There is no doubt that Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is one of the best universities in Nigeria , currently ranked as the 1,385th best University in the world and is known for its beautiful campus, which is widely considered the most attractive in Africa. OAU was founded in 1962 as The University of Ife, and was later renamed in 1987 to honor Obafemi Awolowo, one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the University.”
Obafemi Awolowo University is known for its academic excellence, beautiful architectural designs as well as its A-List set of alumni that cut across various sectors. These alumni have consistently put Nigeria on the global map through the excellence and finesse they have put into their craft over the years. Many of them have been referred to as world-class in their industry.
Annually, Inside OAU Innovations recognizes and celebrates the achievements of its alumni who have made significant impact in their respective industries and have built lasting legacies. This year, we have selected the top ten influential OAU alumni from the entertainment industry as our IOI pick for 2022. These individuals have challenged the status quo and have made outstanding achievements in their careers. Just as we did at the end of 2021, we are proud to highlight these talented individuals who have made a mark in the world.
10. Abayomi Alvin
Abayomi Alvin is a multi-award-winning Nigerian actor and model born June 20, 1993. He is a graduate of the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Anthropology. He joined the movie industry professionally in 2013 and has since gone ahead to star in several Nollywood blockbusters including A Naija Christmas, Moms at War, and Isoken, among many others. Abayomi was nominated in The Future Awards class of 2022 in the prize for acting category alongside other A-list actors. He is one actor who has come a long way in the movie industry and has a great future.
9. Woli Arole
Bayegun Oluwatoyin popularly known as Woli Arole is a comedian, actor, and on-air personality. He graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University with a degree in psychology. While still a student at the University, he began his acting and performing stand-up comedy career. He shot into the limelight with his online comedy skits where he comically acts as a prophet. Woli Arole is also a filmmaker and has produced a movie titled “the call” which he also starred in. He hosted a sold-out comedy show in London in 2022. In addition to a teeming fan base, a huge social media following, and an undeniable talent, we are certain the future is bright for Woli Arole.
8. Shank Comics
Adegoke Emmanuel professionally known as Shank comics is a comedian and influencer. He has gathered a huge following on social media over time through his funny skits and online personality. Shank graduated with a degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University. He is one of the most popular skit makers in Nigeria at the moment with content that gathers thousands of views online.
7. Yemi Solade
Yemi Solade is a Nollywood actor who has received multiple awards and accolades throughout his career spanning over two decades. He graduated with a degree in dramatic arts from Obafemi Awolowo University. He had a breakout role in the hit television series Super story in the early 2000s. Yemi Solade currently stars in the African magic original production itura. He is the founding president of the Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria(TAMPAN). Yemi Solade is one actor that has established himself as a talented and successful actor in the movie industry.
6. Biyi Bandele
Biyi Bandele was a Nigerian novelist, play writer, and filmmaker. He studied dramatic arts at Obafemi Awolowo University in 1987 and was already working on his first novel at that time. Biyi made his directional debut with Half of a yellow sun based on the novel of the same name by Chimamanda Adichie. The movie was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival where it received a euphoric ovation. He made a remarkable feat in the Nollywood movie industry in 2022 when he directed two blockbusters; Blood sisters and Eleshin Oba, both to critical acclaim. Sadly, Biyi passed away in Lagos on August 7, 2022, at the age of fifty-four (54). His remarkable feats and how he has continued to put Nigeria on the global map will not be forgotten anytime soon.
Emeka Akumefule better known by his stage name Blaqbonez is a Nigerian rapper, singer, and songwriter known for his distinct style and creative personality. The New York Times described him as one of the new guards of the Nigerian music industry. He had his tertiary education at Obafemi Awolowo University where he studied Computer engineering. He released a critically acclaimed album titled Young Preacher in October 2022. The lead single from the album, back in uni topped many music charts. Blaqbonez’s ingenuity with the music video he directed himself blew the minds of many people. Back in Uni music video has gathered over fifty-four ( 54 )million views on YouTube ever since its release two months ago. Talk about a guy with so many creative sides to him, Blaqbonez is the guy.
Abimbola Oladokun is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. He graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University with a degree in accounting. He came into the limelight after he was discovered by Mavin record’s boss and CEO, Don Jazzy, and was subsequently signed to the record label. Prior to that time, he was actively releasing covers of popular songs on Instagram. Bayanni is one young talent that undeniably had one of the best years in the music industry. He released several chart-topping songs and a debut EP in 2022. Bayanni is one promising talent and we can not wait to see all he has to unravel in his journey.
3 . Bukunmi Oluwashina
Bukunmi Oluwashina is a multi-talented individual who excels in a different fields. She is a renowned actress, model, movie producer, singer, and songwriter, showcasing her versatility and exceptional skills in each of these areas. Oluwashina truly embodies the concept of a bundle of talent. She graduated from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University with a degree in Theatre Arts. With a large number of followers on social media, Bukunmi has consistently proved herself as an actress who knows her craft and has mastered it diligently over the years. In 2022, she produced and starred in a movie titled Olola Aginju to positive reviews. The movie bagged a nomination at the recent African Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards in the best indigenous language movie or TV series category. All we see here is a great woman who has done great things in her industry and is unstoppable.
Mr. Money with the vibes as he is fondly called is on our number two spot today. Born Ahmed Ololade and professionally known as Asake is a Nigerian Afro beats singer and songwriter. He is currently signed to YBNL nations. About his stage name, Asake had mentioned in an interview the name pays homage to his Mother. He graduated with a degree in theatre and performing arts from Obafemi Awolowo University. Asake gained widespread recognition with his hit single Mr money released in 2018. He has been making major headlines in the music industry since his debut. 2022 saw Asake release chart-topping songs and sold-out shows in many cities around the world. He is one of the bestselling music artists in Nigeria with the highest number-one singles on the Nigeria Billboard Hot 100 in 2022.
Adedamola Adefolahan popularly known as Fireboy or Fireboy DML is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. Many publications have called him one of the finest and most talented singers of his generation. He gained recognition in 2019 with the release of his debut album Laughter, Tears, and Goosebumps. He graduated with a degree in English Language from Obafemi Awolowo University. A version of his hit single Peru featuring Ed Sheeran was released in December 2021. The song peaked at number two on the United Kingdom’s official single chart in 2022. His second studio album titled Playboy was released in August 2022 to critical acclaim with features from international artists including Ed Sheeran, Chris Brown, Euro, and Shenseea. Fireboy has made remarkable marks in the music industry and it’s quite fair to say he is no longer a legend in the making but the legend.
There you have it, IOI’s top ten most influential OAU alumni – Entertainment (2022) pick.
The list was made based on the feats and strides these alumni have all made in their respective industries this year and how well they have managed to stay on top of their game despite all odds. Do you think we did justice to this list, was there anyone you think was left out of this list? kindly let us know your thoughts in the comment section. Thank you for riding with us!