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Entertainment of Tuesday, 8 March 2022


IWD: Celebrating Nigerian women in music who are thriving and killing it

Nigerian singers Onyeka Onwenu, Sinach and Asa Nigerian singers Onyeka Onwenu, Sinach and Asa

Women are constantly raising the bar for every industry they operate in and the Nigerian music scene is no different.

Despite the challenges women have continued to show up thriving and making history more than men.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we shed more light on the incredible Nigerian women who have faced struggles yet made and still making history in the music industry.

Below are Nigerian female musicians in the music industry making great history globally.

1. Onyeka Onwenu

Onyeka Onwenu is a Nigerian singer/songwriter, actress, human rights activist, social activist, journalist, politician, and former X Factor series judge.

Dubbed the "Elegant Stallion" by the Nigerian press, she is a former chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture and currently the Executive Director/chief executive officer of the National Centre for Women Development.

Onwenu began her music career in 1981 while still working with the NTA, releasing the album “For the Love of You”.

Originally a secular artist, she now sings mainly gospel music and continues to write and sing about issues such as health (HIV/AIDS), peace and mutual coexistence, respect for women's rights and the plight of children.

Her latest effort titled, “Inspiration for Change,” focuses on the need for an attitudinal turnaround in Nigeria.

2. Asa

Bukola Elemide famously known as Asa is a Nigerian artist, musician and chronicle craftsman. She is celebrated for her sweet melodies with her guitar. Her style of music is a blend of pop, jazz just as indie pop.

The release of her first album saw her charting radios across Europe, Asia, and Africa and went on to win the prestigious French Constantin Award in 2008 when she was voted best fresh talent of 10 singers or groups by a jury of 19 music-industry specialists in Paris.

She was also the first artist to win the Headies’ Next Rated Award in 2006.

3. Sinach

Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu known as Sinach is one of the famous Nigerian singers, songwriters, and international worship leaders.

Her songs have become anthems in several homes and churches across the world. She is the leading singer of Nigeria and has sung popular songs including The Name of Jesus, Way Maker, I Know Who I Am, Great Are You Lord, Simply Devoted, etc.

Sinach is the first singer-songwriter to hold the top position on the Billboard Christian Songwriter chart for the consecutive 12 weeks.

In 2021 the singer was the most viewed Nigerian music artist on YouTube.

4. Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage is one of the biggest pop stars to emerge from West Africa during the 2010s, with numerous hits and international awards to her name.

After her debut Once Upon a Time in 2013, Tiwa Savage continued releasing hits throughout the following decade and expanded her global reach, performing at international festivals and venues, and appearing on the 2019 soundtrack The Lion King: The Gift.

With releases like 2020's Celia and 2021's Water & Garrie EP, her sound grew while her lyrics became more socially conscious and female-empowering.

Tiwa Savage became the most awarded female afrobeats artist in history in the year 2021.

5. Tems

Temilade Openiyi, popularly referred to as Tems, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and producer with numerous hit singles.

She started music at the age of 11, where she joined her school choir.

Tems who began her music production at the age of 20 had her first single “Mr. Rebel” well-received and had enjoyed massive airplay.

"Try Me" made her a household name in Nigeria, 2020’s Essence with Wizkid turned Nigerian's homegirl into a global superstar with everyone from Rihanna to Adele famzing our fave.

She also made history debuting on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming a Tommy Hilfiger spokesperson.

Tems becomes the first female artist to receive an RIAA certification with Essence and was also the most-streamed female artist in Nigeria.