Uche Pedro, Alex Okosi, Chimamanda Adichie, D’Banj, Barack Obama, Asa & more make New African Magazine’s “50 Trailblazers under 50 Made in Africa” List

As the African Union turned 50, IC Publication’s New African Magazine, in their last May 2013 issue, decided to highlight a fabulous and quite inspiring list of 50 individuals under the age of 50 who they believe are breaking ground, making Africa proud and propelling the Continent into a future of great hope.

The list included entrepreneurs, some of our favourite celebrities and ground-breakers in almost every walk of life. It featured our very own BellaNaija.com founder, Uche Pedro, America’s President Barack Obama, International musicians D’Banj, Nneka, Sarkodie, P-Square & Asa and so many more.

Check out below what they had to say about each of the Nigerians who made the list!


2. Alex Okosi
Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks Africa

A staunch champion of African music, and a tireless advocate and supporter of initiatives that motivate, empower and educate Africa’s youth, Alex Okosi is the music executive credited with launching MTV Base Africa (part of the popular global MTV Network). After a few years of working on different projects within the Network, Okosi developed the business plan for MTV Base Africa in 2005, MTV Network’s first localised television service targeted at sub-Saharan Africa. Today, over 90 million people have access to MTV Africa’s content. Okosi has been the driving force behind pro-social campaigns that have impacted the social and cultural landscape of urban Africa. In March 2013, Okosi was selected by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a 2013 Young Global Leader (YGL).

3. Asa (Bukola Elemide) 
Musician

She needs no introduction after her self-titled debut album, which fused pop, world, funk, soul and reggae gained the world’s attention in 2007. The album was met with worldwide recognition and Asa was acclaimed as a charismatic songstress with a trademark husky voice. The Paris-born, Nigeria-raised singer-songwriter returns with her sophomore album, “Beautiful Impefection”, which demonstrated an artist who had had three years to evaluate her previous offering. In that regard, Asa succeeded, with an eclectic collection of 12 uplifting, soulful sultry tracks, with influences that ranged from rock to reggae to soul, and lyrics in English and Yoruba, her mother tongue, as she explored the themes of what it means to love, live and have questions about the world we live in.

5. Ayodeji Adewunmi
President and CEO, Jobberman

Jobberman Trio - Opeyemi Awoyemi, Ayodeji Adewunmi & Olalekan Olude

Jobberman Trio – Opeyemi Awoyemi, Ayodeji Adewunmi & Olalekan Olude

Adewunmi is the President and CEO of jobberman, a company he co-founded in 2009 while at university jobberman operates the leading employment websites in Nigeria and Ghana. He orchestrated a round of seed financing from L5Lab and follow-up rounds from NY Hedge Fund and Tiger Global Management. In the space of three years, Jobberman has become one of the most recognised internet brands in Nigeria and is consistently rated as one of the most innovative technology companies in Africa.

13. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Internationally acclaimed author and women’s rights campaigner 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is revered as one of Africa’s foremost writers. The Nigerian-born author is arguably the most popular new generation writer to emerge from Africa and one of the continent’s leading contemporary literary voices. Her debut novel “Purple Hibiscus was listed for the Booker Prize. Her second novel “Half of a Yellow Sun” won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her short story collection, “The Thing Around Your Neck”, was published to critical acclaim in 2009. In 2012, she was named as one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Filming for the eagerly awaited adaptation of “Half of a Yellow Sun” has just finished in Nigeria, and the movie, starring Hollywood and Nollywood titans Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Genevieve Nnaji, will thrust her into the limelight once more. Her third novel, “Americanah”, has just been published to glowing acclaim.

19. D’Banj
Musician

2013 is turning into quite the year for Nigerian singer-songwriter Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo, popularly known as D’Banj. With his ubiquitous summer breakout hit, Oliver Twist, the 32-year-old former MTV Africa Artist of the Year, finally crossed over from African superstar to global sensation. Recently signed to Kanye West’s record label, G.O.O.D. Music, D’Banj is one of Nigeria’s biggest selling artists and, along with his former producer, Don Jazzy, ushered in a new generation of high-octane African musicians.

26. Jite Okoloko
CEO, Notore Chemical Industries

Okoloko’s company is considered to be one of the biggest agro-allied investments in sub-Saharan Africa. Okoloko served as managing director and CEO of Ocean and Oil Services Limited and as a Director of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, between 2008 and 2011. He studied Economics at Harvard Business School, Boston.

