One of Africa’s most influential broadcasters, Jacob Akinyemi-Johnson, has been confirmed as the voice for the special broadcast to be aired during the eighth edition of the annual Nigerian Entertainment Conference (NECLive).
NECLive, the biggest gathering of professionals in the Nigerian entertainment industry, will hold on Sunday, April 25, 2021. The event returns after a one-year hiatus.
This year’s edition, themed “Building The Future,” will combine a studio set-up of selected speakers with a live global broadcast across cable TV and online.
Jacob Akinyemi-Johnson, known in entertainment circles as JAJ Da Mecca Don, is a broadcast journalist, on-air personality, news anchor, and media consultant. He started broadcasting for a primary school programme at age 10. In 1979, he started his professional career with a memorable stint at NBC’s AM/FM STEREO in Lagos (which later became Radio Nigeria), the nation’s first radio station. His unique presentation style made him popular with radio listeners before long, and by 1983 he was named Radio Personality of the Year. He anchored a Monday morning programme dubbed “The Dance Party” and a late evening show called “Nite Flight”, which endeared him to the listening public. By the early 1990s, fans christened him “Top Gun”, which referenced the 1986 Tom Cruise movie of the same name.
In 1997, Akinyemi-Johnson joined the Silverbird Group. In 2006, he became General Manager of the Group and served in that capacity until February 2020, when he was appointed Chief Creative Officer. He is famous for his late evening music countdown show, “Top 7 Jams at 7 with JAJ The Mecca Don”, which airs on Rhythm 93.7 FM.
Akinyemi-Johnson has spent 41 years in the broadcasting industry. Fans and colleagues alike have lauded his longevity and creative prowess. He is also credited with launching or impacting the careers of artists like DJ Waxxy, Modenine and many others.
“He deserves to be eulogised for introducing the term ‘OAP’ into the Nigerian broadcast firmament. It was Rhythm 93.7 that first employed the moniker back in ‘97,” Femi Sowoolu, a media consultant, tweeted in 2020.
NECLive8 is organised by ID Africa in partnership with Huce Valeris, AV Edge, Livespot, 7even Interactive, HipTV, Megalectrics, EDS, Big Cabal Media and BHM, and with sponsorship support from Nigerian Breweries and MultiChoice.
“Radio has been one of the most important mediums for the growth and success of contemporary Nigerian music locally, thanks to the works of on-air personalities and DJs,” says Femi Falodun, CEO, ID Africa. “The legendary JAJ is one of the most prominent voices who laid the groundwork for a lot of what we now enjoy today – especially with Hip Hop, Rap and pop music. He remains your favourite OAP’s favourite OAP, and is still a great influence after four decades.”
On his part, Akinyemi-Johnson, in confirming his participation, says: “I am elated. It’s an honour for me to have the opportunity to be part of an event of this nature. Entertainment in Nigeria is growing in leaps and bounds, especially the music, but we need to see the creative industry grow to its full potential.”
At NECLive8, Akinyemi-Johnson will voice the NECLive TV Special, a scripted 90-minute-long production, featuring a seven-year chronicle of the most powerful speakers and memorable moments from the NECLive stage between 2013 and 2020. The documentary-style production which will contain new, original recordings, archival materials and never-before-seen footage, will broadcast live on TV and also stream online.
Confirmed speakers for this year’s event include Nigerian comedians Basketmouth and Bovi; co-founder of Andela and Flutterwave, Iyin Aboyeji, Nollywood star, Dakore Egbuson-Akande; and founder of the Temple Management Company, Idris Olorunnimbe.
Over the span of 7 years, NECLive has attracted more than 12,000 physical participants and 20 million viewers and audiences on television and digital. Nigerian Entertainment Conference (often stylized as NECLive), with the hashtag #NECLive, is an umbrella conference for the entertainment industry in Nigeria, which continually discusses the trajectory of the sector and shapes the discourse and practices surrounding it.
#NECLive is the marketplace for innovative ideas, products, the unveiling of dynamic solutions that will connect, engage and encourage industry collaborations for sustainable socio-economic development; while offering a brighter future on the continent.