by JIDE OKONJO | VOCAL
For years now, TIME Magazine has been known for compiling a very prestigious annual list of the year’s Most Influential People in the world. It is a list that celebrities, influencers, entrepreneurs, politicians, and more from all works of life and from all over the world clamor for a spot on. In it’s long run, the magazine has seen a number of Nigerian names grace its list. People like Omotola Jalade Ekeinde and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie have been recognized at one time or another as one of the Most Influential People in the world.
Yet year after year when the list comes out, Nigerians sort through it and are always quick to question why some key names have never made it onto the list. Most especially, names like Wizkid, Don Jazzy, Davido, and Burna Boy have never made it onto the list.
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In fact, everybody thought that this would be Burna Boy’s year to finally make it onto the Time 100 Most Influential People in the world list because of the worldwide acclaim and reception of his last two albums, African Giant and Twice as Tall.
But alas, when the list came out there was no Burna Boy to be found. Instead, the young Nigerian name on the list belong to a girl named Tomi Adeyemi.
While some might find this name familiar, some might not, and so for today, I want you to meet the girl who beat top names like Burna Boy, Davido, and Wizkid to get onto the Time’s prestigious 100 Most Influential People in The World.
Who is this girl? Well, let me tell you.
27 year old Nigerian writer Tomi Adeyemi is the best-selling author of the #1 NY Times bestselling book Children of Blood and Bone and it’s sequel Children of Virtue and Vengeance.
News of the book made a splash when it was announced that the book series was acquired for seven figures, that is upward of a million U.S. Dollars.
Children of Blood and Bone won the 2018 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, the 2019 Waterstones Book Prize, and the 2019 Hugo Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book.
In 2019, Forbes also included her on the 30 Under 30 list, and now in 2020, she has been named one of TIME 100’s Most Influential People Of 2020.
As a people, we are so proud of one of our own going on to do big things like this. I happen to have read her book and liked it so much that I included it in my list of 7 Must-Read Nigerian Books of 2020.
Congratulations Tomi Adeyemi.
On the other hand though, people have been asking:
How Is Tomi Adeyemi More Influential Than Wizkid, Davido, and Burna Boy?
Well, the answer to that question is – she’s not. Just because a magazine writes something doesn’t mean that it is fact. If we are to go by social media numbers alone, Davido has 17.6 MILLION followers on Instagram,
Wizkid has 11.2 MILLION followers,
and Burna Boy has 5.6 MILLION followers.
In contrast, Tomi has 126 THOUSAND followers… a huge fraction of what these other artistes have.
Also, just in terms of layman knowledge, if you ask a pool of 100 people, especially Nigerians, what names they recognize out of these four, the name people will recognize the least is Tomi Adeyemi.
So why does TIME say that she’s one of the Most Influential People in the World, yet neither Davido, Wizkid, or Burna Boy has ever made it unto their lists?
Well, I don’t know entirely, but if I’m to give a quick guess I’ll say it’s because TIME is an American magazine and so they value more American-known things to things that are not as well known in America. Maybe more people know who Tomi Adeyemi is in America than they know about names like Davido or Wizkid.
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Either way, I don’t think either Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, or any other successful Nigerian artiste who hasn’t made it unto this list is bothering themselves too much. Just because a magazine says something doesn’t take away the accomplishments of any other person.
In summary, I’m just happy to see Nigerians succeeding and I look forward to seeing who is going to be recognized next year.
I’m sure you’ve loved reading this piece. To make sure you keep having fun and don’t miss out on any fun in the future, be sure to like and follow my Facebook page above. It’s a really fun page and you’re really going to love it. So what’s stopping you? Like it!
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