Nigeria has dominated the list of TOP 100 most influential people in Africa, published by New African Magazine.
oduwoleOne of the most notable among 23 Nigerians who made the list is an 11-year-old Nigerian girl, Zuriel Oduwole.Zuriel, whose Hebrew name means ‘For God is my Rock’, was featured in the magazine for her fight for the education of women.
Miss Oduwole was born and raised in the United States and, of mixed parentage, a Nigerian father and an American-Jewish mother. She lives in California in the United States.
This summer she made history, when she became the youngest person to be interviewed by the influential Forbes Magazine. The award winning documentary film maker, conference speaker and writer is featured in the August 2013 edition of Forbes Africa.
Miss Oduwole has visited China, where she learnt to speak and write Mandarin or Chinese. She speaks a bit of Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo. The girl also travelled to Switzerland, France, United Kingdom, Grenada, Turkey, Antigua, Australia, Fiji, Mexico, Ghana, Egypt, Mauritius, South Africa, Tanzania and, of course, Nigeria, her fatherland.
At the age 11, Oduwole has interviewed leading African personalities, including eight African presidents, Africa’s richest person Aliko Dangote and tennis super stars – Venus and Serena Williams.
Touted by some as the next Oprah Winfrey, Oduwole is reportedly committed to rebrand Africa by showing the positive things in about the continent, and making the case for education the Girl Child in Africa and Emerging Markets.
Other notable names in the list are music producer Don Jazzy, business mogul Aliko Dangote,Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Idris Elba, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Alek Wek, Chiwetei Ejiofor,David Adjaye, DJ Sbu, former South African president Thabo Mbeki, Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe,El Anatsui, Lupita Nyong’o, Omar Sy, P Square, Trevor Noah, Fatuomata Diawaraa and NoViolet Bulawayo.
Also, the oldest woman on the list is the former foreign minister of Somaliland, Edna Adan (76), famous for fighting for women’s rights and health.
The criteria of selecting the influential people is explained below:
“In defining what passes for ‘influence’, New African has been careful to note that while there is indeed for a wide array of qualities and proclivities that earmark people as ‘influential’, a person’s impact on the wide public, social and political community is one of the greatest indicators of influence. Bearing in mind that popularity doesn’t necessarily mean influential, New African Magazine has compiled its list of 100 most influential Africans, 23 of them being Nigerians.
The list offers a glimpse into the diverse breed of young and established leaders intent on reinventing the face of Africa… They include entrepreneurs, spiritual leaders, political game-changers, and sporting record breakers to name but a few.