1- Aliko Dangote
He’s the richest black man in the world and Africa’s richest man, with an estimated wealth of $10.3bn. Within Nigeria, Senator Ben-Murray Bruce called him “more influential and powerful than (President Muhammadu) Buhari”. The billionaire’s latest project is a $10.5bn oil refinery that will be Africa’s largest, so Dangote will not be sitting on the sidelines when it comes to oil-sector reform debates there. He is investing in the continent’s manufacturing and agribusiness capacity, and plans to launch the long-awaited London IPO of Dangote Cement in late 2019. Meanwhile, his philanthropy is taking flight.
2- Francoise Puene
Françoise Puene is a billionaire businesswoman and politician from Cameroon. Tall, thin and cropped hair, she has a dress style - often dark jacket, shirt, and tie - that makes her stand out and earns her the nickname Mamy Nyanga. She uses her notoriety to motivate and coach young women entrepreneurs in Cameroon and Africa.
3- Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah is a South African comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host. He is the host of The Daily Show, an American satirical news program on Comedy Central. Born in Johannesburg, Noah began his career as a comedian, presenter, and actor in South Africa in 2002. He has since had several television hosting roles with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and was the runner-up in the fourth season of South Africa's iteration of Strictly Come Dancing in 2008. From 2010 to 2011, he acted as the creator and host of the late-night talk show Tonight with Trevor Noah, which aired on M-Net and DStv
Noah has received accolades including a Primetime Emmy Award win from six nominations. He was named one of "The 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media" by The Hollywood Reporter in 2017 and 2018, and Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
4- Bonang Matheba
She’s an in-demand MC, presenter, speaker, and entrepreneur whose luxury beverage brand, the House of BNG, produces sparkling wine.
Being a powerful woman, Matheba tells Forbes, “means that you create your own narrative. It means that you are strong enough to make your own decisions, to be free and to break the status quo that people have set up for women.”
For Matheba, being a powerful woman also means using her voice to champion access to quality education, inspired by the historic #FeesMustFall protests that swept across South African universities in 2017.
Akon is a Senegalese-American singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and actor from New Jersey. He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of "Locked Up", the first single from his debut album Trouble (2004), followed by the second single "Lonely."
Akon also started a project Akon Lighting Africa in 2014 which provides electricity in 15 countries of Africa. He also launched his own charity for underprivileged children in Africa called Konfidence Foundation.
He was included as a guest appearance in Pitbull's "I Believe That We Will Win (World Anthem)" official music video, in which all proceeds from the song's sales, streaming and views are being donated to Feeding America and the Anthony Robbins Foundation as relief to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2018, Akon announced he was working with the Senegalese government to build a futuristic tourist-city with a cryptocurrency-based economy named Akon City.
6- Graça Machel
Graça Machel is one of the most powerful and historic women in Africa. Her first platform was as the minister of education in Mozambique, a position she held from 1975 to 1989.
She has been an agent of change ever since, including her role at the helm of the Graça Machel Trust and a member of The Elders — a group of global leaders working together to promote peace, justice, and human rights.
The Graça Machel Trust promotes women’s empowerment and leadership, child rights, and good nutrition. Known affectionately as Mama Graça, Machel says impact is much more important than power.
And there you have it: six great people from Africa you can look up to. But Africa is more than six people. And the culture is so vast.
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And remember: Follow these leaders to find your path of greatness