Four Nigerians, including Heirs Holdings Chairman Tony Elumelu, made it to this year’s TIME100, Time Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
The economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Tony Elumelu is also Chairman of the United Bank for Africa and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. Nigerian industrialist, Aliko Dangote, called Elumelu “a leading proponent of ‘Africapitalism,’ a belief that Africa’s private sector can and must play a leading role in the continent’s development through long-term investments.
“After deepening the financial market in Africa, he has found an equally important niche: giving a voice of hope to millions of youths across Africa.”
Also on the list was physician and cardiologist, Dr. Tunji Funsho, who was recognized for his work on eradicating polio, having played an essential role in ensuring Africa’s certification as wild polio-free in August. He is the first Rotary member to receive this honour.
“I’m honoured to be recognized by TIME for my part in ensuring that no child in Africa will ever again be paralyzed by wild polio, a disease that once disabled 75,000 African children every single year,” said Dr. Funsho. “Eradicating the wild poliovirus in Africa was a team effort that required the cooperation and dedication of governments, partners, Rotary members, hundreds of thousands of health workers, and countless parents who chose to have their children vaccinated against polio.”
Nigerian-American novelist, Tomi Adeyemi, best known for her debut novel Children of Blood and Bone and its sequel, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, was named under the ‘Pioneers’ section of the list.
“Tomi is the god of ideas. She’s inspiring a lot of young people to write. She creates the very world that we as actors get to play in. And the big-screen adaptation will hire a lot of people and bring more representation to our industry,” wrote actor John Boyega in a beautiful tribute.
The Time 100 list, now in its seventeenth year, recognizes the activism, innovation and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals. Other big names included The Weeknd, Megan Thee Stallion, Michaela Cohen and Giannis Antetokounmpo. U.S. President Donald Trump, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, also made the list.