27. Jason Njoku
Co-founder and CEO of iROKO Partners

Njoku is founder of iROKO, the largest digital distributors of Nigerian music and movies. iROKO Partners includes 5 brands: iROKOtv, iROKING, iROKty, NollywoodLove and YorubaLove. He writes on his blog that his is “arguably one of the most awesome internet companies in Africa. As a professional ‘geek’, I read Chemistry at the University of Manchester … I embarked on my journey of becoming a modern-day capitalist.”

35. Nneka
Musician

Nneka is a rare talent and her music is raw, organic and she stands out for her multitude of musical styles and lyrics which examine real life issues. She is a consummate live performer armed with soulful vocals. Described as the woman whose heart is as big as her Afro, Nneka was born in Warn, the Oil City of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, to a Nigerian father and a German mother. The UK’s Times newspaper said her debut album, ‘Victim of Truth’, released in 2005, was as good as ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’. She has released five albums to date and she keeps rising.

36. Ngozi Edozien
Chief Executive Officer, Actis West Africa

Ngozi Edozien heads Actis West Africa, a private equity firm with a primary focus on Africa. She is responsible for the firm’s private equity business in the region, including the clay-to-day management of Actis’s existing investments and the development of new investment opportunities. Before she joined Actis, Edozien was Pfizer’s Regional Director for Anglophone East, West and Central Africa and served as managing director of Pfizer Nigeria from 2005-2008.

40. P-Square
Musicians

Peter and Paul Okoye have defined and set a benchmark for a new generation of African artists to follow with their energetic and infectious sound. According to the MTV Africa Website, their music is “Afrocentric but combines R&B, Hip Hop and Dancehall songs.” Hit after hit, the twin brothers have become apt at giving audiences songs that cut across age and gender. They are arguably Nigeria’s biggest musical export in the last few years, and have collaborated with some of the world’s biggest hip-hop artists, like Akon.

44. Tinie Tempah
Musician

Patrick Chukwuem Okogwu, the megastar music persona known as Tinie Tempah, is a global household name. His influence on African youth in his country of origin Nigeria and Africa at large has won him a sea of aspirational fans. Despite being dubbed British, his country of residence, Tempah remains true and is proud of his Igbo roots. He openly shares his experiences of overcoming difficulties to get where he is today as a way of inspiring his young fans.

45. Uche Pedro
Trailblazing blogger and entrepreneur (the founder of BellaNaija.com)

She is the driving force behind BellaNaija, a new-media company aimed at conceptualising, developing and managing, innovative and exciting online media content aimed at Pan-African and Nigerian audiences. Under Uche’s leadership, the website has established a loyal following with over eight million hits per month. Each section of BellaNaija.com has its own distinct identity and quality content. This is evidenced by the diverse awards won over the years including the Outstanding Contribution to Fashion Communication Award at the 2010 Africa Fashion Week held by Africa Fashion International (AFI) in Johannesburg, South Africa and the Best Event Coverage (Online) Award at the 2011 and 2012 Nigerian Event Awards. BellaNaija.com also won the Online Publication of the Year award at the 2012 FAB Awards.

49. Zina Saro-Wiwa
Founder and Filmmaker. AfricaLab

Born in Nigeria and raised in the UK, Saro-Wiwa is a filmmaker and video artist and makes documentary film, experimental shorts and video pieces. Formerly a BBC producer and reporter, her video installation work explores emotional landscapes, resulting in physical, ritual and cross-cultural performances. In 2011 she was cited as one of The Times’ top 25 Africans transforming the way the world sees Africa.

To find out more, purchase a copy of New African Magazine.

Photo Credit: New African Magazine | BellaNaija | BossAfricaMagazine

58 Comments on Uche Pedro, Alex Okosi, Chimamanda Adichie, D’Banj, Barack Obama, Asa & more make New African Magazine’s “50 Trailblazers under 50 Made in Africa” List
  • sarafina June 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    D bang is not worth this list. What exactly has he done??? Any hit???? Obviously payed his way intothis list. Bye

    • Tribes June 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      Hatred kills! Say what you may he is our star

      • nikky June 13, 2013 at 4:17 pm

        It’s jot hatred its opinion

  • Tee Mama June 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Yay! Congrats Uche. May u keep going higher

  • Product of public Education June 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    @Sarafina haba! Hating is not good. Pray to baba God so you too will be in a position to pay people to praise you too IF you think that’s what D’banj did. So OLIVER TWIST song nko. Guessed he paid people to listen too.

    • Rukky June 12, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      So you mean you didn’t get your 1 million naira cheque to listen to Oliver Twist??? *opens mouth! fly enter! gag-reflex! haters bore me (yaaawn)*

  • nnenne June 12, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Don Jazzy is no longer D’banj’s producer!!! whoever wrote that, should correct it to erstwhile producer.

