Nigerian Entertainment Today released its 2013 list of the most influential people in the Nigerian
entertainment industry. The list cuts across all spheres of entertainment in Nigeria.
The Full List of the NET’s 2013 Most Influential
People in Entertainment
From his artistry to passion for change, the Pop king
of Africa has continued to use his music as a muse to
influence all. Through his foundation, “2Face Idibia
Reach-Out Foundation”, Idibia, an icon by every
definition, has dedicated a great amount of time,
effort and resources towards reaching out to fellow
humans in need.
As Senior Vice President and Managing Director of
Viacom International, Africa, Okosi continues to
showcase Africa to the world and vice versa with the
MTV, BET, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central
platforms. Okosi is one of the top dogs determining
the present and future of entertainment on TV.
Still at the top of the food chain when it concerns
comedy in Nigeria, Ali Baba, a pioneer stand-up
comedian is not only responsible for making the
trade profitable, he continues to use his influence to
hold up the platform for others to shine.
A strong pillar in Nollywood, Igwe’s undying love for
motion picture has helped her carve a niche for
herself whether with her famous soap operas or her
annual BOBTV TV expo. Her Lagos-based radio
station, Top Radio has also become a force to reckon
The Lebanese boss actually started doing business in
Nigeria as far back as 1975 with his AIM architectural
company but his love for broadcasting drove him to
create radio stations Cool FM, Wazobia FM and later
on Nigeria Info with his daughter Evita in the helm of
affairs. These stations have become one of the
biggest outfits in Nigeria reaching millions in four
It’s been rocky times at Chocolate City in the last
seven months but Maikori, a lawyer and entrepreneur
has shown nothing but exemplary skills in stirring
the entertainment label through murky waters. With
A-list acts like M.I. and Ice Prince, Chocolate City still
remains one of the biggest music labels in Africa.
Don’t be surprised if they announce an IPO soon.
Through his Smooth Promotions company,
Animashaun, 43, has launched some of the most
relevant entertainment platforms including “The
Headies” and the 24-hour channel “Hip TV” which
launches on DSTV this month.
Bolanle Austen Peters
Peters is the soul of Terra Kulture – a highly
recognized cultural hub set up to promote the
richness and diversity of Nigerian languages, arts
and culture. Respected for enabling the sustenance
of live theatre in Lagos, she’s now executing the big-
budget SARO musical that’s already receiving critical
In eight years of existence, Terra Kulture has
organised no less than 60 plays, over 100
exhibitions, and approximately 10,000 children have
been through their language, culture clubs and
Managing Director at M-NET Africa over the last four
years, Alabi has engineered the process of bringing
top African content to our doorsteps. This year, she
birthed the successful and well rated African Magic
Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCAs).
Nwobi is a serial entrepreneur. From MTech- a
leading mobile content company in Africa to
Jobberman.com – West Africa’s most popular jobs
portal to Cheki.com.ng – Nigeria’s leading cars/autos
website to Kamdora.com a fast growing e-commerce
fashion retail business in Nigeria, Nwobi has
successfully built mobile and internet-related
companies; using unusual techniques to link IT with
entertainment while delivering value for consumers
and helping Telcos excite a generation in love with
He is the CEO of Megalectrics Limited, owners of
Premium choice BEAT 99.9 FM, retro-styled Classic
FM 93.7 and pidgin-speaking Naija FM 102.7, which
have all continued to dominate their respective
fields. Ubosi, who seems to be warming up to the
cameras nowadays has also launched a sister station
in Ibadan and will be setting up a TV channel real
Three of out every five videos seen on Nigerian TV is
directed by Clarence Peters. As the CEO of a record
label called Capital Hill Records and a multimedia
content creation company called CAPital Dream
Pictures, he has shot a good number of videos,
documentaries, TV commercials, short films and TV
Clarence is no doubt the most sought after video
director in the music industry so much that his name
has become synonymous with top quality musical
In the last 12 months, the self-styled entertainer has
brushed off any kind of doubt about whether he can
progress career-wise after his split with former
Mo’Hits partner Don Jazzy.
Whether it’s performing at the finale of African Cup
of Nations, collaborating with US artistes, headlining
Hennessy Artistry or becoming the face of the Bank
of Industry, D’banj has shown constant sheer
determination and dominance.
And there’s an indefinitely long list of young cats
praying day and night to have a quarter of his
DJ Jimmy Jatt
He is rated as one of the biggest and most iconic
deejays in Africa. An innovator, teacher, speaker and
performer, Jimmy Jatt has helped nurture the careers
and influenced many deejays in Nigeria. There’s
hardly any hip hop artiste in Nigeria that doesn’t
pledge allegiance to the legendary but unbelievably
From music production, Don Jazzy remains one of the
most relevant entertainment personalities in Africa
(a formula his colleagues have not been able to crack
yet) with every artiste out there asking for a beat or
two from him. Little wonder he keeps bagging
multimillion Naira endorsement deals.
An ambassador for Loya Milk and MTN, IDJA is the
producer every producer wants to be like, the pop
star who has no single to his name; the enigmatic
music maker that’s giving an entirely new definition
Sometimes referred to as the Godfather, Lawani has
built a name in the corporate and entertainment
scene working as technical consultant, events
manager and adviser to organisations and talent. His
agency, Showbiz Network is one of the longest
running homegrown entertainment organisations,
and many of today’s big names in technical support
and events management have the bearded
gentleman to thank.
The co-founder and HNIC of Nigeria’s leading talent
management company, Now Muzik, Omorogbe
continues to be a major force in the development of
entertainment in Nigeria. He recently setup Now
Muzik en.Core, a sister company which handles
events and campaigns.
A former Regulatory Affairs Manager at MultiChoice
Nigeria and later Director General of the Nigerian
Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Mba’s recent
appointment as Director-General of the National
Broadcasting Commission (NBC) was met with
applause from stakeholders who understand what he
brings to the table. The NBC is the regulatory body
for broadcast organisations in Nigeria.
Ayeni, founder of Ultima, the company which owns
two very big franchises in Nigeria might not have a
popular name but his shows Project Fame West
Africa and Who Wants to be a Millionaire do. Though
quiet and publicly shy, Ayeni has handed many
successful entertainers their careers – that list will
include Iyanya, Chidinma and Frank Edoho who rose
to national fame on WWTBAM.
The son of the late great Afrobeat legend has clearly
carved a niche for himself, warming up nicely into
contemporary music (working with Wizkid, LNC,
Jesse Jagz, Durella) and modern TV (Kuti is a judge
on Nigerian Idol). These have however not shut him
up from voicing out his opinion against bad
The Nollywood actress has bagged the highest
number of endorsement deals and produced more
bestselling movies than anyone in her category. Her
hilarious character, Jenifa has now become one of the
most popular characters in Nollywood. And despite
going through a well-publicized separation,
Akindele’s image remains intact, her following
unaffected; her endorsements intact.
Hardly can you mention top actresses in Africa
without placing her in the top 2. US talk show host,
Oprah Winfrey described her as the Julia Roberts of
Africa, while Elle Magazine recently profiled her as
one of the 7 international acts soon to cross over to
international success. Nnaji’s profiling on the
international scene has been a big boost to her
career, although she has slowed down on local
appearances in recent times.
She became the first woman to lead the Actors’ Guild
of Nigeria when she was sworn in as President in
November 2012. Ibinabo Fiberesima, an actress and
a former beauty queen now presides over one of the
most influential organisations in Nigeria’s
By creating the iROKO triad- iROKOtv, iROKING and
IROKtv , he is credited for creating what the
international media has described as the “Netflix of
Africa”, Njoku has combined technology and
creativity to satisfy the ever-growing needs of
Nollywood fans across the world, ranking in the
Forbes “African millionaires to watch” list. His idea
now caters for millions of Nigerians who chose to go
online to source music and Nollywood movies.
King Sunny Ade
A perfect example of consistency, King Sunny Ade
boasts of a career that has spanned over five
decades. KSA is an important voice in the Nigerian
entertainment industry particularly in regards to
music as he uses his influence, contacts and
resources to affect major decisions in many of the
music organisations; while serving as mentor and
inspiration to many.
He is one of the most prolific film directors in Nigeria.
From his debut production “Irapada” to the critically
reviewed action-drama “Figurine”, the accounting
graduate has shown finesse in all his work. His recent
project, October 1, still in the making has generated
the most publicity-ever for a yet to be released flick.
Afolayan is seen by many pundits as the face of “New
A prolific recording artist, KWAM1 updated the Fuji
style incorporating Western instruments to give it
that youth-oriented theme. That singular innovation
opened up the genre to a hitherto uninterested
segment. With a career now spanning over three
decades, the self-acclaimed King of Fuji music
continues to influence and appeal both the old and
young in fuji other genres.
