Davido, Burna Boy, Nasty C, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Make Forbes Africa’s ‘100 Innovations, Inventions and Icons’ List

by Jewel Ghene

,Burna Boy,Davido,Nasty C,Wizkid,,

Our African stars are not ready to let anything stop them as they made it to the Forbes Africa’s 100 Innovations, Inventions and Icons from Africa list.

Proving just how awesome they are and how capable they are of achieving greatness. Award winning artist Davido, Grammy award winner, Burna Boy, South African rapper Nasty C, South African singer-song writer Yvonne Chaka Chaka; emPAWA ceo Mr. Eazi,  the Director-General of WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, award-winning author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Founder and CEO of Flutterwave, Olugbenga GB Agboola; award-winning Nollywood actress and producer, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde; made the Forbes Africa’s “100 Innovations, Inventions and Icons from Africa list”.

According to Forbes, the list is a testament to the ingenuity of the African mind and spirit of resilience and Afro-optimism. The future is good.” 

“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,” Forbes Africa says. “For FORBES AFRICA hundredth issue (since the magazine’s inception in 2011), we decided to curate a list celebrating these very ideas, inventions, and influential role models that have spelt Africa’s growth over the last decade.”

Read excerpts from the feature below:

1. DAVIDO

"Labeled as an Afrobeats superstar by FORBES in 2020, Davido is without a doubt one of Africa’s biggest musicians. The Nigerian-American artist, who also graced the FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 list in 2018, told us that “it was people like [Nigerian music veterans] P-Square and D’Banj” who made him believe “that all this was possible”. Since his rise to fame, Davido has won multiple awards, including BET awards and MTV awards. He has also signed on several endorsements with MTN and Guinness Nigeria."

8. OMOTOLA J EKEINDE

Easily one of the biggest actors to come out of Africa, multi-award-winning Omotola J Ekeinde has appeared in over 200 movies, according to Entrepreneurs. In 2013, she was featured on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world alongside Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, and Kate Middleton.

In a report by Nigerian newsroom, Pulse, Ekeinde commented on the fact that she would be part of the cast for Rattlesnake: The Ahanna Story, Play Network studios’ remake of Amaka Igwe’s 1994 crime thriller.

“It feels great being a part of this remake… There’s a lot of youth and drama, culture. I like that there is a human story to it. People will be able to relate to it because they can find themselves in the story plus it’s a classic and you can’t go wrong with a classic,” she said.

10. WIZKID

Another one of Nigeria’s brightest and biggest stars, Wizkid, is described by Vogue as “an image-maker who speaks to millennials”. The multi-award-winning Afrobeats artist won a Grammy alongside Beyonce for their song Brown Skin Girl (which came off Beyonce’s visual album Black Is King). In an interview with Evening Standard, he said he did not set out making music to become an African star but rather to be a worldwide musician. “Music is a universal language. I always felt no soul would favor Afrobeats and not fall in love with it — only if you don’t love music, and I don’t know any human being that doesn’t love music,” he said.

12. NASTY C

Nasty C’s body of work has been shaped since the age of nine when he started rapping. In 2018, he was one of the Creatives to make the FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 list. His hit single, Juice Back, and the ensuing remix featuring Davido and Cassper Nyovest, made him a household name.  Recently, the star furthered his international footprint from being featured in Rhythms of Zamunda – Coming 2 America soundtrack to also performing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in February. We asked the award-winning South African artist to comment on being labeled an icon by FORBES AFRICA. “I’m very excited and honored to have been thought of and given such a huge opportunity. I believe that what makes an icon is one’s ability to keep striving for greatness no matter the circumstances. I am overly honored, thank you FORBES AFRICA for recognizing me,” he says.

14. YVONNE CHAKA CHAKA

 

Daily mantra: “We are born with nothing and die with nothing so let’s just enjoy the life that happens in between.”

Singer, actor, philanthropist, activist, businesswoman, and humanitarian, are just some of the words associated with the Princess of Africa, Yvonne Chaka Chaka. She talks to FORBES AFRICA:

Q: How would you describe your experience in the music industry so far?

My mother wanted me to be a lawyer, I wanted to be a chartered accountant, but when I began singing, I took a step back to appreciate the platform it has given me and it has been a great platform to tell the world about my country, what inspires me, what I would like to see in others and what I can learn from others and how I can make South Africa a better place so I was quite lucky to be in this position. The quick sales from my first single got me very popular and this included the outside of South Africa which to me was unbelievable given those times. This is how the name ‘the princess of Africa’ came up, because you know I started traveling to places like Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, to name a few, for me, it was validation that Africa loved and accepted me and has laid the red carpet for me and this led to me wanting to know my continent better.

I was very happy to be known in Africa and that it opened its arms to me and I feel so happy and lucky to be a woman from Africa.

Q: Given this relationship with the continent, what does being seen as an African icon mean to you?

I don’t regard myself as an icon, I just regard myself as a servant because when people open their arms for you and when people give you a platform to be able to perform, what do you do in return? So for me these people allowed me into their homes without me even asking, that’s when I’m on television; when I perform at a stadium or any function, they leave what they’re doing and come to support me by watching my show. So I just think sometimes we become taken away and think we are doing our fans a favor, when no they aren’t as it’s their love and support that makes us who we are. So I never take anything for granted. I appreciate every single moment that I’m granted by the people who have supported me through all these years because I would not be Yvonne Chaka Chaka without the support they have given me and my music. So I don’t think I’m an icon, I just think I’m a servant and I’m asked by a higher authority to do this work and continue to serve my continent in the role that they have given me.

15. BURNA BOY

Often known as one of the biggest and most successful African artists on this continent, Burna Boy won the Best Global Music Album category at the Grammys on March 14. The Grammy nomination described Twice As Tall as “a masterclass in the vibe and hustle that have made Burna Boy an international musical force”. “Africa in the house!” an excited Burna Boy said in his acceptance speech, “This is a big win for my Africans all over the world. This should be a lesson to every African out there, no matter where you are, no matter what you plan to do you can achieve it… because you are king!”

40. MR. EAZI

Known to the world as ‘Mr Eazi’, Nigerian-born singer Oluwatosin Ajibade has made a name for himself as an award-winning African artist. In 2020, he made the coveted FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 list, in which he spoke about the side hustle while in college in Ghana that led him to a best-selling career in music and earning millions of fans along the way. “I began my career with a small cash gift from friends, which enabled me to pay for my first professional-quality video for Skin Tight,” he told FORBES AFRICA, on the early days.

Other Africans that made the list include Barack Obama, Idris Elba, Bonang Matheba, Wade van Niekerk, Djimon Houson, Lupita N’yongo, Elon Musk, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, DJ Zinhle, Trevor Noah, to mention a few.

Visit forbesafrica.com to view the full list.

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Burna Boy

Davido

Nasty C

Wizkid