PS: Out of Africa - Greatest African

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Which African excels the most at their chosen profession?

Freedom Day is a South African holiday celebrated annually on 27 April. It commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held on that day in 1994.

Africa Day is celebrated annually on May 25th to commemorate the founding of the Organization of African Unity and the widespread liberation on the continent from the colonial powers.

See the partial list of African-born celebrities here: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls063207553/
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urbanemovies

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Posted 2 years ago

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Jen, Champion

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urbanemovies

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Thanks, I knew it seemed oddly familiar. My pre-search returned no existing imdb poll. I think their will be some overlap, but the broader scope I hope will create a unique spin. This poll suggestion includes producers, musicians, directors, artists, authors, politicians, comedians, athletes, business leaders, historical figures, etc. It is nice to see Africa getting some attention.
(Edited)
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urbanemovies

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Jen, I modified the question also to create a more unique spin also.

Revised Title:
PS: Out of Africa - Greatest African

Revised Question: Which African excels the most at their chosen profession?
(Edited)
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urbanemovies

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Jen, a belated suggestion for your actors poll: Adhir Kalyan.

Born: August 4, 1983 in Durban, South Africa
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leavey-2

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Freddie Mercury

FYC:
Jean Reno (born in Morocco)
Claudia Cardinale (born in Tunisia)
Dalida (born in Egypt)
Patrick Bruel (born in Algeria)
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urbanemovies

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Thanks, great suggestions and much appreciated. I added Claudia Cardinale and Jean Reno to the list. I am limiting to celebrities with widespread name recognition only as the list covers an entire continent (Top 5000 STARMeter, unless an older entry or not in the business).
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rocky-o

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hard not to vote for nelson mandela, just out of respect alone (after all, i mean, come on...)...

but...if i go for pure visceral pleasure, then i gotta go with freddie mercury...
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Jen, Champion

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FYC:
Iman - Somalia
Die Antwoord - South Africa
Femi Kuti - Nigeria
Salif Keita - Mali
Akon - Senegal
Youssou N'dour - Senegal
Alek Wek - Sudan
Hugh Masekela - South Africa
Chinua Achebe - Nigeria
Hakeem Olajuwon - Nigeria
Dikembe  Mutombo - De. Rep. Congo
Manute Bol - Sudan
(Edited)
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urbanemovies

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Thanks, for the list I know I will able to use some of them. I will review them and add those where appropriate. I am trying to set the bar high on this one as the scope covers the entire continent and every profession.

Ideally, anyone African who is considered among the greatest of all-time in their profession or specialty is an ideal fit. ie Sports (shot blocker/rebounder/defense - Dikembe Mutombo, center - Hakeem Olajuwon, all around player/FT % Steve Nash, football striker - Eusébio aka Black Panther, distance runner- Kenenisa Bekele)
(Edited)
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Jen, Champion

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I wouldn't have included them if i didn't think they belonged on this list.

Iman is the most famous and celebrated black model in the world.
Alek Wek is called the new Iman and has broken barriers in terms of what the fashion industry deems beautiful.
Die Antwoord are the most successful and acclaimed South African rap group and inspire a cult-like following. Ninja and Yolandi starred in the film Chappie.
Salif Keita was cast out of his family due to his albanism but he overcame such prejudice to be a famous musician known as the "Golden Voice of Africa."
etc.
etc.
etc.

These are also on all of the "most famous Africans" lists I consulted.

I suggest you move Charlize Theron to the bottom of the list, otherwise many voters will see her and vote immediately without reviewing the other options.
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urbanemovies

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I didn't say I disagree with any of them. Some are obvious greats, others are great within a subcategory and less clear and some are just the best on their continent, I still mulling over the parameters for inclusion and still considering all on your list, I have already included those that are in various world Top 10 lists. I also have cut almost all of the less notable entries. As general rule, I like to mull and revisit after a bit. I find a fresh look is helpful once I have done some more research and more clearly defined the factors. I am trying to move more less obvious choices up the list based on their degree of greatness. I would still describe it as a work in progress.

