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Davido, Feminist Coalition, Olugbenga Agboola make 2021 TIME100 NEXT list

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Ademola Olonilua

Popular Nigerian singer, Davido, The Feminist Coalition group and tech expert, Olugbenga Agboola, have made 2021 TIME100 NEXT. According to TIME Magazine, TIME100 Next list is an expansion of their flagship, TIME100 franchise, that highlights 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future.

The FEM singer was selected in the Phenoms category alongside stars like Amanda Gorman, Charli D’Amelio, Rege-Jean Page, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nyjah Huston, Sydney McLaughlin, Brit Bennett, Olivia Rodrigo, Steve Kornacki, Doja Cat, Luka Doncic, Trevor Lawrence, Abby Phillip, Janja Garnbret, Izkia Siches Pasten, Koyoharu Gotouge. 

Like the members of the Time100 list, the Time100 Next honorees each have a tribute written by someone in their field. For Davido, winner of Big Brother Naija season five, Laycon, wrote the tribute.

Laycon wrote, “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.”

Also, Damilola Odufuwa, Odunayo Eweniyi, both founders of the Feminist Coalition, and a member, Feyikemi “FK” Abudu, were spotlighted by Time Magazine for their role in the #ENDSARS protest.

The magazine wrote, “When 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. —Suyin Haynes.”

Another Nigerian made it to the list is Olugbenga Agboola, Flutterwave’s co-founder and CEO. He was recognised for his contribution during the #ENDSARS protest.

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The magazine said, “In 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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