Despite platforms like Twitter and Instagram ostensibly trying to malign influencer culture with new rules and policies last year, influencers are going nowhere. And while we look out for new and exciting voices across platforms in this new year, a few new names have made it into our influencer ranking for January.
10. Rahama Sadau
Rahama Sadau is an actress, filmmaker, and singer who has appeared in a number of Nigerian movies, both in Hausa and English languages and has been one of the actors that speaks Chinese language fluently. She has twice won the Best Actress (Kannywood) at the City People Entertainment Awards.
She formed her production company named Sadau Pictures through which she produced her first movie, Rariya starring Ali Nuhu, Sadiq Sani Sadiq, and Fati Washa. Some of her recent works include Up North, Aljannar Duniya, Adam, Ba Tabbas, MTV Shuga Naija. Importantly, and following her ban from Kannywood because she was featured in a music video wherein she was seen cuddling and hugging a male artiste, she has curated her social media in a way that shows how continuously transgressive she can be, and a totem of influence for Northern women online.
9. Aisha Salaudeen
Aisha Salaudeen is a multimedia journalist with years of experience telling and helping people tell stories. She has worked in full time and freelance journalism, using images, videos, and text to report and investigate diverse human-interest stories in Africa. Her work has appeared in the Financial Times, Al Jazeera English, Okay Africa, and TRT World.
She currently works out of the CNN Africa bureau in Lagos, Nigeria, writing/editing features on China- Africa relations, business, culture, and technology in Africa. Salaudeen is also a nominee for the 2019 Future Awards Africa in the category for journalism.
8. Aproko Doctor
Aproko Doctor is one of the health influencers on Twitter promoting health literacy, and healthy living in a fun, relatable way. In two years, he has carved a resonant voice on the internet, always full of knowledge and something to debunk. In October, 2019, he joined the Opera News family of writers, writing on the one thing he knows best: health. Social media is a whirring vortex of fake news and misinformation, but trained professional Aproko Doctor has proved that he’s one of those voices that can be trusted.
7. Frank Donga
Frank Donga’s trajectory from churning Instagram skits to starring in Nollywood movies has been impressive to watch, but nothing beats the way he’s been using Twitter to interrogate oppressive government policies and making satirical commentary. Or even it’s just a reminder that our government are routinely doing nothing as usual.
6. David Hundeyin
David Hundeyin is a prolific writer covering business, politics and whatever he fancies, so much so that he has built a following on Twitter and done so in a short time. An interesting hallmark of Hundeyin’s writing is the candidness and objectivity, and it didn’t come as a surprise when he signed a contract with Opera News. Hundeyin rendered a fine piece of investigative journalism when he dived into the arrest of 70 women at a nightclub in Abuja last year, which became huge national news.
5. Dodos Uvieghara
Dodos Uvieghara, whose account on Instagram goes by @iamdodos_style, is a beauty and fashion influencer. With the current mass obsession to have perfect, glistening skin, content creation on skincare is now a booming genre. Dodos’ YouTube channel has it all, flexing on brands and curating her own skincare routine. One thing that jumps out of her Instagram is the muted, earthy aesthetic, deliberately so, and with her penchant for travel, we can all live vicariously through her feed.
4. Noble Igwe
Last December, Noble Igwe caused some controversy when he tweeted that Nigerian men should take the burden of cooking off from their wives during Christmas. The backlash was swift, but it did offer some introspection into the ways women grapple with an unfair amount of domestic responsibilities. Igwe’s brand of influence has since transcended Twitter. You’d find him looking stylish on Instagram and working with a plethora of brands. The Maltina 1000 Smiles campaign has turned his Instagram into a cheerful palette of smiles, and we love to see it.
3. Kashope Faje
During Cardi B’s visit to Nigeria last December, Kashope Faje’s portfolio as a photographer took a big break when he captured the American rapper doing her media interviews. And several shots when she performed on stage to a crowd of receptive, teeming fans, donning stylish costumes inspired by Nigeria’s flag. Faje was one of the few photographers whose pictures of Cardi B went viral on social media, the pictures crisp and cinematic.
2. Vincent Desmond
Vincent Desmond has been documenting LGBTQ stories through local and international platforms as a writer and journalist, bringing visibility to Nigeria’s endangered queer community. Writing balanced, nuanced narratives about the LGBTQ experience from one of the world’s most homophobic countries is why Vincent’s voice is important. He’s bold and unapologetic, and belongs to a pantheon of young activists using the internet as a powerful medium. Last December, Desmond was installed as the editor for the now-rejuvenated, non-conformist digital magazine A Nasty Boy, and is expected to restore the platform to its former glory.
1. Dimma Umeh
If beauty influencing really becomes big, Dimma Umeh would be one of those that made it possible. Last year, she was in France and spoke at a panel for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in conjunction with YouTube. Her YouTube page, ThatIgboChick, boasts over 300,000 subscribers, churning content from makeup tutorials to lifestyle blogging. The entry of the makeup tutorial done with comedian Chigurl, wherein she speaks her native language Igbo while doing makeup, generated a buzz on Twitter, and it doesn’t get original than that.