Burna Boy named among the world’s influential people

In Summary
  • Burna Boy was featured in the icons category, which celebrates individuals who have left a lasting mark in their fields.
  • The list recognised Kenya's President William Ruto.
Image: Courtesy photo

Afrobeats megastar Burna Boy was ranked among the top world’s most influential people in the 2024 Time Magazine.

The American annual Time 100 list spotlights individuals who have shaped the world and this year’s edition saw Burna Boy featured in the icons category. Grammy-winning French-Beninese singer Angélique Kidjo hailed the Nigerian musician as “history in the making”.

, “Ten years ago, or so, when young African musicians would come to me for advice, I would tell them, “You don’t need to mimic American artists! The world needs the amazing richness and beauty of our traditional African music and our culture… Burna Boy has made that vision a global reality” Kidjo said.

The list recognized Kenya's President William Ruto for spearheading Africa's climate action yet at the time he needed to address the multiple challenges burdening his country.

Meanwhile, this is not the first time that President Ruto has received global recognition. Last year, the US magazine also recognized him for championing climate change.

South African Rugby player, Siya Kolisi was also recognized for his leadership through “wisdom and humility”. South African comedian Trevor Noah said that Kolisi gave “hope during a time in which many South Africans find it hard to hold on to any” by leading the country to a stunning rugby World Cup win last year (2023).

The list also recognized other prominent Africans who have made an impact on humanity in different fields including Julienne Lusenge, a human rights activist from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Kenya’s  Kennedy Odede, a social entrepreneur among others.

The inclusion of Africans on the Time 100 list represents a shift in attitudes and narratives about Africa as a whole, rather than just individual achievements.