In 2017, YNaija committed a big part of its time and resources towards carefully documenting the big stories happening in the country and on the continent and highlighting the efforts of young Nigerians and Africans challenging the tired narratives around the continent through personal achievement and social good. Sometimes these stories are forgotten, buried under the avalanche of a year’s worth of news reporting and spot analyses.
Our reporting has been diverse and extensive, and we have chosen to start our reporting in 2018 by returning to these stories, to remind ourselves and our readers just how much ground was covered in 2017 and reaffirm the level of quality and care we commit to telling our stories in 2018.
We hope they resonate with you now, as well as they did when they were first published.
For the sixth consecutive year, YNaija brings you its annual ranking of the most powerful young persons under the age of 40 who are getting things done in the social media space. From presidential social media assistants crafting an agenda, to celebrities making bank from sheer clout, these are the 10 that you should be following
For thirty days in June, Nathaniel Bassey got the whole country praying. Live on Instagram. Making use of a hashtag, #OneHourMidnightHallelujahChallenge, the gospel minister/singer pulled off what some have called the ultimate growth hack. With the power of his platform, his songs, trumpet and ministration, Bassey conveyed a multi denominational online fellowship that brought Nigerians the world over together in prayer, spawning multiple testimony sessions.
Mark Angel Comedy
In a strange twist that only the internet can pull off, a huge contender for some of the most consumed video content on all of Africa isn’t churned out from Lagos or Joburg, but from the South South town of Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers state. Thanks to star attractions, consisting of the trio of Emmanuella, Mark Angel and Denilson Igwe, the Mark Angel Comedy YouTube channel has since hit 1 million subscribers with over one hundred episodes in the bag.
Bellanaijaweddings lays claim to being Africa’s top wedding website and standing from where we are, we don’t see the lie. A spin off from the original Bellanaija brand, the weddings franchise has unveiled itself as even more powerful than the original brand, quickly amassing 2.5million followers on Instagram and outpacing the parent brand. Weddings aren’t quite as high profile if they haven’t scored the all-important coverage on bellanaijaweddings. Off line, there was the BBN (Baileys and BellaNaija) Wonderland event feting 30 brides over a single weekend in 2016.
Snapchat juggernaut, Internet sensation, premium account peddler, cross dresser, makeup lover, dealer in skin lightening products and lover/flaunter of bae, Bobrisky (born Idris Okuneye) took the country by storm with his against the norm embrace of his feminine side and blatant gender bending behaviour. Bobrisky hasn’t just conquered the Internet, he has kick started and been a visible part of a national debate on alternative lifestyles and what is considered acceptable behaviour. Bobrisky’s emergence as a social media force became more apparent when he deleted his regular account opting for the premium package charging subscribers N10,000 monthly.
Whenever Instablog9ja is forced to shut down, we don’t quite know what to do with our lives. This is a testament to how influential the Instagram blog has become to the culture. Think Linda Ikeji blog for Instagram and you begin to get the appeal for Instablog9ja. Run by an anonymous character Instablog9ja with almost 900 thousand followers on Instagram, remains one of the hottest tickets on the Nigerian internet.
Toke Makinwa has come to stay and this durability even in the face of personal upheavals may be her biggest strength. On social media, Makinwa has found a way to turn all the attention to gold as she has become the go to girl for brands looking to cash in on some celebrity endorsements. Her Instagram followers have doubled in the past year and even when everyone agrees she is really in no position to dish out relationship advice, she still finds ways to get a rise out of the Internet. That’s power.
Better known by the moniker Sisiyemmie, Odusanya is a lifestyle blogger, vlogger, editor and photographer. A bit of a Jack of all trades, Sisi Yemmie somehow manages to make it all work for her without coming across as overexposed. Her social media numbers (63,000 followers on Instagram, 21,000 on Twitter and over 73,000 subscribers on YouTube) are as impressive as they are ascending and she has been able to do a prove herself as one of the most interactive and engaging brands on the net.
The online television platform by Femi Bakre has quickly become the choice tv platforms for millennials who want to watch their television on the go. Kraks.tv’s video hosting platform focuses mainly on hosting short hilarious clips with the potential of going viral. Users can share submissions on the website by dropping YouTube links. The numbers don’t lie. 1.2million followers on Instagram, over 92,000 on Twitter and 82,000 on Facebook. A lot of people are tuned in.
President Buhari’s approval ratings may be plummeting, but one of the brightest spots of his presidency remains Bayo Omoboriowo’s incredible work, documenting the man and his presidency in arresting images that have the capacity to kick start conversations on various social media platforms. The only photographer to have near unrestricted access to the president, Omoboriowo’s influence can be underlined in the clip where the president specifically requested for his presence.
Gloria Oloruntobi may be young but that hasn’t stopped her 544,000 strong fans on Instagram from voraciously consuming the content that she uploads every Monday on her Instagram and YouTube accounts. Maraji takes advantage of the opportunities on the Google toolkit box to create videos that skewer popular culture in fresh and immensely funny ways. These short videos score an average of 200,000 views on Instagram and 50,000 views on YouTube where she has 16,000 subscribers.