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Goodluck Jonathan, Barack Obama, Lionel Messi, Rihanna, Adele & more make TIME Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ list



TIME Magazine, a US Weekly News magazine today released its annual list of the ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ for the year 2012.

Making this list is Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan.

According to TIME,“they are the people who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world.”

The citation on Jonathan was written by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia:

Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan exemplifies the African political renaissance at a time when the people of the continent are starting to reap the fruit of their resources and their hard work. President Jonathan, 54, possesses the qualities needed at this moment of great challenges, having come to power at a crucial moment in the history of Nigeria. The country has grown out of its past of corruption, mismanagement and brutality, but the foundation of good governance is still fragile.

In two short years, President Jonathan has shown the same dexterity he demonstrated as governor of Bayelsa, the same ability to find the remedies to the many complexities of running a nascent democracy. He has spearheaded the fight against corruption and turned Nigeria into an example of good governance. He has also made a significant impact on consolidating peace and security in West Africa. From the onset of our own crisis, Liberia has benefitted from the support of Nigeria. President Jonathan not only upheld the trend but added to it. With leaders like President Jonathan, Africa is sure to move toward prosperity, freedom and dignity for all of its people.

The list also contains names like United States of America President Barack Obama; U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, American Republican presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and American billionaire Warren Buffett. Singers Adele and Rihanna, footballer Lionel Messi and the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire and founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely also made the list.

There are 38 women on the 2012 list, more than any other year. The list was chosen by through voting by TIME readers from around the world.

Here’s a look at the names that feature in the TIME 100 list:

  • Jeremy Lin- Basketball Player, America
  • Christian Marclay- Visual artist and composer, Swiss-America
  • Viola Davis- Actress, America
  • Salman Khan- Educator, America
  • Tim Tebow- Football quarterback, American
  • EL James- Author, America
  • Louis CK- Comedian, Mexican-American
  • Rihanna- Recording artist, actress, US
  • Marco Rubio- United States Senator from Florida
  • Ali Ferzat- Cartoonist, Syria
  • René Redzepi- chef, Denmark
  • Kristen Wiig- Television actress, comedian, America
  • Anthony Kennedy- Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court
  • Novak Djokovic- Tennis player, Serbia and Montenegro
  • Ben Rattray- Founder,, US
  • Jessica Chastain- Actress, America
  • Yani Tseng- Golfer- Republic of China (Taiwan)
  • Raphael Saadiq- Singer- America
  • Elinor Ostrom- Economist, US
  • Samira Ibrahim- Plaintiff, Egypt
  • Jose Andres- Chef, Spanish
  • Ann Patchett- Writer, America
  • Dulce Matuz- President, Arizona Dream Act Coalition
  • Henrik Scharfe- Professor, Director, Centre for Computer-mediated Epistemology, Denmark
  • Freeman Hrabowski- Educator, America
  • Maryam Durani- Member, Kandahar Provincial Council, Afghanistan
  • Manal al-Sharif- Women’s rights activist and computer security consultant, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia
  • Anjali Gopalan- Advocate, India
  • Rached Ghannouchi- Tunisian Islamist politician and co-founder, The Ennahda Movement
  • Barbara Van Dahlen- Founder and President, Give an Hour, US
  • Ron Fouchier- Scientist, Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands
  • Donald Sadoway- John F Elliott Professor, Materials Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US
  • Hans Rosling- Statistician, Sweden
  • Asghar Farhadi- Filmmaker, Iran
  • Sarah Burton- Fashion Designer, UK
  • Anonymous- Self described hacktivist group, Voluntary association, Global
  • Pete Cashmore- Social News Guru,Scotland
  • Cami Anderson- Superintendent,Newark schools
  • Ali Babacan and Ahmet Davutoglu- Neo-Ottomans
  • Ai-jen Poo- Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance, US
  • Marc Andreessen- Kingmaker, America
  • Preet Bharara- Prosecutor, America
  • Robert Grant- AIDS Researcher, San Francisco
  • Andrew Lo- Harris & Harris Group Professor Director, MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering
  • Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy- Pakistani-Canadian journalist, documentary filmmaker
  • Alexei Navalny- Russian lawyer, politician, and political and financial activist
  • Ray Dalio- American businessman and founder of Bridgewater Associates
  • Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani- Prime Minister of Qatar
  • Chelsea Handler- American stand-up comedian, actress, best-selling author, and producer
  • Harvey Weinstein- American film producer and movie studio chairman
  • Chen Lihua- Chairperson, Fu Wah International, China
  • Warren Buffett- Chairman & CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
  • Alice Walton- Heiress, Walton family fortune
  • Harold Hamm- CEO, Continental Resources
  • Sheryl Sandberg- COO, Facebook
  • Sara Blakely- Founder of Spanx, and world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, US
  • Eike Batista- President, EBX Group, Brazil
  • Tim Cook- CEO, Apple, US
  • Daniel Ek- CEO and Founder, Spotify, Sweden
  • Virginia Rometty- CEO, IBM, US
  • Barack Obama- President, USA
  • Goodluck Jonathan- President of Nigeria
  • Xi Jinping- First Secretary of the Central Secretariat of the Communist Party of China
  • Fatou Bensouda- Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Gambia
  • Christine Lagarde- MD, IMF, France
  • Mario Draghi- President, European Central Bank, Italy
  • U Thein Sein- President of Burma
  • Ayatullah Ali Khamenei- Supreme Leader of Iran
  • Mitt Romney- Candidate, 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination
  • Juan Manuel Santos- President of Colombia
  • Timothy Dolan- American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Portia Simpson Miller- Prime Minister of Jamaica
  • Mario Monti- Prime Minister of Italy
  • Wang Yang- Secretary, Guangdong Committee of the Communist Party of China
  • Maria das Gracas Silva Foster- CEO of Petrobras, Brazil
  • Andrew Cuomo- Governor of New York, US
  • Iftikhar Chaudhry- Chief Justice of Pakistan
  • Mamata Banerjee- Chief Minister Of Indian state of West Bengal
  • Walter Isaacson- President and CEO, Aspen Institute, US
  • Ron Paul- Member of the US House of Representatives
  • Benjamin Netanyahu- Prime Minister of Israel
  • Dilma Rousseff- President of Brazil
  • Erik Martin- Founder and editor, Muschelhaufen
  • Cecile Richards- Democratic Party activist, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • Angela Merkel- Chancellor of Germany
  • Lionel Messi- Footballer and Captain of Argentinian national team
  • Tilda Swinton- British actress
  • Hillary Clinton- United States Secretary of State
  • Catherine- Duchess of Cambridge, and Pippa Middleton, her sister
  • Adele- Recording artist and songwriter, UK
  • Matt Lauer, TV journalist, Host, NBC’s The Today Show
  • Oscar Pistorius- sprint runner, South Africa
  • Claire Danes- American television, stage and film actress
  • Stephen Colbert- American political satirist, writer, comedian, television host, actor; Host, Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report


