September 27, 2023

The personalities, who are the only Africans on the list, were recognised as top innovators, leaders, pioneers, and artists, respectively.

By Hope Ibiale

African change makers, Wanjiri Mathai, Dr. Dimie Ogoina, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, and El Anatsui have been listed as some of the most influential people on the TIME 100: Most Influential People of 2023 list. The personalities, who are the only Africans on the list, were recognised as top innovators, leaders, pioneers, and artists, respectively. Other people who made the list include Michael B. Jordan, Doja Cat, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Angela Bassett, Salma Hayek Pinault, Colleen Hoover, Steve Lacy, Ke Huy Quan, Pedro Pascal, and many more.

Time 100 is an annual listicle of the 100 most influential people in the world, assembled by the American news magazine, Time. First published in 1999 due to a debate among American academics, politicians, and journalists, the list is now a highly publicised annual event. Appearing on the list is often seen as an honour, and anyone who makes the list is recognised for changing the world in their respective fields.

(Read also: South African Documentary Film, The Radical Longlisted for One World Media Awards)

Wanjira Mathai is a Kenyan environmentalist and activist. She is Vice President and Regional Director for Africa at the World Resources Institute. She takes on global issues such as deforestation and energy access in this role. She was also selected as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African Magazine in 2018 for serving as the senior advisor at the World Resources Institute.

Prof. Dimie Ogoina is an Infectious Disease Physician and a Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Director of the NDUTH and the President of the Nigerian Infectious Diseases Society.

(Read also: 6 Africans Shortlisted for the 2023 Commonwealth Short Story Prize)

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Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a Nigerian accountant and politician who is the president-elect of Nigeria. He served as governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007 and senator for Lagos West during the brief Third Republic.

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema is a Tanzanian biodiversity leader and lawyer, who has served as Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) since 2023. In 2007, Mrema received the first-ever UNEP-wide Best Manager of the Year Award (the UNEP Baobab Staff Award).

El Anatsui is a Ghanaian sculptor who was active in Nigeria for much of his career. He has drawn particular international attention for his “bottle-top installations.” The artist has exhibited his works at the Clark Art Institute, the Rice University Art Gallery, Houston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and many other places.

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