  • seyi June 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    @sarafina must u nd ur anti dbanj gang always write negatve comment about dbanj,dbanj is a boss like it or not,hatin dat dude is waste of time,u r askin any hit,incase u don’t kno sacpegoat remix wit yee was no 1 on hotnewhiphop site wit almost 400,000 downloads,top of d world was n0 2 on a south african radio chart,dbanj ft fally ipupa is a hit,y u luv me-no 5 on beat fm lagos,wat do u gain from hatin

  • Truth Diva June 12, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Excuse me pls……Mr jobber man shouldn’t be on that list…he is enjoying past glory….why will a job search engine tell us hopeful graduate searching for job to pay for premium subscription and also pay exorbitant amount for seminars and career tips organized by them? and those of us who chose not to pay are bn served crap job vacancies. Jobberman is all hype!……………..What trail are the likes of dbanj..Psquare and some others blazing in Nigeria….Anyway God bless Bella Naija for wonderful career,relationship and style tips without telling us to pay for subscription.

    • nwanyi na aga aga June 13, 2013 at 9:43 am

      i just feel dbanj, & d psquare shouldn’t be on this list, shoot me if u want to. But why will someone put up those ppl without putting 2face. The boy is more qualified biko.Call me a hater I will ans. #sipping on my haterade#

    • Me June 14, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      I agree with you 100%

  • Myne Whitman June 12, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Great list, except for Obama. He was not “Made in Africa”. Congrats to Uche and all the others, Keep rising.

  • hmm June 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Yayyy…Uche , Chimamanda and Nneka….Love you women so much…and congrats to everyone on the list….soar higher….Inspired

    • Mz Socially Awkward… June 13, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Yep, I’m definitely hailing all the sisters on that list. You go, superwomen! Making headlines for the right reasons and giving young women something to aspire to.

      Does anyone know if Zina Saro-Wiwa is Ken Saro-Wiwa’s daughter?

  • hmm June 12, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    P square is actually the Biggest Nigerian export in the past few years ….no other artist so far has conquered the African continent and sell out shows plus their global tour like this guys do……even their youtube views dont lie……though they still have fans i dont think they are appreciated much in Nigeria

  • Kayla June 12, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Very inspiring. I would love to meet with Uche Pedro.

  • Bee June 12, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    @Sarafina,my dear the hate u have for D’banj is retarded!!Don’t u av better things to waste ur time and energy on dropping negative comments about him?He gets higher by the day despite the hate u and ur likes have for him,yet u have not given up!U go on so many websites posting ur poisonous venom towards him yet he progresses…..Geez my dear,do urself a favour by disregarding any post tagged D’Banj.

  • e-bukun June 12, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Obama? How??? Whaaa?

  • Liz June 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    I need to be on this list.

  • Liz June 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Where is linda ikeji?…

  • comment awaiting moderation! June 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Few yrs from now,D banj will be forgotten…kudos Bella naija,Asa,Nneka,chimananda etc

    • bensign June 24, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      you keep requestin for 2face….d guy dat has over 4kids for different ladies.u criticize a d’banj that keeps flyin d flag home n abroad,a guy that shouts abt naija all the time.speaks gud english and more.asa that y’all ar talkin abt,when last did you c her in this country or wen last did she make the headline for any naija news…bloody suckers you beta go n get a job n life…and leave dapo alone….eja nla that is under the river and only surface when needed…the dude brought d slang koko,fi-le,oshey n now eja nla…what else do u pple want…bloody haters

  • FAR June 12, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Interesting list. We might not get it, but they have their reasons!

    iamfar.com

  • Wale June 12, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Good work Uche!

  • darry June 12, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    I don’t understand how you can make a list like this without adding the person who put Nigerian music in the limelight 2face idibia, he is still as relevant even much more than most on this list. uche pedro and co, ahead of 2face? Biased people!

    • honey June 13, 2013 at 7:35 am

      I agree with you 2 face should be on this list

    • nene June 13, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      definitely. and dbanj should not be there.

  • KikiN June 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Congrats to us!

  • Tongryang Pantu June 12, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    inspiring, more wind to their feather.

  • Ngum June 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Great list. Especially impressed by the number and quality of women on it.

  • X-factor June 12, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Congrats Uche!

