Africans & African Americans on the TIME’s 2024 Most Influential List – Taraji P. Henson, Burna Boy, Siya Kolisi

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Getty Images: Xavier Laine / Prince Gyasi / Daniel Irungu

Burna Boy, Siya Kolisi, William Ruto, Others Make TIME’s 2024 Most Influential List

Nigerian music star Burna Boy and other influential figures of African descent like Kenyan President William Ruto, and South African rugby captain Siya Kolisi, have been named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2024.

Every year, TIME releases a prestigious list of the world’s most influential pioneers, leaders, titans, artists, innovators, and icons.

In her tribute, singer Angelique Kidjo praised Burna Boy as a “history-making artist.” His impactful music and achievements made him one of the most influential cultural figures this year.

President William Ruto of Kenya a key voice of Africa’s climate ambitions, hosted a summit in Nairobi in September 2023 that drew leaders from around the globe to expand renewable energy in Africa. Ruto is the current President of Kenya, having assumed office in September 2022. Before becoming president, he served as the Deputy President of Kenya from 2013 to 2022.

Also, Springboks rugby captain Siya Kolisi is the first black player to be appointed captain of South Africa’s national team. Off the field, Kolisi is involved in philanthropic work through the Kolisi Foundation, which he founded in 2020 to address issues of inequality in South Africa. 

Siya has taught us what a powerful captain should be: someone who serves and inspires those he leads. And for him to lead a team in a historically white sport, to be loved and adored by fans of all races, is an immense achievement.

Trevor Noah

Other influential Blacks on the TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential list include American actor Colman Domingo, actress Da’Vine Joy Randolph, actor Leslie Odom Jr., Congolese activist Julienne Lusenge, NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes, business executive Thasunda Brown Duckett, LGBTQ+ activist Kelley Robinson, public health researcher Rachel Hardeman, community organizer Kennedy Odede from Kenya, architect and academic Lesley Lokko from Ghana, singer Fantasia Barrino, photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier, author James McBride, actress Taraji P. Henson, and museum director Thelma Golden.

The list celebrates global changemakers across multiple fields who had an influential impact over the past year.

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