For the first time, October’s ranking of YNaija’s influencers features a couple of established names. The fourth installment of Big Brother Naija has also produced an array of potentially huge players in the influencer landscape. Brands are now new smelling blood, snatching up who they can find to bridge the gap between them and their target markets.
10. 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.
Today is Thursday. What has your governor done for you lately?
— Frank Donga™ (@frankdonga_) October 17, 2019
9. Kashope Faje
Kashope Faje’s campaign shoot for Mercedes Benz back in July still remains his audacious move in photography, tagging the company on Twitter as he showed off slides of clinically-taken photos. Perhaps this inspired the recent wave of people pitching to Innoson Motors with designs concepts for the company’s logo. Recently, he was invited to the Africa Photo Festival in New York to showcase his work, and
8. Karo Omu
No one has drawn online attention to period poverty than Karo Omu, the founder of the non-profit organisation Sanitary Aid Initiative, which has continued to reach less privileged women and girls by giving them free sanitary pads. It’s only feels like yesterday when Omu said she was going to embark on this, and while other sanitary pad-inclined initiatives have mushroomed online, Omu’s unique voice and activism had always resonated the loudest.
7. Toolz Oniru-Demuren and Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi
Popular radio presenters Toolz and Gbemi share the spotlight for the recent launch of their podcast OffAir with Gbemi & Toolz, a reincarnation of their popular radio handover show on the Beat 99.9FM. Before then, the Handover show had fetched a large fanbase for both presenters, combining their wit and zany commentaries on cultural happenings. Leveraging on this to establish a proper show, after a massive demands from fans, only seemed like the next logical step.
Oniibekeh is a travel blogger who has been using the digital stream of Instagram to curate her journeys and experiences. ”Creating visually pleasing and engaging content and making brands pay for them,” her Instagram bio goes. That said, Onyiibekeh was one of the few people that broke the alleged fraudulent practices and horrendous employee treatment by serial entrepreneur Gloria Osei and her husband, which sent Twitter into a frenzy.
5. Mike Edwards
Mike Edwards, making it to the finals of the Pepper Dem season of Big Brother Naija, was no-brainer. Charming, cheerful, and good looking, Mike was massively supported and applauded. Also, for not cheating on his wife which is like praising a fish for swimming. As soon as the show was over, and Mike begun to frolick with host Ebuka Obi-Uchendu in pictures, the halo of his potential in showbiz only got brighter. He’s still securing brand deals and, frankly, he seems to be more of an Ebuka replica and capable competitor.
4. Tacha Akide
Even during the running of Big Brother Naija season four, Tacha had already been amassing a ferocious army of superfans who would do anything for her. Her status as the show’s ”dragon lady” still remains iconic and, more often than not, she was at the epicenter of the biggest controversies and dramas that never stopped even after she was evicted. So much so that Teebillz signed her up, promising to make her a huge brand out of Africa. Also, not forgetting the buzz around her interview with Cool FM’s radio presenter DO2tun.
3. Mercy Eke
One exciting aspect about the just-concluded season of Big Brother Naija is that it was won by a woman for the first time – Mercy Eke, who transitioned from the show’s black horse to a serious contender that earned her the “Lambo” status. With influencer potential, she’s scoring major brand deals and her latest is aligning with French winery, Moët & Chandon.
2. Swanky Jerry
Swanky Jerry has been the go-to stylist for established Nigerian celebrities and newly hatched ones for years. Beyond that, Jerry’s clientele includes high personalities beyond entertainment, and his personal signature of wearing futuristic visor sunglasses is never hard to miss. At the 2019 Headies Jerry unveiled Mercy Eke, the first woman to win Big Brother Naija, as his latest addition to his portfolio.
Love or hate her, Bobrisky’s early days of monetising Snapchat and stoking public interest into her gender presentation was wildly infectious, which has subsequently given her powerful influence. We can ignore the dumpster fire that was her second Nollywood feature (not that the first was any better), and applaud her remarkable resilience in a country set up to dehumanise her.