#YNaijaPowerList: Linda Ikeji, Ayeni Adekunle, Toyosi Ogunseye, Mfonobong Nsehe… See the most powerful young people in media

by Wilfred Okiche


As the annual #YNaijaPowerList enters its 4th year, we bring you the most influential young Nigerians under 40 who are challenging the norms, and excelling in the media space. From a blogging titan showing no signs of slowing down, to a television anchor with 4 shows to his name, these are the guys who matter the most.

Ayeni Adekunle

Adekunle is the founder of the popular netng.com, an influential entertainment portal that on its very good days, could be likened to the Variety of the Nigerian media space. As a PR practitioner and CEO of the Black House Media group, Adekunle has leveraged on his journalist background to create vitalised ad campaigns for some high profile clients. BHM last year created the first Nigerian PR mobile and desktop application.

Chamberlain Usoh, Maupe Ogun and Suleiman Aledeh

Also known as television’s formidable trio, Usoh, Ogun and Aledeh are undoubtedly, the biggest attraction of morning television. Channels television’s Sunrise Daily is the most influential breakfast show and the chemistry and professionalism that this trio of presenters bring to the screen is a major factor responsible for the show’s continuous appeal and endurance. Usoh’s quiet forcefulness, Ogun’s probing determination and Aledeh’s smooth but hard hitting style are a match made in tv heaven.

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu

As host of Rubbin’ Minds, the number 1 youth centred television programme in the country, Obi-Uchendu is king. That is a long way from his days as pin up boy and reality television star. Obi-Uchendu sits with the biggest stars and trendiest newsmakers and is able to get them to dish as much as he wants them too. He is also a regular feature on Ebony Life television where he co-hosts the magazine show, The Spot as well as the political show, Naija Politics. He was recently signed on as brand ambassador for telecoms giant Etisalat.

Ik Osakioduwa                                              

IK Osakioduwa has become synonymous with Big Brother Africa, the reality television show he has been hosting since 2009 when he replaced South Africa’s Kabelo. Received in over 40million homes as BBA host, it is no surprise that Osakioduwa’s asking price as events compere quickly skyrocketed such that only major gigs like the AMVCAs and Lagos Countdown can afford his services. When he isn’t in SA, this former Wildchild works as an OAP on Radio’s Rhythm 93.7 and his recently commissioned talk show, Highlites with IK on Africa Magic.

Linda Ikeji YNaija

Linda Ikeji               

Everyone and their mother visits the Linda Ikeji blogspot and there is no longer any reason to lie about it. What started out as a random gossip column has become the most important online medium for breaking news, exclusives and human behaviour profiling. When Ikeji’s blogspot was taken down by Google last year due to copyright infringement complaints, not a few persons wondered what to do with their lives. Ikeji rebounded in spectacular style and managed to come out of the debacle even more popular. And powerful. All hail the queen

Mfonobong Nsehe

When you write for Forbes, the world’s unimpeachable authority on all things rich and wealthy, you instantly have some clout. When you cover the African region and your brief is to profile the lifestyles of the continent’s rich and famous, then said clout is multiplied fourfold. Nsehe boasts of access to Africa’s movers and grinders, the kind that many journalists can only dream about and when the fiscal year is done, he submits the definitive rich list.

Seun Okin

Thanks to Seun Okinbaloye’s impeccable grasp of his onions and sterling performance as host of Channels television’s Politics Today, the weekend show has become popular among both politically inclined Nigerians and the politicians in the news. Okin’s bullish but professional methods have attracted the biggest names in today’s politics- from federal ministers to state governors. Everyone talks to Seun Okin.

Tolu Ogunlesi1

Tolu Ogunlesi

Presently serving as West African Editor of the Africa Report, Ogunlesi has written for every publication that matters. From Forbes to FAB, The Huffington Post to Punch, the graduate of Pharmacy from the University of Ibadan is indeed one of the most influential and prolific journalists working out of Africa. His investigative work is always stellar and his opinion pieces can be trusted to start a conversation online, especially on Twitter, where he engages his over 100,000 followers.


Toyosi Ogunseye

Ogunseye became one of the youngest editors of a major newspaper when she was promoted to editor of the Sunday Punch. She may be tasked with preparing the weekly but she still finds time to churn out powerful features like her 3-part piece on the impact of gases released by a steel company on an upscale estate in Lagos state which won her her second CNN/Multichoice African journalist of the year trophy, this time in the Environment category.


Uzodinma Iweala

Uzodinma Iweala, editor of Ventures magazine is the product of the union between a Harvard trained Economist and a prominent neurosurgeon so it is comes as no surprise that he has emerged a high flyer in his own right. A critically acclaimed author and physician, he makes this list because of his work with Ventures magazine which has become an influential voice in African reportage. Ventures has uncovered millionaires in places Forbes wouldn’t dare to look and challenges the global leader for authority on the African market space.

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