The story of music in Nigeria is incomplete without much more than a chapter dedicated to the contributions of Kenny “Keke” Ogungbe.
Born Kehinde Ogungbe on September 10, 1970, there are even those who insist that without his input in entertainment and the country’s music sector in particular, it would not have made the leap it did to the recognition it enjoys the world over today. The producer, radio presenter, TV presenter, CEO of Kennis Music, together with his friend and business partner, Dayo Adeneye (D1), founded the Kennis Music label in the 1990s with which they helped to revive the beats of Nigerian music, which had at the time lost a great deal of its decibels.
The music that had at a time produced greats like Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Sunny Okosuns, Christy Essien Igbokwe and a host of others, had slowly taken a back place to American music, which was enjoying more play in the most populous African country. But that was to change drastically when Keke and D1 came on the scene. Not only were they on radio, the television programme they cohosted, Primetime Jamz (which later became Primetime Africa) changed the kind of music Nigerians were willing to listen to resulting in the boom for local music. Kennis Music also signed on Nigerian musicians like Eedris Abdulkareem, Tony Tetuila, Sound Sultan, 2face Idibia and Oritse Femi, whose music they promoted massively.
Not only was Keke at the very core of the setting up of RayPower FM, which pioneered 24/7 broadcast in Nigeria, he rose to become the station’s managing director before leaving to set up Kennis FM.
The CEO and co-founder of Kennis Music International and a senior partner in Primetime Entertainment, Nigerians’ foremost entertainment company, music broadcast journalist and music executive who operated from Lagos for the better part of his career.
Bet you didn’t know it took him 18 years to obtain a broadcast licence.