most powerful hands in entertainment 

by Wilfred Okiche

Genevieve smiles


Someone once said no one man should have all that power. Not so for these celebrities who have defied the odds and have evolved beyond mere superstardom to become potent forces in their own right. Capable of influencing ideas, events and policies that go far beyond their personal lives and careers, these guys rule.

We bring you the definitive list of the 10 most powerful people in entertainment (listed in alphabetical order).

AY: The comedian has in the space of a few years become the biggest brand in Nigerian comedy. His live shows regularly attract people from all walks of life and are the bench mark used to judge other shows. He has diversified lately with interests in Music, publishing and dance and his Open Mic show has been credited with discovering new talents like Seyi Law who have gone on to become bankable stars.

Cecil Hammond: The Flytime CEO has created a body of work and influence to make any competitor green with envy, not that he has many of them. Flytime has cornered the market on big-budget concerts and live shows and have organized events for everyone from 9ice to Bez. Mr Hammond has made inroads in television-with the 3live chicks program hosted by Oreka Godis, Tosyn Bucknor and Omalicha- and  music with the signing of fast rising singer Seyi Shay.

D’banj: What more can we say about the Kokomaster? His international career might still be unfolding but there is no doubt that he still has what it takes to draw in the crowds- and the superstars (Idris Elba, Tinnie Tempah) for his concerts. Only recently was he contracted to perform at the closing ceremony of the AFCON proving that his visibility has in no way diminished. Oh and did we forget, Kanye West replies his emails.

MAVIN boss, Don Jazzy

Don Jazzy: It’s Don Jazzy second act and he has proved that he is still as relevant as ever. His carefully constructed armor took a hit following the breakup of Mo Hits but he rebounded strongly, quickly setting up Mavin records and signing some of the biggest pop stars in the country. The endorsement deals keep coming in (Loya milk, Samsung), proof that he is one of the most viable names in entertainment and his social media presence is unimpeachable.

Funke Akindele: The recently wedded Mrs Oloyede has done for Yoruba movies what Kenneth Nnebue did for Igbo films; taken them to the centre where they can be viewed and assessed on their own merits. Moving beyond the spectacular success recorded by Jenifa and The Return of Jenifa, she has headlined both English (A Wish) and Yoruba (Maami) films that have met with enviable box-office returns. Endorsement deals with Lagos state government and it’s agencies as well as big telecom companies glide easily towards her and she gives back some of this goodwill through her film training/production outfit.

Genevieve Nnaji: The box-office queen and leader of the A-List has continued to impress with her ever expanding profile. She was added to the cast of the upcoming ‘Half of a yellow sun’ film after cries of side-lining the local talent became deafening and even though there are reports of scenes being cut, anticipation is high because Ms Nnaji’s name is attached to the project. Partying with Hollywood’s big wigs is all in a day’s job for her and anything project she touches becomes gold. Lux, Mud, Range Rover Evogue and Luna milk are just some of the brands to enjoy a boost in popularity after featuring her in their ad campaigns.

Kunle Afolayan: The New York Times in a detailed profile on his life and work dubbed him ‘A Scorcese in Lagos’ and we are inclined to agree. Coming from an artistic background, Kunle Afolayan has gone on to direct and produce some of the best films to ever come out of Nigeria. ‘The Figurine’ became an instant classic and it’s successful follow up set a standard for future romantic comedies. With his Golden Effectss studio, he is able to affect some of the brightest talent to work on his projects and his work is moving to that rarefied area of selling out on account of his name only.

M.I: The short black dude from the city of Jos has done well for himself, carving out a niche both in the glamour and financial aspects of showbiz. Not satisfied with his billing as Africa’s number one rapper, he set up his own imprint, Loopy records (home to upcoming acts Ruby, Lindsey and Threadstone) which complements Chocolate City music where he is both artiste and Vice president. With other business interests on the side, M.I is set to pull out all the stops for the roll out plan of his third studio album. Expect everything.

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde: In her recently commissioned reality television show, ‘Omotola- The real me’ (deal with it, it’s here to stay), the screen queen is billed as an actress, entrepreneur, songstress, humanitarian and mother. While she is yet to cause any major earthquake, it is hard to deny the enduring presence of this diva in all the afore-mentioned activities. Her presence in the film, ‘Last flight to Abuja’ guided it to rewarding box-office returns and her charity work with widows got her all the right notices. She recently became the Nigerian celebrity with the most Facebook likes, having surpassed the 1million mark.


