Africa’s Most Powerful women in Entertainment: the Ones to Watch out For
you read the first exclusive of Africa’s Most Powerful but for this list, we bring you 14 (2014) women we think have the likelihood to make it to the most powerful list. They are all doing very well, most of them have won awards in their different fields, have impressive social media followings and growing fan bases. They could be on the list next year, next 2yrs or whenever, it all depends on how hard they work, inspire lives and garner popularity across Africa and beyond. Unlike the first list, we will write this from top to bottom.
11. Lupita Nyong’o (Kenya) Actress, Film-maker
Now some of you may not know her but not to worry, if all goes like we think they would, she will soon become a household feature. Just one movie was all she needed to be launched into mainstream Hollywood and “12 years a slave” was that movie for her! Now you can see the brilliant Kenyan on the pages of The Hollywood Reporter with the likes of Oprah, Octavia Spencer, Julia Roberts and more. She is fast becoming the fashion “it girl” as she’s been seen rocking some of the best red carpet looks recently. A lot of designers are happy to dress her with more waiting on the line. The Yale School of Dramagraduate has won several Best Supporting Actress awards for her role in “12 years a slave” such as The Holly wood film awards and the very recent LA Film Critics Association & New York Film Critics Awards respectively. Seeing as the award season just began, we are certain that there are more awards in the offing for this Hollywood newcomer plus there are already Oscar nomination buzzes for her. Media mentions? Lupita got that all in the bag and they are not just mere media companies, we’re talking NY Post, InStyle etc (you get the drift?)! The stunning Kenyan recently covered American Magazine Dujour. She is set to feature in an upcoming flick (Non-Stop) with one of our fave action heroes, Liam Neeson. we cant get enough of her we had to put four photos so you can see *wink*What a bang bang Lupita!
2. Jackie Appiah (Ghana) Actress
This queen of Ghollywood (Ghanaian movie industry) is one of the highest paid actresses in Ghana. She has won numerous awards for her stellar acting including AMMA best actress, Best Actress AMCVA 2013, best actress at the NAFCA (touted as African Oscars) in Washington DC this year and so many others. You can see the ebony beauty on billboards and commercials all over Africa for brands like UB hair care, ICT brand IPMC and telecoms giant Globacom to name a few. Although Jackie is neither on Facebook or Twitter (yes, everyone out there is false, posing to be her), the actor’s fan base cuts across the African continent and some parts of Europe and America.
She was also spokesperson for HIV/AIDS awareness campaign for her home country Ghana. Jackie could have made the major list without stress as the fact that she is powerful and respected is not in doubt but she did not meet some of the criteria. Have no doubt that this lady is making some really cool cash even though she likes to be on the down low and private side of life, she’s probably making more than a lot of people.
3. Toya Delazy (South Africa) Singer, Song-Writer
Arguably one of South Africa’s most successful pop artistes, Toya rose to fame in 2011 when she made her first solo appearance in Africa Day concert in Johanesburg, South Africa. Toya who is signed to Sony Music Africa released her debut album “Due Drop” in 2012, her debut single Pump it Up was a major hit across Africa.
She was the only female nominated this year for a BET award alongside other top African acts in the Best African Act category. Toya Delazy has had a few guest TV appearances also and boasts of a huge following on the social media scene. Toya has some new music out that are enjoying good airplay and she also gets to perform at high profile gigs and concerts. Toya Delazy recieved three awards at this year’s South Africa Music Awards(SAMA) and was also nominated for the just concluded ChannelOawards.
This singer, song-writer and recording artiste is doing more than good for herself. She is signed to Sony/ATV as a song-writer where she has written songs for top acts like Fantasia, Babyface, Kat Deluna, Monica, Mya etc. She did backup for the likes of George Michael, mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, Blu Cantrell, Emma Bunton, Kelly Clarkson to name a few. The singer who made it to the top 24 on UK’s Xfactor is the first African female Pepsi Ambassador. She also endorses MTN and released her debut album Once Upon a Time this year.
She has gotten some awards and high profile nominations like best international act at this year’s MOBO awards. Tiwa gets the very big gigs in Nigeria and has shared the stage with a lot of big names. All she needs are continuity and more global popularity, this 1st lady of Mavin Records is taking the entertainment industry by storm you better watch out.
