Wale Adenuga

Wale Adenuga
Chairman, Wale Adenuga Productions

Wale Adenuga’s entry into the entertainment industry is not happenstance. It dates back to his days as a student in the University of Lagos, where he studied Business Administration.

He began as a cartoonist in the campus magazine, and became the chief cartoonist along the line. And upon completion of his national youth service in the then Bendel State after graduation in 1975, he launched Ikebe Super, the comic magazine that brought him to limelight. A natural story teller, Adenuga wanted a channel through which he could pass his jokes across to everybody, and found Ikebe Super a veritable avenue.

The magazine had such comic characters as Papa Ajasco, a chronic womanizer; Pa

Jimoh, an illiterate lay about; Boy Alinco, a playboy and Miss Pepeye, a promiscuous gold digger; Mama Ajasco, and others.

He added other magazines, Super Story, a satirical publication and Binta, a children’s publication, in quick succession.

Ikebe Super was the only one of its kind in the country, and with a print run of up to 500,000 copies a month, it was the largest selling publication in the country. The sales volume was enough to make Adenuga smile to the bank every month, even if the mark-up wasn’t much.

Adenuga switched from print to electronic medium when the country was hit by the economic recession of the eighties, which adversely affected the media industry, especially the print media. He launched his first effort in movie production, Papa Ajasco, in 1983, the first English comedy movie at a time the industry was dominated by Yoruba language productions.

He followed up by introducing the television series of the same title, which ranked among the most watched television programmes in the country. This was after the introduction of the film version of Binta, in 1995, which was re-titled, Binta My Daughter. His flagship programme, Super Story, remains the longest-running television series in the country today. Other equally popular television series are Nnena and Friends, and This Life.

Adenuga is not only known for his pioneering role in entertainment in the country, using both the print and electronic media, he has made outstanding contributions to the training of practitioners in the industry. In 2004, he set up the Pencil Film and Television Institute to offer training courses in television and film production, directing, Cinematography, etc. These courses form the backbone of movie production. Many of those plying their trade in the movie industry today are said to have through passed his school

A holder of the national honour of Member of the Federal Republic (MFR), Adenuga has several awards under his belt, including five at the 2002 edition of the Nigerian Film Festival, where he carted home the Best Producer, Best Script Writer, Best Director, Best Television Drama and Best Socially Relevant Television Production.