Psquare: The most famous twins this side of the world keep moving from glory to glory and seem set for world domination. Their feel good music has attracted them fame, wealth and legions of fans as well as the chance to collaborate with international acts Akon, Rick Ross and Matt. They don’t get out of bed for less than a certain mind-boggling amount and enjoy a lifestyle that few artistes can lay claim to.

Age limit is 18 – 35

From Lagos to Kano! 10 of the most powerful young Nigerians in business? See who made #ThePowerList

by Hauwa Gambo

This is one of the hard lists – not least because when it comes to business, there are many across our nation working in their little corners who might not have caught our attention. Still, with months of asking questions, digging in and digging deep, we were able to find young businessmen and women who are making it happen big.

As always, it’s not just about making money or creating wealth, it’s about building what we can see as a sustainable business, grabbing the attention of those who matter, and being able to project confidence in your enterprise. These 10 below do exactly that for us!

Toyosi Akerele

Toyosi Akerele

There’s a reason she’s the SuccessDigest Entrepreneur of the Year for 2011, it’s the same reason she was invited as one of four young people to speak at the Women in Management and Business Conference last year, and the same reason she won the Thisday Awards this year. With the Rise Print Company, Rise Library, Rise Media Store and the Rise Business Academy, Akerele is one young woman who has become synonymous with the art of creating wealth.

Karo Agono

If there are a couple of people who still believe the business of sound at events is a matter of a couple of loudspeakers and some technicians with wires, then they have not meet Karo Agono, the young visionary behind Tremor Perfect – whose clientele includes everyone from The Experience in Lagos to the Presidency in Abuja. With heavy investment in equipment that is light years ahead of his competition, Agono has always been focused on the bottom line – and he has every reason to be proud.

Segun Demuren

Many of those who know him only know his investment as partner of musician Banky W in EME Music, where he has joined forces to create a business that has become a force of nature. What they don’t know is that EME is not nearly half of this businessman’s story. As Managing Director of Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) Ltd, operating from the EAN Hangar Jet Center at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Demuren has quickly established himself as a factor in the aviation business. And it gets better every year.

Uyi Umokaro

How Umokaro avoids the klieg lights surely beats us, but sometimes a person is so busy making money that fame is not really a matter for concern. However, in the advertising industry there’s no pushing his company DM2 aside – with mind-winning campaigns for everyone from Sprite to Vitafoam. Umokaro’s business has surely stood the test of time in almost a decade, expanding in the same period and shining the light for young people in what is a tough and consuming industry.

Audu Maikori

Audu Maikori

From the get-go, this lawyer made it clear he wasn’t in the music business for the show and the glamour – he had a plan. Chocolate City Group has spent the past few years making that plan clear. It has not just created superstars including MI, Jesse Jags, Ice Prince and Brymo, it has also succeeded in creating a model business that won the Africa Entrepreneurship Awards and also attracted the investment eye of its new chairman, the venerable Hakeem Belo-Osagie. Maikori means business.

Hassan Rilwan

When the president decided to launch the YouWiN! Business plan competition, a documentary on Rilwan’s business was chosen to play the event. This is the reason: The Focal Point Group, operating from Abuja and Kaduna, includes a printing publishing arm, a dry-cleaning arm and the awards company has come a long way, quietly but steadily expanding and growing over the past couple years. Rilwan isn’t 30 yet, but he is giving the competition a run for its money.

Tara Fela-Durotoye

Yes, we know it is difficult to believe that the chief executive of House of Tara International is still this young, but she is. The winner of The Future Awards for Entrepreneur of the Year and then Young Person of the Year has spent the past decade building one of the country’s most enduring brands – with branches in at least half of the country and a range of international-standard products like the Orekelewa make-up range. The power of Tara’s vision is truly inspiring.

Funke Bucknor

Funke Bucknor

Bucknor revolutionized the entire events industry in Nigeria – that much should not be in doubt. Zaphaire events is also the weddings queen – with as much as three weddings on any one weekend. But it happened because she set about, long ago, setting up proper business structure, one that’s meant to last. It is certainly the reason she is one of the women making it happen with the Women in Management and Business.

Uche Nnaji

Forget the hype, four stores in Lagos is no mean feat. With his flagship store in Maryland, his new corporate headquarters launched in Lekki, and the Surulere Shopping Complex store a hub of activity, Nnaji has shown plenty of young people in the business of fashion and luxury that sometimes you need to put your head down and follow the money. OUCH continues to grow, its brand name continues to shine, and Nnaji’s is working steadily towards his international retail brand dream.

