#YNaijaMedia100: Ebuka, Funke Akindele, Erica, Ikorodu Bois | See 100 Most Influential People in Media

It is interesting to note just how much the choices we believe to have come from free will were in reality pre-determined.

When we go out to buy clothes, buy food, have a political opinion, have an ideological stand, choose what style of home to build, choose what type of phone to buy, choose the manner in which we speak, and many other major and mundane things, we often forget or sometimes are completely unaware of just how much what we have seen or heard influenced that decision, and we sometimes underestimate the huge role the media plays in all this.

The media, a tool for information and entertainment, is in reality is a tool that shapes cultures, decisions and opinions. Throughout humanity’s history, there has never been a single tool more effective in shaping the minds of people than the media, and with Nigerians, this phenomenon is no different.

Those who choose a career in media are those who have subscribed to the role of leadership, and fortunately, there are those in the Nigerian media who have taken up these roles responsibly.

It is the indispensability of Nigerian media in progressive development that inspires YNaija to publish a list of the Most Influential Nigerians in Media – annually. This list cuts across all spheres of media, highlighting individuals and platforms who have driven the country’s media space in the past year. No doubt, we go deep, and deeper, to fish them out.

Want to know them? See below:

THE 5: KINGS AND QUEENS OF ALL MEDIA

We note that we release this category as a topper on our annual media list to accentuate and highlight the multiple talents and feats of ingenuity some media personalities have displayed since the start of their careers.

Toke Makinwa: When you think Nigerian media, it’s difficult to gloss through without Toke Makinwa’s name popping up. Popularly known as Baby Girl 4 Life, or The Media Girl, Toke Makinwa is a multi talented individual who has a ton of notoriety in all aspects of the media, including, radio, TV, social media and YouTube. She began her illustrious career in radio when she worked The Morning Drive show as a co-host on Rhythm 93.7 FM. She then pivoted into hosting, and soon after YouTube. Last year, alongside Nancy Isime, she co-hosted the third season of the Voice Nigeria. Her show on YouTube; Toke Moments also enjoyed a lot of traction last year, and featured some interesting interviews that went viral. Asides the roles she plays in the media, many of her fans have gravitated towards her because of the lifestyle she lives. She has become an inspiration to many via her lifestyle vlog, and an influencer to ladies passionate about beauty and fashion.

Tajudeen Adeputu: From media enthusiast to media legend, Tajudeen Adeputu trough out his rich and extensive career performed the incredible act of turning a hobby into a franchise. This story teller began his media career in radio, producing jingles and other radio related productions. Soon after he pivoted into TV, launching his own holding company of media channels and production studios;  Consolidated Media Associates. He is the brains behind the hit TV series Everyday People and Family Circles, shows that were household in the early 2000s. He turned his craft into an empire, founding media establishments like Soundcity Radio Network, SoundCity TV, ONTV, ONMax, Trybe TV, Spice TV, and UrbanTV, making him a pre-eminent figure in Nigerian media, even till this day.

Tatiana Moussalli Nouri: Coming from a highly proficient media family, Tatiana Moussalli Nouri has become one of the most accomplished media entrepreneurs in the entire country. With a goal to fix the lapses that existed between the media and the general public, Tatiana Moussalli embarked on a media career that has seen her employ the obvious, yet ingenious idea of passing on information in a language most Nigerians understand. She is currently the CEO of the First Pidgin English Television in the whole of Africa: Wazobia TV and Wazobia Max TV, which was founded in 2014. Prior to that, she had co-founded the first Pidgin English Radio Station in Africa, Wazobia FM. She is also the Deputy Group Managing Director of AIM Group, a multidisciplinary group that offer services in Architecture and Engineering Services, Broadcasting, Communications and Hospitality.

Kadaria Ahmed: Kadaria Ahmed is a multitalented and highly proficient media personality who through out her extensive career has been the brains behind some major tv programs for big name media houses including hers. She is a TV host and a media entrepreneur. She began her media career with BBC, and immediately began experiencing a high level of success. During her time with the company, she produced Focus on Africa and Africa Network in the capacity of Senior Producer, and both programs would eventually go on to became award-winning programs. She is also the host of The Core TV show on Channels Television and “Straight Talk with Kadaria” on the same network. She has contributed to media platforms like The Daily Trust, The Guardian, and the Financial Times of London. Nowadays she heads the media company which she founded; Daria Media, a company focuses on bridging the gap between journalism communication advocacy in Nigeria.

Nduka Obaigbena: Nduka Obaigbena is a media mogul who since the start of his career has been keen on making his mark in the country’s media industry. With what he has been able to achieve he has not only made a mark on the industry but will also go down in history as one of the industry’s leaders. He is the editor in chief of THIS DAY News Paper, a company which he founded as far back as 1995. With this platform he founded the THIS DAY Award, which honors outstanding Nigerians each year in political and finance sectors. He founded Arise News in 2013, after signing a contract with Globecast for satellite transmission, on the UK Sky platform, and to Hot Bird for cable distribution, with bases in London, New York City, Johannesburg, and Lagos. He is also the founder of Arise Magazine and Arise Fashion which has held all across Africa and has also featured in The New York and Paris Fashion Weeks.

