Nigeria to the world is an expression of confidence. It is a clarion call to all Nigerians to fulfill their individual’s greatness regardless of their tribe, religion or social class. Hard work and industry are embedded within this concept of Nigeria To The World. In the traditional Nigerian mindset, any man or woman can achieve whatever they want as long as there is the drive and will to obtain it. Anyone can improve their station in life.
Here are some examples of Nigerians who have carved out a niche for themselves in their chosen careers and are celebrated globally.
DG World Trade Organisation
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a non-resident distinguished fellow with the Africa Growth Initiative in the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings. She is an economist and international development expert with over 30 years of experience. She is the Director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO). She was chair of the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (2016-2020) and of the African Risk Capacity, ARC (2014-2020). Until recently, she was also co-chair of The Global Commission on the Economy and climate and also sat on the boards of Standard Chartered PLC and Twitter Inc. Previously, she served as a senior adviser at Lazard from September 2015 to October 2019. Okonjo-Iweala was also recently appointed as the African Union’s COVID-19 special envoy (finance) and the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 special envoy (ACT-accelerator).
Okonjo-Iweala served twice as Nigeria’s finance minister from 2003-2006 and 2011-2015, and briefly as foreign minister, the first woman to hold both positions. She spent a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist working on economic development programs and policy reforms including trade policy in middle- and low-income countries. She rose to the No.2 position of Managing director at the World Bank, overseeing an $81 billion operational portfolio in Africa, South Asia, Europe, and Central Asia.
Being a Harvard-educated development economist, she believes the WTO needed a shake-up. She said, “They need something different, it cannot be business as usual for the WTO”
Today we are celebrating this amazing woman for being the First Woman and First African to be the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The 66-year-old revels in being Nigerian and is fiercely patriotic – flaunting her African identity in her African-print Ankara tailored outfits.
To celebrate this achievement, in the #BeLikeNgoziChallenge, Nigerians donned her signature look: a full outfit (traditional blouse) and head tie (gele) in African wax (Ankara), a single strand necklace, and clear glasses. Her supporters also took up the moniker, #AnkaraArmy to rally behind the New WTO DG.
David Adedeji Adeleke Cameo on Coming To America 2
David Adedeji Adeleke popularly known as Davido, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is one of the most influential artists in Africa with 19.6m Instagram followers. Davido‘s 2017 hit single “If” has been certified Gold in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
The Afro-pop song which was released on February 17, 2017, has sold 500,000 copies in the U.S to earn the certification. There are currently only two afrobeat records by an African that have attained Gold level certification in Canada and America. These two singles are Davido’s If and his Fall.
Davido’s certification spawned afrobeat domination in the global music circle. Birthed some 20 years ago in the early 2000s as an offshoot of the sound of the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, the genre itself like the Nigerian region that champions it, is an amalgamation of sounds and cultural influences. The Nigerian Afrobeats superstar has been named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future.
We round up the inspiring Davido Story with his recent Cameo in a Hollywood movie. Following the release of the sequel to 1988’s Classic Hit Coming To America on Amazon Prime, viewers took to Twitter to commend the Nigerian Superstar on his performance.
Davido, 28, performs his song Assurance in a scene of the movie as Eddie Murphy reprises his iconic role as Prince Akeem in the long-awaited sequel. The singer is seen wearing a floral suit as he performs during a party scene in the film, which has gone down very well with viewers.
Burna Boy Grammy Award Winner
Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu (born 2 July 1991), known professionally as Burna Boy, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, rapper, and dancer. He is one of the biggest and most successful African artists.
The Nigerian singer-songwriter Burna Boy combines traditional reggae and dancehall with Afro-fusion melodies. The African star has collaborated with the likes of Justin Bieber, Sia, Sam Smith, etc
He rose to prominence in 2012 after releasing “Like to Party”, the lead single from his debut studio album L.I.F.E (2013). In 2017, Burna Boy signed with Bad Habit/Atlantic Records in the United States and Warner Music Group internationally.