Khalim Sule Halilu

It so happened that after his father started the business, they ran into financial troubles, and the young Halilu had to take over. Well, he’s certainly doing something right! The Kano-based chain of businesses including the tea brand, Beyond Comment, a very popular brand in many parts of the North, supplies Kano and four neighboring states. He has also branched into the manufacturing and distribution of water and yoghurt with a focus on Kaduna and Abuja. Who needs Lagos?

Editor’s Note: Any one associated with the core editorial team of Y! or YNaija has been removed from any of the lists.



Ayeni Adekunle, Olamide Adedeji, Matse Uwatse & Others! See our list of the Top 10 most powerful young Nigerians in the media!

by Hauwa Gambo

Introducing The Power List

We present the most influential young Nigerians under 35 in Business,Fashion, Media, Entertainment, Technology and Politics! (You don’t want to miss this). We’re not talking influence or popularity; we’re talking to power to make things happen beyond their immediate space..

New Media is the rave these days, but anyone who actually wants to make things happen knows you still need to focus on television, radio, newspapers and magazines – ‘cause they still have a huge chunk of the power to take your message out.

Today, as part of our Annual YNaija Power List, we look at the young Nigerians under 35 who run the world when it comes to the traditional media in Nigeria. As always, we’re not talking about just popularity; we mean the power to make things happen.

For us, these are the Top 10 players.

Olamide Adedeji

Well, he recently got on the screen, but for more than half a decade now, Olamide has been the centre of the universe at Soundcity and its parent company, Consolidated Media Associates. Not only has he been group channel producer but he also has his hands on Soundcity’s special projects including its music video awards. And now, Adedeji is the man to talk to for ONTV which is set to give Silverbird a run for its money. That is world domination right there.

Ayeni Adekunle

He had spent quite a bit of time building a record as an entertainment journalist, and people began to pay attention from Encomium to the Punch. By the time Ayeni broke out on his own fully, he was just ready to go! With his position as published of the NET newspapers and its popular website as well as being chief executive of the Blackhouse Media Group which clients include MTV Base and Darey Art-Alade, Ayeni The Great as he is called is laying the foundations for an empire. 

Samuel Olatunji

He is what Nigerian journalists like to call “diminutive”, but there’s nothing small about the power of his vision. He has been with Tempo and he has been with the Daily Independent, before settling with the Sun. But Olatunji’s Big Sam Media controls the images of some of our most powerful celebrities – including Mercy Johnson, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Funke Akindele. He has moved from the realms of reporting to the halls of business, and he is doing it big.

Mfonobong Nsehe

Just before Forbes Africa set up office in Nigeria, they did something very smart; they whet our appetites with a blog that focused on African business and power, especially in Nigeria. The man for the job was Nsehe. His pieces have the uncanny ability to drive the conversation – the one on powerful pastors got everyone from TB Joshua to Sam Adeyemi scrambling with official responses, and the one on powerful women got everyone giddy. And we forget – it’s only a blog! This man understands power.

Matse Uwatse

How una see am? She reigned supreme as the lead voice in the innovative Wazobia FM, and for many the impact she left there will last her a lifetime. Then the multiple awards winning broadcaster made a crucial pivot, joining the team that launched Nigeria Info – a 24 hour news and issue station. She is not just a presenter, but she is also working behind the scenes. Matse’s approval has turned songs into hits, and at Nigeria Info her voice continues to lead the conversation.

Deji Badmus

As head of the reportorial desk at Channels Television, Badmus has a lot of power in his hands – at least for as long as the station continues to be the leader for news across the nation. He cements this ability to control the conversation perched atop his seat as presenter of Politics Today. This power was on display during the #OccupyNigeria protests as well as the 2011 elections. Quietly but surely, Badmus has become a face and voice we cannot ignore.

Stephanie Busari

The CNN profile of Goodluck Jonathan that talked to his friends and colleagues? Check. The article on the Senate’s gay bill that got the nation talking? Check. The list of Nigeria’s technology authorities to follow on Twitter? Check. On and on, most of the definitive stories about Nigeria and Nigerians on CNN.com have behind them this young woman operating from her office in the United Kingdom. It’s an impressive power base – and Busari uses it so well.

Toyosi Ogunseye

A lot of people weren’t paying attention – that was until this young woman clinched the CNN/Multichoice Journalist of the Year. But many Nigerian institutions around the country already knew to fear. Ogunseye’s power comes straight from her pen – her uncanny ability to spotlight issues and a successful run as an investigative reporter. You don’t see her coming – and that’s the reason why her stories in the Punch continue to take centre stage.

