Fu’ad Lawal, Fisayo Soyombo, Wana Udobang…Here’s the #YNaijaPowerList2020 for Media

Editors Note:

A young-world revolution is unfolding before our eyes, rupturing the idea that only experience can change the world. Increasingly, young people are participating actively in all aspects of human life, and changing the way we think, look and do what we do.

At YNaija, we know these stars from across Nigeria – the decision-makers, changemakers, and influencers breaking boundaries in Nigeria; and we’ve made it our duty annually, to celebrate them over the last nine years. In delivering this year’s edition, we have worked with an eminent jury to review and ensure it remains truly ‘powerful.’

Furthermore, to better appreciate the power of these stars, we have chosen to strategically publish the list of various honorees across the various categories on Wednesday, July 29; Thursday, July 30; and Friday, July 31.

Here are the power blocs for Media:

OluTimehin Adegbeye  

OluTimehin Adegbeye is a writer, speaker, and activist.

Her work focuses on addressing issues related to gender, sexuality, and poverty. Through her writings and activism, she has made herself a prominent figure in the Nigerian and African feminist communities. 

She currently works as a Communications Officer with JEI, a human rights organisation based in Lagos. 


Didi Akinyelure  

Didi Akinyelure is an award-winning British/Nigerian journalist.

The graduate of Chemical Engineering from the University of Nottingham, won the prestigious BBC World News Komla Dumor Award in July 2016.

In 2018, Didi received the University of Nottingham Special Excellence Alumni Laureate Award and has previously been the face of CNBC Africa’s live morning show, Open Exchange, West Africa.  

Shola Lawal  

Shola Lawal is a Lagos-based journalist covering conflict and development in West Africa. 

A contributor at Americamagazine.org, Shola is the 2019 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow at the International Women’s Media Foundation.  

Selected by a Grand Jury from among more than 800 applications from 94 different countries, Shola was among the 2020 Prize winners, for her exposé on the dangerous conditions faced by ‘extra-continental migrants’ travelling from Africa to reach North America. 


Joey Akan  

The multi-award-winning journalist, writer, A&R and Media Consultant, has spent years studying and reporting on the African music industry, and the art process. 

He has written on a variety of topics for the music industry, including investigations into the music distribution business, Africa, its sounds, and the culture of music. 

His works have appeared in the New York Times, The FADER, Quartz, Pulseetc and has earned several nominations for his works including OYA, MAYA Awards, winner of the Scream Awards for entertainment Journalist of the Year. 

Joey, Founder/CEO of Afrobeats Intelligence, is currently the Entertainment Editor at News Central TV, and the West African Arts & Culture Commissioning Editor for The Conversations Africa. 


Wana Udobang 

Wana is an award-winning Nigerian poet, writer and spoken word artist. 

Just this year, she was selected to participate in the 54th International Writing Program (IWP) Fall Residency at the University of Iowa, courtesy of the United States Department of State.  

Wana Udobang is also a Nigeria-based freelance journalist and filmmaker whose work has covered women’s rights, social justice, healthcare, personal narratives, culture and the arts. She has worked with the BBC Radio4, BBC World Service and Nigeria’s Inspiration 92.3 FM. 


Edirin Edewor 

Edirin Edewor is a multiple Amazon Bestselling Author, an award-winning entrepreneur, International Speaker, Consultant, Trainer and Coach at the Edirin Edewor Company.

She is the founder of the Online Publishers and Entrepreneurs Network (OPEN), a community of over 20,000 Authors, Writers and Entrepreneurs, dedicated to helping Africans tell their original stories from their African perspective, showcasing Africa’s literary skills by helping writers become published as well as profiting from their skills.

In 2018 alone, she helped over 250 authors get published, with more than 35 Amazon Bestsellers.

Edirin is committed to works focused on youth empowerment, women-focused organisations, education, and employment as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. She has collaborated with several NGOs directed at youth empowerment, entrepreneurship, education for the girl child and women equality. 

She made the 2019 Most Influential Young Nigerians list and was among the 25 recipients of the Social Media for Social Good Summits & Awards Africa 2020. 


