I’m not a fan of lists or rankings because they come with way too much controversy and it’s almost always impossible to find two people who agree on any single list. But I’ve always been a huge fan of Barbara Walters’ 19 year old annual television show; 10 Most Fascinating people. She usually gets people talking with whom she puts at the top. In 2011, she had The Kardashian Family at number 1. Americans cried blue murder. The year after, she had the Director of the CIA David Petraeus as number 1, even though he left office that year controversially. So when I saw her list for 2014 with Amal Clooney, (lawyer and wife of George Clooney) as her number 1 most fascinating person, I smiled. It was another unexpected decision. But as with every year, you can kind of see why she’d go with hat choice.
So I toyed with the idea of my own list of 10 Most Fascinating Nigerians of 2014. And no, I do not plan to go for any shock factors with my number 1. Feel free to disagree though. Here goes…
Adamu Mu’azu became chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and suddenly, the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) realized it wasn’t going to be an easy ride for them. He completely revamped the party this year, brought some sense of sanity to the way things are run there and most of all, stayed likeable by most Nigerians; an almost impossible feat to achieve as the head of the PDP. Many think he’ll run for president in 2019.
9) TOKE MAKINWA
Or Mrs. A like she sometimes calls herself, had a phenomenal year and what makes it even more interesting is the fact that she almost did it by inventing her own rules. She ran a weekly video blog that grew her fan base immensely, attended every event possible and looked flawless while at it, entertained Lagosians on radio in the mornings, pretty much turned her Instagram page to an ad space for people in the fashion industry, and most importantly, completely blocked out whatever negative talk there was about her.
She got married at the start of the year and hasn’t looked happier ever since. I still don’t get how she never looks tired.
8) DAME PATIENCE JONATHAN
Our dear First Lady has been one of our favorite people since her husband took office in 2010. She continues to stay on the front pages of newspapers for both the right and wrong reasons. From allegedly battling governors to solidly standing by her man through his troubled times, she always made the news. She had some health scares last year but bounced back fully this year to give Nigerians what was without a doubt the clip of the year while addressing the issue of insurgency in the North East. She’ll really be hoping that there is God to help her husband continue in office next year.
7) BLESSING OKAGBARE
My very own Ble Ble! She won everything winnable in athletics this year. She was phenomenal during the Diamond League season, completely conquered the Commonwealth games with her appropriately laid gold hair, went on to crush all comers at the All African Athletics Championships, before finally getting married to the love of her life. Hard to think of a Nigerian athlete male or female, that has had a better year in the past. Rio 2016 should crown it all.
6) ROTIMI AMAECHI
He led what was once referred to as a gang of rebel governors and has been extremely vocal since he became a leading member of the APC. He continues to trade words with Mr. President and his one-liners are always a gem. Very few can boast of the resume he has, having been Rivers State Speaker for 8 years and Rivers State governor for two terms. His main aim now is to make sure his ‘brother’ the President doesn’t return to Aso Rock. But he’ll have to pursue it with more gusto than he’s done the Port Harcourt monorail project.