1. Wole Soyinka, 80 (Playwright)
This venerable and phenomenal personality is a Nigerian Playwright and author who, in 1986 became the first African to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Indisputably the most famous playwright ever to emerge from Africa, the intellectual juggernaut has published over 20 plays including The Lion and the Jewel, A Dance of the Forests and The Strong Breed.
2. Femi Kuti, 52 (Musician)
The eldest offspring of veteran Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulap-Kuti, Femi Kuti has many traits of his father. In 2001 he collaborated with American acts, Common, Mos Def and Jaguar Fight on his album, Fight to Win, which sold over 500,000 copies. The album is widely considered as the most influential Neo-Afrobeat album of the 21st century. Reminiscent of his father, Femi attempts to use his music to fight corruption, poverty, and other socio-economic issues prevalent in Nigeria and Africa through his lyrics.
3. Omotola Jalade “Omosexy” Ekeinde, 37 (Actress)
Ranked as one of the Most Influential People in the World on the 2013 TIME Magazine, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde is a woman of consequence. An actress, singer, and philanthropist, she has received a plethora of high-profile awards. An accomplished and perhaps the most successful actress in Nollywood, she has featured in over 300 films, selling millions of copies. With her massive, incredible fan base, she is rated Nigeria’s Best Actress and Africa’s biggest star.
4. Chimamanda N. Adichie, 37 (Novelist/Writer)
The prolific Nigerian-born author is perhaps the most popular contemporary writer to come out of Africa. A powerful literary voice, her novel Half of a Yellow Sun, was awarded the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction.
5. 2face Idibia, 39 (Musician)
Critically acclaimed in Nigeria for his super spectacular brand of music, Tuface Idibia is a man of great talent. A former member of the now defunct Plantashun boys, he shot to worldwide fame with his hit song “African Queen”. A recipient of numerous notable awards, he received the MTV award for Best African Artist in 2005.
6. P-Square, 33 (Musicians)
One of the most successful music acts in Nigeria, this show-stopper duo have risen to the vertex of fame in Africa and beyond. The identical twin brothers, Peter and Paul Okoye, popularly known as P-Square garnered over 10 million views to the music video of their hit song, “No one like you” on YouTube – an astonishing feat for any Nigerian artist. They won the KORA Award for “Artiste of the Year” in 2010.
7. Genevieve Nnaji, 36 (Actress)
Genevieve Nnaji is a Nigerian super model and brilliant actress. One of the most popular faces in movies scenes in Nigeria, she has starred in over 80 Nigerian blockbusters. This Nollywood diva is widely revered in Africa as a woman of substance and a force to reckon with.
8. Don Jazzy, 32 (Musician and Record Producer)
This Nigerian multiple award winning producer is perhaps Africa’s Number 1 beat maker who is instrumental to the success of top Nigerian artistes like D’Banj and Wande Coal. Don Jazzy launched his new Record Label, Mavin Records in 2011 with the signing of Tiwa Savage – one of Nigeria’s leading vocalists. An occasional singer, Don Jazzy has a staggering 800,000 followers on Twitter earning him the undisputed King of Social Media in Nigeria.
9. D’Banj, 34 (Musician)
One of Africa’s contemporaneous music sensations, Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo, better known as D’banj can be described with many words, of which, outstanding is one of them. In 2011, Kanye West signed him up as a producer on his GOOD Music label. The Nigerian born singer is also an entrepreneur with his famous brand ‘Koko’ been stamped on almost all commodities in the Nigerian society.
10. Mikel John Obi, 28 (Footballer)
Mikel Obi is a Nigerian international footballer who is a mid-fielder in English club side, Chelsea. Playing for Nigeria’s Under-17 side at the 2003 World Youth Championship and the Under-20 side at the 2005 competition, Mikel set the stage to his fame and stardom. Mikel made his FIFA World Cup appearance during the 2014 tournament in Brazil, aiding his team side to reach the knockout stage after 16 years. Nigeria’s Super Eagles won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations with Mikel playing key role for the team. He is one of the highest paid Nigerian international players.