15 most influential people of 2018


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As the year comes to an end, Pulse Nigeria highlights the 15 most influential people of 2018.

The names of this list span social media, politics, sports, and entertainment.

Find out the true ‘influencers’ of 2018;

1) Daddy Freeze 


From being a hard critic of organized religion in 2018, Daddy Freeze took his movement, Free The Sheeple, higher in 2018.

The veteran OAP continued his mission of enlightening the masses on religious freedom and the dangers of religious bondage. Hardly a week went by in 2018 that Daddy Freeze wasn’t in the news. His ministrations on YouTube are listened to by thousands of Nigerians.

2) Olamide

Olamide releases YBNL group album

At this point in his illustrious career, the YBNL boss and rapper is a pop culture lightning rod. In usual fashion, Olamide dictated street trends and dances. He didn’t invent the Shaku Shaku or legwork dance steps but his co-sign helped take the dances mainstream. This year Olamide also impacted the streets with his urban anthems.

3) Maraji

Maraji (2)

 Instagram, and Twitter might be flooded with ‘comedians’ but Maraji in 2018 proved herself to be the true queen or king in this matter. Her multi-accent videos and humorous skits had social media laughing. Her parody of popular Nigerian videos was immensely funny that Genevieve Nnaji had to comment on one of them.

4) Broda Shaggy

Broda Shaggi One-On-One Quickie

On Instagram, Broda Shaggy is the most likely the breakout funny man of the year. His impersonation of street culture and attitude has gained him a bunch of fans including the pop sensation Davido who blessed him with a 30 BG chain.

5) Wizkid 


It’s only a pop god that can make a local slang like ‘everywhere stew’ go national with just one tweet. In 2019, Wizkid continued to have his foot on the neck of Nigerian pop culture from his deal with Nike, popping up at Diddy’s crib, his friendship with Naomi Campbell to walking the D&G runway. Let’s not even talk about the ‘Fever’ video that still has us hot and bothered.

6) Davido 

Davido is the second Nigerian act to win the Artist of the Year award

What else can we say about this young man? In 2017, he monopolized the industry. In 2018, Davido did not slow down as he turned his public relationship into a hit single. The 30BG leader gave a new meaning to the word ‘assurance’. This year, Davido continued to influence Nigerian pop culture in massive ways.

7) Toke Makinwa 

Toke Makinwa

Hate her or love her, this woman is not going to stop. Toke Makinwa proved that 2018 was her year as she released her skincare line and also her line of luxury bags. From an OAP to a fashionista, no society event is complete without Toke Makinwa gracing the red carpet.

8) President Buhari 

President Muhammadu Buhari

The nation’s number one citizen was certainly influential this year. His comments about him not being a clone became a punchline for comedians around the world. His re-election campaign and policies set the tone for politics and governance this year. In 2019, the president is expected to be on the list again.

9) Chimamanda Adichie 

Best-selling Nigerian author, Ngozi Chimamanda-Adichie says women are not special

The world-famous Nigerian author knows how to get people talking. Her comments on trans women, patriarchy, and feminism once again trended in 2018. Never afraid to speak her mind, Adichie has inspired many Nigerian women on how to tackle patriarchy.

10) Bola Ahmed Tinubu 

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is backing Sanwoolu for the APC governorship ticket

The Lion of Bourdillion is perhaps the most influential Nigerian politician after the President. This year we saw his power in display as Governor Ambode failed to nab a second term ticket. As the elections draw near, Tinubu has continued to play the role of the puppet master, pulling strings here and there to ensure an easy APC victory.

11) Falz 


Satisfied with dominating the Nigerian scene, Falz took his talents outside the shore of Nigeria in 2018. His interpretation of Donald Glover’s ‘This is America’ got him international accolades. Later on, the star was seen posing with Puff Daddy in America. Falz did not stop to put out conscious music in the year.

12) Ahmed Musa 

Ahmed Musa

The Super Eagles of Nigeria has a poor campaign at the World Cup in Russia. One player who however did the nation proud was the flashy winger Ahmed Musa who scored two goals to sink Iceland. With his brace, he became Nigeria’s highest goal scorer at the tournament.

13) Mo Abudu 

Mo Abudu, Rita Dominic and Prince Charles at a reception held on his honour

The Nollywood mogul remains one of Nollywood’s most influential figures. As the head of Ebony Life Pictures, she continues to mastermind big Nollywood movies that Nigerians can’t help but watch. In the process, she has given Nollywood a new profile internationally.

14) Tiwa Savage 


'Mummy Jam Jam' wasn’t the top female artist in Nigeria, she was one of the top artists in Nigeria, period! Tiwa Savage produced a batch of hits in the year and dominated Nigeria’s pop culture space with her concert in the UK, her pop-up shop and of course her steamy video with a certain act called Wizkid.

15) Big Brother Naija housemates 


Nigerian pop culture doesn’t get as big as Big Brother Naija. The second installment of the annual reality show was way bigger in 2018. Millions of Nigerians watched the show as usual but this time around the finalists did not fade into oblivion after the show. The likes of Cee C, Alex, Nina, and Tobi have parlayed their reality show fame into becoming celebrities who earn money for appearances.