The month of November has seen political agitation, activism and new music that has given Nigerians respite in these trying times. YNaija’s Top 10 Influencers for November is a collation of familiar names that have set the trend, made their voices loud, broken records and made a dent in the social conversation.
Here’s the YNaija Influencer Ranking for November:
10. Toke Makinwa
Lifestyle influencer, actress, and TV personality, Toke Makinwa, lives her life unapologetically and honestly. Her vlogs, Toke Moments, gives you a glimpse into her lavish lifestyle; offering you a sprinkle of invaluable life and love lessons.
She hosted the 15th edition of The Future Awards Africa (TFAA) on Saturday, 27th November alongside TV Presenter, Sammy Walsh in the award’s first-ever virtual (TV & Digital) arrangement.
Toke was named one of Yahoo! Finance’s Top Entrepreneurs to follow in 2020 and also snagged an ELOY award as the Innovative Beauty Practitioner of the Year.
According to Yahoo! Finance, “Toke Makinwa is a successful influencer, media personality and entrepreneur…Some of her greatest achievements include building her brand from scratch, being able to turn her passion into profit, and growing her brand and name across Africa.”
Watch a Toke Moment here:
The reality TV show, Big Brother Nigeria, has proven to be a launching pad for anyone who passes through its system. Shortly after being evicted, former housemate, Ozoemena Chukwu, popularly known as Ozo, was already in talks with Nigeria’s top brands.
The reality star was announced as the newest brand manager of soccer school, Juventus Academy Nigeria in the month of November. Not one to be slowed down, this announcement was quickly followed with news that Ozo would be hosting a radio show titled ‘Rewind with Ozo’.
Asides these mouth-watering endorsements, Ozo is also a constant benefactor of the generosity of his fanbase. Along with Nengi; his love interest in the BBNaija Lockdown house, they were gifted the sum of N1 million naira each by their fans who go by the name, ‘ozone.’ The ozone fanbase mostly comprises of those who are ‘shipping’ the reality stars.
It has been months since the end of the 2020 edition of the Big Brother Naija (BBNaija) reality show, but the winner of this year’s season is still enjoying massive acclaim.
The singer, Laycon, has continued to bless his fans with exciting music-related releases. The 2020 BBNaija reality star delivered the stunning visuals for his smash hit song ‘Hip Hop’ featuring Deshinor. He also had reason to celebrate this month when his latest EP, Who Is Laycon hit one million streams.
The talented artiste also bagged an impressive GOtv ambassadorial deal and is also set to premiere in a reality show titled ‘I am Laycon;’ a major deal with MultiChoice streaming platform, Showmax.
In the unlikeliest turn of events, what was supposed to be a diss track emerged as a major political song that characterised the recent #EndSARS protests. Davido’s ‘Fem’ off his ‘A better time’ album has become an iconic track that would forever be associated with the intense political agitation of August/October 2020.
‘A Better Time’ not only provided Nigerians exciting bops, it also broke records. Davido’s third studio album made its debut on the Billboard 200 at #170; becoming the singer’s first-ever album to debut on the US Official chart. The album surpassed a cumulative 100 million streams across all digital music platforms barely three days after the album’s release.
On the day the album dropped, his song with Nicki Minaj, ‘Holy Ground,’ debuted at No. 84 on the US iTunes chart. A Better Time also became Davido’s second album to debut in the top 10 of the US iTunes chart.
6. Temi Otedola
The Otedola family is a gifted one. Two sisters, Cuppy and Tolani are truly talented creatives finding their footing in the massive waves of the Nigerian music industry and the third sister, Temi Otedola, is now beginning to showcase her array of talents.
She made her first acting debut in the highly anticipated movie ‘Citation’ by Kunle Afolayan. Temi plays the role of the female protagonist, Moremi, who is forced to have to deal with sexual harassment from a popular male lecturer.
Temi Otedola bagged her first-ever BON nomination for the category ‘Revelation of the Year,’ nominated alongside Munachi Abi, Bisola Aiyeola, Adesua Etomi, Toni Tones, Tobi Bakare amongst others.
The lifestyle influencer also made sure to warm our hearts this month as she launched a podcast alongside her love interest, Mr Eazi. In the first episode, they talked about gender stereotypes and how their relationship fits into these roles.
Stunning model and actress, Erica Nlewedim, has not let her disqualification from the Big Brother Naija Lockdown season hinder her growth as an artist in the least bit. In fact, all she seems to be making is giant, impressive strides. She snatched an ELOY award this month in the category of ‘Award for Influence.’
Erica was particularly known for her antics with her love interest in the house, Kiddwaya, but no one ever thought the romantic pair would be one of the show’s biggest exports from the season. The couple were given a royal welcome in Sierra Leone on their recent visit.
In the month of November, Nigerian Breweries, a foremost brewing company, unveiled the reality TV show star as the brand ambassador of the newly re-branded Legend Extra Stout and Star Radler. Ever since, social media has been littered with images of the fanbase, Elites, showing off their stout hauls.
Apart from her stunning looks, Erica also knows how to give a stunning performance. She premiered a short film titled ‘Mercy Mercy’ on her YouTube channel. The film, shot in Birmingham after Erica’s MET Film School education, tells a tale of two twin sisters in a convoluted predicament.
Something unexpected this pandemic has provided us is a plethora of beautiful music from Nigeria’s top artists. Wizkid was one of the artistes to drop an album this year, to the excitement of fans and followers. His album ‘Made in Lagos’ has continued to dominate airwaves; making a debut in the top 10 of Spotify’s global album. His ‘Ginger‘ collabo with Burnaboy from the album also made history as the first number 1 song on the maiden edition of TurnTable Top 50 chart.
The Ojuelegba crooner won an award at the prestigious 2020 Soul Train Awards alongside Beyoncé, for their collaboration on the song ‘Brown Skin Girl’ off the ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ album. He’s also been nominated for a grammy based off his feature in Beyoncé’s ‘Brown Skin Girl.’ The song’s video is nominated for the Best Music Video category.
3. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is considered one of the writing greats in Nigeria’s history. It’s particularly because of how easy, and accessible her writing is; her communication stressless and without the thorns that would otherwise make it hard to digest.
The author just recently released a long-awaited short story titled, Zikora, which has been met with wide acclaim. This would be Adichie’s first piece of fiction since her lengthy read ‘Americanah’, released seven years ago. Zikora is a captivating read that tells the gritty story of motherhood, pregnancy and the cruelty of labour.
Thirteen years after she won the Women’s Prize for Fiction, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel about the Biafran war, Half of a Yellow Sun, has been voted the “Winner of winners” of the literary award in a public vote. The one-off prize, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the award, was chosen by members of the public, who were asked to name their favourite of the 25 winners. More than 8,500 people voted, according to the prize.
2. Mr Eazi
Oluwatosin Ajibade, better known by his stage name Mr Eazi, is not an over-the-top, flashing girls and the latest cars kind of entertainer. He is what most consider ‘low-key,’ but this should not be translated as him not achieving success or breaking major grounds.
The Nigerian singer owns a music label tagged emPawa Africa which is geared at empowering the next generation of Africans, as the name suggests. The label stretched its tentacles to Northern Nigerian, signing two major talents this month; DJ AB and Namenj. The Afrobeats musician also partnered with software engineering institute, Decagon, to offer training to five aspiring digital experts from Ogun State in Nigeria.
The savvy entrepreneur is also greatly talked about when it comes to his relationship with lifestyle influencer, Temi Otedola. The pair recently opened their relationship up to the public via a newly launched podcast tagged ‘How Far’ where they talked about everything from how they met to their similar interests.
In what many consider a win for Nigeria’s music industry as a whole, Mr Eazi snagged a Grammy at the Latin Grammy 2020 award alongside J Balvin, for their collaboration on the track ‘Arcoiris’ off J Balvin’s 2020 ‘Colores’ album.
1. Kiki Mordi
This year has produced some very iconic moments in relation to the award-winning journalist. From the hilarious Twitter quip ‘Kiki Mordi no go fok?’ to the legendary image of her riding on top of a massive truck during the #EndSARS protests, the months have been littered with moments where the strong feminist was the talk of social media. More importantly, Kiki Mordi is recognised for her resilience, her fierceness, strength and unapologetic activism.
Earlier in August, Kiki Mordi’s ‘Sex For Grades’ documentary was nominated in the Current Affairs category of this year’s International Emmy Awards. Mordi was nominated alongside candidates from Brazil, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Although the ‘Sex For Grades’ documentary didn’t emerge the winning piece, it was a major moment of pride for Nigerians everywhere.
This month, the documentary filmmaker and social activist emerged one of the 2020 #MTVEMA Gen Change Winners for being one of the powerful voices championing the #EndSARS and #EndPoliceBrutality movement in Nigeria.
Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
Toluwanimi is available on Instagram and Twitter @nimi_onaks