December 22, 2014

25 MOST INFLUENTIAL AFRICANS IN AMERICA – THE LIST

ABERRA, AMSALE

Amsale Aberra

Amsale Aberra

Born in ETHIOPIA, is an couture fashion designer and entrepreneur whose store is located in toney Madison Avenue in Manhattan, New York City and her gowns carried in such marquee stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Nieman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Her gowns range in price from $3000 and $12000 in price.

 In 2007, ABC purchased an Aberra wedding dress for use in the season final episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Also that year, Ford hired Aberra to produce a television commercial for their MKX model. Along with the Grey’s Anatomy gowns, Amsale’s dresses have been seen on The Oprah Winfrey Show, American Wedding, and 27 Dresses. While her gowns have been featured on television as well as in films, celebrities are also a fan of Amsale gowns. Aberra has dressed such celebrities as Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Selma Blair, Salma Hayek, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Heather Graham, Lisa Kudrow, Katherine Heigl, Kim Basinger, Heidi Klum, and many others.

 Producers turn to Amsale when they need beautiful designs for films and television programs; her gowns have been featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “27 Dresses.”

 Amsale’s love of fashion began as a young girl growing up in Ethiopia. However, Amsale never considered becoming a designer: “In Ethiopia there were no fashion designers. I never knew that designing beautiful clothes was a profession to which one could aspire.”

 She is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers (CFDA) and a Trustee of the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.

ACHEBE, CHINUA

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe

Born in Nigeria, is the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana studies at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, and formerly the Charles P. Stevenson Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

 Achebe is known the world over for having played a seminal role in the founding and development of African literature. He continues to be considered among the most significant world writers. He is most well known for the groundbreaking 1958 novel Things Fall Apart, a novel still considered to be required reading the world over. It has sold over twelve million copies and has been translated into more than fifty languages.

Achebe’s global significance lies not only in his talent and recognition as a writer, but also as a critical thinker and essayist who has written extensively on questions of the role of culture in Africa and the social and political significance of aesthetics and analysis of the postcolonial state in Africa. He is renowned, for example, for “An Image of Africa,” his trenchant and famous critique of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Today, this critique is recognized as one of the most generative interventions on Conrad; and one that opened the social study of literary texts, particularly the impact of power relations on 20th century literary imagination.

In addition, Achebe is distinguished in his substantial and weighty investment in the building of literary arts institutions. His work as the founding editor of the Heinemann African Writers Series led to his editing over one hundred titles in it. Achebe also edited the University of Nsukka journal Nsukkascope, founded Okike: A Nigerian Journal of New Writing and assisted in the founding of a publishing house, Nwamife Books–an organization responsible for publishing other groundbreaking work by award-winning writers. He continues his long-standing work on the development of institutional spaces where writers can be published and develop creative and intellectual community.

 Some of his honors and awards include, ·  The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, 2010;   Man Booker International Award, 2007;  1st Living Author presented in the Everyman’s Library collection by Alfred A. Knopf, 1992; Rockefeller Fellowship, 1960; UNESCO Fellowship for Creative Artists, 1960;   Margaret Wrong Prize; The New Statesman Jock Campbell Prize; and The Commonwealth Poetry Prize.  He turned down two National Honors from two Nigerian Presidents.

 Some of his other books include, Anthills of the Savanna (Anchor Press, 1987); A Man of the People (Anchor Press, 1966);  Arrow of God (Anchor Press, 1964); No Longer At Ease (Anchor Press, 1960)

AKON

AKON

AKON

(Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam): Born in SENEGAL, is a successful hip-hop recording artist, songwriter, record producer and businessman. In 2010, Forbes magazine ranked Akon 80th in Forbes Celebrity 100 and in 2011, ranked him 5th in Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa. He became a musical phenomenon in 2004 with the release of his single debut album “Locked Up.”

He has achieved more than 35 Billboard Hot 100 songs, and has worked with other great performers like Michael Jackson, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Whitney Houston and others.

He is the first solo artist to hold both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts “twice“.[2] Akon has had four songs certified as 3x platinum, three songs certified as 2x platinum, more than ten songs certified as 1x platinum and more than ten songs certified as gold in digital sales. Akon has sung songs in many other languages like Spanish, Hindi etc. He was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the #1 selling artists for master ringtones in the world.

