By Kikelomo Onigbanjo
It has been one colourful and busy year in the worlds of celebrity, film, TV and music; from movies that ranked top in the box office, to major musical deals, international collaborations and sold out concerts to stylish red carpet events that kept fans entertained all year. Here is looking at 8 celebrities who stood out in their various careers in the year 2016.
1. Omoni Oboli
From acting and directing to producing and premiering her movies ‘Okafor’s Law’ and ‘Wives on Strike’ which both got amazing reception back home and internationally, it was a busy year for screen diva Omoni Oboli. ‘Okafor’s Law’ was premiered at the Stockholm Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival 2016 (TIFF16). Her hard work paid off as she bagged a couple of awards including the Exquisite Ladies of the Year Awards for Best Movie Producer, The Sun Awards – Personality of the Year and Best of Nollywood Awards (BON) where she was nominated for the award of Best Actress for her role in her movie ‘Wives on Strike’. This busy wife and mother of three still managed to look flawless on the red carpet. Wishing her all the best in the New Year!
2. Funke Akindele
This year was indeed a spectacular one for Nollywood Sweetheart, Funke Akindele, also known as Jenifa. The actress launched her TV drama series ‘Jenifa’s Diary’ which also premiered in London. She also featured in some high-grossing movies like ‘A Trip to Jamaica’ produced and directed by AY Makun, Ife Gbona, and Ale (Concubine). The actress won a couple of awards this year including; Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) for the Best Comedy Role in ‘Jenifa’s Diary’, Africa Entertainment Awards and the Naija FM Comedy Jam where she bagged 2 awards, one for Comedy Actor of the Year and the Best Sitcom of the Year. She also got nominated for Best Comedy Role in ‘Jenifa’s Diary’ at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
The actress also has some other unfinished projects like the music-oriented movie project she is cooking up with husband, Abdul Rasheed Bello (JJC Skillz) which she will complete in 2017. She has equally been nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy in both ‘Jenifa’s Diary’ and ‘A Trip to Jamaica’; her production ‘Jenifa’s Diary’ is also nominated for Best TV Series in the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards coming up in March of 2017. There’s so much to look forward to in the coming year and we wish her best.
Ayodeji Balogun popularly known as Wizkid had a really successful 2016. The singer scored international collaborations with stars like Chris Brown, Trey Songs and French Montana. He went on a world tour with Chris Brown with sold out musical concerts and shows all over Europe and America. It wasn’t all music as the singer appeared on magazine covers, including Vogue, where he was named ‘Nigeria’s Best Dressed Pop Star’, Potrix, Allure, and the very funny magazine cover picture on FAB Magazine which took the internet by storm and sparked a lot of controversy on social media.
The Pepsi ambassador also carted away about 4 Awards at the recently held 2016 MTV/MAMA Awards held in South Africa, going ahead to win the overall Best African Act at the Music Television (MTV) EMA’s Awards. He also won the MOBO Awards for the Best African Act and was nominated at the BET Awards for the award of Best African International Act. Capping up the year in a big way, Wizkid has been nominated for a Grammy Award, one of the most revered awards in the music industry for his contribution on the lead single ‘One Dance’ and ‘Views’, an album by Drake Aubrey Graham, which was nominated in the Album of the Year category. We are rooting for you!
4. Yemi Alade
‘Johnny’ crooner, Yemi Eberechi Alade made the most of the year 2016 and even gained international recognition in performing with stars like Jennifer Hudson, Pixie Lott, Luan Santana, Steve Aoki and Stan Wei Wei the theme song for the Shell Collaboration with young energy entrepreneurs, ‘Best Days of My Life’. Apart from this, the stylish Afro-pop princess, who is known for her really cool and stylish African hairstyles promoted her ‘Mama Africa’ album on which she featured stars like Selebobo, P Square, Sarkodie, and Flavour among others. She also featured on magazine covers like House of Maliq, Ono Bello, Hard Knocks, Guardian Life, Complete Fashion, Pride and Blingz, just to mention a few. The singer also got some awards as a result of her hard work and dedication. She was nominated in 6 categories at the WatsUp TV Africa Music Video Awards and won Best Female Category at the MTV Video Awards. Presently, this talented singer is going on musical tours around the world to promote her album, Mama Africa. Here’s wishing her a more productive new year!