5. Uche Jombo – Rodriquez. (Nigeria) Actress, Screenwriter and Producer
Uche Jombo has written , produced and co-produced several Nollywood blockbusters like: Games Men Play, Holding Hope, Nollywood Hustlers ,the critically acclaimed Damage Movies and some other high profile movies. Up until the mid part of this year, Jombo was a Globacom ambassador but that dissent put a crimp on her finances as she is credited to be one of the richest in the Nollywood industry.
Not just a pretty face, she holds a BSc and PGD in Mathematics/Statistics and Computer Programming respectively.
Married to her American based husband Kenny Rodriquez, Uche Jombo has about 11 movies under her belt as a producer. Did we mention she has her own studio? Clearly one of the strongest names in Nollywood, this lady is taking her brand to the next level and we cannot wait to see what she does next.
Her first big musical gig was being featured by the dynamic duo Psquare in their hit track “Do Me”. She was 1st runner up at the MTV Base organized show for upcoming artistes, “Advanced Warning” and that gave her career a boost.
Although already known to an extent in the Nigerian Music industry, it wasn’t until 2011 that Waje started getting the “good gigs”.
We must mention that from 2012 till now, she has been making mega strides to cement her name in the music industry. Waje was made a Globacom ambassador in a deal rumoured to be in the range of 15-20 million naira. Add the money she gets paid for all the “good gigs” she does, Waje seems to be making some cool cash and is gradually becoming a household name in Nigeria and across the continent. The singer whose vocal range is said to cover three octaves, released her debut album to rave reviews in the mid part of this year.
7. Boity Thulo (South Africa) Model, TV Presenter and Actress
Known all over Africa with fans cutting across, thanks especially to her work as Big Brother presenter, Boity has a strong social media presence with a good following. Boity has also presented a couple of high profile viewer events for SABC1. This pixie bombshell that used to be a face of Iman Cosmetics was named South Africa’s sexiest woman in 2012.
She now endorses health company, USN and is also an ambassador of Sandton’s Sweat 1000 Gym. The Rockville (TV series) actress is also a goodwill ambassador for a non-profit organization called “Thusa a girl child”.
8. Seyi Shay (Nigeria). Singer and Song Writer
This UK born and raised singer was in a British all girls group “From Above” who got picked up by Beyonce’s dad, Matthew Knowles. We all watched the group and Knowles worldwide on the MTV reality show “Breaking from Above” where the Sony/Columbia signed group were taken through a boot camp training. The group was fortunate to tour around the UK with superstar Beyonce on the “Beyonce I am tour” where they performed for massive crowds. Seyi moved back to Nigeria when the group fell apart and although she hasn’t been in the Nigerian Industry more than 1yr, she is already making mega waves in the country and in some parts of Africa with her hit singles.
No album yet, but Seyi plays the big shows in Nigeria and was a performer at the Big Brother eviction show during this year’s edition some months back. Seyi, who recently got signed to Telecoms brand Etisalat as an ambassador, shared the stage with International rap act Wale where she performed his song Bad to the delight of fans. Armed with her international experience from the UK and US; if Seyi Shay continues with this gusto and expertise, she may just get Africa wrapped around her finger.
What is the fastest way to get the continent to recognise you? Sign up for Big Brother Africa! This next crop of young ladies are taking the bull by the horns and using the wide platform provided by the Big brother Africa show to their advantage.
9. Karen Igho (Nigeria) Model, OAP, Actress and Entrepreneur.
Karen, in 2011 went into the Big Brother Africa Amplified show and apart from stealing the hearts of Africans, went home with the goody bag of $200k winner’s prize. This sexy Nigerian bombshell who previously lived in the UK for about 10yrs recently became a British citizen (way to go girl!). Karen is an on air personality with Naija FM radio and has featured in a number of Nollywood movies with more in the offing. The star also added singer to her belt when she released a song with her brother a few months back. Karen who already has a 1stdegree from her studies in the UK was reported to be doing a course in London (not just a hot body after all).
Of all the BBA alumni, Karen is the most talked about, most written about and the one with the highest following on Twitter. Karen endorses a couple of brands including being an ambassador for GoTV and the Face of Esquisite Magazine. The star who has won a couple of awards says she will be starting her reality show sometime soon. Karen lends her support to a couple of charity organizations and works closely with them.
