Bola Tinubu, the president-elect of Nigeria, Joe Biden, the president of the United States, King Charles III, and the sculptor El Anatsui, who was born in Ghana but now calls Nigeria home, are among Time’s list of the most influential people in the world in 2023.
The list also included individuals like Argentine footballer Lionel Messi, Twitter CEO Elon Musk, and Nigerian epidemiology professor Dr. Dimie Ogoina.
People are recognized “for changing the world, regardless of the consequences of their actions,” according to Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
On February 25, Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) beat all his competitors to be named the winner of the 2023 presidential election. His vote total was 8,794,726.
In Africa’s most populous nation, winning an election is no easy task, according to Tinubu’s Time reference. However, it pointed out that the newly elected president of Nigeria had almost 20 years to get ready.
“The now 71-year-old competed in a presidential election for the first time this March. He is known to his admirers as Jagaban, or the ‘chief of the warriors. His catchphrase during his campaign, “It’s my turn,” was a reference to his longtime position as a political power broker. After fighting against military rule, Tinubu assisted in the restoration of democracy in the nation in 1999. He then held the office of Lagos governor for two terms in a row.
“However, Tinubu’s victory with the ruling APC over Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar came by a narrow margin in a contentious election. It was the first time a third-party candidate was up for election in Nigeria, and many disgruntled young people hoping for change placed their hopes in Obi.
The outcome of the election was “marred by allegations of intimidation and vote rigging, and is being challenged in court,” the magazine reported.
It was clarified, nevertheless, that Tinubu now has to deal with a long list of issues in a divided country, such as ingrained corruption, insurrections from some religious groups, and shortages of money, fuel, and electricity in an ailing economy.
The president-elect, though, seemed conscious of his legacy: “(Nigeria) is one country and we must build it together,” he said in his acceptance address, according to Time.
Charles’ inclusion on the list also coincides with his preparations for his and Queen Camilla’s coronation on Saturday, May 6. The roster of performers featured stars like American actor Michael Jordan, American vocalist Beyonce, and American actress Angela Bassett, among others.
Along with author Salman Rushdie, Chinese dissident Peng Lifa, actor Jennifer Coolidge, trans journalist Imara Jones, and others, the new king was included on the list under the Icons heading.
The head editor of British Vogue, Edward Enninful, writes a tribute to King Charles, and the list matches prize recipients with distinguished guest authors who are chosen to write about them.
El Anatsui, a Ghanaian-born sculptor who presently resides and works in Nigeria, was also included. He became affiliated with the 1970s art movement Nsukka group due to his interest in African craft. At the Venice Biennale in 2008, he was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.
“El Anatsui is among the most influential artists working today. He exhibits an unmatched ability to explore with his materials, technique, and method as a sculptor. El gathers a variety of materials, sets them away in his studio for years, and then occasionally returns to them until he discovers the proper language for creating entirely original sculptural shapes.
“Such humble materials as printer’s plates or liquor-bottle caps are transformed into the magnificent constructions and compositions displayed around the world, from a recent solo show in Seoul to his upcoming commission at London’s Tate Modern, by the breath-taking combination of experimental rigor and inspired vision.
“El’s unwavering generosity of spirit is less noticeable but no less significant. His unusual inclination to help not only other musicians but also people, families, and organizations in his community in Nsukka and around Nigeria has grown along with his success. And he carries out all of this quietly, as if it were merely a life assignment. That, in my opinion, is the sign of greatness, as stated in a Time citation.
It was reported about Ogoina that he alerted authorities to a new case of Mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) that he was observing in his native Nigeria.
“He persisted, establishing the potential for sexual transmission of Mpox and publishing the data in high-impact scientific journals, realizing the significance and potential consequences for worldwide spread. As the global Mpox outbreak in 2022 developed, Dimie’s observations were crucial to creating new methods for preventing and managing outbreaks.
“Dimie is a fierce advocate for equity in access to global health care. He has frequently argued that measles is not a novel illness and that, had more people paid attention earlier, we may have prevented a widespread outbreak.
Through his lobbying, leadership, and research, Dimie has “made significant contributions to the field,” according to the magazine.
Supermodel Bella Hadid, actor and TV host Drew Barrymore, novelist Neil Gaiman, American fashion designer Thom Browne, and Mexican activist Maria Herrera Magdaleno are among the other noteworthy people and celebrities included on this year’s list.