ATTIAS, RICHARD

Richard AttiasRichard AttiasBorn in MOROCCO, is the world’s top community builder for the “thinking elite”. Over the last two decades, he has built a matchless reputation for helping nations, organizations and corporations catalyze the global exchange of ideas.

This talent for anticipating the most pressing issues of our time, activating global networks of thought leaders, and inspiring innovation is based on his unique experience developing some of the most influential gatherings of global leaders in the last 20 years including the World Economic Forum in Davos; the Clinton Global Initiative; the Middle East Peace Summit in Jordan; the Dalian Economic Summit in China; and the signature of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in Marrakech, and most recently the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Hawaii in November, 2011.

Attias is also the founder and chairman of The New York Forum, an annual invitation-only forum for global CEOs, economists and business leaders to share ideas and provide recommendations for new business models in a post-crisis world. He is also the Chairman of Columbia University’s Center on Capitalism and Society; formed in 2002 to study the workings of well-functioning modern economies, understand how these economies got their dynamism, and how this dynamism impacts employment, among other topics. He is also the founder of the New York Africa, and organized 600-delegate business summit in Gabon, in 2012.
Prior to establishing his base in New York, Attias served as a special advisor in 2008 to the Emirate of Dubai to devise a comprehensive strategy to make the city a destination for major conferences and cultural and sporting events. This role followed nearly a decade at Publicis Groupe, where he is credited with creating the first worldwide events network Publicis Events Worldwide in 2004, before ultimately being named Chairman of PublicisLive in 2007. With a staff of more than 600 employees, Attias specialized in the conception and production of international conferences and high-profile events.

Richard Attias is a global citizen.  He is fluent in English, Arabic and French and, although he is currently based in New York, he travels regularly across Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. He is the founder of the New York Forum Africa and in 2012 convened a high-powered delegates conference of 600 in Gabon.

 He sits on the board of several corporations and organizations, and in 2010, Columbia Univesity’s Center on Capitalism and Society Advisory Board appointed him its Chair.  Recently, the Leman Manhattan Preparatory School named its Business and Economics Scholarship in honor of The Richard Attias Scholarship.

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Comments

  1. Mazi Ogbonna says:

    Congrats on putting together a list of who-is-who amongs diasporan Africans. There is no doubt in my mind that the task f compiling such as list a herculine task.

    But fro my vintage point, the list is skewed towards models, authors and arttists. As a result, I am most impressed about the two scientists involved in NASA and the other in Medicine.

    I am just curious to know how nobdody else in the sports world, other than Olajuwon made your impressive list. What happened to the Nigerian fotballer, Nnamdi Asumugha who has bagged two(2) Championship rings and participated in grand breaking parade in cayon of heroes in New York City? What happened to Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonji Iweala who makes the Forbes list amongst the most influential women in the world?

    Again, thanks for trying to raise our consciousness and keep up your good work.

    • Chika Onyeani says:

      Thanks Mazi Ogbonna. Yes, we omitted Asumugha because we have to bear in mind that the list was for 25 people and didn’t want Nigerians to dominate it. Of course, if Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was still living in the United States, she would have been one of the first on the list. Okay, you are right, there might be 7 or eight of the categories of people you mentioned.

      • Miyotela says:

        I have in Mind Prof Ndulo from Cornell University who has remained among the top scholars and constitutional lawyers! Why is he missing?

    • Demba Tali says:

      Nnamdi Asumugha or Osi Umi??????

  2. Dr Stranger KGAMPHE says:

    We applaud the countries that contributes to promoting the African image in America, particularly the individuas who through their own efforts, skill and tenacity could withstand the pressures of becoming outstanding in a foreign country despite their governments…

    This list indicates to the youth that, despite you humble and sometimes hostile backgrounds they can still achieve the highest accolades.

    It would be even more encouraging to read about the strict criteria applied per field of contribution and maybe extend the list by going further back in time with even diverse type of contributions. I always consider the brave like Rev. Jesse Jackson, Louis Farackan as prominent figures that may Ned recognition.

    Thanks. This is a start.

    Dr Stranger Kgamphe

  3. Stranger says:

    We need clear Criteria…

    • Chika Onyeani says:

      Thanks Dr. Kgbamphe. The names you mentioned are of course giants in history. However, as you could see, each and everyone on the list was born in Africa. That was first criteria before looking at the achievements of those individuals.

  4. Mellisa says:

    You should be more bias or just say this is North Africans list and not using the whole African name and put just 4 from South of equator…Or maybe you don’t know them?

