The Nigerian music industry is currently experiencing a period of rapid growth and global recognition, with artists like Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Davido dominating the international scene. Behind the scenes however, are many powerful women who are greatly contributing to this success. These female executives have taken on key roles in record labels, management companies, and other aspects of the industry, helping to shape the sound and direction of Nigerian music.
Despite the male-dominated nature of the music business in Nigeria, these women are breaking through barriers and making their mark. They are pushing boundaries, introducing new talent, and championing diverse styles and genres. In this article, we highlight nine female executives who are paving the way for the next generation of Nigerian artists and reshaping the future of African music.
TEMI ADENIJI – MD, WARNER MUSIC AFRICA
Temi Adeniji is Warner Music Africa’s Senior VP of Sub Saharan Africa and special projects. She has played a major role in different music projects, and very historically Nigerian Singer-Songwriter, Ckay’s hit song – Love Nwantiti (Ah,Ah,Ah) which became a global cultural phenomenon in 2021. She was also featured on Billboard’s Women in Music list for 2023.
RIMA TAHINI – A&R, MAVIN GLOBAL
Rima Tahini is the Director A&R at Mavin Global and Senior Advisor at Kupanda Capital. With a B.sc in Business/Commerce, Rima has been merging finance with her passion for the entertainment industry. She has played a key role in the growth of Mavin Global and the birth of new Nigerian superstars like Rema and Ayra Starr.
OLUFUNMILAYO OKE – A&R DEF JAM RECORDINGS
Olufunmilayo Oke is an Associate Director, A&R at Def Jam Recordings. In her role at Def Jam, Funmi is responsible for scouting new Afrobeats artists and signing them to the label. She also plays a pivotal role in organizing promotional and marketing efforts related to these artists’ releases, overseeing the artists’ management and planning, and supervising entire records. Prior to joining Def Jam, Funmi managed the music group The Internet and A&R’d for Steve Lacy where she earned her first Grammy.
ELIZABETH SOBOWALE – PROGRAM DIRECTOR, MBA AFRICA / MANAGER, ADEKUNLE GOLD
Elizabeth Sobowale has years of experience under her belt from her time working in PR agencies, and 7 years as DJ Cuppy’s manager. Currently Adekunle Gold’s manager, she owns a consulting agency, Brand & Stitch, and is very passionate about developing the creative industry through her role as Program Director at MBA Africa.
TAMI MAKINDE – MANAGING EDITOR, NATIVE MAGAZINE
Tami Makinde started out as a research assistant and social media manager at NATIVE, and worked her way up to become Managing Editor. She has interviewed the likes of Wizkid, Elsa Majimbo and has contributed to various platforms in a bid to promote the culture. Her work is also on Vogue, COLORS, Rolling Stone, Canvas8 amongst others.
OLAYIWOLA OLAJUMOKE – SARZ ACADEMY, P.PRIIME’s MANAGER
Olayiwola Olajumoke is a highly influential entertainment lawyer in the Nigerian scene. Majoring in Intellectual Property Law, she is currently P.PRIIME’s manager and a trusted legal consultant to Tiwa Savage, Telz and others. With over 5 years of experience in the space, Olajumoke is also the Secretary at The Sarz Academy.
STEPHANIE OKOCHA – FOUNDER, PANDA ENTERTAINMENT
Stephanie Okocha is a renowned Talent and Label Services Manager with over 9 years of experience, previously managing The Cavemen and currently managing Tempoe, the producer behind hit songs Soso, Love Nwantiti, Soweto, etc. Stephanie also runs a 360 management company, Panda Entertainment which handles label services, recording camps, movie production company, music publishing and event management. In 2021, she started a concert tour, Live in Concert and has sustained it for a year.
FOZADOZA – ENTERTAINMENT LAWYER
Oyinkansola Fawehinmi aka “FozaDoza” is an award winning entertainment lawyer with over a decade of experience. She is the President of Digital & Music, Commerce and Exchange Limited, an intellectual property valuation, management and administration company serving sub-Saharan Africa. She has successfully negotiated license, distribution, and endorsement agreements for clients in the music, film, and telecommunications sectors, creating a broad clientele base. Foza is a vocal catalyst for change, with an unwavering passion for driving transformational initiatives.
TITILOPE ADESANYA – DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, EMPIRE
Titilope Adesanya initially started out as a broadcaster using her journalism background at a radio station in South Africa. She currently holds the position of Director of Operations at EMPIRE Africa. Titi as she is fondly called was featured on Billboard’s Women in Music 2023. Asides her working for EMPIRE, she runs a creative consulting agency named We Soko Africa.