The New African magazine has announced it’s most 100 influential Africans of 2014 and the list has given us the list of the most influential Africans in politics, media, the arts, activism and the like. It has many cool people on it. Some are there as a sort of “usual suspects” and a reminder that they are still alive – I’m looking at you Archbishop Desmond “Deputy Jesus” Tutu as well as new names like Trevor Noah.
There are fourteen Kenyans amongst the list Africa’s 100 most Influential. At top of the list is our #HashtagPresident President Uhuru Kenyatta. He became president last year and has gone to be one of the most talked about African leaders in recent times. I would add Fatou Bensouda here although her entry is because she spends so much thinking about getting the Kenyan leader (into jail).
Also in there is Lupita Nyong’o whose failure to appear on the list would have invalidated the list as it’s not very often we get an African winning an Oscar and then conquering the fashion world with awesome gowns.
In the same fashion space is Diana Opoti whose 100 Days of African Fashion made her an instant legend in African fashion circles as she showed off a new outfit for three months and ten days straight.
Talking about legends how about that Tabitha Karanja of Keroche Breweries getting into a space that SAB Miller, in its previous incarnation as SABL, was famously was kicked out of by dominant Kenyan player EABL. She is there as a business influential.’ Incidentally she also recently won businesswoman of the year somewhere else. Wicked.
Then there is Boniface Mwangi who promised to leave street protests to the next generation and then discovered that it wasn’t such a good idea as the #HastagPresident and his digital government was really making a mockery of running our country. Also in there is Jimmy Chuchu who became initially famous as a member of weird band Just-A-Band but also did a documentary that not all Kenyans are against “gayism” as there is a community of living and breathing “Ngays.” There is also Ory Okolloh who is very influential with her IT thing.
Scientist Calestous Juma is one of the coolest chaps out there and he made the list. The Harvard professor and director of the Gates Foundation funded Innovation In Africa Project is a very cool chap if you were to follow him on twitter.
The writers were also in there with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Binyavanga Wainaina and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor. And cartoonist Godfrey “Gado” Mwapwemba of the cartoons that annoy and the XYZ show.
Then there is the YouTube athlete Julius Yego. His claim to fame is being a Kenyan who is winning medals for such a strange discipline as javelin. I mean who know that people could win medals from throwing a piece of metal? Next you will hear Kenyans entering the shot put. Or the high jump. A more common influential athlete for a Kenyan is Denis Kimetto who broke the marathon world record in Berlin earlier in the year.