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.
As the annual #YNaijaPowerList enters its 6th consecutive year, we bring you the most influential young Nigerians under 40 who are giving the term white collar job a whole new meaning. From boardrooms to high-rise hotel lobbies, business class flights and multi-city stopovers, these guys operate at the highest levels.
A graduate of the University of Ibadan, Halima Akintolu worked as a recruitment consultant with Global Profilers before moving to PZ Cussons where she serves as recruitment manager. Akintolu is responsible for attracting and keeping top talent at the global consumer product company’s largest and most diverse single market.
Aladekomo joined Ventra Media Group, a leading digital media company, focusing on digital content creation and monetization, as director, client services and strategy in 2016 and in just a little over a year, was named managing director. Ventra media has as clients, Guardian, Super Sports and Fidelity Bank. As senior digital manager at Nigerian Breweries, he pioneered the company’s digital marketing push.
Fagade started his career as a management trainee and has risen through the ranks to become senior brand manager, Heineken, one of Nigerian Breweries’ most visible brands. He was also brand manager for Star before joining Heineken. As far as Heineken is concerned, Fagade is involved in every aspect, from brand strategies to communication, activation and sales. He has an MBA from the London School of Business and Finance.
At 26 years old, Grace Ihejiamaizu has the work ethic of a veteran. She works in the University of Calabar, her alma mater as a graduate assistant lecturer in the Social Work department. She is also the founder of iKapture Centre for Development, a youth lead social enterprise strategically focused on providing education and youth development solutions. iKapture’s goal is to raise the the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.
Nmachi Jidenma works on Strategic Partnerships (payments and commerce) at Facebook where she is responsible for developing and managing the relationships with companies that allow Facebook to enable monetization of its products. Prior to this, Jidenma has had stints at Google, where she was manager for Sub Saharan Africa, and PayPal, where she led on business development.
Passionate about FinTech & Socio-economic infrastructure for growth and development, Eghosa is Head of Business Development at Venture Garden Group, the record making company that acts as a holding entity for a group of financial technology entities that provide data-driven, end-to-end technology platforms. Nehikare studied at Durham and started his career in Nigeria at Africa Courier Express.
Hughes-Obisesan is the creative director at Insight Publicis, the first female to hold the plum job in the advertising agency’s thirty six year history. She earned every bit of it too, having worked on some of the agency’s most popular and successful campaigns. The Pepsi LongThroat campaign which she led on, helped boost Pepsi’s brand awareness, driving volumes by at least 25 percent and won two coveted international awards for Insight Publicis.
At his call to bar, 24-year old Kenneth Ononeze Okwor bagged 10 academic awards and went on to graduate with a first class from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos. A graduate from the University of Jos, Okwor was immediately snapped up at the Law School, Lagos as an adjunct lecturer of Corporate Law and Practice, becoming the youngest Law school lecturer in Nigerian history. He is also an associate at Templars Law Firm, where he advises on issues relating to Banking and different financing structures.
An alumnus of the University College, London, Funke Ijaiya-Oladipo is a vice president, mergers and acquisition at Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, member of the Standard Bank group, where she leads on pushing forwards financial advice relating to mergers and acquisitions. Prior to resuming at Stanbic IBTC, Ijaiya-Oladipo had worked at Goldman Sachs in the United Kingdom.
Williams works at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), as a marketing manager and is accountable for executing effective marketing activation programmes for the brands (Horlicks, Otrivin and Andrews) within the wellness and nutrition categories. She has about 7-years experience in brand and product management and has worked on some of the world’s most famous brands.