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Okonjo-Iweala, Genevieve Nnaji, Davido, Omotola.. 19 Nigerians alongside Obama, Elon Musk make Forbes Icons from Africa list


Nineteen Nigerians has earned a spot in Forbes magazine's 2021 Icon from Africa list.

To celebrate Forbes Africa 100th issue, the renowned magazine curated a list celebrating creatives, inventors and influential role models that have contributed in Africa’s growth over the last decade.

In it's publication, Forbes wrote: "From Hollywood exports and Grammy artists to award-winning ideas that can save the world, Africa is not only diverse in its people but also in its industries and creativity. 

"Africa, a continent brimming with beauty and diversity, has produced some of the finest minds and most incredible ideas, be it in business, science, art, or entertainment, thus debunking the many myths, misconceptions, and stereotypes about the continent from the Western world.

"The continent boasts six of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Many outside of the realm of Africa are unaware that Nollywood (Nigeria’s film industry) is technically larger than Hollywood in terms of the number of films produced every year. 

The list which comprises of both indigenous Africans and the continent's exports over the years, include former US President Barack Obama; who is a Kenyan descent, Elon Musk, tech magnate who is a South African-American and Idris Elba, a Hollywood star actor who has both Sierra Leone and British citizenship.

The Nigerians on the investors and innovators category are Olugbenga GB Agboola, founder and CEO of Flutterwave. A financial application programming interface that makes it simpler to process payments across Africa.

Chukwunonso Arinze, who developed Kaoshi mobile app that connects expatriate immigrants and money senders across the globe.

Kaoshi app helps users “send money to anywhere in the world quickly and without paying expensive fees”.

Usman Dalhatu, Aliyu Hassan and Yunusa Muhammad Garba, who invented RESPIRE-19, a portable automatic emergency-ventilator for COVID-19 patients.

Dr Wale Adeosun, the inventor of Wellvis, a free online COVID-19 tool that allows users to do a self-assessment of their symptoms against a pre-programmed check-list of confirmed symptoms. 

The tool also offers medical advice or provides information on the nearest medical center that a user can visit for treatment.

Osh Agabi, the brain behind Koniku Kore, a device which contains a chip that merges living genetically modified brain cells and traditional silicon. 

Agabi says that the device, when infused correctly, will allow for the carrier to even detect bombs and cancer cells.

Elizabeth Kperrun, who created Teseem, an app that teaches toddlers and children numeracy and languages including Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, and Swahili. 

Temie Giwa-Tubosun, the CEO of Lifebank, a company that established Airbank. An on-demand emergency medical oxygen delivery product that is the quickest, most convenient, and cost-effective way to order medical oxygen in cylinders.

On the Icons list are renowned author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, superstar musicians David Adeleke aka Davido, Ayo Balogun aka Wizkid, Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy and Oluwatosin Ajibade aka Mr Eazi.

Others are movie stars Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Funke Akindele-Bello, celebrity fashion stylist Jeremiah Ogbodo, better known as Swanky Jerry.

And Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the director-general of World Health Organization (WTO) wraps up the list of Nigerians on the Forbes Icons from Africa.

See full list here.

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