Edit: Manute Bol will probably not make the final list, excellent at one thing, bad at bunch of others, hard to justify his inclusion when Olajuwon and Mutombo clearly outclass him.
(Edited)
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rocky-o

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hugh masekela and youssou n'dour...both excellent choices...nice one jen... 
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urbanemovies

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Africa Day is celebrated annually on May 25th.
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LD

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Freddie Mercury
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urbanemovies

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update
Biggest African-Born Success Story

Which African-born person excels the most at their chosen profession and is the biggest credit to their continent?
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ElMo

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This poll sounded awfully familiar because I remember it had opened a big debate about which celebrities to include: born in Africa, growing up in Africa, it even raised a few questions about ethnicity... some African people are of European background etc.

Seriously, I don't have any advice to give but I'm not sure about celebrities who grew up in an African that just happened to be a colony, Jean Reno was born in Morocco all right, but I'm not sure there's anyone in this world, including himself, who'd consider his career and achievements as a credit to Africa. Mercury was born in Africa but he became someone only after he migrated to UK.

I think the fairest parameter would be: living in Africa for the most of their lives and/having achieved something in relationship with the continent, some people who weren't born in Africa, not even African, but dedicated their life to the continent and I would include them if it was up to me, people like Karen Blixen, Dr. Livingstone or Dian Fossey.
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urbanemovies

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EIM, I agree living in Africa for the most of their lives and/having achieved something in relationship with the continent  parameters are fair. I would support your poll suggestion focusing on greatest contributions as portrayed on film. Out of Africa (1985), Stanley and Livingstone (1939), Gorillas in the Mist (1988), etc. I think even a simple poll like movies set in Africa or about Africa would be a good idea.

As to the colonies in this poll suggestion's geographical distinction: in the end I think you still would have the same issue, it is harder to achieve world fame without making a mark off the continent. Regardless, if you remove the European influence the result is a pool of options that is diminished: either by a much smaller number of options or ones that lack common knowledge recognizability to those outside the continent. Jen did a poll three years ago called Awesome African-Born Actors! https://www.imdb.com/poll/PrL-8diNbaE/ She seemed to encounter the same issues. I had quite a few of the suggestions listed, but ran into both image issues and name recognition issues as I strove to make it more African.
(Edited)
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ElMo

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No problem, I agree it's a difficult subject to handle, either ways, there'll be room for debating... anyway, Happy New Year from Africa!
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urbanemovies

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Likewise
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urbanemovies

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Biggest African-Born Success Story

Which African-born person excels the most at their chosen profession and is the biggest credit to their continent?

Africa Day is celebrated annually on May 25th to commemorate the founding of the Organization of African Unity and the widespread liberation on the continent from the colonial powers.
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ElMo

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Seriously, I've always found this idea problematic, its intent is noble but I find the execution rather impossible (and it's the African talking):

- first, there are too many African-born celebrities and too many chosen professions, you can't have them all of course, but why would you pick an Ethiopian but not a Kenyan runner, why wouldn't you pick Moroccan legend Hicham El Guerrouj who was voted athlete of the year during the 2004 Olympics? Or why wouldn't you pick Ethiopian legend Abebe Bekila? Each inclusion would remind of five non-inclusions.

- Of all the football players, why would you pick a Portuguese and not someone born from African parents like, say, George Weah who became President of Liberia? (no disrespect for Eusebio of course) but I'm still not sure having a personality who actually belonged to the colonizing country helps the purpose of a poll that celebrates "the widespread liberation of the continent from the colonial powers". Jean Reno is born in Morocco all right but from Spanish parents. And even in Bardem was born in an island regarded as part of African territory, it's not like he's immediately associated to the continent.

- Being born in Africa shouldn't be only criteria, you wouldn't believe how many French actors or actresses were born in Algeria, at a time where Algeria was part of the French territory (not a colony), it's precisely because you mention the issue of colonization that it's rather awkward to have celebrities whose real background is the colonizing country. I'll mention Dian Fossey again but she's 100 times more African than any of Saint Laurent or Reno... and she did a lot for the African continent. It gos further than that regarding the background, Mercury was born in Zanzibar but his parents had Farsi origins, as a matter of fact, he'd be a biggest pride for this community which belongs to the Asian continent than to Africa.