5. Falz the Bahd Guy
Folarin Falana, a rapper, comedian and an actor of repute is really winning at life. He tried his hands on a lot of things this year and now he is known as a multi-talented guy and every girl’s crush. Falz, who is known for his comedy acts released the single titled ‘Bahd Badoo Baddest’ featuing Olamide and Davido and got massive air play, topping the charts for a long time.
This same year, he released a joint album with Simi titled ‘Chemistry’ which sparked a lot of buzz and speculations on their relationship status. He also featured in Funke Akindele’s ‘Jenifa’s Diary’ as ‘Sege’, Jenifa’s love interest which earned him an award at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award (AMVCA) as the Best Actor in a Comedy Movie/Series. He also bagged the BET Viewers’ Choice award for ‘The Best New International Act 2016’, the 2016 City People Entertainment Award for ‘Album of the Year’ and WatsUp TV Africa Music Video Awards where he got 2 nominations. Falz also signed endorsement deals with MTN and Merrybet. Go Falz! Enjoy your 2017!
6. Tiwa Savage
First Lady of Mavin Records and mother of cute Jamal, Tiwatope Savage had a lot on her plate this year. Following the release of her album, ‘Red’ in 2015, she went on tour to places like Houston, Texas, Chicago, Australia and Kenya to promote the album. She also signed to Sony/ATV Music Publishing Company affiliated with Sony Entertainment as a songwriter. Apart from this, Tiwa signed endorsement deals with top brands like Pampers, Konga and Forte Oil. She also performed at a lot of shows like the Three Thrones Concert alongside Phyno and Davido, Star Trek 2016 alongside Olamide, Ycee and TuFace and a sold out concert tour in Kenya!
The Kele Kele Love crooner appeared on the cover of magazines like This Day Style, Elle Magazine, Genevieve, Essays of Africa, Voodoo, Bubbles, to mention a few. She performed at the Made in America Concert with international stars such as Rihanna, Big Sean and DJ Khaled who are artists signed with Roc Nation, owned by Jay Z. Tiwa was indeed super busy this year; we wish for her more success in the new year!
7. Adesua Etomi
Tolulope Adesua Etomi is a face we have come to love and adore on our screens. Over and over again she has shown how versatile she is. The actress featured in movies like‘Couple of Days’, ‘The Arbitration’ and the ‘The Wedding Party’ which all made major box office statements. In addition to this, Adesua was nominated for a host of awards including the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award (AMVCA) where she won an award for Best Actress in a Movie, The Movie Academy Awards where she was nominated for the award of the Best Actress in a Leading Role, Golden Movie Awards where she was nominated for the award of the ‘Golden Actress’ and the Nigeria Entertainment Awards where she was also nominated for the Best Actress Award. Adesua also featured on the cover of Genevieve, Allure, Today’s Woman Magazine, Pride Magazine and Essentials. Here is wishing her a more successful 2017!
8. Toyin Lawani
As the MD/CEO of Tiannah Styling, Toyin Lawani has done well for herself this year. Tiannah’s Place Empire is a chain of businesses which include Tiannah Spa (Spa Treatments), Tiannah Dance Studio (choreography), Tiannah Styling Music Video (Shoots, Directs and Styles Videos), Tiannah Glow (Cream and Consultation), Tiannah Hair Goddess, Barbing Saloon, Nail Studio, Tiannah Styling (Style Outfits), Elegante Boutique, Fashion Academy, Elegante by Tiannah Styling, Elegante Kids, Amala Dot.Com, Tiannah’s Travel and Tours, Tiannah’s Makeup Studio, Tiannah’s Photography, Tattoo Parlour, and Tiannah’s Home and Furniture Company. This extraordinary woman, who we consider a hustler and inspiration has gathered an impressive clientage. In 2016, the fashion mogul got busy styling a lot of celebrities including Tiwa Savage, Faithia Balogun, Eniola Badmus, Emma Nyra among others. We wish her a more successful new year!