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has revealed its list of 100 most influential people in the world and six Africans including three Nigerians were on that list.
The list, now in its seventeenth year, recognises the activism, innovation, and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals.
The Africans on the list are as follows:
#1. TONY ELUMELU
Tony Elumelu, a Nigerian, is the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Heirs Holdings and Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA). UBA, one of the biggest banks in Africa, operates in 20 countries in Africa, the United Kingdom, France, and is the only African bank with a commercial deposit taking licence in the United States.
Since inception, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has funded just under 10,000 entrepreneurs and created a digital ecosystem of over one million as part of its ten year, US$100m commitment through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.
#2. TUNJI FUNSHO
Dr Tunji Funsho, a former cardiologist, is the chair of Rotary International’s polio-eradication program in Nigeria. Together with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the WHO, the CDC and UNICEF, Funsho and Rotary helped lead National Immunization Days, getting millions of doses of the polio vaccine to children in cities and villages around the nation.
This year Nigeria marked four years without a case of wild polio,qualifying it for its polio-free certification
#3. TOMI ADEYEMI
27-year-old Nigerian-American Tomi Adeyemi is a novelist and writing coach. She is known for her #1 NY Times bestselling book Children of Blood and Bone, the first in the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy. In 2019, she was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
According to Jon Boyega, “Tomi is the god of ideas. She’s inspiring a lot of young people to write. She creates the very world that we as actors get to play in. And the big-screen adaptation will hire a lot of people and bring more representation to our industry—all that comes directly from Tomi’s imagination. She is going to be very powerful when it comes to bringing stories and ideas to the forefront.”
#4. ABUBACARR TAMBADOU
Abubacarr Marie “Ba” Tambadou is a Gambian lawyer and politician who is a former prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and, until this past summer, Justice Minister in Gambia.
Moved by his 2018 visit to a refugee camp in Bangladesh where he heard the haunting testimonies of Rohingya survivors, Tambadou and his government brought a case before the International Court of Justice, accusing Myanmar of perpetrating genocide. In January 2020 they won an extraordinary initial ruling against Myanmar and its leader (and courtroom defender) Aung San Suu Kyi, as the judges ordered that Myanmar “take all measures within its power” to stop violent attacks against the Rohingya while the court continues to investigate the country’s past actions.
#5. JEAN-JACQUES MUYEMBE TAMFUM
Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum, Congolese is recognised for his fight against Ebola, from helping discover the virus in 1976 through the recent outbreak from 2018 to 2020. Dr. Muyembe took exemplary action to battle misinformation and public mistrust of vaccine therapies, and pioneered new containment techniques for the devastating virus, thus strengthening the medical and scientific commitment of an entire generation
As a bonus, I will like to add Giannis Antetokounmpo. Though Greek, he has Nigerian parents
#6. GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO
Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo (Greek script rendition for Adetokunbo) is a Greek professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball association (NBA). He is born of Nigerian parents.
Antetokounmpo’s nationality, in addition to his combination of size, speed and ball-handling skills earned him the nickname “Greek Freak“. He has just won a second straight NBA MVP award.
According to basketball legend and six-time NBA champion and league Most Valuable Player, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, “I have no doubt that Giannis will extend the NBA records he holds—he already has the highest single-season Player Efficiency Rating, which combines all of a player’s stats, in NBA history—possibly beyond the reach of future generations”
Led by TIME 100 editorial director Dan Macsai, the list is the result of many hundreds of Zooms and Google Meets among many dozens of our global staff, as well as recommendations by TIME 100 alumni.
“We see the TIME 100 as more than a list,” says Macsai. “It’s a community of hundreds of leaders from across the years and around the world whose visions can guide us and whose achievements can bring us hope.”
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