A young-world revolution is unfolding before our eyes, rupturing the idea that only experience can change the world. Increasingly, young people are participating actively in all aspects of human life, and changing the way we think, look and do what we do.
At YNaija, we know these stars from across Nigeria – the decision-makers, changemakers, and influencers breaking boundaries in Nigeria; and we’ve made it our duty annually, to celebrate them over the last nine years. In delivering this year’s edition, we have worked with an eminent jury to review and ensure it remains truly ‘powerful.’
Fatima Fouad Hashim
Where do we start in the conversation about harmful conservatism in Northern Nigeria? Do we begin from how women are intentionally sidelined, and not given all the opportunities as the male child?
This conversation is what has led Fatima to start Open Diaries – ‘a platform where people openly and anonymously share their deepest secrets, true life stories and receive suggestions, counsels and support from public, and get pieces of advice from the members of the community some of whom are professionals in the field of counselling, some are doctors, scholars, therapists some are lawyers.’
‘Until recently, this has strictly been what OD does that, and publication of pieces of articles which seek to motivate and inspire. Today, OD has gone beyond just that. It is now a charity body that provides alms to the needy.’
No doubt, there has been significant progress in the education of girls in northern Nigeria. However, there are many women who do not have the freedom to do things like learn a trade or get start-up capital. Young people like Fatima Fuad Hashim are ready to do their part to ease the situation.
Jamila is a nutritionist, culinary expert, and the producer and host of the TV series, Mila’s Diaries – a show she started Mila’s Diaries to be of service to the economically disadvantaged and address issues affecting northern Nigeria such as divorce, child abandonment, early marriage, education etc.
She also uses this medium to showcase success stories of the people within the region.
Kelechi is a multi-talented and versatile Medical Doctor with an impeccable track record in civic and entrepreneurial activities. She is a Sustainable Development Goals advocate, with a focus on SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing and SDG 4: Quality Education and SDG 5: Gender equality.
She is the convener of Pay Attention to Her (PATH) project which focuses on Reproductive Health outreaches for adult women; menstrual hygiene management and sexual health outreaches for adolescent girls and females in their early adulthood and Sexual Health outreaches for adolescent boys and males in their early adulthood (Pay Attention to Him). PATH is a project of Heal for Africa initiative, (HFAI) a Non-Governmental Organisation.
Through her “Healthertainer” brand, she has recorded massive successes in effective health communications and generated active participation with her over 200,000 followers online, reaching millions across platforms, thereby increasing health literacy and influencing healthier decisions.
She is a Global Goodwill Ambassador for Health and Social Development for Nigeria and a member of the African Coalition for Menstrual Hygiene Management and the International Society for Menstrual Cycle Research. Outside the hospital and civic space, she also does public speaking, compering corporate events and volunteering for worthy causes.
Armed with his trademark tea cup and relatable personality, Temisan, known as Taymesan, is gradually becoming a household name, and is already on the list of ‘fashion mentors’ in Nigeria.
Temisan is a talent of many colours – Model, Comedian, MC, Actor – and has proven to be the fashionable gentleman you want to have around.
The bubbly model and opinionated young model started his professional journey at a young age and has already caught the attention and worked with big brands.
You should watch out for this one, as his numbers on Instagram continue to grow; already passed the 70,000 mark.
Kayode is a renowned data-driven new media consultant, Head of Operations at a digital marketing consulting firm focused on using the power of digital transformation to help businesses generate leads, increase sales and improve working efficiencies.
His services have been sought by GOKADA, SellApp.me, Dale Carnegie Nigeria, Upbeat Centre, Jiji.ng where he has led Digital transformative teams. Presently the Vice President at StackFx – a Fintech firm, specialising in currency exchange and international payments and settlement, he is a firm proponent of Digital transformation being used to drive profitability and growth within the FI sector.
Kayode is an agent of change who uses a platform that has grown to thousands on LinkedIn to inspire as he scales up.
Anita Natacha Akide
You are probably Tacha-trend-weary on social media; especially Twitter. She is one of the few Big Brother Naija housemates who still passes through our airwaves – and social media – every other day.
As far as loyalty goes, the ‘Tacha Empire’ is one connected group of individuals who would never see evil in the eyes of their mentor.
The controversy during and after her exit from the Big Brother House in 2019 became a story her fans reframed into an inspiration. All they see is a strong young woman ready to push through boundaries to reach her goal. “There is no stopping her,” they insist.
According to her, she wonders why some people want her out the way, insisting that God is the one who has given her the stardom and fame and anyone working to destroy it, will not succeed.
The Tacha trends tells us simply that she will continue to inspire and gather followership for a very long time.
Nonso Bobby Egemba
The Aproko Doctor ‘disturbs’ what we have taken to be normal. From eating habits, to healthy lifestyles, the medical doctor re-aligns Twittersphere with norms users will ordinarily not question.
He is ‘not your regular doctor’ and you sometimes wonder if he is actually working as a medical doctor, outside Twitter. Talk about an influencer who is always ready to serve out one health-related information or the other; in the process engaging users in sub-topics and having conversation on national issues.
Nonso’s influence continues to grow and a lot of users have credited their renewed lifestyle to him.
The popular Dr. Zobo is a medical professional committed to using social media, health blogging and community health education as tools to bridge the health gap in Africa.
Chioma founded an NGO, SMILE With Me Foundation ‘to inspire a healthier Africa through public health education and health aids and intervention programmes.’
She is a public health professional, a writer, public speaker and digital media strategist, with an impressive record of impactful and community interventionist outreaches.
Temi inspires a generation of young powerful professionals who want to continue changing the world. In February this year, she was listed on YNaija’s 50 Shapers of the New Decade, has been listed as one of the Top 50 Personalities on LinkedIn in Nigeria by The Ruby Hub.
She is a lawyer, journalist and compere for high-profile events, who has over six years’ experience as a journalist and has been involved in radio presenting, as well as TV and radio production.
One of her strengths is the ability to cause engagement in any space she finds herself – on and off stage. And, her growing audience on LinkedIn will testify to this.
Kemen once said he didn’t begin fitness training to make money, but as a means to deal with depression and ill health. “From where I come, fitness isn’t something a young man would do for a living. I didn’t know it could put food on my table. I just did it to improve my health because I needed something positive that could keep me from thinking too much. Fitness helps you push a lot of things away, so I’m too strong now for any form of depression.”
A ship manager turned fitness entrepreneur, Kemen is now a sought-after personal trainer. The celebrity trainer and fitness experts’ exit from the Big Brother House probably redefined his goals and he has gone on to become a fitness trainer and influencer.
He trusts in converting hurt into motivation and uses his life to inspire self-care through sustainable agriculture and self-care. Indeed, his growing followership will agree that their fitness styles have changed from following his footsteps.
The fitness industry needs more active participation and Kemen is a number on the list you don’t want to ignore.
Kunle is an actor, or entertainer, when you consider how he has delved into the mimicking business – a growing brand drawing people to his social media pages every other day.
The lockdown presented opportunities and Kunle grabbed it with both hands. He is a go-to page for laughs, that also have socio-political undertones.
Kunle made his debut in the film industry in 2011, shortly after winning Season 7 of the Gulder Ultimate Search. He has starred in several film and television shows as well as stage plays, including Family Forever, Tinsel, The Getaway and Lagos Cougars Reloaded, as well as the Africa Magic telenovela, Forbidden. He made his cinema debut in 2015 with the movie, Falling.
Prior to acting, Kunle was a highly sought-after print, runway and television model, having featured in campaigns for a number of brands.
When Kunle does not mimic a trending video, people ask and you already know they see the power this ‘side hustle’ has on the social media space.
The money influencer of note. Probably, the most popular in Nigeria.
Tosin is a chartered accountant with 10 years of experience in accounting, corporate finance, auditing, and taxation. She has worked with several multinationals – Bloomberg TV, CNBC Africa, BAT.
She is the founder of Money Africa – a company that helps people connect with thousands of Money Africa users steadily building their financial literacy bricks to becoming financially free. On themoneyafrica.com, the public can join thousands of Money Africa users today to explore this expertly curated courses, where they get to learn from some of the best minds in the finance space using simplified analogies.
The Money Africa portal also connects people to their professionals answer all financial-related questions. Interestingly, Tosin had money issues before she decided to take charge of her finances; and is taking a lot of people with her.
Omoleye Omoruyi… an apprentice web/game developer, novelist, sensitive to happenings in the world. Meet him @Lord_rickie on Twitter/Instagram