His third studio album Outside marked his major-label debut. In 2019, he won Best International Act at the 2019 BET Awards and was announced as an Apple Music Up Next artist. His fourth studio album African Giant was released in July 2019; it won Album of the Year at the 2019 All Africa Music Awards and was nominated for Best World Music Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.
He was awarded the African Artiste of the year at the 2020 VGMA’s. In 2020, his album Twice as Tall was nominated for the same category at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, making him the first Nigerian with back-to-back nominations at the Grammys. In 2021, he won the award for Best World Music Album at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards.
WIZKID Grammy Award Winner
Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun (born 16 July 1990), known professionally as Wizkid (sometimes stylized as WizKid), Wizzy or Starboy, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. One of Africa’s biggest artists, Wizkid is the most decorated Nigerian artist ever (the most decorated African artist internationally), and one of the most revolutionary Afro-pop artists of the modern era.
He began recording music at the age of 11 and managed to release a collaborative album with the Glorious Five, a group he and a couple of his church friends formed. Wizkid signed a record deal with Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) in 2009.
He rose to prominence after releasing “Holla at Your Boy”, the lead single from his debut studio album, Superstar (2011). “Tease Me/Bad Guys”, “Don’t Dull”, “Love My Baby”, “Pakurumo” and “Oluwa Lo Ni” were also released as singles from the Superstar album. Ayo, his self-titled second studio album, was released in September 2014. It was supported by six singles: “Jaiye Jaiye”, “On Top Your Matter”, “One Question”, “Joy”, “Bombay” and “Show You the Money”. Wizkid left E.M.E after his contract expired.
In 2016, Wizkid achieved international recognition following his collaboration with Drake on the global hit “One Dance”, which reached number one in 15 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. He signed a multi-album deal with RCA Records in March 2017.
His third studio album, Sounds from the Other Side, was released in July 2017. It serves as his major-label debut and was primarily a Caribbean-influenced record. SFTOS was supported by five singles: “Daddy Yo”, “Sweet Love”, “Come Closer”, “African Bad Gyal” and “Naughty Ride”. Wizkid became the first Afrobeats artist to appear in the 2018 Guinness World Records for his contribution to “One Dance”.
In 2019, he was featured on Beyoncé’s project The Lion King. The Gift on the collaboration “Brown Skin Girl”, which won him a Grammy Award for Best Music Video. His fourth album, Made in Lagos, was released in October 2020, to wide commercial success and acclaim.
Wizkid is presently the most-streamed Nigerian artist of all time on Spotify, with over 3.4 billion streams across all credits.
The governor of Minnesota Mark Dayton in 2018 officially set aside October 6 as Wizkid Day, to honour the afrobeats star. The document released stated the reason for this huge landmark is to honour the singer for his numerous achievements in music and for his role as a culture influencer.
This feat was achieved as he became the first African artist to ever sell out the Skyway Theatre in Minnesota, US on Saturday, October 6, 2018.
Mathematics Genius Faith Odunsi
Nigerian student, Faith Odunsi, 15, beat other students from China, the UK, the US, and others in a global math competition, a move that has her name written in Gold.
As the winner of the Global Open Mathematics competition, Odunsi excelled in all rounds of the competition and didn’t immediately think she would be announced the winner until she answered more questions than her competitors in the final round.
“My heart raced but I felt relieved,” said the Nigerian teen in an interview with the Punch.
Currently, Odunsi is in her final year as a high school student at the Ambassadors School, Ota Ogun State.
Odunsi’s father is a doctor and her mother is a businesswoman and she says she has her dad to thank for the math genes.
This accomplishment is something that Odunsi says makes her feel “happy and honoured.” Although the competition was tough, Odunsi managed to win by a 30-point margin.
Now, as the winner of the competition, Odunsi not only walked away with the title, but she also secured a $1,000 prize.