Media mogul, Mo Abudu, Olamide, Wizkid, Japheth Omojuwa, IkhideIkheloa among others have been listed by Guardian Africanetwork among the most influential personalities in politics and entertainment in Lagos.
The list,done in collaboration with YNaija and Sahara Reporters seeks to identify 21 people to watch as Lagos continues to grow – both in population and as an international powerhouse.
Check out the first 11 most influential personalities below…
Mo Abudu, “the African Oprah”, abandoned a highflying career in the corporate world to run a television studio.
Abudu, 51, set up EbonyLife Television (ELTV) in 2013 to try to change the way the way the world sees Africa– and has since commissioned young film-makers to produce original content.
ELTV have also secured the franchise for developing an African version of Desperate Housewives, and released Fifty, a hit drama about the lives of middle-aged Nigerian women.
KeneMkparu, 49, is trying to revolutionise Nollywood’s film distribution. The industry may be worth $5bn (£3bn), but film-makers struggle to make a profit because of the distribution of pirate copies, often recorded at the cinema.
The CEO of Filmhouse Cinemas, a franchise popular across the country, his staff sit in screenings with infrared glasses to identify anyone who might be trying to record a film, a practice he has previously said “breaks his heart”.
Mkparu is currently working on a project that will take film distribution directly to the grassroots through a network of community cinemas.
In the past five years the 26-year-old rapper and label boss has seized the imagination of an entire nation with his catchy, locally-flavoured anthems.
Raised in Bariga, a ghetto suburb of Lagos, Adedeji’s music represents his experiences and the yearnings and aspirations of the country’s considerable underprivileged population.
In November 2015, Olamide became the first Nigerian rapper to put out five consecutive solo albums in as many years. His label, YBNL Records (YBNL stands for Yahoo Boy No Laptop), is home to Lil Kesh and Viktoh, two of Nigeria’s fastest rising young talents.
Wizkid, real name Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, is only 25 but he has amassed a cult following usually reserved for veteran stars. He hangs out with Rihanna and Chris Brown, and records with R Kelly. Alicia Keys even confessed on Instagram to enjoying his music. Wizkid’s album, Ayo, received tepid reviews at home but was a hit abroad, making Rolling Stone’s list of 15 great albums you didn’t hear in 2014. The following year his Afropop track Ojuelegba became a big hit and was remixed by Canadian rap king Drake and UK grime star Skepta.
Don Jazzy, real name Michael Collins Ajereh, is an award-winning music producer, singer-songwriter and record label owner who wields massive influence over the Lagos music scene. He formed Mo’hits Records in 2004 with the then little-known D’banj – who went on to become one of the biggest groups to come out of the continent.
Japheth Omojuwa, 31, is one of Nigeria’s most prolific online commentators with his Twitter page, @omojuwa home to some of the sharpest observations about the country’s political decay.
A fearless campaigner, he was one of the leading voices in the #BringBackOurGirls movement, demanding the rescue of the 276 school girls abducted by Boko Haram from Chibok in 2013.
He was also instrumental in the #OccupyNigeria movement which exposed endemic corruption in the government, and helped the #SaveMeka campaign raise millions of naira for Rhyhm FM’s DJ MekaAkerejola, who was in need a life-saving kidney transplant
See the complete list here.
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