Social media has given individuals a channel to peep into the lives of celebrities and other persons of interest. The micro-blogging platform, Twitter is one of the most popular ways we currently do this.
On Twitter, artists get to create and follow threads related to their art, weigh in on social issues, rack up social points and throw shades. But they’ll never be caught dead begging shamelessly for followers like the rest of us – at least most of them. Celebrity accounts come with the showmanship that we have come to know and to love, it’s mostly why we follow them.
Notably, a huge chunk of the artistes on this list are from North Africa. This is surprising on one end, but again the Middle East, where most of the North African artistes have the most following boasts the most active Twitter users in the world. A force that has effected major revolutions in the region.
Here’s a list of African musicians with the most followers on Twitter. Arranged in order of their follower base.
1. Amr Diab: @amrdiab, Egypt 3,454,405
Amr Abd El-Basset Abd El-Azeez Diab, is an Egyptian popstar with a B.A in Arabic Music from the Cairo Academy of Arts. Amr Diab has received 7 World Music Awards and with over three million followers on twitter, Diab has more followers than the entire population of Uruguay.
2. Hamza Namira: @HamzaNamira, Egypt 3,094,216
Namira is an Egyptian pop singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and a political activist. The subject matter of his songs cover Arabic modern culture, social and humanitarian issues. Namira gained prominence in the wake of the 2011 Egypt revolution that led to the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak. In 2014, his songs were banned from state radio stations from being critical of the Egyptian government. He is signed to British-based record label, Awakening Records.
3. Hassan El Shafei: @Hassanelshafei, Egypt 1,856,138
Hassan El Shafei is an artist and record producer. He began his career as an artist under the moniker “The Saint” before reverting to his real name, El Shafei. He is best known as a music producer .
El Shafei is currently one of the judges of the Arab Idol, the middle eastern version of the worldwide reality TV franchise, “American Idol”.
4. Sherine Ahmed Abdel Wahhab: @sherineawahab, Egypt 1,840,459
Sherine Ahmed Abdel Wahhab is an Egyptian singer and actress. Along with colombian pop star, Shakira and some other Arab artists, Sherine sang on “Bokra Tomorrow“, a charity single produced by Quincy Jones. She is a vocal supporter of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
5. Saber Rebai: @rebaisaber, Tunisia 1,822,234
Saber Rebai is a Tunisian Arab singer and composer with his popularity spanning across the Middle East and some Europe. Saber Rebai has released a total of 10 albums and has been on tours across Europe, USA and Australia.
6. Wizkid Ayo Balogun: @wizkidayo, Nigeria 1,527,063
Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, who’s better known by his stage name, Wizkid, is a Nigerian popstar. He bagged the BET Awards in 2012 along with other plaques on the strength of two solo albums. Wizkid is the first Nigerian artist to garner over 1 million followers on twitter. He has had a few spats with some of his peers on twitter with the most recent being between him and his former label mate, Skales.
7. David Adedeji Adeleke: @iamdavido, Nigeria 1,247,751
Davido has stayed in the news for one controversy or the other, but in recent times he has being making headlines off his talent. The singer has had some sort of rivalry with Wizkid that can be viewed in terms of establishing their supremacy as pop stars, and sometimes the rivalry spills out on twitter.
Davido is the cofounder of his record label, HKN Music.
8. Donia Samir Ghanem: @Donia, Egypt 1,166,681
Donia Samir Ghanem is an Egyptian actress and singer. Donia’s gained attention as a singer for her parodying more accomplished arab acts. In March 2015, she joined the X Factor Arabia as a judge.
9. Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo: @iamdbanj, Nigeria 1,144,134
Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo popularly known as Dbanj is a Nigerian singer. He’s best known on the international music scene for his 2012 summer hit “Oliver Twist”.
Dbanj won the MTV Europe Music Awards as the “Best African Act” in 2007 and 2012 respectively.
