Interviews, Podcast

AML096: (Exclusive) Interview with Toni Payne (Pt. 2): 9ice, Ayeni Adekunle, being a target for six years of public shaming over fake news & more


We conclude our two-part interview series with publicist and entrepreneur Toni Payne on the 96th episode of The Africa Music Law Show with Ms. Uduak. In this episode, Payne shares how 9ice and BHM publicist/ founder Ayeni Adekunle’s alleged actions and inactions, made her the target of hate and vitriolic attacks from the public for six years. She discusses the impact, the mistakes, the lessons learned and a lot more. For Part I, visit here.

About Toni Payne

Toni Payne, the founder of Toni Payne Concepts, has an extensive background in the entertainment industry as a publicist, an A&R executive, an artist-manager, publisher, writer, poet, voiceover artist, media personality, and entrepreneur. She has enjoyed success in the Afrobeats field and was directly responsible for discovering and developing one of Nigeria and Africa’s noted contemporary artist 9ice.

Payne was so effective with her management and leadership style that she helped position and propel 9ice to global reach and visibility. On June 27, 2008, Payne watched from backstage at the Hyde Park in London, as 9ice, the sole artist selected from Nigeria, graced a global stage to perform at the 90th birthday celebration of the great Nelson Mandela (RIP). The event was hosted by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, and included performers such as the late Amy Winehouse and Josh Groban. It was a big moment for Nigeria and Africa. 

Payne, as a publicist, has also represented many of Africa’s celebrated artists such as Onyeka Onwenu, 2Face Idibia, and Olamide.

Prior to launching her career in the entertainment industry, Payne was a successful publicist in the fashion industry and a fashion and beauty retail entrepreneur in Los Angeles.

Ever trailblazing, in 1999, she launched Nigeria’s first-ever online entertainment magazine,, a popular forerunner to today’s leading entertainment blogs. In 2011, while living in Nigeria, she starred in her own nationally syndicated reality TV show, “My ChamPayne Life,” which documented the challenges she faced as a woman publicist in the spotlight in a male dominated industry and society. The show was a fan favorite and aired in over 50 countries across Africa.

In 2015, Payne released her first Spoken Word Poetry album titled “I am OSHA” which means “I am a Goddess” in the Yoruba language. The poetry album received wide praise from fans and industry insiders alike. She is the owner of a lifestyle website where she pens diverse articles on entertainment, health and wellness, parenting, poetry, short stories, quotes and more. She is also the producer of “Trending Topics with Toni Payne,” a complimentary podcast to her website.

Payne is currently working on her book “Diary of a Wordsmith” which will feature some of her best-written works.


  • A marriage crisis that spilled into the business
  • Ayeni Adekunle’s (Ayeni) alleged use of platform to benefit self
  • Ayeni’s conflict of interest in representing 9ice
  • The false allegations of cheating on 9ice
  • The inaction of Ayeni to dispel the rumors
  • 9ice’s passive move to dispel rumor
  • The impact of the rumors
  • Leaving Nigeria
  • Lessons learned and tips for artist and managers that are spouses/in a romantic relationship
  • Starting over in the U.S.
  • Signing and managing Brymo internationally and much more

Where to Find Toni Payne

Where to Find Ms.Uduak

Twitter: @uduaklaw

About The Africa Music Law Show with Ms. Uduak

Hosted by California-based Fashion & Entertainment Lawyer Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak), The Africa Music Law show is a show empowering the African artist through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews. The show has been downloaded over 200,000 times and made iTunes top 4 ‘New & Noteworthy.’ Subscribers include Africa & Hollywood’s power executives, investors, lawyers, artists and other industry stakeholders. The blog itself has been cited in a U.S. top-ranked law school’s ‘International Law Review’ journal. Country demographic: Nigeria (26%), USA (23%), UK (15%), UAE (7%), and Other (29%). 

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law website and podcast show empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

For general inquiries, advertising, licensing, or to appear on the show as a guest, please email ( Thank you for visiting.


Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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