Yes, it’s that TIME of the year again. TIME magazine has released the verdict of the movers and shakers of 2015 and we were curious to know who among our African brothers and sisters made the cut.
The first name I come across is Mustafa Hassan, a Sudanese aid-worker and child-protection manager at the International Rescue Committee. Some of the work he does entails reuniting refugee children separated from their families by gruelling wars with their families. His noble work, which spans all the way from Darfur to Syria is what earned him a place on this list of fame and the nickname ‘Guardian of Lost Children.’
Next off is my personal favourite, critically acclaimed and award winning Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, appearing on the list right before Julian Moore. This 37 year old African jewel earned her place with books such as Half a Yellow Sun and Americanah but most importantly, her stand on feminism, highlighted in her TEDxEuston talk titled ‘We should all be feminists’ is what earned her the title of ‘cultural critic’ and ‘one of the world’s most influential people’.
Another Nigerian followed; none other than Muhammadu Buhari, the first ever candidate to win against a sitting Nigerian president through the ballot box. The 72 year old president-to-be and former military man has his work cut out for him especially with the terrorism in Nigeria by the notorious Boko Haram. He seems ready though, saying in his April 1st victory speech that, “We must begin to heal the wounds and work toward a better future. We do this first by extending a hand of friendship and conciliation across the political divide.”
In line with this, our next icon is Obiageli Ezekwesili a former Minister for Education in Nigeria. Her #Bringbackourgirls campaign went viral and the whole world knows about the plight of Nigeria because of her brave efforts. The Harvard graduate held nothing back in garnering support for the 300 girls from Chibok, Nigeria who were kidnapped by the Boko Haram and now the world honours her efforts by placing her on this list of fame.
From Northern Africa, we have Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi. His victory on 31st December 2014 marked the first free Tunisian presidential election. The 88 year old is an experienced politician having been the Prime Minister, President of the Chamber of Deputies and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. His people are look up to him especially after the March terrorist attacks on the Bardo National Museum.
Closing off the list of stars is Dr. Jerry Brown of Liberia who helped combat the Ebola crisis. Through his work as a medical director of the Eternal Love Winning Africa Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, and in the face of scepticism and misunderstanding, he trained, taught and treated thousands of people who came to his hospital. This little known doctor helped save lives and by doing so, won himself a place on this prestigious list.
Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to see these brave souls into these lists. CONGRATULATIONS to you all!