Boss of Wale Adenuga Productions (WAP), Wale Adenuga, recently regaled Skoops with tales of the good old days when his publication, Ikebe Super was one of Nigeria’s highest selling and widely read magazine.
The publisher of the now rested comic magazine which featured bikini clad models on its cover at a time when Nigerian society was still strongly conservative revealed that his brain child was such a huge success it sold over 500, 000 copies in a month. “I never believed it was going to be that big when I started in 1976. My main concern was the Ife/Ibadan areas but it just grew out of hand and became a run away success.
We were all over West Africa. The magazine was so popular in Liberia, Ghana and across the entire West African coast. Ikebe Super was a monthly magazine and we were selling over half a million copies a month,” he said.
The magazine featured interesting characters like Boy Alinco, Pa Jimoh and Madam Pepeye to mention a few and was a favourite among comic lovers. However, with the introduction of IBB’s Structural Adjustment Programme in 1989 and the subsequent down turn of the Nigerian economy, the fortunes of Ikebe Super began to dwindle and eventually the platform, which also published another popular comic, Super Story was compelled to close shop in the late 1990s. Waxing nostalgic, Adenuga said: “We had to shut down because the economy took a bad turn.
Inflation came in and cost of production went up and so we had to divest from publishing; there was a shift from print media to electronic media. Imagine a magazine that was selling for N5 suddenly becoming N30 and then N50. It began affecting our sales.
It was eating deep into our pockets. So, we had to look for cheaper ways of entertaining our people with stories.”
While Ikebe Super went into oblivion, popular characters like Papa Ajasco and Boy Alinco have been reinvented for TV. And then Super Story became one of Nigeria’s most popular and syndicated television series.