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January 1, 2020
Guess what, in a little over a week, January will be over. With the year 2020 being a leap year, it means you have 346 days remaining to accomplish your new year resolution. Though, I am not here to sweat you on why haven’t started what you said on New Year’s Eve that you would be doing.
No, instead, this article is going to give you a perspective of the movers and shakers from the African continent poised to mark big marks this year. That is based on their previous years, and if the trajectory is anything to go by, they should make a more significant mark this year.
Did you know that there were eight Africans featured in the recent Time magazine’s Top 100 Rising Stars? Well, I thought you should know and perhaps keep tabs on what they will be doing this year.
If their activities in 2019 and the previous few years made them feature in 2019 Time 100 Next List, then their trajectory informs us 2020 will be another step up in their ladder towards their success.
Now, these eight individuals are drawn from various sectors, including politics, economics, and even the kitchen (or is it the hospitality) industry. Without much further ado, they are as follows:
It is unfortunate that even in the 21st Century, women are still subjected to mistreatment, their rights stumbled upon, and their views, not sought and if given not respected. That in itself is a disservice to the progress of humanity as a species. I mean, women make up half the population, and we need all hands on deck to fast track our development.
Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi is the executive director of Stand to End Rape (STER), a women’s help group helping survivors of gender-based violence get medical, legal, and psycho-social care.
Proud to see Oluwaseun @AyodejiOsowobi in this list. She’s an @ObamaFoundation Leader who’s organizing young people in Nigeria to help end sexual violence, and her work embodies what our foundation is all about: passing the baton to the next generation. https://t.co/JSkUnRtaoD
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 18, 2019
Ayodeji Osowobi is also on the frontline of a campaign out to teach men to respect the rights of every woman. She was born and raised in Nigeria, and through her passion for fighting for women’s rights, she was selected to join the 200 Obama Young Leaders for Africa initiative.
Nigerian-American professional chef Kwame Onwuachi is the owner of the Kith/Kin restaurant in Washington, D.C. The chef cum author serves dinners to delicious Afro-Carribean cuisines paying homage to his roots stretching across Nigeria, Trinidad, Jamaica, and Louisiana.
Onwuachi shares the highs and lows of his life in his memoir Notes From a Young Black Chef. According to him, his restaurant and life story can be used to advocate for diversity and giving a chance to people of color. He was recognized in the Time’s ‘advocate’ category of the 2019 Time 100 Next List.
‘The Kitchen at Per Se Was a Clean Place but Hard and Heartless Too’
Kwame Onwuachi’s memoir, “Notes From a Young Black Chef,” reveals kitchen abuse at Thomas Keller’s NYC restaurant
With Notes From a Young Black Chef , Kwame Onwuachi proves that https://t.co/Q2dNjETYQ8
— Rebeca Montes (@RebecaM30503470) November 22, 2019
Born in Nigeria, and now working as an artist in Los Angeles, Njideka Akunyili Crosby was recognized under the ‘artists’ category of 2019 Time 100 Next List. She featured in the list thanks to her prolific artistic works, some selling for millions of dollars at various auctions.
She was the second person picked to create a mural on the walls of the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Los Angeles.
I’ve just posted a new blog: Michelle Obama Visits Njideka Akunyili Crosby In Her Studio https://t.co/eMIokUEm1k
— Report Minds (@Reportminds) November 25, 2019
If you are an avid reader of modern African literature, then you probably know Wanuri Kahiu. She is one of the best African storytellers of recent times. Through her stories and films in Kenya, she has garnered international attention.
Some of her films have been screened numerous times in film festivals around the globe. She is also a co-founder of the Afrobubblegum, a media company out to support, create, and commission art across Africa.
Kahiu was recognized under the ‘artist’ category of the 2019 Time 100 Next List. Her film ‘Rafiki’ is believed to have contributed the most to her recognition. The film is about an African lesbian story on the continent that largely shuns homosexuality.
So grateful RAFIKI is part of the China Women’s Film Festival. ??https://t.co/0SqkmIjdJs
— Wanuri (@wanuri) October 17, 2019
Robert Ssentamu, popularly known as Bobi Wine is a Ugandan musician turned politician. Currently serving as a Member of Parliament for Kyadondo East, Bobi Wine has made international headlines for his resolve to oust the Ugandan strongman and current president, Yoweri Museveni.
President Museveni has served as the President of Uganda for more than three decades now. At one point, he was poised to be stopped for running for office again due to the age limit entrenched in the Uganda constitution. Through questionable political maneuvers, the age limit was removed, thereby making it possible for a president to hold on to power for a lifetime.
The young Bobi Wine has made his intention to vie for the presidency in the upcoming 2021 Uganda elections. Something that has seen him being jailed, beaten, and charged with treason by the government of Uganda.
Not Even a dictator can stop an idea ? who’s time has come.
The people of #uganda most be allowed to make their decisions and kick ?out the dictator.
— Deep Talk Naija (@deeptalknaija) January 20, 2020
Magid Magid is a Somali-British national known for his activism and becoming the mayor of Sheffield in England between May 2018 to May 2019. He is recognized under the ‘advocate’ category of the 2019 Time 100 Next List.
Magid recognition is mainly due to his successful maneuvers through British politics, one mayor, and now a member of the European parliament. He is on the frontline of the antifascism campaign across five cities in Europe and urges the youth to take active participation in politics and the running of the country.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) July 4, 2019
The Ghanaian-American scientist, Joy Buolamwini, was recognized by Time for her efforts in counteracting the common biases with developing technologies such as artificial intelligence. Time recognized her under the ‘advocate’ category.
In 2016, she founded the Algorithmic Justice League, through which she highlights the biases that are continuously being perpetuated with the development of new cutting-edge technologies. She is helping tech companies not to propagate stereotypes with their new inventions.
At one time, Buolamwini gave her expertise at two congressional hearings and is now part of a team working for government agencies across Europe.
Adut Akech is a model who is originally from South Sudan, where she fled as a child due to the violence that broke out. She first went to Australia while she was 8-years-old, and with time joined the modeling industry.
Akech modeling career skyrocketed while in Australia that she now works with multiple international Vogue covers. She is highly sorted after in the fashion industry and has her belt line.
The Time recognized her under the ‘advocate’ category for her role in proving to the fashion industry that beauty comes with a broader spectrum of color and ethnicity.