Funke Osae-Brown

In an industry famously tough on women, it is truly remarkable how swiftly Osae-Brown (nee Adetutu) rose through the ranks to emerge as the first female editor on the stables of BusinessDay. In a country where the number of pages under your control can mean everyone and their fathers crouching at your doorsteps, her Friday Life & Style have certainly carved her a niche, along with her half-page column and her constant travels. Throw in the awards, and Osae-Brown is the woman to beat.

IK Osakioduwa

There’s no avoiding him – not as long as Big Brother Africa is still the continent’s biggest television production. The fact that IK has been presenter of this show for three years running is no child’s play. He has his A-game on. Added to that, he continues to rule the airwaves as On-Air Personality on Silverbird’s Rhythm 93.7, where he has also been head of programmes. As far as media power goes, IK has it going on. Big time.

Editor’s Note: Any one associated with the core editorial team of Y! or YNaija has been removed from any of the lists.

#ThePowerList: Omoyemi Akerele, Terence Sambo, Dimeji Alara… who else is on our list of the most powerful young people in fashion?


by Wilfred Okiche

Fashion rocks. We agree And so do the industry’s movers and shakers. In an industry that sells youth and beauty as the finished product, these cool kids lead the way. We present our power list of the 10 most influential names in fashion today. Of course you are welcome to agree or disagree!

Omoyemi Akerele:

Omoyemi Akerele


She reigned supreme as the fashion editor of the now rested True Love West Africa magazine and her superb work inspired a whole new generation of people to styling. These days, the lawyer turned fashion entrepreneur is dictating fashion trends from her Style House Files online platform and last year started the Lagos Fashion and Design week sponsored proudly by telecom giants MTN.

Ono Bello:

Bello is a woman of many parts: a model, writer, stylist, publicist, blogger, marketing officer, corporate strategist; name it and she’s done it. She started work with ThisDay Style and was part of the team that successfully revamped it to the torch bearer it is now. Her PR firm handles some of fashion’s big names and her website is the go to place for all that is hot in fashion.

Dimeji Alara:

Dimeji Alara

Alara began his career as a journalist and moved steadily up the ranks, working with brands such as Elan, Genevieve magazine and styling some of the most famous names in the country. Only last year he took on the mantle of leadership at StyleMania magazine, becoming its premier editor in chief. He has now produced 4 editions of the high end magazine without stumbling once and Mania has come to be respected as a leader in the fashion industry thanks in no small part to its relentless aspiration for fashion perfection.

Terence Sambo:

Everyone knows Terrence. Fashion’s authentic cool kid has gone from organising photo shoots in reputable publications like Complete Fashion and FAB to starting his own online blog, OneNigerianBoy in a short period of time.  Under his guidance, what is now OneNigerianBoy.com has the ultimate street cred for all that is cool, hip and, yes, weird.

Bola Balogun:

She returned to the country after some 5years working in New York with the biggest names around and she established the Exclusive Styling and Image Consultancy together with her partner, Omoyemi Akerele and has seen it become the foremost style agency in the country. She has styled or coordinated all of the biggest shows in the country. That’s why people listen when she speaks.

Ezinne Chinkata:


If you have ever done a double take at a recent issue of Wow! Magazine, then you must be admiring the amazing work of Ms Chinkata. Her editorial work on the magazine, coupled with her styling adventures column on Bellanaija have kept her on the right side of relevant. Where she’s been for quite a while now.

Babs Familusi:

Mr FAB as he is fondly called established his Exclamations Couture house in 2001 and became a regular in fashion circles but it is his work as publisher of the upscale FAB magazine that has kept himself and his fabulous team on our power lists. With impressive circulation in Nigeria and UK, FAB has indeed come to stay, and with it Mr Fab.

Lisa Folawiyo:

Her Jewel by Lisa label has clothed some of the world’s most famous women. Solange Knowles and The Kardashian sisters are just a few who have rocked the famous label. There’s uniform respect for this young woman and her signature look across the country and she’s almost iconic long before she approaches 40. How’s that for genius.

Lanre Da Silva Ajayi:

Lanre Da-Silva

She may have taken a tumble on the New York Fashion Week runway but none can deny that Lanre Da Silva Ajayi’s business has taken a turn for the better since her infamous fall. Her frocky, Victorian era designs are instantly recognizable and her work with Dutch prints Vlisco have seen her become one of the hardest working and influential designers in the business. She’s a woman to watch.

Ohimai Atafo:

Many people gasped when he quit a high-flying job at Guinness to follow his passion full time, and now, the man who has won awards as the nation’s most stylish is controlling the fashion hemisphere with his Mai Atafo Inspired label. He took charge of things for a bit at Soundcity’s sister TV station for fashion, Spice TV, and now rules from his desk as Fashion Editor for the nation’s leading magazine brand, Genevieve.