From gossip to breaking news stories, Linda Ikeji’s
blog has become a hotspot for many online readers.
From a business and career that has taken her seven
years to build, Miss Ikeji’s blog has become a
phenomenal success earning her millions in annual
turnover; building a profile as Nigeria’s most
successful blogger. What that means? The
bachelorette now belongs to the elite group of
opinion moulders and news shapers.
They call him the Chairman. Jude Abaga aka M.I. has
set a standard for aspiring rappers, for being able to
appeal both to the so called hip hop heads and those
with no idea in the world what the art form is about.
He is sometimes regarded as the best rapper in
Nigeria and has a lot in fan base to show for it.
Following the huge success of her talk show
“Moments with Mo”, Mosunmola Abudu has built for
herself a strong repertoire. Often referred to as the
Oprah Winfrey of Africa, her show for years enjoyed
high ratings on DSTV. Recently she launched her own
channel, Ebony Life TV, Africa’s first global black
As one of the most decorated actresses in Africa,
Omotola’s scored a bygone when she made it to TIME
magazine’s 2013 edition of the “100 Most Influential
People in the World”. Her TV reality series, “Omotola:
The Real Me” generated a landmark viewership on M-
NET’s Africa Magic when it debuted, and the mother-
of-four is now warming up for international break.
Sold out shows and tours in Africa, Europe and
America, earth shaking hit songs and videos. A
multitude of fans stadiums cannot contain. P-Square
have been on the top 3 mark for so long it’s
beginning to look like their birth right.
For 12 years she has been behind the African Movie
Awards (AMAA), gathering movie stars from all over
Africa. Fiberesima has positioned the awards show as
one of the most credible and consistent honorary
shows. Often described as the “African Oscars”,
AMAA awards has now become a standard for actors
to measure their performance every year.
With Nigerian Idol, X-Factor and Nigeria’s Got Talent
grabbing big market shares, Rotimi Pedro, the
Optima Media Group’s founder, is rapidly becoming a
major force to reckon with. The sports veteran and
his team are delivering entertainment to millions of
Nigerians while giving many an opportunity to kick
off their careers.
And he’s just secured the right to launch Bloomberg
here, according to NET findings.
He earned the rights to bring the foremost music
channel, Trace TV to Nigeria building it from the
Onyemelukwe, a former country manager for MTV
has utilized his experience and knowledge in the
terrain to establish TRACE TV as a channel of choice
for many young Nigerians.
From what began with creating content
programming for several terrestrial TV stations,
Adepetu has gone on to establish his own cable TV
channel and TV station. Both Soundcity and ONTV,
popular among young Nigerians, have now become
household names when it comes to pure
entertainment. Other assets include Spice TV which
will launch as a full channel on DSTV in a matter of
months, and social media platform Buddie.
The Murray-Bruces have played many major roles in
taking Nigerian entertainment to the next level.
Spearheaded by Ben Murray-Bruce, the family has
not only succeeded in radio and TV broadcasting, but
also made cinema culture fashionable again, with the
Silverbird Cinemas. Their “Most Beautiful Girl in
Nigeria” pageant has lost credibility and popularity,
but remains the nation’s leading pageant.
Okoroji is one of the most important factors in
collective rights management and administration in
Nigeria. Working with the Copyright Society of
Nigeria (COSON), Okoroji has spearheaded the
recognition of mechanical and associated rights,
while making sure radio stations, TV channels and
others who exploit music pay what’s due rights
The jury is still out on whether that segment should
A pioneer and veteran by every definition, Kelani’s
brilliance in cinematography and storytelling is
second to none. With over 20 films made under his
Mainframe Productions, Kelani has been setting
standards for as long as we can remember.
The movie producer/director/writer is one of the
major influences in the Nigerian movie industry till
She is the popular blogger and owner of fashion and
lifestyle blog BellaNaija. BellaNaija remains a one
stop shop for single and married women who are
interested in wedding news, gossip and fashion. And
even though the likes of Linda Ikeji have surpassed
her in ranking, Bella remains queen, with enough
international acclaim to last a lifetime.
At just 23, Ayo “Wizkid” Balogun is a kid whose
achievements will make some legends jealous. From
an unsure wannabe, the hit-maker has grown to
become a superstar, with a strong influence on
today’s sound while many teens are feeding daily on
his style and- permit us – swagger. Now warming up
to be an entrepreneur, Wizzy has it all working.