Do Nigerian artists still need to prove they’re worth as trailblazers in the continent? Well surely not, especially after the release of the Top 10 Richest African musicians list, compiled by Answers Africa.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
10. Jose Chameleone
Popularly known by his stage name as Joe Chameleon or Jose Chameleone, Joseph Mayanjawas is a popular reggae musician from Uganda born in 1979 . Singing mostly in Luganda, English and Swahili, Jose career kicked off in the early 1990s as disco MC at Maganjo Mizuri night club while he was still a student at the Progressive Secondary School, Kampala Uganda. Eventually, he struck up a deal with Kenya’s Ogopa DJs record label. With a compelling style of music that is a perfect combination of Ugandan folk music, Central African rumba, zouk on a background of reggae, Jose Chameleone is quite the real deal. He is credited with one of the most popular songs in the East Africa: VAlu Valu and has popularized some of the phrases he uses in his songs to become regular and everyday words such as Basiima Ogenze, Nekolera Maali, Shida Za Dunia among others. He is regarded as a music star who restructured the popular local music in Uganda at the wake of the 21st century.
Jose Chameleone earns the top bucks in Eastern Africa and has acquired a range of 4 wheels as his “testament” which include; Cadillac escalade, Mercedes Benz ml 200 super custom convertible and a Premio. He also owns a big mansion among the elites of Uganda in Seguka hills located at the outskirts of Kampala.
9. Banky W
Olubankole Wellington (aka Banky W) was born on March 27, 1981 in the United States. He is a rocking Nigerian R&B artist and who is generally regarded as the smashing King of African R&B. Growing up in Lagos, he honed his singing skills at the choir of his local church, and upon completion of secondary school, moved to New York to study Engineering. A natural at music, he won and featured in a plethora of musical contests. His unique talent in music and his eye for a good deal has propelled him into being one of the richest African musicians. He has been a brand ambassador for Estisalat mobile in Nigeria and is currently the face for Samsung products in the west African nation. And Banky W ain’t keeping all the goody-cash to himself, he runs Mr capable foundation; an education charity organization with the aim to aid in the education of children from poor families.
8. Hugh Masekela
Born on April 4, 1939, Hugh Ramopolo Masekela who is a South African singer and trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist and composer, is one of the Jazz artists of incredible talent in Africa. In 1968, he got a Grammy Award nomination in the “Best Contemporary Pop Performance – Instrumental” music category . In 2010, President Zuma honoured him with the highest order in South Africa: The Order of Ikhamanga, and 2011 saw Masekela receive a Lifetime Achievement award at the WOMEX World Music Expo in Copenhagen. He also has a day dedicated in his honour. The US Virgin Islands proclaimed ‘Hugh Masekela Day’ in March 2011, not long after Hugh joined U2 on stage during the Johannesburg leg of their 360 World Tour. A man of distinction, his award cache includes: 27 April 2010, Ghana Music Awards: 2007 African Music Legend award, 2005 Channel O Music Video Awards: Lifetime Achievement Award, 2002 BBC Radio Jazz Awards: International Award of the Year, nominated for Broadway’s 1988 Tony Award as Best Score (Musical), with music and lyrics collaborator Mbongeni Ngema, for “Sarafina!”. Masekela owns a professional studio in Botswana, and makes top dough on invitations to major festivals across the world and the sales of his albums.
7. 2 Face Idibia
Innocent Ujah Idibia who is more popularly known by his stage name as 2 Face Idibia, is a Nigerian singer-songwriter, actor and record producer. Born in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, 2face commenced singing as a member of the defunct Nigerian R&B/hip hop group Plantashun Boyz. He has 5 Albums to his name and has received 46 numerous nominations for which he won 40 of the Awards. The ‘African queen’ singer ranks high as one of the kings of African music. He has a vast investment in real estate across Nigeria, earns around $50k to $80k per show and owns a night club in Nigeria just to name a few.
6. Fally Ipupa
Fally Ipupa is a singer and songwriter hailing from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the early days of his musical career between 1999 and 2006, he was an understudy in Koffi Olomidé’s, Quartier Latin International band, after which he went solo with his career. His released his first album: Droit chemin in 2006, and his second album Arsenal de Belles Melodies (A2BM) in 2009. Fally Ipupa won the Kora Awards for Best Artist or Group from Central Africa in 2007 and 3 years after, he won the MTV Africa Music Awards 2010 for Best Video (for Sexy Dance) and Best Francophone. Fally Ipupa has the credit for modernizing the Lingala music. He is a poster boy for a number of clothing brands in Paris, where he also performs at sold out shows, and rakes in the money bags.
5. Salif Keita
Salif Keïta of Mali was born on the 25th of August, 1949. He has been around for a considerable while, witnessing the transition of African music through the ages. Keita does afro-pop and songwriting, and his unique musical delivery has earned him the title and reputation as the “Golden Voice of Africa”. He is a direct descendant of the founder of the Mali Empire, Sundiata Keita. While this sounds interesting, it means that given his royal heritage, he should never have become a singer under the Malian caste system, which was deemed to be the role of a griot. A man of great humility despite his immense wealth. He owns his private island and a number of real estates in France.
4. Koffi Olomide
Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba was born on Friday, July 13, 1956. The DR Congolese music star blends a soukous singing, with dancing, producing, composing and has up to 7 albums up his sleeves which are profoundly patronized in the market. It is reported that Koffi Olomidecharges up to 100,000 euros per show. His album Haut de Gamme: Koweït, Rive Gauche is among the listed 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Koffi Olomide is widely accepted as one of Africa’s most successful musicians today.
Popularly known as D’banj, Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo was born June 9, 1980, is a Nigerian singer-songwriter and harmonica player. A man for the people, D’banj has won myriads of awards including the MTV Europe Music Awards for Best African Act 2007, MTV Africa Music Awards 2009 Artist of the Year. BET Awards of 2011 for Best International Act; Africa. In 2012 D’banj released an internatonal hit song “Oliver Twist” which has broadened his horizons. Oliver Twist topped the African charts in 2011 and was a top 10 hit in the UK singles chart in 2012 reaching No. 2 on the UK R&B chart.
D banj is the first African artist signed to Kanye west’s GOOD music label. He has a series of koko Lounges; a high end club in Nigeria and other investments including Koko Water. D banj also made $1 million dollars when he was paid by a T.V station to star on his own reality show called the Koko Mansion. He has a crib in Atlanta worth of $1.5 million and reportedly charges on the upside of $100000 per show currently.
The Nigerian R&B duo are among the wealthiest musicians in Africa. Peter and Paul Okoye produce and release their albums through Square Records. In December 2011, they joined Akon’s Konvict Muzik label and in the upper year, also signed with Universal Music South Africa in a record distribution deal. The duo currently bill in excess of $150,000 per show. Square ville, P-Square’s crib which is located at Ikeja is worth $3 million and as part of their brand support, they also have a 3-year deal with Globacom; a Nigerian telecommunication company as brand ambassadors where they are paid a million dollars a year.
1. Youssou N’dour
Youssou N’Dour is a Senegalese singer born on the 1st of October, 1959. He is a talented composer, percussionist, songwriter, actor, businessman and a politician. He was once described as “perhaps the most famous singer alive” in Senegal. Youssou N’Dour was among those that reshaped a style of music known in the Serer language as mbalax, a popular Senegalese music genre. He is the richest musician in Africa. He owns the biggest media house in Senegal with radio and TV stations with a lot of investments in real estate. He once also served as a Senegalese cultural ambassador. In April 2012, N’dour was appointed the tourism and culture minister in the cabinet of new Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye.