Today, I would like us to pay homage to some of the greatest African leaders of all time. Being a leader comes not only with great power but responsibility and these great heroes and heroine were willing to sacrifice everything to help change Africa. Come with me as I take you a journey down the memory lane of thirty (30) of Africa's greatest leaders;
A living legend. The symbol of Africa. Freedom fighter. The most recognizable face in the world.
2. Kwame Nkrumah - Ghana
Former president of Ghana. He envisaged the African Union long before it became a reality. His footprints are still a blueprint for us to follow.
3. Robert Mugabe - Zimbabwe
Fearless pan-Africanist of recent times who is fighting for the land which belonged to his ancestors.
4. Julius Nyerere - Tanzania
Former president of Tanzania. A great leader who refused to allow the trappings of power to corrupt him. He was respected by his country, Africa, and the rest of the world.
5. Marcus Garvey
A visionary pan-African leader and thinker. A practical man, he could have united all blacks if he had not been jailed.
6. Patrice Lumumba
A pan-African hero and symbol of African nationalism. A martyr of the African cause.
7. Martin Luther King
African-American religious and political leader who changed the course of life for all African-Americans. His speech in 1968 “I have a dream” has become a classic.
8. Thabo Mbeki - South Africa
President of South Africa. The representative of the young generation of new African statesmen. A Renaissance man.
9. Malcolm X
African-American political leader. His resistance against racism helped African-Americans to realize their dream.
10. Kofi Annan - Ghana
UN secretary-general. Africa’s greatest diplomat of all time. He was handling the reforms at the UN calmly and efficiently.
11. Muhammad Ali
The greatest boxer of all. “If you can do it, it ain’t bragging,” he once said. Civil rights activist.
12. Winnie Mandela - South Africa
The most popular woman in Africa. South Africa political leader and former wife of Nelson Mandela.
13. Shaka Zulu
A Zulu king and military genius. An empire builder who wanted to unite all Zulu chiefdoms into one strong Zulu nation for the benefit of all Zulus.
14. Chinua Achebe - Nigeria
A great Nigerian writer and recorder of African history. His first book, Things Fall Apart, has sold 8 million copies worldwide and translated into 50 languages.
15. W. E. B. Du Bois
African-American intellectual and political leader. The pioneer of African liberation and conscience-father of pan-Africanism.
16. Haile Selassie - Ethiopia
The last emperor of Ethiopia. A liberator of his country and the continent.
Brazilian footballer. The greatest. His feet and feats on the football pitch brought huge pride and honor to all blacks.
18. Bob Marley - Jamaican
Musician and creative genius. He touched the hearts and minds of millions worldwide.
19. Olusegun Obasanjo - Nigeria
A former military officer voluntarily gave up power to civilians in 1979. He was returned to power in 1999 to save a worsening situation.
20. George Weah - Liberia
Liberian footballer and world best player in 2000. An icon of selflessness who has provided financial help out of his pocket to transport his country’s national team to major tournaments.
21. Kenneth Kaunda - Zambia
Former president of Zambia and one of the few first-generation independence leaders still alive. He played a vital role in the African liberation struggle.
22. Cheikh Anta Diop - Senegal
Senegalese writer and one of Africa’s greatest historians. His work on Ancient Egypt has become a classic.
23. Gamal Abdel Nasser - Egypt
Former Egyptian president. The pioneer of Arab nationalism and unity.
24. Sir Seretse Khama - Botswana
Botswana’s first president. He inherited an impoverished and little-known obscure state and left an increasingly democratic and prosperous country.
25. Maheru Imhotep - Egypt
Historic figure. Imhotep was the chief architect to the Third Dynasty King Djoser (2687-2668 BC). He was in charge of building and designing the step pyramid at Saqqara.
26. Ahmed Sekou Toure - Guinea
The former president of Guinea said No to General de Gaulle on the eve of independence. Great nationalist. He declared Nkrumah co-President of Guinea.
27. Wole Soyinka - Nigeria
Nigerian intellectual and writer. The first African Nobel laureate in literature, excelling as a playwright, poet, and novelist – a vocal critic of Nigerian politics.
28. Maria Mutola - Mozambique
Mozambican Athlete, Olympic gold medallist, World 800m champion. She is a cheerful, modest, woman dedicated to her sport and country.
29. Sam Nujoma - Namibia
President of Namibia and a great pan-Africanist leader. Though he is standing down in March 2005, his land reform program is causing jitters.
30. Yaa Asantewaa - Ghana
Queen of Ejisu, Ghana, who led the Asantes in a war against the British in 1900.
These are thirty (30) of the greatest African leaders of all time.
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