Nigeria’s Davido, FK Abudu, Odunayo Eweniyi, Damilola Odufuwa & Olugbenga Agboola Make TIME 2021 ‘Next 100 Most Influential People in the World’

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NEW YORKFeb. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, TIME reveals the 2021 TIME100 Next list, an expansion of the flagship TIME100 franchise that recognizes 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future of entertainment, health, politics, business and more.

The 2021 TIME100 Next issue features six worldwide covers, each highlighting a member of the list and Nigeria’s Davido, FK Abudu, Odunayo Eweniyi, Damilola Odufuwa and Olugbenga Agboola made the list.

Davido was highlighted under the “Phenoms” section, and his profile for the magazine was written by musical artist and Big Brother Naija’s Laycon.

“Davido is one of the biggest voices in Afrobeats because his music connects with people, often in ways that transcend his expectations. When he released the song “FEM” in 2020, a title that loosely translates to “shut up” in Yoruba, he didn’t know it would become a major #EndSARS protest anthem, as youth banded together to demand the government take action to end police brutality in Nigeria last October. Officials responded by sending politicians to give speeches. We told the government to keep quiet unless they had something sensible to add—the ethos of “FEM” was directly relatable to that moment.


You can tell Davido puts 100% into every song he makes. And the results are clear: his album A Good Time surpassed a billion streams in 2020. Afrobeats is a worldwide phenomenon, and Davido is one of many Nigerian artists who has made that possible; now more and more artists, from Nicki Minaj to Young Thug, want to work with him.

By bringing Afrobeats to the global stage, he’s paved the way for people like me.”


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Feyikemi ‘FK’ Abudu, Odunayo Eweniyi and Damilola Odufuwa made the list under the Advocates section. London based Senior Reporter Suyin Haynes covering gender and culture for TIME wrote their profile as follows:

“Then protests calling for an end to police brutality and the disbandment of Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) erupted across the country in fall 2020, Damilola Odufuwa and Odunayo Eweniyi, founders of the Feminist Coalition, sprang into action. Drawing on their expertise in tech, they raised donations in Bitcoin to offer protesters medical assistance, legal aid and mental-health support. Simultaneously, Feyikemi “FK” Abudu acted quickly, raising funds from both Nigeria and the diaspora to organize food and security arrangements for protesters on the ground. Abudu later joined forces with the Feminist Coalition, and the organization, comprising 13 founding members, raised more than $387,000 in two weeks. As their fight continues—in mid-October, the government pledged to implement police reform, but efforts to suppress dissent, including by arresting demonstrators, are ongoing—the coalition’s leaders hope their crucial role in the protests demonstrates the importance of having women in leadership.”


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Featured under the Innovation section is Olugbenga Agboola, Flutterwave’s co-founder and CEO of Flutterwave. American journalist and Time magazine’s Africa correspondent Aryn Bakewrote his profile as follows:

“The 2020, COVID-19 lockdowns across the world hit brick-and-mortar businesses hard. Africa’s small shops and restaurants, very few of which have an online presence, were particularly vulnerable. Enter Flutterwave, a tech startup based in San Francisco and Lagos, Nigeria, that is known for helping companies process customers’ online transactions during checkout. Amid lockdown, Flutterwave expanded from specializing in digital cash registers to hosting digital storefronts, helping some 20,000 small businesses suddenly without foot traffic set up online shops, receive payments and arrange delivery options. “We called it ‘Keeping the Lights On,’” says Olugbenga Agboola, Flutterwave’s co-founder and CEO, who lives in Washington, D.C. The company processed more than 80 million transactions, worth $7.5 billion, in 2020, establishing it as Africa’s premier payment-solution provider. Now Flutterwave—which already has a presence in 17 African countries—is planning to leverage that momentum into greater expansion, so that a customer in South Africa, for example, can seamlessly use her Kenyan digital wallet to buy products in Senegal. “Africa is not a country,” says Agboola. “But we make it feel like one.”


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Also featured in the ‘Advocates’ section is Nigerian-American writer Ijeoma Oluo, her profile written by National Book Award–winning author Ibram X. Kendi reads:

“I still remember an event we did together in 2019. It was the second time I saw Ijeoma Oluo enthrall a crowd with an unmatched clarity and conviction, and her mix of seriousness and laugh-out-loud humor, all the while showing a deep and abiding concern for racial justice. She evoked what humanity needs to secure and defend humanity’s needs.


No wonder Oluo has emerged as one of the most admired writers and “Internet yellers” around. During the wave of demonstrations against police violence and racism in 2020, her runaway best seller, So You Want to Talk About Race, educated countless people (I read it for a second time in July). After a mob—incited by white men and led by white men—attacked the U.S. Capitol, her new book, Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America, became ever more vital. Oluo’s meeting the time—this movement against white supremacy and systems of oppression. But the question she keeps asking us in her work: Are we?”


Click here to see the full 2021 TIME100 Next list.

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