  5. Demba Tali says:

    Check the informations about Nnamdi Ama.
    If you talking about the New York Giants, the player is Osi Uminiyora.He is the one who got 2 superbowl’s rings with the NY Giants…canyon of the Heroes etc etc.

  6. Anthony Sedzro says:

    Congrats for a good job done…everything listing of most influential africans in USA will sure have its controversies…but I cannot get my head around how Dr. Mathias Fobi, a cameroonian-born surgeon who is a pioneer in obesity reduction (a huge health problem in usa in general and the black community in general) is not on this list…I live in Ghana but saw him interviewed on CNN and read his profile in Ebony magazine. He is the current president of International Federation of Surgery of Obesity and many others…is it an oversight?

    • Chika Onyeani says:

      Anthony, thanks for bringing Dr. Mathias Fobi to our attention. As you could, we had to work with only 25 names out of many. But I must that Dr. Fobi’s must have been an oversight. Again, thanks.

  7. AnAfrican says:

    how did you draw up this list? what methodology did you use, and can you give us, if you can, a list of people you considered for it?
    without those answers, and with a due respect, this could pretty much be a joke, or a selection based on who is popular that you know about and not necessarily what is on the ground.
    One thing I can commend this list for is the motivation it gives to young aspiring africans, and for that, work well done.

  8. At last we Africans have own miror ” The African SUN Times” for so many years our positive contribution to the community and the country((USA) has been burried for so ong. Our immage of hunger in Ethiopia, the deadly clash amongest brothers and sisters in Rwanda, the misunderstanding caused by foregin conspiracy in the Sudan, etc. Was on western media display for solong.” Thanks to the firce struggle by our ancesstors BlAcK America( African Americans) who through their decades of their struggle for equality and justice managed to opend the door for all of of us New arrival Africans.. It is now time for black America to go to Africa and help build their continient. I wan to say more, but for now this will be okay.. Asfaha Hadera

    • Sarah Atsebha says:

      Congratulations to Mr. Asfaha Hadera!!!!
      A well deserved addition to the list. I am very inspired by those like Asfaha Hadera. Thank you for the difference you continue to make in our community!

  9. Esayas says:

    Well done African sun times! Recognizing people like Asfaha hadera who is saving lives in Africa.
    Thousands have benefited from African services committee an NGO founded and operated by Asfaha and his team.
    Congrats Asfaha!

    • David says:

      Mr. Asfaha Hadera, a true man of the people! Congrats 2 you Uncle Asfaha! By God’s grace, Im sure you will have many more accomplishments 2 come and barriers 2 break! From your nephew David, all the way from Washington D.C. Congrats Again!

  10. Congratulations Asfaha Hadera! A true man of the people! By the grace of God you will have much more success and barriers to knock down to help progress not only The Ethiopian people, but for Africans & African Amerians. Continued success and well wishes from your nephew in Washington D.C.

  11. Congratulation Asfaha Hadera! Unbelievable the work you’ve done and continue to do, A true man of the people! Congratulations from your nephew David in D.C.

  12. .

  13. Hana W/Gebrial says:

    Congratulations Mr. Asfaha Hadera!
    True Man of the people! Who have made a difference in life of so many Africans, with his enormous vision executed under his Humanitarian organization named “African Services Committee”.
    Thank you African Sun Times for recognizing efforts of such a person!

  14. Samson says:

    Congratulations Asfaha Hadera! The work that you are doing is tremendous and it is imperative that others follow in your path of delivering real services to those who most need them. Bravo!

  15. assefa aregawi says:

    assefa aregawi
    feb 5 2013

    congraulation mr asfaha hadera for your hard work in ethiopia to those people who was suffering you really make a differnt keep on the good job every body should help for the organztion.

  16. Michael O. Afolayan says:

    You are a businessman first and foremost, Dr. Onyeani, and so I am pretty sure this attempt should carve for you a new business venture. What about voluminating the series – let’s call this one “Volume One.” You can come up with as many as 50 more volumes because there is a plethora of Africans in the Diaspora whp can so easily make the list. Kudos on your effort, and I wish you the best!

  17. Godskind says:

    Nice analysis and articles,but may I know why Collins Ijoma E,was not on your list?he appeared to me as a very influential figures in State considering what he has given in his 30 yrs of service as court administrator.

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