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L-R: Isha Sesay, Goretti Kyomuhendo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Alain Mabanckou.

Leading politics and culture magazine New African has released its annual list of “The 100 Most Influential Africans,” and on it this year are six authors: Congo’s Alain Mabanckou, UCLA literature professor and the author, most recently, of Black Moses; Nigeria’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who last month received a UN Global Leadership Award; Morocco’s Leila Slimani, author of Adele, which made our “African Notable Books of 2019” list; Ghana’s Afua Hirsch, columnist for The Guardian UK and a judge for this year’s Booker Prize; Uganda’s Goretti Kyomuhendo, novelist, founder of African Writers Trust, and first programmes coordinator for FEMRITE; and Sierra Leone’s Isha Sesay, former CNN journalist whose new nonfiction book Beneath the Tamarind Tree, a revisitation of the Chibok girls’ kidnapping, is also on our Notable Books list.

Other personalities recognized include the Mexican Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o and the British rapper Stormzy in the Arts and Culture category; the Egyptian footballer Mohamed Salah, the Kenyan athletes Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei, and the Nigerian UFC champion Israel Adesanya in the Sports category; the Namibian disability rights advocate Eddie Ndopu, the Chadian climate change activist Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, the Tanzanian anti-child marriage activist Rebeca Gyumi, the former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, and the Ivorian footballing legend Didier Drogba in the Civil Society category; and British Vogue‘s Ghanaian editor Edward Enninful and The Daily Show‘s South African host Trevor Noah in the Media category.

ISHA SESAY 

AFUA HIRSCH 

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GORETTI KYOMUHENDO

ALAIN MABANCKOU

CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

LEILA SLIMANI

Brittle Paper congratulates the authors. See the full list HERE.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he sits on the judging panels of The Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and of The Gerald Kraak Prize. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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