Nigerian Creatives Are Rewriting the Rules: Meet the Artists, Filmmakers, and Designers Making a Splash

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Nigeria is a hotbed of ingenuity, an ever-fresh stream of creativity that flows through our music, fashion, food, art, and humour. Every year, it becomes increasingly clear that Nigeria’s creative landscape is rapidly growing and evolving. Many brilliant and creative thinkers have seized the moment and capitalized on Africa’s transformative journey and rising creative profile to nurture their talents, monetize their skills, and make their mark across the globe. When it comes to the Nigerian creative space, there are many talented artists to keep an eye on – they are brilliant, innovative, versatile, and endlessly imaginative. In no particular order, here is a list of talented Nigerian creatives who are really making a splash in the industry.

• Elozonam

Elozonam Ogbolu is a name that’s become synonymous with versatility. This young creative powerhouse doesn’t just wear many hats, he makes them himself! He’s an actor, singer, music producer, storyteller, and mastermind behind jaw-dropping ads that perform well both on the internet and traditional media platforms.

What sets him apart is his unique blend of originality with a dash of futuristic allure. His content isn’t just entertainment; it’s a captivating journey that often feels like watching a spellbinding movie. Brands like Premier Cool, Star Radler, and Interswitch have already tapped into his creative genius for their ad campaigns. Oh, and did we mention he dropped his first EP last year – “Love and Everything In Between”? He also directed the music video for his single “Shook” from the EP. Nominated at the AMVCA 8th edition and even taking the reins as the host of the inaugural Big Brother eviction podcast, Elozonam is a star on the rise, and trust us, this isn’t a journey you want to snooze through.

• Korty EO

Eniola Olanrewaju, better known as Korty EO, isn’t just a YouTuber; she’s a whole mood! Before setting YouTube ablaze with her content, Korty strutted down fashion runways like Lagos Fashion Week and GTCO Fashion Weekend in 2018. She’s not just a YouTuber; she’s also a wordsmith, having worked as a content writer for Zikoko and overseeing content for Mr Eazi’s emPawa initiative. In 2015, Korty launched her YouTube channel, and she has since amassed an incredible 250,000 plus subscribers – a huge testament to her fun, engaging and relatable content.

What’s her secret sauce? It’s her knack for narrating unique stories in a chill, conversational style. Her brand is all about authenticity and evolution, from documenting her journey of moving out and quitting her job to the birth of her flagship shows “Flow with Korty” (celebrity interviews) and “Love and Lies” (exploring unconventional love stories in Lagos). She’s also quite tenacious because who camps outside Wizkid’s hotel for three days for a documentary clip? Korty does! She is a creative whirlwind, and there’s no telling where her gust of inspiration will take us next.

• Jade Osiberu

Jade Osiberu is really that girl. She’s a filmmaking powerhouse whose name rings like a clarion call for excellence, and is the mastermind behind blockbusters like “Sugar Rush,” “Isoken,” and the web series “Gidi Up.” Hold on to your popcorn because there’s more – she also co-wrote and directed Nigeria’s first original feature-length film on Amazon Prime, “Gangs of Lagos,” and did her directorial magic on the crime-action thriller “Brotherhood,” which was an Oppenheimer-sized blast in the box office.

Just how big was the storm, you ask? Try a staggering 328 million naira – making it Nollywood’s highest-grossing title of the year. And that’s not all; Jade inked a ground-breaking deal with Amazon Studios, making her the first African talent to strike an overall development deal with Prime Video and Amazon Studios. With this deal, she’s locked in for a spectacular lift-off and she seems to be taking Nigerian cinema with her.

• Claire Idera

Claire Idera Nnnani is a spectacular, multidisciplinary artist whose creative expression utilizes different mediums. Everything from canvases to fabrics gets her uber–talented magical touch. She’s also a budding YouTuber with about 15k subscribers. This Lagos-based fashion illustrator is all about whimsy and hues, and she has brushed her talent onto collaborations with big-league brands like Hugo Boss, Maki Oh, and Lisa Folawiyo. But she doesn’t stop at her own masterpieces – Claire’s a mentor too, after establishing the first fashion illustration workshop in Lagos, the CIWorkshop.

She’s not just creating art; she’s nurturing a new generation of artists who share her passion for fashion and illustration. Her art tells stories of transformation, from childhood memories to motherhood experiences, and the profound journey that shapes the modern-day woman. With exhibitions spanning Lagos, London, Dubai, and South Africa, Claire’s artistic journey is a captivating tale worth tracking. Fun fact, her name is also Eniola, so it seems to us that the Enis are winning!

