Time Magazine has listed two Kenyans among the 100 most influential people in the world: author Binyavanga Wainaina who recently declared that he is gay in what he described as a “lost chapter” from his memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place, and former Google executive Ory Okolloh.
BINYAVANGA WAINANA – “MEMOIRIST WITH A MISSION”
Wainaina’s profile in the magazine has been written by fellow author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian writer, author of the popular Americanah novel who has been equally outspoken on the subject of gay rights.
“By publicly and courageously declaring that he is a gay African, Binyavanga has demystified and humanised homosexuality and begun a necessary conversation that can no longer be about the “faceless other”, wrote Chimanda Ngozi, describing Wainaina as, “The memoirist with a mission”.
ORY OKOLLOH – SUPPORTING AFRICAN ENTREPRENEURS
Ory Okolloh, who is currently the investment director at the South Africa-based Omidyar Network’s, has been recognized for her ”mission not to give aid but to support African entrepreneurs and citizens in building their societies,” according to Esther Dyson, founder of non-profit firm HICCUP who wrote Okolloh’s profile on the Time Magazine.
The Times’ annual list of “The Most Influential People”, now in its 11th year, recognizes the activism, innovation and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals.
Also in the list is Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, who has been described by Bill Gates as a person who “does good in addition to doing well”. His business activities are said to drive economic growth across the continent.
Other prominent personalities from across the globe include among others Beyonce, Kerry Washington, Serena Williams, and Steve McQueen whose profile has been written by Lupita Nyong’o, describing him as the “passionate story teller”.