  • natty June 12, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Congrats Uche

  • jcsgrl June 12, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Chai I’m jealous (in a good way) of all of you
    But Uche Pedro bio abi profile was hard to read (grammar structure and typos). I get you all were excited with words and all, but I had to re read several times to understand all the words particularly this paragraph : She is the driving force behind BellaNaija, a new-media company aimed at conceptualising, developing and managing, innovative and exciting online media content aimed at Pan-African and Nigerian audiences. However, that is not what many know Uche Pedro for BellaNaija.com, described as the premier lifestyle, entertainment and fashion website in Africa is what Uche Pedro, at 28 is renowned for.

    Sometimes less is more…being succinct and to the point. Good job though!

  • Mma June 12, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    I love Uche! Well done.

    africansweetheart.blogspot.co.uk/

  • nich June 12, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    i have never seen a nigerian website as colorful as bellanaija…….congrats to uche. Pls why should they put obama on that list, is he an african or a nigerian………..this is utter nonsense…..his father was black and african so what. obama is an american period. Json njoku and p-square i wish u guys all the best and africa is so proud of you….

  • seyi June 12, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    aw will dbanj be 4goten in years hater?u r hatin nd is twitter followas keeps increasin,u hate is moni keeps increasin, writin negatve tins about dbanj is waste of time,dbanj scapegoat remix wit yee made it to hotnewhiphop site in yankee,not only dat it was no 1 nd had 400,000 downlods,tuale 2 2baba but 2baba song ft tpain no even enta d site,naija anti dbanj can’t appreciate anytin about dbanj,labrinth a popular uk artist did an interview nd he appreciated dbanj,dbanj is boss lke it or not

  • me2 June 12, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Congrats Uche , first time am seeing her and quite pretty too

  • ONAKACHI June 13, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Inspiring. Uche is so pretty.

    Onakachi.blogspot.com

  • NNENNE June 13, 2013 at 1:59 am

    Uche Pedro and the BN deserve the award. Congratulations to all. Naija has sons and daughters for sure.Let’s love and cherish each other. Together, we will make Nigeria great.

  • chizzweightlossdiary June 13, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Congrats Uche and team Bella naija. you guys are the best.

  • pynk June 13, 2013 at 8:21 am

    once i saw Obama’s name on the list, it just killed it. Made in Africa kwa!

  • Whales June 13, 2013 at 9:34 am

    If all you feel is hate, look deeper, there are some underlying issues. Congrats to everyone! Make us proud!

  • Choi June 13, 2013 at 10:41 am

    @ Liz, Linda ikeji? Really? No thanks!

  • loveth .O June 13, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Congrat to all who Make the List

  • loveth .O June 13, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Made

  • Awaiting Moderation June 13, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Obame ke? Really? If Obama is on this list, then the organizers are dumb!

  • destiny June 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Where is 2face?….he is the artist people lv most in 9ja

  • Thathausalovinggirl June 13, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Uche Pedro is a beautiful lady…I never knew she was the driving force behind bellanaija….When i get married to my hausa boo..I hope my wedding features on bella naija weddings…You go girl!

  • Thathausalovinggirl June 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Uche Pedro is a beautiful lady…I never knew she was the driving force behind bellanaija….When i get married to my hausa boo..I hope my wedding features on bella naija weddings…You go girl! I forgot to add…Bellanaija is the best blog ever..I go on it everyday before i start my activities at work….Keep up the good work, never relent…Bless you all

  • Babious June 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    @onakachi,i know right? so pretty! hope to be where they are and more some day. really cool!

  • Babious June 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    and did i mention she’s my name sake too? i”m right behind u boo!

  • lalaroses June 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    the world needs to understand all these man-made lists are as human nature influenced as can be. you can never satisfy all. ask yourself what is the criteria to be on such lists as this .Charles Dickens said it all “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” the ultimate list to make is God’s list after your selfless sojourn on earth. great to give honor to whom honor is due while on earth but again i say you can never satisfy all. influence someone today, love one another. peace and out.

  • sarafina Mathews June 13, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    congrats to all of them…………..i pray to make this list someday too.

  • Bola Aduwo June 13, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Congrats Uche! You inspired many of us and let us know blogging does not have to be just a fun hobby but a viable business! (trust my Igbo sister to see that one! Heheheh! Well done and congrats once again. :)

  • asgrl June 13, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    yaay another list!

  • Ade June 13, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    John 3:16
    New King James Version (NKJV)

    16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

  • Shallie’s Purple Beehive June 14, 2013 at 2:55 am

    I dont get Dbanj on this List Sorry But what do I know..hmmm….But I really Love the women who made the List .. plus Uche Pedro is sooo Pretty..Congratulations to you..
    aomosale.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Aduks June 17, 2013 at 11:25 am

    My ladies made the list! Keep shining pretty & humble ladies- Nneka & Asha
    Bellanaija keep doing what you do best abeg…

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