• Enioluwa

Enioluwa Adeoluwa, known as the “Lip-Gloss Boy,” is a creator who proves that individuality is a superpower. With his lip gloss and unapologetic daily-life commentary, he’s turned heads and caught the attention of major brands like MAC Cosmetics and the European Union-Africa. He’s even the first Nigerian ambassador for Crocs! Talk about making strides.

His rise isn’t just a random ascent; it’s a finely tuned blend of humour, audacious style, a keen connection to Gen Z, and a knack for catering to the demands of the next wave of consumers. Beyond his charismatic on-screen persona, Eni boasts a treasure trove of talents – writing, hosting, media expertise, and public speaking, to name a few. I hope you’re ready, because this bundle of talents is cooking up something that’s sure to leave us all smacking our lips in awe.

• Moshood Fattah

Storytelling in Africa is evolving, and Moshood Fattah is at the forefront of this evolution. From film to television to the stage, Moshood is a creative chameleon that adapts seamlessly to different mediums. Theatre lovers have marvelled at his performances in plays like “In the Spirit of David,” “The Butcher,” and “The Bridge.” But it’s not just stage lights that cast his brilliance; it’s also the big screen. His portrayal of Detective Babankowa in “Fela and the Kalakuta Queens” won hearts across Lagos, Abuja, Egypt, and South Africa.

His journey to screen stardom also includes roles in “Fishbone,” “Battle on Buka Street,” and the Netflix limited series “Far From Home.” With accolades like a Future Awards Africa nomination, Moshood’s incredible talent and his love for the arts shine through every performance. We’re excited about him because his path promises a dramatic twist that’s sure to keep us glued from start to finish.

• Ashley Okoli

Ashley Okoli isn’t just a fashion force; she’s the embodiment of Nigeria’s altè movement – the playground for nonconformists who revel in self-expression and uniqueness. Her versatile style is a fascinating fusion of goth, grunge, punk, and Y2K vibes, all perfectly blended into one fantastic aesthetic. Think thigh-high boots, edgy crop tops, eye-catching wigs, dramatic makeup looks, and a kaleidoscope of bold accessories, like the Nollywood fashion of the early 2000s that never stopped evolving and only became more edgy and high-fashion.

Ashley doesn’t limit her artistry to her clothing choices though – she cooks up and serves a total package that includes visual treatments and playful imagery like blurry, fisheye, or faded images — all stylized visual cues into her personality and mind, which results in an Instagram feed that perfectly embodies her uniqueness and authenticity. This talented fashionista has also made appearances in music videos, as well as styled artists like Ayra Starr, Obongjayar and British rapper Little Simz. Ashley is the epitome of style’s new frontier, and her journey is a mesmerizing fashion adventure we’re all invited to witness.

• Eloghosa Osunde

Eloghosa Osunde isn’t just a creative; she’s a renaissance spirit; a virtuoso who juggles writing, photography, painting, art, and fashion with unparalleled finesse. She left her talented footprints on Orange Culture’s ss20 collection at Lagos Fashion Week, elevating it to an artistic spectacle.

But her true magnum opus? Her debut novel, “Vagabonds,” a 2022 release that had the literary world buzzing. And when the accolades started rolling in – like being a finalist for the Waterstones Debut Fiction prize and the Edmund White Prize for Fiction – it became clear that Eloghosa’s creativity was interwoven with brilliance. Each aspect of her artistic expression and genius is more enthralling than the last.

• Bubu Ogisi

In an era where African fashion designers are embracing artisanal techniques, Bubu Ogisi is ahead of her peers, blazing trails. She is the creative director of the contemporary brand IAMISIGO, and she is rewriting the rules of fashion by blending mythology, history, spirituality, gender, religion, and politics into her designs.

She’s crafting narratives that go beyond textiles, and breathing life into ancient African traditions while transforming them into wearable art. Her dedication to decolonizing African dress modes is especially striking, as she collaborates with artisans and craft communities to craft a gaze that’s distinctly non-Eurocentric. Bubu Ogisi isn’t just designing clothes; she’s weaving a story that spans time and space.

From Elozonam’s multifaceted talents to Bubu Ogisi’s passion for fashion, these Nigerian creatives are sending shockwaves through the African creative scene and have helped shape Africa’s creative landscape. These talented stars are rewriting the rules, breaking boundaries, and crafting legacies that will surely be remembered for many years to come.

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