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Africa’s Top 10 Inspirational People in 2012

Our stock-taking of the year 2012 continues. Yesterday, we featured the Africa’s Top 20 Actors and Actresses in 2012  . Today, we will be looking at our Top 10 Inspirational People in 2012

Oscar Pistorius Inspirational People in 20121)  Oscar Pistorius

For me, watching Oscar Pistorius run the 400 meters event on artificial limbs was moving and inspiring. I was very amazed. Pistorius is a double below knee amputee who braved all odds to compete in an athletic event for able-bodied men. The South African didn’t just compete for competing sake, He placed second in the preliminary heat and qualified for the semi-finals where he was eventually eliminated. The winner of the Semi-final Pistorius ran was so touched that he exchanged his bib number with Oscar’s and held it high up to the crowd.

Hear this from Oscar, “You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have. You are able by the abilities you have”.  The little girl in the picture is inspired. You should be. Nothing should discourage you because you can achieve anything. Copy Genius.

D'Banj2)  D’banj

The Nigerian Hip-Pop artist had an amazing 2012. D’banj was recently nominated in four categories at the 2012 World Music Awards. His popular single, Oliver, shot him to International fame as it peaked at number 2 on the UK R&B Chart and number 9 on the UK iTunes Chart. Last year, he was signed to Kanye West’s GOOD Music record label. Very recently, D’banj signed an exclusive Pan-African music deal with Sony Music Africa. Speaking on the deal, He said “It’s a new era for Africa, the birthplace of music and I’m excited about this very powerful partnership with Sony Music through which we will give birth together to a new era with endless opportunities for my fans, producers, artists and the start of a new time for a revolution in music from Africa. Nothing is impossible!”. Copy Genius.

David Rudisha3)  David Rudisha

Kenyan’s David Rudisha won the 800 metres gold at the London Olympics in breath-taking style, breaking his own record and setting a new world record of 1 minute, 40.91 seconds. He ran at such amazing speed all through the race and finished in superb form. It would interest you to note that the 800m world record is one of the most exclusive properties in athletics, because it has been owned by only four men since 1976. After the race, Rudisha said, “I was well-prepared and I had no doubt about winning.”  Copy Genius.

4 Nigerian teenagers4)  The Four Nigerian Girls who invented the Urine-Powered Generator

Four Nigerian Teenage Girls – Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, and Faleke Oluwatoyin, all age 14, and Bello Eniola, 15 stunned the world when they unveiled their invention of a urine-powered generator at this year’s Maker Faire Africa. Even though I am not an Engineer, the process makes a whole lot of sense if you think about it.

  • Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which cracks the urea into nitrogen, water, and hydrogen.
  • The hydrogen goes into a water filter for purification, which then gets pushed into the gas cylinder.
  • The gas cylinder pushes hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which is used to remove the moisture from the hydrogen gas.
  • This purified hydrogen gas is pushed into the generator.

According to them, one litre of urine can generate 6 hours of electricity. Wow! Seems you have been wasting something.

Stephen Kiprotich5)  Stephen Kiprotich

Forgive me for always returning to Athletics, I do get a lot of inspiration there. The Ugandan-born Stephen Kiprotich completely stunned his Kenyan challengers as He ran the race of his life to win the 2012 Olympics men marathon and get his country their first gold medal since 1972. The virtually unknown runner even in his native Uganda, returned home to a hero’s welcome and a handsome cheque of $80,000. Whatever you do, you better start running.

Adeshida6)  Prof. Ilesanmi Adesida

Prof. Ilesanmi Adesida, a United States of America-based Nigerian lecturer, became the first black man to be appointed the Provost/Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, United States of America. Wow!! He is a Professor of Electronic Engineering with outstanding works in nanotechnology. Please go and find out what nanotechnology means (if you don’t know). He even earns $30,000 more than Barack Obama annually. I am so so inspired.

Amarachi-600x3997)  Amarachi Uyanne

The 8-year old Nigerian singer and dancer won the first ever season of the ‘Nigeria’s Got Talent’ show and pocketed a whooping N10 million (about $64,000). Over ten thousand acts across different genres of entertainment took part in the show. Amarachi’s victory makes her the youngest non-inheritor millionaire in Nigeria. Another ‘Wow’!

Folorunso-Alakija8)  Folorunso Alakija

In 2012, 61-Year Old Nigerian Woman, Folorunso Alakija, replaced Oprah Winfrey as the World’s richest black woman. Yes, the current richest woman in the World is from Africa. Her wealth is estimated to be at about $3.3 billion and she earned most of that from the Oil and Gas Sector. She is the founder and owner of Famfa Oil. She owns a US$46 million private jet and real estate portfolio of over $100 million and she is not done yet. She is also a fashion designer and philanthropist. Her Christain-based Charity, Rose of Sharon Foundation, gives out small grants to Widows. Hmmm….Oil and Gas on my mind.

the-experience9)  Pastor Paul Adefarasin

On Friday, 7th December 2012, over 700,000 people gathered in Lagos, Nigeria to witness the biggest concert in the whole world. The Annual Gospel Concert tagged “The Experience” plays host to the best gospel artists on the globe. Sometimes, I wonder how Pastor Paul Adefarasin, the Senior Pastor of the House on the Rock Church, is able to get the likes of  Detrick Haddon, Chevelle Franklin, Micah Stampley, Israel Houghton, Fred Hammond, Soweto Spiritual Singers and Don Moen to all come down and perform in Nigeria. Now that is just the International cast. On the home front, there were artists like Wale Adenuga, Mike Aremu, Sammie Okposo and Chosen Treasure (House on the Rock choir). They were all on parade and hundreds of thousands of people worshipped, praised and prayed. How can I forget to tell you that this concert was FREE – not gate fees at all. This tells me that anything is possible. Truly, as far as your eyes can see, that is what you will possess. What can you see?

goodluck_1636002c10) President Goodluck Jonathan

 Even though He is not a very popular person in Nigeria, He has inspired me greatly. His deliberate approach to governance is humbling. He has done away with the notion that a President is meant to be a Principality in the Land. As my friend Ibienetona Davis puts it, He has displayed wisdom in not using his powers recklessly just because He has it. All roads don’t lead to Abuja anymore because the Governors are in their states working hard to make a difference in the lives of the people.

In President Goodluck’s time in office (less than two years), power supply has greatly improved across the country, the rule of law is gradually being enshrined, the incumbent government has ceased from interfering with elections at the lower levels of government, police officers have been sacked from streets, roads and highways (they were champions in bribery and extortion as they made nonsense of our image as a nation), the transportation sector is finally getting a look-in with the resuscitation of the nation’s railways after over two decades in the doldrums, an uncelebrated agricultural revolution is going on in the background… I could go on and on. He has managed to achieve all these while fighting the biggest challenge Nigeria has ever faced – Terrorism.

Even though He has a long way to go to meet the aspirations of many Nigerians, I salute his courage and focus. He has inspired me.

So those are my ten top Inspirational Africans in 2012. Here is wishing you a glorious 2013.

But before you go, Who are those Africans that inspired you in 2012? Your list may be different from mine. You can share with us in the comments section below.

Arise Arizechi
Arise Arizechi
CEO of KA Publishing, Founder of Konnect Africa and Host of Breakthrough Academy

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