Football legend Samuel Eto’o voted African of the Year

Retired Cameroonian football player Samuel Eto’o has been voted African of the Year by respondents across the continent who participated in a Sagaci Research SagaPoll survey. 39-year-old Eto’o enjoyed a stellar career over two decades that saw him score 293 goals in 587 professional games, win the Champions League three times, and be named African player of the year four times before his retirement in 2019. Since his retirement, he has remained in the public eye. For example, in December 2020, his comment on Twitter (where he has 1.5 million followers) that “We Africans don’t exist,” after magazine France Football failed to include a single African player in three ‘dream teams’ it named, received significant media coverage.

Pop stars and footballers dominate the top ten

The top ten is dominated by figures from football and pop music, with Senegalese football player Sadio Mané coming second, Senegalese-American singer and rapper Akon third, Ivorian player Didier Drogba fourth, deceased South African reggae singer Lucky Dube sixth, and Egyptian player Mohamed Salah (a teammate of Mané at English club Liverpool) seventh. Nigerian singer Yemi Alade is the only female to make the top ten, ranking ninth, with Nigerian-American singer-songwriter Davido rounding out the top ten.

But a business magnate is the most popular figure among older Africans

Only two individuals were able to break the stranglehold of sport and music on the top ten: Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote, who is the richest man in Africa, according to Forbes magazine, ranked fifth. He was the most popular African among those aged 45 years or older. Meanwhile, Paul Kagame, who has been president of Rwanda since 2000 and is credited with restoring order and fostering economic development in that country in the wake of the genocide that took place in the mid-1990s, ranked eighth.

 


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