BY MICHAEL BAMIDELE/ GUARDIAN.NG
Nigerian Afrobeats superstar Davido has been named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future.
The Time100 Next list which was released today is an annual list that serves as an extension to the Time100 list. The Time100 Next aims to highlight “the 100 individuals who are shaping the future of their fields and defining the next generation of leadership in business, entertainment, health and science, sports, activism, and more.”
TIME wrote that the individuals on this year’s list provide “clear-eyed hope” amid a global pandemic, deepening inequality, systemic injustice and existential questions about truth, democracy and the planet itself. According to Dan Macsai, editorial director of the TIME100, “Everyone on this list is poised to make history. And in fact, many already have.”
For the list, Davido’s entry was penned by Laycon, Nigerian rapper and TV reality star.
“Davido is one of the biggest voices in Afrobeats because his music connects with people, often in ways that transcend his expectations. When he released the song “FEM” in 2020, a title that loosely translates to “shut up” in Yoruba, he didn’t know it would become a major #EndSARS protest anthem, as youth banded together to demand the government take action to end police brutality in Nigeria last October. Officials responded by sending politicians to give speeches. We told the government to keep quiet unless they had something sensible to add—the ethos of “FEM” was directly relatable to that moment,” Laycon wrote.
Laycon continued: “You can tell Davido puts 100% into every song he makes. And the results are clear: his album A Good Time surpassed a billion streams in 2020. Afrobeats is a worldwide phenomenon, and Davido is one of many Nigerian artists who has made that possible; now more and more artists, from Nicki Minaj to Young Thug, want to work with him.
“By bringing Afrobeats to the global stage, he’s paved the way for people like me.”