2020 has been the year in which we have seen the world change, one event after the other.
We have witnessed a global civil rights movement, a global economic collapse and an unforeseen pandemic.
But in all of this, there have been people doing amazing things, facilitating change and making contributions to the world through their dedication, art and skills.
Time magazine has released the 17th edition of their annual 100 Most Influential individuals to honour and celebrate these people.
This year’s lists includes some very deserving Africans and people of colour such as Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union, Jennifer Hudson, The Weekend, Maya Moor and Naomi Osaka.
Here are a few of our favourites on the Time Magazine list:
Tony Elemelu is the chairman of United Bank for Africa, a Nigerian bank that is now operational in 20 African countries, the United Kingdom and the United States.
In his tribute written by world-famous Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote he is described as having a “charming, tenacious personality: a man who hardly backs down from any challenge. The same engaging qualities have propelled him from a modest beginning in Nigeria to becoming chair of the United Bank of Africa, and one of the most innovative and ambitious business leaders of his generation.“
Some followers of his have sent their congratulations, including current President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Buhari.
He is also the chairman of Transcorp Plc, a fund management firm and a tall list of other prestigious organisations. He is celebrated this year for his achievements in business and his very impressive strides in philanthropy and investment.
Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza
In 2013, Opal Tometi and her co-founders Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza started a website for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
According to Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martins, the boy whose death in kickstarted the movement, knowing that these three women were fighting for justice made her feel supported.
Support has poured in from various individuals and organisations for these women on this achievement.
According to some analysts, it has become the biggest movement in the history of the United States and these ladies deserve to be celebrated.
Opal is the child of Nigerian-born parents but is just as American as her co-founders Patrisse and Alicia.
They are involved in other activist activities like Prison reforms and abolition, LGBTQ rights, health and students rights and other social issues.
Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American novelist and creative writing coach who is on the 2020 Time Magazine list.
Her book Children of Blood and Bone, the first in the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy won the 2018 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy. Describing the trilogy “as a cross between Harry Potter, the Chronicles of Narnia and Yoruba gods“, Hollywood actor John Boyega paints a beguiling tribute on why Tomi deserves a mention on the list.
It also won the 2019 Waterstones Book Prize and the 2019 Hugo Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book.
In 2019, she was on the Forbes30 Under 30 list. In 2020, she has been named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People Of 2020.
The writer took to her twitter page to announce the news to her followers, opening the door to congratulatory messages from singer and actor Ryan Destiny and the likes.
Tunji Funsho, is a Nigerian physician who was very instrumental in the eradication of polio from Africa.
He is said, by Time Editor at Large Jeffrey Kluger, to have done “more than any other person to drive polio to continent-wide extinction”
Tunji Funsho worked with other partners including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to achieve Africa’s certification as polio-free on August 25.
Meg Thee Stallion
Hot Girl Meg made the list as a pioneer, “harnessing the power of influence to forge genuine progress.”
Born Megan Jovon Ruth Pete, the 25-year-old is among the high-profile “pioneers” who have impacted the world.
She is described as “the epitome of tenacity,…pulling herself up by her bootstraps” by award-winning actor Taraji Henson.
Miss Thee Stallion has churned out back to back number one hit songs in the past year and has risen above the challenges that confronted her in the music industry, including her widely publicised shooting by fellow rapper Tory Lanez.
Though she is yet to post anything about it on her twitter, her fans have been showing love and support since the news broke.