The TRUE AFRICA 100 is our list of innovators, opinion-formers, game-changers, pioneers, dreamers and mavericks who we feel are shaping the Africa of today.
Which arts and culture movements on the continent are getting you most excited?
I’m most excited about the proliferation of African-owned media companies in Nigeria. From news and entertainment networks like Arise and Ebony Life, respectively, to fashion websites like BellaNaija and investigative outlets like Sahara Reporters, the country is experiencing remarkable growth in its media sector, which is a cause for celebration.
It’s critical that Africans not only own their own stories (both literally and figuratively), but it’s even more critical that our nations’ best and brightest tell them.
Telling our own stories could also prove quite lucrative for many African nations. Nigeria’s entertainment and media market grew by nearly 20 per cent in 2014 to reach an estimated US$4 billion. As the demand for our oil decreases, could our media and entertainment sectors prove to be Nigeria’s most valuable leading export in the future? Now, wouldn’t that be a great story to tell?
Which words of advice do you have for young African journalists?
If you want your stories told honestly and accurately, don’t wait for the West to tell them. And always mine your own lives for the most compelling tales.
Who’s your African of the year?
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. His unequivocal stance against corruption, his commitment to transparency, his refusal to allow previous defeats to define him, his becoming the first opposition candidate to defeat an incumbent, his triumph over tremendous odds, his humility and more, make him my choice for African of the year.
Buhari’s story is the stuff of Hollywood – or rather Nollywood. I’m cautiously optimistic that his regime will be the beginning of better days for Nigeria.
Follow Lola on Twitter @lolaogunnaike
Come back tomorrow for the next TRUE Africa 100 and keep up to date using the hashtag #TRUEAfrica