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Akapo Emmanuel (born 10 November 1981) is a Nigerian music educator,[1] record producer, writer and creative entrepreneur.[2] He is the founder of Tenstrings Music Institute, a music academy with multiple centers in Nigeria. He has worked with notable Nigerian musicians such as Sound Sultan, Eva Alordiah, Bez, and Brymo. He is also the founder of Black Fragrance School of Design, a Lagos-based design academy offering vocational training in design fields such as fashion design, interior decor, animation, photography, website and graphics design.[3]

Akapo Emmanuel
Emmanuel Akapo.jpg
Akapo Emmanuel in 2014
Background information
Birth name (1981-11-10) 10 November 1981 (age 38)
BornLagos, Nigeria
OriginBadagry, Lagos, Nigeria
Occupation(s)Music educator, songwriter, record producer, showbiz
Years active(2001 –present)

Early life and careerEdit

Raised in Lagos, Emmanuel had his primary and secondary school education in Lagos. Although he had the dream of becoming an Electronic Engineer, in his teenage years he discovered his passion for music and began playing professionally as a pianist at the age of 17. As the years went by, he picked up more instruments one after the other, such as the violin, trumpet and saxophone. After receiving several professional training and self-development, Emmanuel began his music education career in Lagos in 2001 by picking up appointments as a part-time music instructor with a number of schools. Some of the schools where he taught music include Olivefield International School, Nigerian Model Schools, Yetkem High School and Pencils Film and Television Institute (PEFTI). In 2005, he enrolled at Lagos State University for a first degree in Public Administration.

Tenstrings Music InstituteEdit

After several years of music teaching experience, in 2007, Emmanuel founded Tenstrings Music Institute,[4][5] a music academy that provides vocational training for young people who want to pursue careers in music. He started the music school in a shared office apartment in Festac Town, Lagos, but soon left there for a bigger place in same Festac Town. Although, he found it very challenging at the beginning, four years after establishment, the school had experienced a huge growth and wide acceptance. Today, Tenstrings is one of Nigeria's leading music institutes, having expanded rapidly and currently running study centers in Ikeja,[6] Surulere, Lekki and Festac Town, also having affiliates in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Akure.[7] It has trained over 4000 persons in about eight years.[8] Some of the notable activities and events organized periodically by the institute include; The Starmingle,[9] HippyJams, Gospel Breakfast, Playing4Change and The Ones2Watch Concert.[10][11][12]

Black Fragrance FoundationEdit

In July 2018, Akapo launched a new social enterprise known as Black Fragrance Foundation - an international social enterprise that seeks to foster sustainable development in Africa through entrepreneurial and social innovations that improve access to education, strengthen the creative economy and develop enterprise. The foundation which opened in two offices simultaneously in Lagos runs two major entrepreneurial initiatives: the Black Fragrance School of Design and Black Fragrance Designs International. He hopes to reduce poverty in Nigeria through these initiatives by providing vocational training for young people in the creative industries and investing time and capital in helping them establish, expand or improve their lives through economic empowerment and enterprise development. [13][14][15]

Published worksEdit

Akapo Emmanuel has published several music training materials, the biggest and most recent of them is the 580-page Musician Handbook with a two-hour DVD titled 'You've Got Music'.[16] The content spans Rudiments of Music, Songwriting, Music Business, Audio Technology and Musicianship.

In addition to his published training materials, Emmanuel is also an ardent writer and speaker on music business and the entertainment industry in general.[17] He writes for Newspapers and organizes music industry workshops periodically.


  1. ^ Akapo, Emmanuel (31 May 2015). "Success in the Music Industry". The Sun Newspaper. Archived from the original on 11 August 2015.
  2. ^ "I feel disappointed when people complain of piracy –Akapo Emmanuel". National Mirror News Paper. 11 September 2015.
  3. ^ "How poverty can be eradicated in Nigeria– Akapo". Punch Newspaper. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  4. ^ "I love my body – Bokiestar (A student of Tenstrings Music Institute)". Punch Newspaper. 7 December 2014. Archived from the original on 23 August 2015.
  5. ^ "The Magic of Music". This Day Newspaper. 14 January 2015. Archived from the original on 3 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Why gospel musicians don't make money –Cobhams Asuquo". The Sun Newspaper. 24 April 2015. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Tenstrings Music Unveils Facilities". The Nation Newspaper (Page 28). 22 September 2015.
  8. ^ Tenstrings Students (20 December 2014). "FTK OUT WITH NEW SINGLES". Punch Newspaper. Archived from the original on 7 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Cobhams and GT receive Tenstrings Mentors Award". The Nigerian Voice. 8 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Entertainers brace up for the Ones2Watch Concert". Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Music is community service – Akapo Emmanuel". The Guardian. 25 February 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Music Tourism: Nigeria loses $5b annually —Emmanuel Akapo, President, Tenstrings Musical Institute". Tribune Newspaper. 5 October 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Black fragrance: hub of creative excellence berths in Lagos". Daily Times Nigeria. 6 July 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Black Fragrance Foundation Set To Award Annual Education Scholarships". Optimum Times. 6 July 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Creative industry is highly untapped, says Tenstring boss". Vanguard. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  16. ^ "You've Got Music for Launch". Vanguard Newspaper (Page 8). 14 April 2013.
  17. ^ "Digital Technology in Music Business; The Ultimate Game Changer". Leadership Newspaper. 25 January 2015. Archived from the original on 28 July 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015.