Who’s the African of the year?

2014-06-01 15:00

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This year’s MTV Africa Music Awards (Mamas) will feature a new category that sees African celebrities vying for the glory of being named personality of the year.

The list of nominees stretches across all fields, from sports to movie stars. Here are the contenders:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the new face of Nigerian writing, which has historically been the preserve of male authors like Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka. This year saw Adichie rise from novelist to celebrity writer.

She delivered a memorable talk on feminism at a TED event in London, which was in turn sampled by pop queen Beyoncé in her song Flawless.

Adichie’s latest novel, Americanah, has since been catapulted to the top of the bestseller lists.

Plus her previous novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, about the Nigerian civil war, was turned into a movie in 2013 and has been making waves – notably for having screenings blocked in Nigeria.

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde is a trailblazing Nigerian actress, singer and philanthropist. She made her Nollywood film debut in 1995 and has since appeared in a whopping 300 films that have sold millions of copies.

She was named one of Time Magazine’s most influential people in the world in 2013. The same year saw her make her US television debut in Hit The Floor on VH1.

Trevor Noah is one of South Africa’s most successful comedy exports. Last year was the year he hit the big time when he launched his brand in the US.

He appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and then had a star turn on the

Late Show With David Letterman. He also toured his comedy special TrevorNoah: African American across the US. Noah then landed a deal to star in his own TV show to be aired on the Fox network. It’s reported it’ll be co-produced with comedian Caleeb Pinkett, Jada Pinkett Smith’s brother.

Lupita Nyong’o is a brand-new global style icon and star of the silver screen. T

he Mexico-born, Kenya-raised actress shot to international fame with a win and a gorgeous acceptance speech for best supporting actress at the Oscars this year.

Her break-out movie was, of course, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave. Nyong’o went on to grace a battery of red carpets and win a string of awards for her role as the slave Patsey.

Yaya Touré has proved himself more than just an Ivorian professional footballer. He plays for the Ivory Coast national team and English club Manchester City.

There are currently talks about his possible move to the Paris-based team Saint-Germain.

He is one of sport’s highest-earning young athletes, with an estimated net worth of R600 million. He is the Confederation of African

Football African player of the year and he also won the 2013 BBC African footballer of the year award.

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