There is no gainsaying that the Nigerian social media space has made stars out of ordinary people and also birthed business opportunities for a lucky few.
However, some personalities who surprisingly are not entertainers, are arguably more prominent in the industry now than ever before, and are calling for more opportunities and recognition. Experts in their respective fields, they inspire millions of Nigerians and provoke heated conversations and controversies.
PREMIUM TIMES presents the top 5 most entertaining Nigerian personalities of 2016.
Nigeria’s self-acclaimed king of Snapchat, Okuneye Idris Olarenwaju, is that guy whom you love to hate on social media. Popularly known as Bobrisky, he rose to critical acclaim in 2016 on account of his cross-dressing, outlandish make-up and tales of a jet-set lifestyle with a mystery ‘bae’. His SnapChat account can be likened to a theatre of some sorts. From flaunting wads of cash said to be gifts from his lover to suggestive dances, on Bobrisky’s SnapChat, there is never a dull moment.
Often described as Africa’s male Barbie, his profile shot up several notches a few months ago after a Nigerian presidential aide pulled out off a new media conference, because he could not share the stage with the social media sensation.
Indeed, according to a 2016 Google report, he was the most searched Nigerian celebrity on social media. Although he makes his living selling N100,000 skin-whitening creams, not a few are interested in knowing the identity of his famous lover. About two weeks ago, the controversial personality who recently charged £20 for a meet and greet event in London subtly owned up to what may be his real sexuality about two weeks ago.
Although he has vehemently denied the gay rumours trailing him, Bobrisky, whose sexuality is shrouded in controversy recently posted a video on SnapChat, in which he lauded his own cooking skills while frying eggs. “Don’t try me, I was trained by my mum, we snatch husband when we want to. Name it is it by food, sex, fashion. Don’t try Bobrisky,” he wrote on SnapChat.
Thanks to the messy details surrounding her marriage, which was made public in a tell-it-all memoir titled, On Becoming, in November, Toke Makinwa’s Instagram account was the place to be in 2016. Barely a week after the book was released, Toke hit one million followers on Instagram-a first for a non-entertainer in Nigeria.
In the book, the avid reveller spilled never-heard-before details about her 18-month-old marriage to fitness coach, Maje Ayida, which collapsed in July 2015. From contracting a sexually transmitted disease from her husband, her husband’s mistress and skin bleaching, she gave gist-hungry Nigerians more than enough entertainment to last an entire year. A trendsetter, aside from her YouTube Vlogs, the controversial radio girl also trended for several reasons. Aside from her misconstrued Vlog advice to single young ladies that earned her a lot of backlash from the public, the uplifting spiritual and motivational messages that she regularly shares on social media, made her everyone’s sweetheart in no time. On SnapChat she also takes her followers along with her on her daily routine and fun-filled life.
In 2015, one of Nigeria’s most popular radio presenters, Ifedayo Olarinde aka Daddy Freeze, was in the news on account of his messy separation from his wife. But in 2016, he became better known as that social commentator and critic who has an opinion about any subject matter and is not afraid to speak about it.
On Instagram, his over 61,000 followers are treated to no-holds barred conversations on topics such as politics, religion, love and marriage.
Although he owns a blog where he shares his uncensored thoughts and opinion, it is nothing compared to his Instagram account where he lampoons religious bodies and pastors. He also reiterates the fact that all that Nigeria needs are more factories and not more churches.
All year round, his unfiltered comments on politics, religion, love and marriage have made him a tabloid favourite.
Most recently, he accused Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, of making vague prophesies. He then charged his followers to be wary of his false prophecies. Although he has continued to come under attack from die-hard members of the churches whom he attacks, there appears to be no stopping Freeze, at least for now.
Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti may not be an entertainer, but he sure deserves a spot on our list. His brilliant employ of attention grabbing techniques, made him one of the most entertaining Nigerian politicians of the year. Undoubtedly the most popular Nigerian governor on social media, Mr. Fayose is not averse to courting controversies neither does he pay attention to naysayers.
Although critics believe that he gained popularity for his die-hard criticisms of the Muhammadu Buhari administration rather than being known as a ‘performing governor,’ this fun-loving politician cannot be bothered.
Widely known as the forerunner of ‘stomach infrastructure’, his comments and actions are always bound to make news headlines and also go viral on social media. Acknowledged for his ability to seize any opportunity to relate with the common folk, he has been pictured on several occasions drinking at a local pub, roasting corn at a roadside and even controlling traffic in a major town in Ekiti State. Last month, he declared himself the best performing governor of Ekiti State since its creation in 1996 and a few weeks later he was pictured wearing a Spiderman mask as he prepared for the state’s children’s Christmas party.
With over 95,000 followers that look up to him for relationship counsel everyday on Instagram, Adejoro Olumofin can best be described as a modern day agony uncle.
On Instagram, where he wields so much influence, he dishes out advice to anonymous persons who write him every hour. Also the king of ‘social media turn up’ in Nigeria, his love for velvet suede shoes and expensive aso ebi is unparalleled. In less than a year, this psychologist-turned-love doctor has become an authority on relationship matters. Even though his claim to fame was the scandalous Instagram fight with popular OAP, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi, in January, he no doubt saw a business opportunity in the negative publicity and grabbed it. It is little wonder that young and old, married and single, throng his Instagram page for some daily dose of humour and unbelievable love stories.