10. Mohamed Hamaki: @Hamaki, Egypt 1,123,487
Mohamed Hamaki is an Egyptian pop singer. In 2010, he won the award for the “Best Arabia Act” in the MTV Europe Music Awards.
11. Tamer Hosny @tamerhosny, Egypt 1,105,168
Tamer Hosny is an Egyptian singer and actor. He featured in the “Bokra-Tomorrow” Charity Single along with Shakira, Sherine and other arab musicians. Tamer has collaborated with American artist such as Pitbull, Akon and Snoop Dogg.
12. Michael Collins: @DONJAZZY, Nigeria 1,104,400
Michael Collins Ajereh, better known to fans as Don Jazzy, is the CEO of Mavin Records and a music producer. He’s arguably the most interactive Nigerian artist on Twitter. He is known to have regular interactions with fans on twitter and his popularity on the platform soared when he began giving out airtime cards on the platform.
13. Innocent Idibia @2faceidibia, Nigeria 1,056,376
Innocent Ujah Idibia, fondly called 2baba gained prominence on a global scale with the release of his 2004 single, African Queen. Tuface is known to churn out socially conscious songs and he also reflects this in his tweets.
14. Olubankole Wellington: @BankyW, Nigeria 1,025,729
BankyW is an R&B artist and record label executive at Empire Mates Entertainment. He tore into Nigerian music limelight in 2008 with a remix of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” which he titled “Ebute Meta”. BankyW cofounded Empire Mates Entertainment in 2002 and later signed Nigerian popstar, Wizkid to the label.
15.Tiwatope Savage: @TiwaSavage, Nigeria 1,014,110
Tiwa Savage is an R&B singer and songwriter. In 2006, she contested in the the UK edition of the X Factor and finished in the final 24. She has written for Babyface, Kat Deluna, Fantasia ,Barrin and Monica. Tiwa Savage is signed to Sony and Marvin Records. She primarily uses her twitter page to promote her songs.
16.Ahmed Fahmi: @fahmi173, Egypt 900,266
Ahmed Fahmi is an Egyptian actor and singer and one of the founders of the four-member boyband WAMA. Ahmed Fahmi began his career as an actor in 2007 when he featured in “Khaleg Neama”.
17.Peter Okoye: @PeterPsquare, Nigeria 831,845
Peter is one half of the singing twin, P-Square. Peter and his twin, Paul that made up the duo are known for their energetic music videos and mesmerizing dance moves. Peter was reported to have opted out of the group for a brief period after he felt that his individual input featured less in the group’s albums.
18. Salma Rachid: @SalmaRach, Morocco 749,847
Salma Rachid is a Moroccan vocalist. She gained prominence after participating in the second season of the Arab idol where she made it to the top five. The unique got her quite and performance won her a huge following. She is currently signed to Platinum Records.
19. Wande Coal: @wandecoal 695,207
Wande Coal, born Oluwatobi Wande Ojosipe, is a Nigerian R&B musician. He got his break into the music scene where he featured in D’banj’s music video for “Why Me” in 2007. He was later signed onto Mo’Hits records where he dropped his only album till date “Mushin 2 Mo’hits” which he released in 2008.
20.Ahmed Gamal: @IdolAhmedGamal, Egypt 691,651
Ahmed is a licensed pharmacist and was first runner-up in the second season of the Arab Idol. The platform served as a launching pad for his career as most of the songs he performed at the competition were his original compositions.
21. Panshak Zamani: @Iceprincezamani, Nigeria 649,843
Iceprince is a Nigerian rapper signed to Chocolate City. His quite successful first single, Oleku boosted his profile in the music scene and he has so far released two albums, Everybody Loves Iceprince and Fire of Zamani.
22. Jude Abaga @MI_Abaga, Nigeria 632 165
Mr Incredible gained recognition in the Nigerian music scene with the release of his debut Hip-Hop album “Talk About it”. The album saw fans praise him for his lyrism, technique and audibility. M.I is signed to Chocolate City and it is believed that he will take over as the label CEO once present CEO, Audu Maikori, steps down by June.