For the sixth consecutive year, YNaija brings you its annual ranking of the most powerful young persons under the age of 40 who are getting things done in the brave new world from socia media to technology,business,fashion and others
see full list below:
In 2006, Uche Pedro started a personal blog. It soon grew to become a fan favorite, covering issues relating to lifestyle, celebrity, and style. Today BellaNaija.com is one of the most recognisably Nigerian brands with visitors clicking in from all over the world,- over 10 million page views each month. Pedro prefers to keep a low profile but the impact of her work does all the talking. The style, beauty, and lifestyle divisions have been spun off into pseudo-verticals, with distinct identities. And of course, there is the ever popular BellaNaija Weddings.
Idris Akinbajo and Premium Times are an ideal fit. He has scored several awards for his in depth exposes on corrupt practices. Premium Times has continued to lead the field in terms of investigative political and economic. Having worked for years with Dapo Olorunyomi, replacing him as managing editor is only a natural progression. Akinbajo is responsible for providing leadership that ensures that the lid isn’t kept on any public deal of national interest. Premium Times under his watch has been alive to this responsibility.
For a while now, The View, the female led breakfast chat show modelled after the US network mainstay has been the most popular content on its time belt, on television. This, according to those who would know. Morayo Afolabi-Brown makes this happen every single day. Because merely hosting a top rated talk show would be quite mainstream, Afolabi-Brown has a day gig as the director of television programmes at TVC, creating content for broadcast on three independent channels.
As the West’s Africa coverage moves beyond war torn zones and a crippling single story, it has become imperative to have as many local voices telling the continent’s stories; good and bad on a global level. Eromo Egbejule presently fills this need. With reporting that has appeared in mainstream media such as The Washington Post, Forbes Africa and Guardian UK, Egbejule has helped shine the light on hitherto uncovered Nigerian stories. He is a recipient of the 2017 BudgIT media fellowship.
Donald Trump may label CNN fake news but the woman responsible for the multimedia digital Africa coverage as head of the Nigeria/West African bureau has hardly but a wrong foot forward. As head of CNN’s Nigerian operation, Busari has worked on some of the biggest news and lifestyle stories coming out of Africa. CNN is fast gaining a more human face and respect whilst Nigeria is getting a fairer representation all because of Busari’s doggedness in shining the light on the myriads of opportunities hidden within the country.
Everybody (and their mother) still visits the Linda Ikeji blog for the latest news, gist and gossip. Since the last time she was on this list, Ikeji has doubled down on her efforts to seize control of all media with her online television, radio station, music service and social networking platforms. These services have helped create hours of original content and has kept scores of young Nigerians engaged and gainfully employed.
What do you do after directing the highest grossing Nollywood film ever at the cinemas? When you are Kemi Adetiba, you pass on the sequel and dive straight into the under plumbed waters of online television to create King Women, a pro-feminist, life affirming series of intimate interviews with some of the most interesting Nigerian women. King Women instantly announced itself as an event series, sparking heated conversations on serious issues and boosted traffic for host platform, Accelerate TV.
Ndanitv pioneered sexy online television powered by big financial institutions and years later, Ndanitv still leads when it comes to catching the attention of millennials with content that speaks to the times. Marquis is head of production at Ndani and in this capacity, is responsible for managing the production and distribution of content. Some of her recent wins include Skinny Girl in Transit, Rumour has it and Lagos Big Boy.
Chiagozie Fred Nwonwu
Mazi Nwonwu is the managing editor of Olisa.tv, an entertainment, lifestyle and news website that has been indispensable for a fresh crop of writers looking to get published in the lifestyle space. Readers looking for more context in the cultural space know to visit Olisa.tv. Nwonwu is also the co-founder of Omenana, an online magazine for African speculative fiction that attracts the brightest talent working in that genre.
While at The Cable newspaper, Soyombo proved his mettle as an eagle-eyed editor and excellent investigative journalist. And he’s got the international awards and renown to show for some of his efforts. When this year, he joined the International Centre for Investigative reporting (ICIR), an independent, nonprofit news agency that had funded his impactful Forgotten Soldiers series, it made perfect sense. Opaque institutions are probably shaking in their boots.
