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Forbes List Why we don’t have any credible rich lists in Nigeria

In Nigeria because of the laws and money culture credible lists about how rich entertainers are cannot be credibly produced.

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Eniola Badmus signing her endorsement deal with ACTV play

Eniola Badmus signing her endorsement deal with ACTV


Yesterday (Tuesday, May 3, 2016) Forbes released its annual list of 'Hip-Hop's Wealthiest Artists 2016'.

At the top of the list was Hip-Hop mogul Puff Daddy aka Sean Combs. Others on the list were Dr. Dre, Jay Z, Birdman and Drake respectively.

Puff Daddy play

Puff Daddy


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In the Forbes article the estimated net worth of each individual Hip-Hop figure was stated. This is an annual occurrence in Hollywood. Every year Forbes releases lists of the richest celebrities in America.

While there is a Forbes Africa magazine it has failed to accurately detail the richest entertainers in the country. It is no fault of the magazine or any media house trying to create a credible list of rich celebrities in Nigeria.

Infographics on Forbes Top 5 Wealthiest Hip Hop Artistes play

Infographics on Forbes Top 5 Wealthiest Hip Hop Artistes



In March 2016, Pulse Music put out its own list - “Top 10 cash kings of Nigeria music industry.” It was an arduous task because of the lack of data and figures. At the end of the day the list was created with educated guesses and rough estimates.

The money culture and lax financial rules makes it hard for any media outfit to compile a credible list of richest and wealthiest Nigerian celebrities.

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde in Wana Sambo play

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde in Wana Sambo


In the United States of America it is mandatory for companies to make their financial documents accessible to the public. Because of this Forbes can go through a company’s documents, tax records, and financial disclosures to determine how much money was given to an entertainer for an endorsement deal.

Without legal documents the net worth of a celebrity can be known by going through the tax records of an entertainer. In Nigeria the tax culture is poor and for those who pay taxes their records are not available to the public. That is why it is hard to find out how much Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde is actually worth.

Drake play



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Also Nigerians are very secretive about how much they make or earn. When endorsement deals are announced the figures are not given to the public. That detail is hidden under the table. When Drake signed with Apple for reportedly $20 million dollars it was disclosed. Because of our conservative nature when it comes to money, the figures behind endorsement deals are not disclosed.

Mavin Boss Don Jazzy reflects on his musical journey play

Don Jazzy



In 2013, Forbes Africa in conjunction with Channel O released a list of '10 Richest Musicians in Africa'. Senegalese singer Akon topped the list followed by Don Jazzy. The criteria for the list wasn’t based on wealth but on social media presence and the number of endorsements each celebrity had.

As expected this list caused quite a bit of controversy in the entertainment scene. Almost everyone poked holes at the list because there were no figures to back up the entertainers who made the list.

When Nigeria’s financial culture opens up, and we can get access to financial and tax records then expect credible ‘Richest’ lists to come out.

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