- having personalities who won the Nobel Prize makes a tougher competition for the other ones who were just artists or athletes. Instinctively, I'd rather vote for Nelson Mandela and spare myself a brainstorming about who's better an athlete than another as an actor. In fact, I'd vote for Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat who made peace with Israel in 1977 and was assassinated four year later. But you also have figures like Patrice Lumumba or Omar Mokhtar.

- Africa includes North Africa (d'uh) and there is one mention of Morocco, one of Algeria, a good one on Egypt, nothing about Tunisia or Libya. And neither of Reno or Saint-Laurent were of African background... you can't have them all I know but there are 11 South African celebrities, so one would assume that South Africa is the major African cultural hub, which is not quite fair for the other countries.

If I were you, I would consider :
- people born in Africa from African parents
- people whose achievements are associated directly or indirectly to the African continent
- only artists or athletes, no politicians or social figures
- no more than three for each country, let's make this fair
(Edited)
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ElMo

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I'm sorry once again if I sound like a broken record, the idea of a tribute to Africa is excellent but the ensuing list kind on borders on the idea that all it takes to be a great African is happening to be born in Africa, with South Africa taking the lion share of international legacy.
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Breumaster

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That's because there are the most developed areas.
From Kongo or Sahara there will be lesser candidates.
But I must admit, it  would be more tempting to collect
people from Africa without North or South Africa.
It could take a longer period to be successful, but
what a poll !
(Edited)
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ElMo

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North Africa is mostly associated to the Arab/Middle-East or Mediterranean world but when the few candidates aren't even of African backgrounds, it's rather problematic.
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Breumaster

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So wouldn't it nice to pick all candidates of middle Africa? But of what countries? And would there still be enough candidates? Africa was a rich country. The colonial powers nearly destroyed it. Now there is an Australian farmer which brought up a new method to renaturate the country. In some areas where formerly was no more water, just dry land, he regained the flora with helping plant roots to grow, so they regained agriculture and even supply other villages with their harvest. There even appeared 4 formerly disappeared waterfalls, which formerly run dry. In this situation of developing new future, it still will take time to find more candidates. So if it should be an African poll, there will be mostly south- and north-Africans. I guess these Africans which are listed would count themselves to Africa born. Just my opinion.
(Edited)
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ElMo

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I'm not necessarily talking about restricting the list, I would broaden the list and even include such great ambassadors of African struggles such as Karen Blixen or Dian Fossey. I wouldn't include Mandela because he's a worldwide icon whose legacy transcended the frontier of Africa, but I would include Johnny Clegg... it's precisely because this poll fascinates me than I'm trying to figure out the best way it could work.
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Breumaster

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That's interesting. I wish I would have more time. :D
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Breumaster

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Javier Bardeem is born on Gran Canaria. This Island belong to Spain, even though it next to Marocco.
https://www.google.de/maps/place/Gran+Canaria/@25.5551145,-11.2890996,6.39z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0xc40855...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gran_Canaria

(Edited)
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Breumaster

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Oh, Yeah ... Nelson Mandela ! :D ++++++
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urbanemovies

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Thanks, I was aware. In the interest of clarity, Gran Canaria is considered part of the African continent, regardless of its national affiliation. Your comment got me wondering which continent claims, Gibraltar. As well as, if there are any notable Gibraltarians

(Edited)
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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'Kind of hard to compete with Nelson Mandela. : ) He'd get my vote. 
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urbanemovies

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Yes, I agree. He certainly is probably the most famous and most admired figure on the list. But, I think a couple of the others are his equal within the scope of the question.

My top five other than Nelson Mandela as they also rank among the leaders within their fields: J.R.R. Tolkien Fantasy Writer, Hakeem Olajuwon Basketball Center, Elon Musk Entrepreneur, Eusébio Association Football Forward, and Kenenisa Bekele Distance Runner.

Just curious, who is your pick in this fairer fight among these peace titans?

World Peace Day Face-Off: Give Peace a Chance

World Peace Day is observed annually on 21 September. The United Nations-sanctioned holiday, officially known as the International Day of Peace, is dedicated to promoting world peace.

Which modern peace activist do you admire the most for their leadership in the use of nonviolence as a means to achieve political and social change?


Mohandas K. Gandhi

Martin Luther King

Nelson Mandela

The Dalai Lama
(Edited)