10. Dillish (Namibia)
Dillish not only signed up for BBA, she won the competition! This made her $300k richer than she used to be. Before going for Big Brother competition, Dillish was co-owner of a hair boutique in her home country. That hair shop (High Definition hair boutique) now has more customers than it used to and they even moved to a bigger place after she won the show! The fact that she is the face of GoTV Namibia doesn’t hurt a thing either. This pretty Namibian has the whole of Africa eating out of her palms with her fan base on a steady rise.
Having a well placed boyfriend who buys her what she wants is so good, she said she hasn’t spent any of her $300k (we don’t know if that status has changed now though). Along with her BFF Maria (also a BBA Contestant) Dillish walked the South African fashion week runway. Alongside the Mayor of Windhoek, Dillish helped put on the Christmas lights of the City on Wednesday. With the platform she already has, the sky seems to be the starting point for Dillish who has being doing a lot of travels and guest appearances too. Dillish is set to feature as the lead in Nigerian singer, Flavour Nabania’s soon to be released music video Ikwokrikwo. She also just announced her beauty line of lip-gloss and lipstick “Dillish Duet”, 2013 couldn’t get any better for this lady! Let us see how fast she will get on our main list.
11. Weza Da-Silva (Angola) Model, Presenter, Actress.
Before she won Africa’s hearts with her sexy voice and moves on the BBA show, she was the presenter of Top Mais on ChannelO. Aside from being a TV host; she is a model, actress and MC. Although she didn’t win the 2011 edition of the BBA show, Weza became bigger and more known that she used to be. She got more gigs and her fan base increased tremendously. In 2012, she landed the supportive lead role in South Africa’s first telenovela, “INKABA”. Not just a pretty face, she holds degrees in Business Management and Marketing respectively. We hear the sexy Angolan who has modelled for some big African designers, is adding singer to her resume as she’s expected to release her first song pretty soon.
Before entering for BBA, she owned a shoe boutique “Addicted to Shoes” and was already a popular figure in Zimbabwe. She didn’t win the Big Brother Africa top prize but this fashionista is milking the BBA fame for the best. Of all the BBA contestants in The Chase season, she is the most followed on twitter and her fan base which cuts across Africa, is on a steady rise.
Pokello was awarded the best dressed in Zimbabwe some months back. Her clothing range (Queen of Swagger line)was released in Ghana not long ago. This half of the POLIKEM clan endorses a couple of brands including make-up line, Vault Cosmetics which honoured her with her own lip colour: the Pokello lip-gloss (how cool is that?)
13. Beverly Osu (Nigeria) Model, Video vixen and Reality show star
She was one of Africa’s top video vixens before she went into the BBA house in May this year. One to live wild, Beverly’s crazy lifestyle inside the BBA house seemed like it would work to her detriment outside of the house but what do you know? Beverly is doing just fine! She got so many media mentions and appearances you wouldn’t go a day without reading something about her. She recently bagged her first endorsement deal for Prestige Nigeria make-up line and also covered a few magazines including fashion leaders Complete fashion Mag.
After the reality show, Beverly has travelled to several places to make celebrity appearances and from what we hear, there is more in the pipeline. She is currently in South Africa where she attended the ChannelO awards with fellow “listee” Maria and a few other BBA The Chase contestants. The Black beauty was hosted on Friday (6th Nov) at the Chez Ntemba VIP Lounge tagged “South African Invasion”. Way to stamp your territory girl!
14. Maria Nepembe: (Namibia) OAP, Model and Presenter
This Namibian beauty is an on air personality for Fresh FM Namibia and a model who has featured in several music videos in her country and walked top runway shows across Africa. Maria gained more popularity across the continent when she went into the BBA house this year. Although she was evicted quite early, she benefitted from the show and has been making good use of that popularity. Currently working in Ghana as a presenter for a show airing on GH One Entertainment Television, she has been linked as presenter, judge and guest on several high profile events around Africa.
What do you think of the list? Congratulations to all who were recognized. No one knows how soon these ones would make it to the major list but it is quite an achievement to have been noticed and put on the list. There are some people who may be perceived as doing better than some of the listed ones but we are going with our guts and based on potential sensed. It is possible that some people who were not even listed will make the major list before these ones but for now, we wish every one of them the best of luck in their endeavours