Since 2019, NET has reported some of the most impactful stories of the past decade - a fine show of dedication, passion, grit and relentless optimism.
On November 23, 2009, Nigerian Entertainment Today – THENETNG started operations delivering top-notch content around Nigeria’s entertainment industry to a new, younger audience. In the ten years since then, the audience has matured a bit, THENETNG itself has accomplished a lot and its place in the annals of Nigerian entertainment media cannot be disputed.
But how did NET go from a fresh-faced print and digital magazine, driven by the passion and grit of its once-a-journalist founder, to an industry veteran, known for the substance of its contribution to several careers, dreams and desires? That may be another person’s story to tell, but breaking some of the most relevant and arguably impactful stories of the time definitely contributed to NET’s accomplishments.
Here are the ten greatest stories broken by NET, as it celebrates its ten-year anniversary:
1. Dagrin’s Death and First Post-Accident Photos: In 2010, Dagrin was arguably one of the most captivating artistes of his time. He had an intriguing backstory, fantastic talent and only just touched the very beginnings of success when he had a car accident that would later prove fatal. This was only a year into operations at NET, which broke the news of the late rapper’s accident, his condition afterwards and his death on the evening of April 22. RIP, Akogun.
2. D’banj and Don Jazzy’s Split: 2012 was one of the most eventful years in the history of Nigerian entertainment and nothing was bigger than Skibanj and Don Baba J’s split. The beginning of the end of the legendary Mo’hits era, NET broke the story of the split, covering perspectives across the entire spectrum of the debacle including an exclusive post Mo’Hits interview with D’banj by Ayeni Adekunle, founder of NET.
3. P-Square’s Break-Up and Peter’s Full Expose: The story of one of Nigeria’s most iconic group split was long and complicated. Between 2015 and 2016, the story of the twin brothers from Jos who had risen to the top and amassed impressive wealth captivated the country. There were several powerful sides to the story but none more powerful than the two brothers, Peter and Paul Okoye, who – as P-Square – dominated the African music industry for years. Following the split, then NET correspondent Dayo Showemimo and NET founder, Ayeni Adekunle, sat with Peter Okoye for an exclusive tell-all of his side of the story.
4. Ice Prince’s Child: 2012 was a big year for Ice Prince. He’d dropped bangers and even got nominated for “Best International Act: Africa” at the 2012 BET Awards alongside Wizkid. A kid [he seemingly didn’t want at first] seemed like the last thing he needed which perhaps explains why he denied the story when former NET editor Osagie Alonge broke the story in March 2012.
5. Wizkid’s First Child: Mega pop star, Wizkid’s personal life has been just as captivating for fans and audiences as his hit songs and international moves. The story of Wizkid’s first child, the first in a slew of child controversies that would later surround the superstar, was broken by NET in August 2011.
6. 9ice and Toni Payne’s Split/Ruggedman’s Role: The end of 9ice’s first marriage came at a time when his career was accelerating rapidly and he was more popular than ever. Throw-in Ruggedman’s involvement, the drama and beef lyrics flying, and you have a blockbuster scandal and NET first broke the story.
7. Goldie’s death: Susan Harvey’s (Goldie’s real name) come up shook up the entertainment industry. Her videos were visceral, her looks were unorthodox and the person behind it all, Goldie, was just your girl next door, as we came to find out on Big Brother Africa. Like Dagrin, the industry was in a state of shock when NET broke the story in February 2013. She’ll forever remain in our hearts.
8. Burna Boy Banned from UK: In the early days of his career, Burna Boy wasn’t the well-liked, almost revered personality he is today. Issues with his then label Aristokrat Records aside, Oluwaburna had some run ins with the law during his university days in the UK which resulted in a 15-year ban. In December 2013, NET was the first to break this story, giving further insight into the complicated life of the fast-rising talent that was Burna Boy.
9. 2Baba’s Journey at 40: 2Baba is the definition of staying power, there is no doubt about. When the legend turned 40, NET got an exclusive look into his very complicated life and career – the only such look of its kind.
10. OJB’s Last Interview: Two days before his unfortunate passing, NET spoke to the legendary OJB Jezreel in what would turn out to be his last ever interview. OJB had a hand in the early careers of some of Nigeria’s biggest stars from 2face Idibia, Wizkid and D’banj to Banky W, Ruggedman and Jazzman Olofin. And what a fitting last interview it was, in honor of someone whose contributions to Nigerian entertainment and pop culture we all feel today.
Since 2009, NET has reported some of the most impactful stories of the past decade – a fine show of dedication, passion, grit and relentless optimism. These ten stories are only a select few of the many others which, unfortunately, space and your attention span cannot possibly allow us cover. Here is to NET’s 10 years of far-reaching and impactful contributions to entertainment media in Nigeria.
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