The end of Black History Month is here, so why not provide a list of
my top four influential black people, in no particular order.
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
A black feminist icon and successful novelist. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in 2005. If you haven’t read any of her novels, I would suggest grabbing a copy, as her writing is incredible. Focusing on Nigerian literature, Chimamanda considers herself a ‘storyteller’ and also delivers lectures and speeches. Arguably, her most popular speech, delivered at TEDx, was presented in 2013, titled ‘We should all be feminists’.
- Ibrahim Kamara (Founder of GUAP magazine).
This 22-year-old creative launched GUAP magazine, alongside his business partner, in May 2015 – the world’s first video magazine. Mr Kamara says: “The idea came from a need to profile individuals in our society doing amazing things, whether it be inspirational or entertaining.” In the next five years, the founders can see GUAP becoming a global brand, as the ‘leading urban youth magazine’. When asked whether he has any messages for young, black youth in the creative field, Mr Kamara said: “Just go do it! So many opportunities out here for the taking and if it’s not there you gotta to make it.”
- Jessica Ennis-Hill.
The well-known British athlete, retired track and field star, and University of Sheffield alumni. For anyone needing some inspiration, university is not the ‘be all and end all’ of life. Mrs Ennis-Hill left university with a 2:2 in Psychology and is now the current world heptathlon champion, a Jaguar Academy of Sport ambassador and a patron for both the Sheffield Children’s Hospital charity and Barrie Wells’ sports foundation. This successful woman is half Jamaican, half English and currently resides in Sheffield with her husband and her two-year-old son.
- Kingslee James Daley aka Akala.
The British rapper, poet and academic, who has delivered lectures across the country – including at Sheffield Hallam University. He educationally teaches of the histories and riches of Africa, whilst making his lectures ‘accessible and fun’. If you haven’t heard of him, find out where his next lecture will be and attend. You won’t be disappointed.
-Author: Jasmine Lee-Zogbessou
Jasmine is a third year journalism student at the University of Sheffield.