by Wilfred Okiche
As the annual #YNaijaPowerList enters its 4th year, we bring you the most influential young Nigerians under 40 who are navigating the increasingly complex world of social media to get things done.
From popular bloggers to interactive marketing strategists, style gurus to plain mischief makers, these guys speak and we listen.
The name Bankole Bada may not immediately ring a bell but Twittersphere and BlackBerry users can certainly identify with his fast rising gadgets and accessories e-commerce startup, Huntella. What is more interesting however, is Bada’s social media marketing strategy via the Twitter handle @huntellaDotNet which aggressively pursues followers and keeps them engaged via funny gifs, random musing and motivational tips. @huntellaDotNet has stumbled occasionally in customer service relations but none can deny the stunning effectiveness of this strategy.
For Cheta Nwanze, a journalist who cut his teeth with the defunct NEXT Newspaper, online is where everything is at. In the past year he has worked with YNaija.com as editor but it is his Twitter handle, @chxta with its 22,000 strong followers that has propelled him to this list once again. When he tweets, especially on political matters, people listen. His #HistoryClasses are a Twitter event and his week daily newsletters serve as the perfect pick me up for a whole lot of readers. He is also a regular fixture on current affairs programmes.
It is okay not to know the name Ediong Umoh but it is probably a crime to be doing business online and not know of Nigeria Newsdesk, perhaps the most influential news aggregator working today. It is as simple as this, when you want to launch a Twitter dependent service, you go to his @NigeriaNewsdesk, arguably the country’s most popular Twitter handle (with well above 700,000 followers). Umoh’s NND has aggregated tweets for various new media platforms like YNaija, Daily Post Nigeria, TheScoop and with every single tweet or retweet, Umoh is definitely smiling to the bank.
When Elnathan John tweets, the internet takes notice. The gifted writer and satirist has been in fine form for a while now, irreverently taking on any topic that catches his fancy. He could spend the morning lamenting his broken down relationship with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, his afternoons mock-sympathising with the United States over a recent Measles outbreak, and the evenings engaging in political twitter with the best of them. He still finds time to publish his musings and short stories on his blog, Dark Corner.
Falz the BahdGuy
This young rapper, comedian and internet savvy disrupter was born Folarin Falana, but is better known by his moniker, Falz the Bahdguy. With a hit album behind him, he has found a way to leverage on his comic talents and social media clout to push his music to wider audiences. On Instagram where he reigns supreme with over 52,800 followers, his comic skits have positively influenced the culture and brainwaves of his, like #ElloBae have translated into merchandising opportunities for him.
Funny African pics
The anonymous fellows who run the Funny African pics laugh fest claim cheekily that they have been putting smiles on faces since 1942. That bio description offers a peep into what Funny African pics is all about. On Instagram, where it reigns supreme with over 224,000 (and rising) followers, there is no end to the funny pictures, gifs and memes that have come to characterize the handle. Funny African Pics skewers African pop culture like no other platform presently and leaves followers reeling with laughter.
What is the worst part about Lagos living? The traffic jams right? Enter Gidi Traffic, an online social service that is present primarily on micro blogging platform Twitter. GidiTraffic employs crowdsourcing to provide traffic updates in real time to residents of the city of Lagos and it’s environs. With over 232, 167 Twitter accounts (the number increases daily) following, traffic situation requests are placed and retweeted alongside inane queries like the price of fish in the open market.
Mercy Abang is a journalist, publisher, environmental consultant and social media maven. On Twitter, her 30,147 followers rely `on her to put her witty take on whatever is trending. More importantly, Abang-Asu is a heavy player behind the political scenes and can be trusted to be called upon as a social media influencer whenever the politicians need to get in touch with their online constituencies. She has worked as media assistant to former Cross River governor, Donald Duke and hosted a strategic Atiku Ababakar meets young people session in 2014. Abang also runs the up and coming news site, NewsWireNGR.
As a blogger, Ajibade’s OloriSupergirl is certainly no Linda Ikeji, but she doesn’t need to be to command the clout that she does. Every major event happening in town wants to secure an OloriSupergirl media partnership and can you blame them? With over 43,200 Twitter followers and a significant offline girl next door personality, advertisers trust that her platform can reach their target audiences. Ajibade was a major fixture at this year’s social media week where she hosted and sat in on various panels and discussions.
This proud son of Igboland may rub some off the wrong way with his in your face audacity but his work as one third of the popular entertainment and lifestyle website, 360nobs.com these past few years, has been consistently solid and hard to ignore. When he isn’t working on 360Nobs, attending another red carpet event or fencing off attacks from entitled celebrities (MI, Ice Prince, Emma Nyra) on Twitter, he is putting his resources into his new baby, StyleVitae, the breakout fashion blog of 2014