Fisayo Soyombo 

Investigative journalist, ‘Fisayo, who is a former Editor of TheCable, the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) and SaharaReporters, has won numerous awards at home and abroad. In February 2020, he co-won Gatefield’s People Journalism Prize for Africa (PJPA), then donated the N500,000 reward to a cause for the identification and freedom of innocent and light-offence prison inmates. In April, he was a finalist for the International Journalist of the Year category of the One World Media Award.

Fisayo is one of Nigeria’s unknown but quietly emerging writing talents. His burgeoning writing craft has earned him more than 15 youth journalism-related awards. 


Laylah Ali Othman 

Laylah Ali Othman is a Nigerian interior designer, writer and reality TV presenter.

She is the founder of the Non-profit organisation, Laylah Initiative for the Boy and Girl Child Charity Foundation (LIBGC) and Presenter of Voices of the Youth.

Laylah is also the CEO of one of Abuja’s most patronised interior design company (L and N interiors). Beyond expressing her creativity in designs she also expresses her opinion on societal and marital issues affecting women in her society. With over ten years of experience, she has been able to train youths in the art of interior design and provide job opportunities to many. She has also expanded her growing dynasty to include a magazine publication that was recently launched. 

Timilehin Bello 

Timilehin Bello is the founder and CEO of Media Panache Nigeria, a tech and digital-driven public relations agency.

A graduate of the Lagos State University, Timilehin started a PR agency on the social media platform, WhatsApp, last year. He is today, the co-founder of a food company called ‘Trays n Pans.’


Idia Aisien 

Idia Aisien is a Nigerian model and TV presenter. 

Aisien has worked with Fox 5 News, the AARP Foundation, Discovery Communications, the Foreign Policy Initiative, the United Nations and Atlas Mara. She has modelled for many brands, including BMWVogueLAN Airlines, Black Opal, NiveaAlice + Olivia, J Brand, Cashhimi, Samantha Pleet, Jovani, Evelyn Lambert, Nikki Angelique, An Alili and Sway Hair Ltd. In Nigeria, Idia currently hosts You Got Issues and Style 101 on Spice TV, and the Mega Millions Lottery Draw on Silverbird. 

Idia Aisien currently works with the International News TV Station – Arise News Guardian woman.


Fu’ad Lawal 

Fu ‘ad Lawal, a young Nigerian writer and content strategist at one of the country’s leading online media platforms, Zikoko. 

As Editor-in-Chief of Zikoko, Fu’ad has presented inspiring case studies on their platforms’ success stories and well thought-out strategies for growth via digital media at the Social4Media Masterclass that took place in 2019.  

The Jury

Ayo Bankole 

33-year old Ayo-Bankole, is a Strategy & Transformation professional with over a decade experience that covers leadership roles as the Head of Strategy and experience in the financial markets, insurance, and oil & gas industries. Ayo is also an entrepreneur, an advocate for good governance and he actively promotes the growth of MSMEs as the key to Africa’s development.

He is the Convener of the Lagos SME Bootcamp, a platform he founded to help enhance the business management skills of SMEs to reduce their risks of failure and contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 8. He is the publisher of The Hedge Report, a publication that promotes responsible use of social media amongst youth. 

Ope Adedeji  

Ope Adedeji is a writer and editor living in Lagos. She is the managing editor of Zikoko Magazine and was the managing editor at Ouida Books. Her work has appeared in Catapult, Afreada, Arts and Africa, McSweeney’s Quarterly and so much more.

She is an alumnus of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2018 Purple Hibiscus Trust Creative Writing Workshop and winner of the 2019 Brittle Paper Award for African Fiction.   

 Tega Onojaife 

Tega Onojaife is a sports producer and presenter for Smooth 98.1 FM Radio and the founder of the Ladies in Sport Conference.  

Beginning her sports journalism career as a soccer pundit, Tega was soon covering live broadcasts of the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and Africa Cup of Nations. In 12 years, she has covered nearly every major soccer event and served as one of a small number of female pioneers in the Nigerian sports journalism, joining the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) and serving as secretary of the Events Committee of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria.  

In 2016, Tega founded the Ladies in Sports Conference, a yearly conference networking female sports professional in Nigeria. 

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