8 Africans Shaping The Future Of Business, Politics And Entertainment

Written by Peter Pedroncelli
shaping the future
Time magazine has recognized eight Africans who it believes will be influential in shaping the future of business, politics, and entertainment. Model Adut Akech from South Sudan made the list. She attends the BoF 500 Gala held at One Hotel Brooklyn Bridge during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. Photo by Brent N. ClarkeInvisionAP

Eight Africans made Time magazine’s new 100 Next list of rising stars who are influencing the future of business, politics, entertainment, sports, science, health and more.

Three Nigerians and influencers from Kenya, Ghana, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda are on the list alongside music artist Camila Cabello, 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, and NBA star Zion Williamson.

The Time 100 Next List features 100 people from across the globe who are shaping the future in their own unique ways.

Here are the eight Africans on the list.

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Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi – Nigeria

Nigerian Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi is passionate about teaching men to respect women’s rights. Oluwaseun Ayodeji was born and raised in Nigeria. She is the executive director of Stand to End Rape Initiative, a group that ensures that survivors of gender-based violence receive medical, legal, and psycho-social services. Through her work, she was selected as one of 200 Obama Young Leaders for Africa, according to Womendeliver.

Kwame Onwuachi – Nigeria

Named in the “advocate” category is Nigerian-American professional chef and author, Kwame Onwuachi. He is the owner of Washington D.C.-based restaurant Kith/Kin, where he serves Afro-Carribean food that pays homage to his family’s roots in Jamaica, Trinidad, Nigeria and Louisiana, according to Forbes. Onwuachi’s life story is one of highs and lows, which he captures in his acclaimed memoir, “Notes From a Young Black Chef“. He advocates for restaurants to diversify and create more opportunities for Black chefs and people of color, shaping the future of the restaurant industry.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby – Nigeria

Njideka Akunyili Crosby is a Nigeria-born visual artist working in Los Angeles who has been recognized in the “artist” category. She made the Time list due to many of her works of art selling for millions of dollars at auctions. Crosby was the second person to be chosen to create a mural on the walls of the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A., according to Time.

Wanuri Kahiu – Kenya

Wanuri Kahiu is a leading light in a new generation of African storytellers. The Kenyan filmmaker’s stories and films have received international acclaim with her films screened in numerous film festivals around the world. She is the co-founder of Afrobubblegum, a media company that supports, creates and commissions African art. Recognized in the “artist” category, her most famous film is “Rafiki” — an African lesbian love story.

Robert ‘Bobi Wine’ Ssentamu – Uganda

Robert Ssentamu, otherwise known as Bobi Wine, is the Ugandan musician-turned-presidential candidate listed in Time’s “phenom” category. Ssentamu’s People Power movement has become the strongest opposition to Uganda’s current president, Yoweri Museveni, and is looking to unseat the country’s leader who has held power for 33 years, according to AfricanArguments. He has been jailed, beaten and charged with treason by the Ugandan government which sees his rise in politics as a major threat ahead of the 2021 presidential election.

Magid Magid – Somalia

Magid Magid, also known as Magid Mah, is a Somali-British activist and politician who served as the mayor of Sheffield, England from May 2018 to May 2019. He is listed in the “advocate” category of the Time Next 100 List for his efforts in shaping the future of politics in the U.K. and Europe. As a new member of the European parliament, Magid is working on an antifascism campaign in five cities across Europe while advocating to make politics more accessible to young people, according to Time.


Joy Buolamwini – Ghana

Joy Buolamwini is a Ghanaian-American scientist who is being recognized by Time due to her work in fixing biases common with technologies like artificial intelligence. Profiled in the “advocate” category, Buolamwini founded the Algorithmic Justice League in 2016 to highlight that bias, provide a space for users to report it, and help companies eliminate it in their own products. She has since provided her expertise in two congressional hearings and is now working with government agencies in Europe, according to Time.

Adut Akech – South Sudan

Adut Akech is a South Sudanese model who was forced to flee her country due to violence. She ended up in Australia when she was 8 and has since become a supermodel with multiple international Vogue covers and sought-after work in the fashion industry under her belt, according to Marieclaire. She was recognized by Time in the “advocate” category for her efforts to make the fashion industry more inclusive, as well as for calling out racism and other forms of discrimination against refugees.