The founder of the payments startup, Flutterwave may be the most influential person working in technology at the moment. A serial entrepreneur, Aboyeji has been part of initiatives like Bookneto and Fora, before hitting big with Andela, a Zuckerberg-certified global talent accelerator that trains young intelligent Africans to be world-class developers. Aboyeji moved on to float Flutterwave, a fintech company that recently raised funding over $10 million in a Series A funding.
A Frontend developer and user interface designer, Aderinokun who holds degrees in Psychology and Law, is the first female Google development expert in Nigeria. Because of this distinction, Aderinokun has been able to travel the world, sharing her work experiences. Former technical lead at Big Cabal media, Aderinokun runs bitsofcode, a blog dedicated to submissions on technology and front-end development. She presently works as a software developer at eyeo.
Sola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi
Online payment trends in Nigeria have been less than impressive, to say the least. Akinlade and Olubi’s Paystack is a promising payment solution that is set on challenging Interswitch’s chokehold on the market. Paystack tries to deliver a safe, modern payment experience for customers and merchants in Africa. Paystack is enlisted into Y Combinator, a major Silicon Valley startup accelerator and has enjoyed seed funding of $120,000.
A rejection slip from Paypal was the prompter that led Olaoluwa Awojoodu to consider operating his own online financial solutions company. The result of this determination is Electronic Settlement Limited, a financial solutions entity, present in Nigeria and Ghana that delivers payment infrastructure services through a host of companies, CashEnvoy, Paypad and Paycenter, to a wide variety of industries ranging from MSMEs and banks, to governments and multinationals.
After moving back to Nigeria, Olamide Bada project managed Jumia’s Black Friday event and worked as an operational development manager before she was tapped to run Jumia Food. This position puts her in the difficult position of managing an expanding team that includes a fleet of 100+ delivery riders across Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. Bada sets the strategic direction of the business across all functions including sales, operations and marketing.
With degrees from Obafemi Awolowo University, plus a decade experience in IT, Information Systems, Telecommunications and Mobile Communication, Roseline Ilori is the chief executive of MTech Communications. A business strategist and growth catalyst, Roseline acts as EMEA board director for the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF), the global trade body that acts as an impartial and authoritative champion for addressing issues affecting the broadening mobile ecosystem.
Finding a house in Lagos can be tough. Dealing with landlords, agents and shady middlemen can be overwhelming. Fisayo Ogundipe’s ToLet which he founded with three of his University classmates is here to make the process a lot smoother. And it is all online. As CEO, Ogundipe has guided the company to raise $240,000 seed funding from Jason Njoku’s Spark and a further $1.2m in a Series A funding round led by the Malaysia-based Frontier Digital Ventures.
Oluyomi Ojo is one-third of the trio that founded Printivo, an exciting company that leverages cutting edge technology tools to make the printing process more fun and less cumbersome for individuals and corporates alike. Since inception, Printivo has received grants from the federal government’s YouWin programme, as well as Etisalat’s Innovation Award and early-stage technology venture capital firm, EchoVC Partners.
Inspired by the Toy Story film, Damilola Solesi took her passion for animation into a business enterprise, setting up the SMIDS animation studios, a company that creates 3D computer animation, content production, motion graphics and visual effects. A Mandela Washington Fellow, Solesi co-founded Women R.I.S.E, a platform that inspires women to pursue interests in technology through collaboration, networking, training, mentorship, and funding opportunities.
Would there be a vibrant tech culture in Nigeria without the Co-Creation Hub? Perhaps, but none can deny the overall influence that CcHUB continues to wield from its Yaba location. Started by Bosun Tijani and Femi Longe, Co-Creation hub remains the biggest and most influential ideas hub in the country. From BudgIT to the Relearn centre in Abuja, some of the finest and most influential IT projects in Nigeria have been conceived or developed at the hub
Adebola Ataiyero Adefila
If you have ever come across any of the Banrut Group’s line of tissue products, – and there are many of them,- then this 37-year-old mother of two is the woman who ensures you get your regular supply. With over fifteen years’ experience in business management, Adebola Ataiyero Adefila is the chief operating officer of Banrut Rolls, billed as the second largest manufacturers of tissue papers in Nigeria with products such as Vicki box tissue, Prince toilet roll, Ruth supreme luxury tissue, Nimmy economy toilet roll, Vicki kitchen roll.
The Stanel Group, founded by Stanley Ugochukwu is an energy company that specialises in marketing petroleum products. The company has expanded its functions to accommodate production and sales of automobile parts, vehicle consumables amongst others for domestic and industrial use. Uzochukwu recently delivered the Stanel oil ultra-modern luxury facility in Awka, a one stop shop that houses a filling station, chapel, food court, bakery and farm produce market.
Otunba Akin Alabi is the founder and chief executive of NairaBET, Nigeria’s first and biggest online sports betting portal, headquartered in Lagos. Licensed by the Lagos state lotteries board, Alabi, a former internet marketer has enjoyed first mover status in the world of online betting, stoking and benefitting from this market, and has seen his company which he founded in 2009, grow to over 100 outlets around the country, employing hundreds more.
You may not know the man but you know his company, or at least one of them. Bassey is the CEO of Rom-Flex group, an umbrella body for various business interests that include infrastructure, software development, engineering, oil and gas. Payporte Global Systems is one of such entries. Billed as Africa’s ‘’fastest rising e-commerce company,’’ Payporte connected with Nigerians massively while sponsoring Dstv’s ratings behemoth show, Big Brother Naija.
Years of watching how-to videos on the internet and reading loads of books on how automobiles work prepared Taiwo Abiri for a career in motor repairs. Some apprenticeship helped too. Today, the Economics graduate from the Obafemi Awolowo University runs Motomi repairs and counts as clients, Century Energy, Four Points by Sheraton Hotel and Falcon Gas among others. His business also employs and trains young persons who show interest in his line of business.
Nnamdi Stan Ekeh
Son of popular business man Leo Stan Ekeh, Nnamdi has plugged himself in the high-octane world of big business with Yudala, an online retail startup which he founded and manages as vice president. Starting with ICT products, Yudala has diversified into an online and offline retail outpost stocking a wide assortment of goods. Yudala boasts about 300 employees but Nnamdi has revealed his job won’t be done until a physical store births in all 774 local governments in Nigeria.
For three years, Awobukun was the most important man at Oando Downstream, where he raised the industry delivery standards in areas of operational efficiency, innovation, and professional service, growing the business to 15% of the private sector supply of refined products in Nigeria. A World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, Awobukun presently runs ENYO Retail and Supply Limited, a customer-focused, technology-driven, fuels retailing company as CEO.
Ekponimo is an Abuja based software engineer who developed Chowberry app, a web based system that alerts retailers via scanned bar codes when packaged food is approaching its expiry date, enabling them to offer discounted items to low-income consumers or welfare agencies. A successful three-month pilot involving 20 retailers reached about 300 people in Lagos and Abuja, feeding 150 orphans and vulnerable children. Ekponimo was named a 2016 Rolex Awards for Enterprise Young Laureate.
Sometimes, necessity is the mother of entrepreneurship and this is true for Sola Ladoja, an engineer who moved back to Lagos but could not find where to get his daily fix of green juice. He decided to start making his own supply. This idea transformed into Simply Green Limited, a farm to bottle raw cold-pressed juice company with plenty of produce coming from its farms. Ladoja also manages Real Livestock Limited, a company that focuses on the commercial cultivation of grains and meat production.
A health economist and former lecturer, Okpaleke co-founded the Abuja fun lovers spot, Play Sports Bar and Grill with his brothers. Following aggressive growth and acceptance, the brothers followed through with Play Entertainment Network, parent company to various businesses (Play Network Nigeria, Play Apparel) and elite nightlife destinations in Lagos and Jos. Okpaleke is presently endorsed by premium energy drink company, Cintron, as a Brand Ambassador in Nigeria.
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