BROADCAST MEDIA (TV)

Seun Okinbaloye: Known to raise thought-provoking questions on political subjects, Seun Okinbaloye is a journalist whose quest for clarity, through his interviews with government officials, has given the media and the general public some interesting insight on the state of affairs of the country straight from the horse’s mouth. He is a Channels Television’s Political Correspondent, who has become popular for his interviews with public officers. Over the last decade, spanning his career, he has shown incredible dexterity in drawing out responses from people highly skilled in verbally manoeuvring their way out of difficult inquiries. He is an award-winning journalist, host of Sunday Politics and Politics Today, on Channels TV, both of which have massive television ratings. 

Babajide Kolade-Otitoju: Hosting the show; Issues with Jide, on Television Continental (TVC) news, and regularly featuring on the daily sociopolitical news program, The Journalist Hangout, streaming on the same TV network, this journalist has, for decades, now displayed an outstanding level of historical and constitutional expertise. Asides being a prized host for TVC, he is also Group Head of Current and Public Affairs, TVC Communications. He is a multi-award-winning journalist, and one of Nigeria’s most prolific journalists, with competencies and vast experience in both print and broadcast journalism dating as far back as 1992.

Morayo Afolabi-Brown: Morayo has become one of Nigeria’s most influential voices on Television. She is the host of arguably the biggest breakfast shows in the country, TVC’s Your View. During the course of her career, she has gotten the reputation of lending her voice to women’s cause. With the goal of empowering women in Nigeria, Your View is a show that draws out and discusses social and political issues from a woman’s perspective. She is a media consultant, a project manager, and a content creator. Morayo Afolabi-Brown has never been one to shy away from giving her take on current social issues, a trait that has been instrumental in helping her spark the thought-provoking topics she is known for. 

Stephanie Busari: She is a Lagos-based journalist, who for the last 13 years has been under the commission of one of the biggest news platforms in the world; CNN. She is a journalist and editor at CNN International, based in West Africa, a Peabody Award recipient, and a TEDx curator. Her efforts in obtaining proof of life for Chibok girls at the height of the Bring Back our Girls movement is a feat of journalism that has found its place in the pantheon of journalistic achievements in Nigerian history. Her courage was responsible for the release of a number of the abducted girls at the time. It goes without saying that she has also been vocal and active about the recent kidnappings in Jangebe, Zamfara State. She was one of the investigators who, with irrefutable evidence, reported the shooting at Lekki Toll Gate, through the CNN Lekki Massacre documentary which went viral.  She is currently the bureau head at CNN Africa.

Tope Mark-Odigie: A multi-talented, business savvy and entertaining media personality, it seems there is hardly anything she ventures into that doesn’t culminate in success. She is one of the hosts of Your View on TVC, an outstanding orator, a life coach, an entrepreneur who founded and leads her own real estate investment firm; Reb360, Creative director at Ewabela Beauty Solutions, and Head of makeup and wardrobe TVC. As a mindset strategist and coach, she is passionate about helping her audience grow their wealth. As a TV host, she is passionate about empowering and enlightening women across the country, and as an investor, she is keen on providing the best real estate opportunities to her clientele.

Ariyiike Owolagba: Having served as a content acquisition specialist at IDEA MEDIA LTD, and Executive Assistant to the CEO and Director of Operations at Aristokrat Records, Ariyiike now puts her media experience to use as an actress, a TV host, a content producer, entrepreneur, and a podcaster. She is one of the women of Your View and by extension a powerful voice for women on TV. You don’t get the nickname, MediaSweetheart, without having a magnetic, energetic and exuberant personality. She is the host of TVC’s Entertainment Splash, a show which was practically tailor-made for the sort of peppy energy she exudes. She also anchors her own Vlog and Podcast; Girl Talk with Ariyiike.

Rufai Oseni: On this orator’s portfolio is the remarkable feat of speaking on a TED X stage, and within the prestigious halls of Cambridge University. He has also gone on to anchor top-class dinners for British Airways and the American government. He is an anchor on Arise TV’s The Morning Show, and is currently the host of Conversations with Rufai on Nigerian Info FM; a radio show where politics and social issues are extensively discussed. He is an author who has about two published works under his belt. It’s also worth mentioning his intense enthusiasm for tech, which he displays by supporting and financially aiding young tech startups.

Reuben Abati: He is a widely accomplished journalist with a career spanning over two decades.  Apart from running his own blog, where he gives an in-depth analysis on trending political issues, he is a columnist on ThisDay Newspaper, radio host on City FM and Lead Anchor on Arise News flagship programme; the Morning Show. One which has become a daily tonic for many young Nigerians especially after its coverage of the October 2020 #EndSARS protests. This is just as it recently secured a very revealing exclusive with President Muhammadu Buhari; his first media chat since he was re-elected for a second term. Prior to his current engagement, he has served as Chairman, Editorial Board of Nigeria’s Guardian Newspapers, co-presenter of the television program: Patitos Gang, and was Deputy Governorship Candidate for the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) in the 2019 Ogun Governorship Election.

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