Pulse List 2017: 15 most influential people of the year

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Nathaniel Bassey

These are the top 15 most influential people in Nigeria for the year 2017.

Influence can be defined as the ability to have an effect on a person, people or society.

It also refers to people with star power. Well in Nigeria, we are not short of these type of people.

Here's a list of 15 of the most influential people of 2017

1) Nathaniel Bassey


In 2017, Nathaniel Bassey proved that nice guys can finish first. His Instagram Live concert #HallelujahChallenge was a rallying cry for Christians to come online and worship God. For a month, Christians tuned in to his live ministrations. At one point, 70,000 were streaming his concerts live.

He expertly used social media to gather Christians online in a manner that no one before him had done. In 2017, Nathaniel Bassey was the storm no one saw coming.

2) Daddy Freeze


In 2017, Freeze was not only the man Nigerians loved to hate but he was also the most influential. For decades, some Nigerians had wondered about the concept of tithing. Freeze took the bull by the horn and questioned pastors about tithing and their flamboyant lifestyles. His Instagram posts gave many Nigerians to speak up about what they think is wrong about the Nigerian church.

3) Bobrisky


Let's accept it, Bobrisky is going no way. The SnapChat queen who probably has the most amount of followers in Nigeria was back at it again in 2017. He dumped his 'bae' rhetoric for a new one 'Jacob' the name of his security man. Most importantly, Bobrisky trended in Africa when he was arrested by the police over an alleged rivalry with Toyin Lawani. Still the cross-dressing symbol, Bobrisky is going nowhere.

4) Olamide


The star rapper dropped the instantly infectious 'Wo' and Nigeria caught a dance fever. In 2017, Olamide showed us that he is still at the peak of his powers with a dance sensation the release of his 7th solo album and a concert at Teslim Balogun stadium.

5) Sisi Yemmie


Sisi Yemmie has grown to be one of Nigeria's biggest vloggers. Thousands of people watch her regular vlogs about her life and family. In 2017, she appeared in YouTube commercials and snagged an interview with CNN.

ALSO READ: Top 10 quotes of 2017

6) Odunlade Adekola


This star actor influenced the way we tweet and express ourselves online. There were probably 30 Odunlade Adekola memes on Twitter this year. From a popular Yoruba actor, Odunlade became a Twitter fixture thanks to his hilarious facial gestures. 

7) Wizkid


2017 would probably go down as his biggest year since 2011 when he dropped his debut album. This year, Wizkid dropped his international body of work 'Sounds From The Other Side' led by the single 'Come Closer' featuring Drake. Wizkid continued his march to international territory and unknown to him he is writing the play book for Naija acts who want to expand abroad.

8) Davido


After a lacklustre 2016, Davido bounced back in fine form in 2017 with three hit singles. Critics thought he had lost his touch but Davido showed us that he has the blueprint for Naija singers who are plotting a comeback.

9) Toke Makinwa


Hate her or love her, Toke Makinwa is still influential. Her comments on love and relationships usually cause commotion online. For example, she said that she doesn't rate men who use instant messaging apps instead of calling. That comment made a lot of fuss on Twitter.

10) Ooni of Ife


The Ooni of Ife was everywhere in 2017. His appearances on social media and in the news made us rethink the way we see traditional rulers in Nigeria.

11) Funke Akindele


Probably the hardest working woman in showbiz, Funke Akindele is showing others how to do it. Her TV series 'Jenifa's Diary' is still successful and her other series 'Industreet' is sold on her platform.

12) Nnedi Okorafor


Okorafor stole the scene in 2017. First of all, her book was snagged by HBO and it would be produced by George R.R Martin of Game of Thrones. Later, she was handpicked by Marvel Comics to write a comic book. Talk about winning.

13) President Buhari


As the leader of the most populous black country, President Buhari is of course influential. His long absence from the country in the year, made Nigerians worry about the future and their daily lives. Eventually, the President came back and the way he handled the IPOB situation made Nigerians speak on the issue for months.

14) Bola Ahmed Tinubu


As the leader of Nigeria's winning political party APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu influences the political scene in Nigeria and by extension- our lives too.

15) Anthony Joshua


Boxing was a dead sport until Anthony Joshua challenged Wladimir Klitschko for the title and won. His successful defence made Nigerians sort of care about a sport that was on the brink of extinction. 

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