In the year 2016, there have been individuals, organizations, and bodies who would look back and bless God for the year, looking forward to a more fulfilling 2017.
They were the biggest winners of 2016 with some of them achieving the feat against all odds.
1. MMM Nigeria
But toward the end of the year 2016, MMM became the most talked about phenomenon in the country with many Nigerians trusting it above the Federal Government.
According to the founders of the Russia originated Ponzi scheme, Sergei Mavrodi, Vyacheslav Mavrodi, and Olga Melnikova, the MMM is a community of people providing each other financial help on the principle of gratuitousness, reciprocity, and benevolence.
But even with the recent freezing of MMM Nigeria account, the scheme was one of the biggest winners of the year 2016.
2. Linda Ikeji
Very few Nigerians struck the kind of gold popular blogger, Linda Ifeoma Ikeji hit in the year 2016 as she made it big time and has continued to remain in the news for all the right reasons.
Ikeji, the owner of Linda Ikeji Blog, one of Nigeria’s biggest blogs, created another milestone for herself with the launch of her media platform which includes a studio and TV arm.
But the biggest of them all was the launch of her social media network, Linda Ikeji Social (LIS), which she says would compete favourably with Facebook and other social media networking platforms.
This is what the CNN wrote about her on the launch of LIS.
“Love her or not, she’s one of Africa’s most famous news and gossip writers. Now she’s hoping to take on Facebook with her very own social network, which she says hit 50,000 sign-ups on the first day.”
To corroborate what the CNN wrote, Ikeji, a former model, also said:
“About 30-40 million Nigerians are now online, and they go through so many sites. They go to Facebook for connecting with friends.
They come to my blog to read the news. They buy and sell things and go to places like Nairaland where they exchange opinions. Facebook is my competition,” she enthused, hoping to be even bigger than Facebook in years to come.
3. Toke Makinwa
Popular On Air Personality, Toke Makinwa, was another big winner in the year 2016 as she turned a very bad situation into a highlight that not only brought her more fame but huge financial rewards.
Still smarting from a messy divorce after she left her husband, Maje Ayida few months after their much-publicized wedding, Makinwa decided to write a tell-all book entitled On Becoming, where she spilled out untold secrets about her estranged husband, giving minute details which included their lovemaking sessions, how he would not ejaculate inside her and how he infected her with a sexually transmitted disease.
But instead of the revelations being a turn-off, they actually helped to elevate the status of her book and within a few days of its unveiling, the book sold out and till now, the cash reward is still rolling in from the books and other endorsements.
4. Enugu Rangers
After waiting for 32 years, Enugu Rangers Football Club took their rightful place on the list of the big winners of 2016 with their feat in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), by winning the coveted title.
Founded in 1970, the Flying Antelopes were one of the most successful clubs in Nigeria and Africa in the 80s but for many years, their fortunes plummeted and they became the ‘nearly’ of Nigerian football but in the 2015/2016 football season, they turned their season around.
The management of the team put their trust in the former youth international goalkeeper, Imama Amapakabo, who recruited some of the finest youngsters around and without anyone putting a lot of faith in them, Rangers did the unthinkable by winning the league.
With young players like Chisom Egbuchulam, Obinna Nwobodo, Temitope Olusesi and Bobby Clement, Rangers played one of the most exciting brands of football in the country and it was no surprise they ended the year as one of the biggest winners.
5. Nigerian Paralympic Team
The Nigerian Paralympic Games athletes also ended the year as one of the biggest winners as they did the country proud with their feat at the Rio Paralympic Games held in Brazil.
Against all odds, the physically challenged athletes did what their able-bodied colleagues could not do when they finished the competition with a total of 12 medals.
A breakdown of the medals showed that Team Nigeria won 8 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals to finish in 12th place overall, the best by an African team ever.
Six of the athletes also broke the World Records in their events at the competition, with some of them doing it for the second or third times.