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Top 15 Powerful Men in Nigerian Entertainment Industry [+Photos]

{L-R. Ayo Animashaun, John Ugbe, Ali Baba, Emeka Mba listed among NET’s 15 most powerful men in Nigerian entertainment. Photo: Filed}

There’s a clear borderline between power, influence and popularity. The powerful guys are not just the popular and influential celebrities in the spotlight. They are always behind the scene, spinning the money and influencing decisions and policies that affect the industry. In this special report, NET brings you a list of 15 most powerful men in the Nigerian entertainment scene.

Ali Baba

Ali Baba. Photo: Filed

Ali Baba is the undisputed king of Comedy in Nigeria. With over two decades in the game, Ali Baba, who pioneered stand-up comedy in the country, nurtured the trade into profitability and continues to use his influence to hold up the platform for others to shine. Not competing with some of those he trained, having repackaged his brand even more, Ali Baba is the king on his lane and a comedian of immense repute.

Emeka Mba

Prince Emeka Mba. Photo: NECLivePrince Emeka Mba. Photo: NECLive

Emeka Mba is one of the very powerful Nigerian men in the entertainment industry. He was appointed Director General of the NBC on May 9, 2013 by Nigeria’s outgoing President, Goodluck Jonathan and he assumed duty on May 15, 2013. He has over 23 years cross-functional experience in the converged fields of media & broadcasting, communications technology, and regulatory policy management.

Prior to his appointment, Emeka had served for seven years between 2005 and July 2012 as Director General of the National Film and Video Censors Board. While at the NFVCB, he undertook ground-breaking work in restructuring the Nigerian film industry

Tony Okoroji

Tony Okoroji. Photo: NECLiveTony Okoroji. Photo: NECLive

He is the Chairman of COSON (Copyright Society of Nigeria). Okoroji has always been in the corridors of power when it comes to the Nigerian entertainment industry. At 29, he was elected National President of Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN). Despite being the youngest president in the history of the association, he went on to transform the hitherto, little known body into one of the nation’s most powerful professional associations. Since the birth of COSON, he has been in the forefront of fighting to ensure Nigerian artistes are duly compensated for the intellectual property they create.

Rasaq Abdullahi

He’s the boss of Corporate Pictures and also doubles as the chairman of the Nollywood Marketers Association. In the last decade, he’s pumped millions of Naira into the movie industry. With his power and wealth, he plays a major role in determining what movies the masses get to see.

Sam Onyemelukwe

Sam Onyemelukwe. Photo: Media WeekSam Onyemelukwe. Photo: Media Week

Sam Onyemelukwe is the Vice President of Trace TV. He got the license to operate the company in the West and Anglophone Africa in 2009. Since then, his revolutionary strategies have propelled the station and made it a household name on the African continent and in exchange, Sam became a very powerful force to reckon with in the Nigerian music industry. Sam is a Nigerian, born to an American mum and is reputed to have signed the popular female group, KUSH in 2001.

John Ugbe

John UgbeJohn Ugbe. Photo: Twitter

The name, MultiChoice surely rings a bell anywhere it’s mentioned. John Ugbe is the Managing Director of the firm in Nigeria and the University of Liverpool graduate has been extremely influential in the growth of entertainment in Nigeria and Africa as a whole by creating platforms that enable the art excel.

Michael Ikpoki

Michael-Ikpoki-CEO-of-MTN-NigeriaMichael Ikpoki. Photo: Business Day

He is the chief executive officer of MTN Nigeria and it’s no doubt that the telecoms giant plays big in the Nigerian entertainment industry. Ikpoki studied General Management Programme at the Harvard Business School before joining MTN in 2001 as a regulatory advisor. He has been hugely instrumental in the telecommunication firm’s endorsement of Nigerian entertainers.

Roberts Orya

Mr. Roberts Orya. Photo: FiledRoberts Orya. Photo: Filed

He is the Managing Director/Chief Executive of NEXIM Bank. Roberts Orya attended University of Ibadan, Nigeria and graduated with an M.Sc in Banking and Finance. His experience spans over 29 years in Banking and Finance, covering Investment, Commercial and Mortgage Banking, having worked in several financial institutions. He sits atop one of the most powerful financial institutions when it comes to entertainment, especially with the funds of Goodluck Jonathan-led administration’s intervention fund for the industry in his coffers.

Ayo Animashaun

Ayo Animashaun is trying his hands on something new. File photo.Ayo Animashaun. Photo: Ayo Animashaun

Looking through the past decade in the Nigerian entertainment industry, Animashaun, through his Smooth Promotions Productions, has left an indelible mark at every turn. The 45-year-old has launched some of the most relevant entertainment platforms, including the most respected award ceremony, The Headies and the 24-hour channel, Hip TV on DSTV, which celebrated 324 days of transmission in September 2014.

Abdulsamad Rabiu

Mr. Abdulsamad Rabiu. Photo: Nigeria TimesAbdulsamad Rabiu. Photo: Nigeria Times

A Forbes recognised billionaire, Rabiu is the Chairman, Board of Directors, Bank of Industry. The bank’s recent endorsement of 2face, Vector, Brymo and others, further emphasises the bank’s commitment towards the growth of entertainment. And it no doubt positions Rabiu as one of the industry’s most powerful players.

Wale Adenuga

Wale Adenuga. Photo: Jungle JournalistWale Adenuga. Photo: Jungle Journalist

He is the Chairman and Executive Producer of WAP TV. A 1974 graduate of Business Administration from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Adenuga, MFR, is the brain behind the popular telenovelas that have produced countless stars. Some of his projects include: This Life, Super Story, Papa Ajasco, Nnena and Friends among others. In 2009, Wale Adenuga was conferred with the national award of Member of The Federal Republic (MFR) by the late President Musa Yar’Adua, in acknowledgement of his immense contributions to the growth and development of the country.

Alex Okosi

Alex Okosi. Photo: Alex Okosi. Photo: Filed

Media Entrepreneur, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Viacom International, Africa, Okosi continues to showcase Africa to the world, via the MTV, BET, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central platforms.

Alex Okosi is one of the top shots determining the present and future of entertainment on TV and stations under his command are getting daily commendations from youth in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large, making Okosi a reference point in the entertainment scene.

Chris Ubosi

Chris UbosiChris Ubosi. Photo: Beat FM

Chris Ubosi is the CEO of Megalectrics Limited (owners of Naija FM, Beat 99.9 FM, Classic Fm and Beat FM Ibadan.) Take these stations out of Nigerian entertainment and a huge void would be created, thus making Chris a powerful personality in Nigerian entertainment.

Amin Mousalli

Amin Mousalli. Photo: FiledAmin Mousalli. Photo: Filed

Believed to have his roots in Lebanon, Amin has contributed to the Nigerian entertainment industry for several years. He actually started doing business in the country way back in 1975 with his AIM architectural company.

His foray into broadcasting drove Amin Mousalli to establish the radio stations, Cool FM and Wazobia FM and later, Nigeria Info, with his daughter, Evita at the helm of affairs. Like an Oliver Twist, ever wanting more, Amin recently added to his broadcasting empire with Cool TV and We TV in September 2014. The radio stations have not only become some of the biggest outfits in Nigerian broadcasting, reaching millions in four different cities, they are now complemented with the new TV stations.

Tajuddeen Adepetu

Tajuddeen Adepetu. Photo: Nollywood AccessTajuddeen Adepetu. Photo: Nollywood Access

He’s one of Africa’s most respected media moguls, CEO SoundCity, ONTV. Tajuddeen Adepetu is also responsible for several TV programmes and series. He had also, in 2014, built Spice TV to a strong position, while returning to the concert scene, with the Soundcity Blast.


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