Nigerians, both at home and in diaspora, flew their country’s flag high representing Nigeria on the global stage by making the 2022 Global Top 100 Under 40 list released by the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD), a global civil society initiative in support of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent. MIPAD released this prestigious list during the Recognition Week 2022 following the opening of the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City in the United States of America.
Since its founding five years ago, MIPAD has annually released global lists of the best and brightest people of African descent who are making positive contributions in their fields of endeavor. This unique Global 100 Under 40 list identifies and recognizes outstanding individuals worldwide across the four core categories of Politics and Governance, Business and Entrepreneurship, Media and Entertainment, Activism & Humanitarian Endeavors.
Nigeria’s representation on this global list is noteworthy. Analysts and observers see this feat by Nigerians as a demonstration of the youthful energy that Nigerians bring to bear in whatever endeavour or sector they elect to play in, wherever in the world they find themselves.
Kamil Olufowobi, Chief Executive Officer of MIPAD, explains that usually honorees from Nigeria, Brazil and USA dominate our annual global list because of their population size i.e., Nigeria is the biggest Black nation in the world with over 180 million people followed by Brazil in the Diaspora with over 100 million Afro-descendants and the USA with over 45 million Black people.” He went on to say that, “Nigerians around the world are making positive contributions and the expertise they are learning abroad must be harnessed toward the development of Nigeria and Africa.”
A breakdown of the list shows that while Nigerian-based honorees are 13 the rest are diaspora-based scattered around Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas.
The Nigerian-based honourees include AbdulJabar Oyekan, co-founder of Yahshud, a crowdfunding platform that connects investors with affordable housing developers; Aisha Raheem Bolarinwa, co-founder of Farmz2U, a digital platform that prevents food waste by helping farmers plan their crops. Akah Nnani, Actor & TV-Host, Ayotunde Fabamwo, Director, House of Twitch, Efa Iwara, Actor, Emmanuel Nwobodo, Chair, Federation of African Law Student, Kola Aina, Founding Partner, Ventures Platform, Muhammad Suleiman, National Youth Leader, PDP and Omawunmi Ogbe Managing Partner, GLG Communications. Others are Prince Deji Ajomale-McWord, Secretary General of World Sports Tourism Counci, Tari Taylaur, Politician, Youth Party Nigeria and O’tega Ogra, Group Head/General Manager, Brands & Corporate Communications at BUA Group.
The Diaspora-based Nigerians on the list include Angelica Nwandu, the founder of the Shade Room (USA), Damola Adamolekun, first Black CEO of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro; Efe Ukala (USA), Founder, ImpactHER, Evana Oli (USA), Co-Founder, Beautiful Curly Me, Francesca Uriri, Global DEI Communications at Meta (USA), Tara Peaches Enahoro (USA) is an Entertainment Law Attorney. Damilare Ogunleye, Co-founder of FoodLama, a $1 billion food chain (UK); Linda Ayoola, Head of Africa & Services at Apple (UK), Oluwatobi Aibogun (UK), Visionary at Global Citizen and Raphael Sofoluke who is the Founder & CEO of UK Black Business Show, UK Black Business Week.
Others are celebrity stylish and reality TV star Jeremiah “Swanky Jerry” Ogbodo (South Africa), Mayowa Adegoke Channels Television, Reporter & Producer in Dubai (UAE), Omolara (Molly) Gbodimowo (Morocco) Director of Strategy at Africa50, Motyat Abiola Olatunmbi aka Tia Taylor (Italy) Digital Content Creator, Tokunbo Hussain (Netherlands) award-winning International Lawyer, Victoria Obiakor is Director of Sales, Sheraton Luxury Collection in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Damilare Kujembola & Timi Adeyeba are Co-Founders of Amplify Africa (USA).
Also, notable mention are Simi & Adekunle Gold recognized as the 2022 Power Couple (Africa) while Brazilian Carolina Maíra Moraes and her Nigerian husband Ajoyemi. O. Osunleye Power Couple (Diaspora).
Olufowobi congratulated the honourees and said that, “it is hoped that the people of African descent, everywhere around the world, will look up to these honourees and get inspired to pursue excellence, especially in the field of law and justice, or whatever field they play.”
These Nigerian honourees were inducted into the MIPAD Class of 2022 Law and Justice for their outstanding contributions and service towards the advancement for people of African descent worldwide and are invited to the Lagos New Year Gathering Sunday, January 29th 2023 and next global gathering for all MIPAD honorees taking place in Republic of Rwanda, on Africa Day, May 25th 2023.
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