Ohimai Atafo

#ThePowerList: Tolu Ogunlesi, Japheth Omojuwa, Linda Ikeji… who else? Check out our list of the Top 10 powerful young people in Nigeria’s new media space!

Introducing The Annual YNaija Power List!

We present the most influential young Nigerians under 35 in Business, Fashion, Media, Entertainment, Technology and Politics!

We’re not talking influence or popularity; we’re talking to power to make things happen beyond their immediate spaces.

by ‘Ifreke Inyang

Let’s not even argue this – New Media is where the future is at. And in Nigeria, its stranglehold on our social, political, religious and life and the way it constantly drives the conversation is instructive, if not overwhelming. So, who are those we call conveniently call the powerhouses of New Media? We have a list!


Linda Ikeji:

 If you’re looking for the hottest gossip – which guy stabbed a lover to death, which former actress has turned a firebrand evangelist, etc – Linda Ikeji’s blog is where to check. But that’s just half of the story for this lady who walked into the American embassy and got a visa ‘cause they checked out “the most influential blog in Nigeria” and she popped. From #ABSURape to Mercy Johnson, Linda owns the day. You can’t ignore Nigeria’s number one blogger.

Uche Eze:

With elevated language, great pictures and a fantastic site layout, Uche Eze, the woman behind BellaNaija, has set the bar high. She started BN as a blogspot in the late 2000s but in recent years made it not just a proper fashion site but a profitable business – and she continues to set a standard.

Tolu Ogunlesi

Tolu Ogunlesi:

 On Twitter, Tolu Ogunlesi, CNN African Journalist of the Year for 2009, is revered – with about 15, 000 followers with whom he shares thoughts on everything from the House of Representatives hearing on fuel subsidy removal to the latest naked pictures on Twitter. With enough followers who take every word he says seriously, Tolu is on to something.

Japheth Omojuwa:

This is the man who made life intolerable for Reno Omokri, Special Assistant to the President on New Media, and the man who crystallizing much of the opposition to the president’s agenda amongst young people. With the lethal mix of a 20, 000 + strong Twitter account and a popular Omojuwa.com blog, added to his sometimes cringe-worthy candour, Omojuwa is king of the click.


Noble Igwe:

 A lot of folks were shocked when Noble Igwe, a few years ago, decided to leave his day job at 141 Worldwide to start up 360nobs.com. The website has achieved impressive name recognition for its pop culture serving and with all the supporting events brands and Igwe’s “quotable tweets” have made him one of the men to control what you read on the internet.

Cheta Nwanze: 

This is the guy who made 234Next.com into the force it eventually became. Along with a string of other media websites to his credit, Nwanze’s day job as the chief techie at Daily Times has clearly made it clear he has magic at his fingertips. Armed with several on-the-go gadgets and some of the brightest bloggers this technology expert is pushing the media outfit back to its former glory.

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde:


This Nollywood diva is the president of ‘Osexynation’. The ‘Osexynation’ clarion call has led more than once to cluttered timelines – but has proven very useful when she has a new movie to promote or a new rumour to debunk. With the distinction of being cumulatively the celebrity with the most friends on Facebook and about 50, 000 + on Twitter, Omotola has power in her hands.

Don Jazzy:

We’re not sure he still has that magic anymore, but there are those who will argue that, at least on Twitter, it’s the Mohits CEO’s world and we are all just living in it. It’s not just his handle though, but his capacity to drive the day’s news cycle online, at least in entertainment circles. His mis-statement over rappers and their parents was one such instance, and it’ll take a few more gaffes (thought he is quickly piling them up) before this man will lose relevance online.

Wale Adetula:

‘Tula, as his friends call him, has come a long way from the times when his SistaSista idea didn’t quite get off the ground. With his Take 2 with TheNakedConvos, this young man has clearly cornered a huge section of the sex-and-relationships market online – with the blog, and events of the same name and his popular new The Writer competition. What’s that thing they say about being original?

Ediong Umoh:

You may not know him if you’re on Twitter, but you know his brand, NigeriaNewsDesk, which has been identified severally as Nigeria’s most influential Twitter handle – with enough Retweets and Mentions to last two lifetimes. An aggregator of news from sources across the world, and now interlinked with such websites as Ascology.com, Ediong is officially in charge of the news.

Editor’s Note: Any one associated with the core editorial team of Y! or YNaija has been removed from any of the lists.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated.