Icons are people who have had a significant impact on people within and outside their industry. For us there are so many icons in the country but we have been able to go through a significant number of them and shortlisted our top 50 of the most influential Icons within the borders of the Federal republic of Nigeria.
Deola Sagoe – Deola Sagoe is an haute couture fashion designer from Ondo State, Nigeria
Lisa Folawiyo – Lisa Folawiyo is a Nigerian fashion designer who is best known for incorporating traditional West African textiles with modern tailoring techniques with an emphasis on beading and sequin trim
Folake Coker – Folake Folarin-Coker is a Nigerian fashion designer and creative director of Tiffany Amber
Tinu Smith – CEO of Datina Designs
Mai Atafo – Mai Atafo is a Nigerian fashion tailor, noted for his brand, Mai Atafo. He attended the Leeds-based Savile Row Academy to train as a tailor
Kenneth Ize – The Lagos-born designer and LVMH Prize finalist is reinterpreting traditional West African fabrics and Nigerian craft through his eponymous label.
Stella Ajige – Her love for fashion helped her to create a sustainable fashion brand advocating for circular fashion.
Oluwatosin Ogundadegbe – The Future Awards Africa Prize in Fashion winner is one of Nigeria’s most sought after stylists
Asa – Aṣa is a Nigerian-French singer, songwriter, and recording artist. She has produced several songs and she is still active. Highly talented singer
Wizkid – Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, known professionally as Wizkid, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. One of Africa’s biggest artistes, Wizkid is the most decorated African artist internationally, and one of the most revolutionary Afro-pop artistes of the modern era.
Olamide – Olamide Adedeji, popularly known as Olamide, is a Nigerian hip hop recording artist. He records in Yoruba, and English. In 2011, he released his debut studio album Rapsodi while signed to Coded Tunes. YBNL, his follow-up album, was released under his label imprint YBNL Nation.
Fireboy – Adedamola Adefolahan, known professionally as Fireboy DML, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. He is signed to YBNL Nation, an independent record label founded by Nigerian rapper Olamide. His debut studio album Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps was released in 2019.
Burna Boy – Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, known professionally as Burna Boy, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, rapper and dancer. He is one of the biggest and most successful African artists. He rose to prominence in 2012 after releasing “Like to Party”, the lead single from his debut studio album L.I.F.E.
Tems – Temilade Openiyi, known as Tems, is a Nigerian alt-R&B singer, songwriter and record producer. She is part of the new music genre in Nigeria “alte” with the likes of Odunsi the engine, Lady Donli and etc.
Davido – David Adedeji Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, is a Nigerian-American singer, songwriter, contemporary artist, and a record producer. He is one of the biggest and most influential artist in Africa
Don Jazzy – Michael Collins Ajereh, known professionally as Don Jazzy, is a Nigerian record producer, audio engineer, record executive, singer, songwriter, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder and the CEO of Mavin Records.Don Jazzy was co-owner of the defunct Mo’ Hits Records record label with Dbanj.
Simi – Simisola Kosoko, better known by her stage name Simi, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and actress. She started her career as a gospel singer, releasing her debut studio album in 2008, titled Ogaju.
Omah Lay – Omah Lay is a Nigerian singer and songwriter known for the hit songs “You” and “Bad Influence”. Omah Lay is famous for the degree of emotional tone and lyrical creativity he puts into all of his works. He has been into music since his childhood, starting off as a rapper, then a producer in Port-Harcourt. He is currently one of Nigeria’s fastest-rising music artists, performing his own songs on some of the biggest stages in Nigeria and Africa.
Comedy and Entertainment Icon
Ayo Makun – Ayodeji Richard Makun, also known by his stage name A.Y, is a Nigerian actor, comedian, radio and TV presenter, writer, producer and movie director. Born on 19 August 1971, he hails from Ifon, Ose local government in Ondo State. He is the host of the A.Y live shows and A.Y comedy skits.
Bovi – Bovi is a Nigerian comedian, actor, and writer from Delta State, Nigeria. He has organized popular stand-up comedy concerts like Bovi Man on Fire across the globe.
Broda Shaggi – Samuel Animashaun Perry, better known as Broda Shaggi, is a Nigerian comedian, actor, songwriter and musician. At young age, he took interest acting drama as influenced by his late father, who was a drama teacher
Lasisi Elenu – Nosa Afolabi, better known as Lasisi Elenu, is a Nigerian comedian, actor, compere and musician from Offa, Kwara in Nigeria. One of Africa’s most popular influencers, he is known for his skits with a ‘wide mouth’ disguise filter during performances and on social media
Mr Macaroni – Debo Adebayo popularly known as Mr Macaroni is a Nigerian entertainer, comedian, businessman and online media influencer notable for his expression ‘ooin you’re doing well’. Born to a journalist father and an educationist mother, Mr Macaroni had a simple childhood.
Taaooma – Apaokagi Adedoyin Maryam, popularly known as Taaooma is a Nigerian comedian, content creator, cinematographer, and social media influencer.
Ali Baba – Atunyota Alleluya Akpobome, professionally known as Ali Baba, is a Nigerian stand-up comedian, master of ceremonies and actor.
Funke Akindele – Akindele-Bello Olufunke Ayotunde is a Nigerian actress and producer. Funke starred in the sitcom I Need to Know from 1998 to 2002, and in 2009 she won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Richard Mofe Damijo – Richard Eyimofe Evans Mofe-Damijo, popularly known as RMD, is a Nigerian actor, writer, producer, and lawyer. He is also a former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Delta State. In 2005 he won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Odunlade Adekola – Odunlade Adekola is a Nigerian actor, singer, film-maker, producer and director. Born and raised in Abeokuta, Ogun State, but from Otun Ekiti, Ekiti State. He gained popularity with his lead role in Ishola Durojaye’s 2003 movie, Asiri Gomina Wa, and has acted in multiple Nollywood movies since then.
Ramsey Nouah – Ramsey Nouah is a Nigerian actor and director. He won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 2010 for his performance in the movie “The Figurine”.
Toyin Abraham – Toyin Abraham is a Nigerian film actress, filmmaker, director and producer.
Kemi Adetiba – Kemi Adetiba is a Nigerian filmmaker, television director and music video director, whose works have appeared on Channel O, MTV Base, Soundcity TV, BET and Netflix.
Kunle Afolayan – Kunle Afolayan is a Nigerian actor, film producer and director.
Mike Bamiloye – Mike Abayomi Bamiloye is a Nigerian film actor, dramatist, producer and director. He is a Drama Evangelist, Founder and President of Mount Zion Faith Ministries and Mount Zion Television.
Bisi Sotunde – ceo busybeeevents is an event planner extraordinaire who is gradually warming her way into the top echelon of the event planning business in Nigeria. She founded Busy Bee Events! in October 2009. BusyBee Events! Is an events management outfit that deals in consulting, planning and coordination of weddings, corporate functions and parties.
Funke Buckner – ceo Zapphaire_events Funke Bucknor-Obruthe is a Nigerian entrepreneur and lawyer. She is the founder and CEO of Zapphaire Events and is regarded as one of Nigeria’s pioneering event planners.
Sola Oyebade – ceo Mahogany international Sola Oyebade aka Mr Mahogany is a multi award winning show producer and fashion icon. Born in London England, he has spent his entire life working in the fashion and entertainment industry. He started as a model working on major advertising campaigns throughout Africa and later moved into show production.
Yinka Okeowo – ceo Magna events Yinka has a BSC in Accounting and Financial Management and a master’s degree in International Human Resource Management from leading UK Universities. She also has a work experience in both fields both home and abroad. She also has a diploma in Catering from one of UK leading catering schools.
Business and Entrepreneurship Icons
Fela Durotoye – Adetokunboh Olufela Durotoye is a business consultant, leadership expert, and motivational speaker. Fela is the president of the GEMSTONE Nation Builders Foundation, a non-profit, non-governmental organization focused on training youths towards transformational leadership and social change
Tony Elumelu – Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu is an Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation
Sam Adeyemi – Sam Adeyemi is senior pastor of Daystar Chri-stian Centre, Lagos, Nigeria. His broadcast, “Excellent Leadership,” airs on Daystar Network Television and Word Network in the United States and on more than 25 channels in Europe and Africa.
Akin Alabi – Oloye Akin Alabi is a Nigerian politician, entrepreneur, author and philanthropist. He is the author of the business and marketing book, Small Business Big Money and also the founder of NairaBET.com, Nigeria’s first sports bookmaking company. Akin Alabi is the Mogaji of Ajiwogbo compound in Ibadan.
Mitchell Elegbe – Mitchell Elegbe is the MD/CEO of Interswitch, an integrated payment and transaction company in Nigeria. He is a graduate of Electrical Engineering from the University of Benin.
Ibukun Awosika – Ibukunoluwa Abiodun Awosika is a Nigerian business woman, motivational speaker and an author. She currently serves as Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria.
Ayo Animashaun – Ayo Animashaun is a Nigerian entertainment entrepreneur and television executive. He owns HipTV.
Mike Adenuga – Chief Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga Jr CSG GCON is a Nigerian billionaire businessman, and the third richest person in Africa. His company Globacom is Nigeria’s second-largest telecom operator, which has a presence in Ghana and Benin.
Kelechi Amadi – Kelechi Amadi-Obi is a Nigerian creative photographer, painter, artist and the publisher of Mania Magazine.
Ade Adekola – Ade Adekola captures images with a particular emphasis on looking beyond what the normal eye would register. He works as a conceptual artist by exploring philosophy and visual epistemology. He uses perceptions as interplay, to trigger associative memories.
Ty Bello – Toyin Sokefun-Bello, better known as TY Bello, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, photographer and philanthropist. Prior to pursuing a solo career, she was a member of the now defunct gospel band Kush. TY Bello is also a member of the Nigerian photography collective, Depth of Field.
Shola Animashaun – Shola Animashaun is a multi-award winning visual storyteller, speaker, educator, and author. He is a professional photographer/cinematographer specializing in editorial, documentary, commercial photography and video productions.
Bayo Omoboriowo – Bayo Omoboriowo is a Nigerian photojournalist and documentary photographer. He is the official photographer to President Muhammad Buhari.