A fervent defender of human rights, Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian novelist and poet who became the first African to receive the Nobel Prize for literature in 1986. (©AFP)
This 51-year-old Nigerian businessman ranks among the richest men in the world, according to Forbes magazine. His fortune is estimated at more than 2.5 billion dollars.
Sheikh Modibo Diarra
A former astrophysicist at NASA, Sheikh Modibo Diarra was also the son-in-law of Mali’s former leader Moussa Traore and has served as the head of Microsoft Africa since 2006. He plans to campaign for Mali’s presidency when the next elections are held in 2012.
With 20 albums under his belt, this reggae singer from Ivory Coast performs all over the world, often sporting his trademark red, yellow and green to showcase his African pride. He rose to stardom after his music gained popularity across West Africa in the 1980s.
Singer, producer, composer and UN goodwill ambassador Youssou N’Dour has given several concerts for Amnesty International and is known as Senegal’s ambassador of music. He won six Grammy awards in 2005 and was named African Artist of the Century by Folk Roots magazine.
A former centre forward for Cameroon’s football team, the Indomitable Lions, when they qualified for the quarter-finals in 1990, Milla is today known as Cameroon’s football ambassador.