  • Kim Jong Un- Supreme leader of North Korea
  • Mullah Mohammed Omar- Spiritual leader, Taliban, Afghanistan
  • Sheik Moktar Ali Zubeyr- Emir, Harakat Al-Shabab Mujahideen, Somalia
  • Bashar Assad- President of Syria

News Source:

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. Laila Ikeji

    April 18, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Ngozi Okonjo Iweala no make the list??!!!!! lol. Hmm, Jonathan? Na who u still dey inspire? wen u no fit protect us from boko haram.

  2. Tony

    April 18, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Bloody joke.

  3. faith

    April 18, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I wonder how much (bribe) GEJ paid τ̅☺ b one D̶̲̥̅̊α† list….na wa o…

    • Ada

      April 18, 2012 at 11:01 pm

      What kind of statement is that?pay bribe to who exactly. Nigerians just like to talk anyhow.
      Having said that, President Sirleaf can’t be talking about GEJ

    • diamond

      April 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm

      For once, you people should respect the office of the president. He isn’t totally bad. We all sit here & judge. We really do not know what’s going on over there. If Sirleaf said so, then it’s true! She didn’t say he developed Nigeria, she said he is fighting corruption.
      Jonathan is only human. He is trying, though he needs to do more.

    • mma

      April 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      what do you mean by respect the office of the president to let you know that people lobby(glorified bribery)to be in this group our=t there you think it is only in nigeria that people bribe i rather have okonjo iweala up there than jonothan he has not done anything to deserve being there that is the sad truth and please let no one talk about respect because when elders refuse to respect them selves the loose the power to demand respect kapish

  4. Seen

    April 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Hissssssss… What has he done with all his influence if his primary focus (Nigeria) is still in this pitiful condition?

    • j

      April 21, 2012 at 11:30 am

      yes even naija mess up….ghana prez is better on that list…..

  5. AngryNigerian!

    April 18, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    This article is serious BULLCRAP!!! Goodluck Johnathan is yet to handle boko haram or do anything significant to make the lives of Nigerians better! He hasn’t influenced me in any way whatsoEVER!!! I should be proud to have the president of our country on this list but unfortunately i am more angered than proud! Most of the people on this list should not be there! this na my own 2cents! Long HISS!

  6. jide

    April 18, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    This only reinforces that the western world, especially america likes it when nigeria is in ruin and suffering, because that is what jonathan is contributing. This is sad, they could have picked some other leader, maybe Liberian leader or even Governor fashola, Jonathan is a disgrace, and will remain one of the worst presidents to date in nigeria. I am so disappointed and this should not make us nigerians proud, but saddened that the world do not see the corrupt and weakness pdp and nigerian politicians like jonathan have brought to nigeria.

  7. BEY

    April 18, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    really???? na wa need to Google how they vote for this stuff sef GEJ wow, my mouth is not closing

  8. Babe Again

    April 18, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    BN no dey carry last! I like! Oya haters come and start making funny comments at Jonathan’s nomination. I wont be suprised if many do not even read the post but criticize the man just by seeing his name. BN I will be back to read comments! Btw I’m proud to be a woman and I’m glad women all over the world are making waves!!!! Congrats to all the nominees! Kudos…

  9. christy

    April 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Our goodluck Ebele jonathan????????????????? I stil need 2 google weda dere s anoda.

  10. JOANNA!

    April 18, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    What!!! They can’t be serious!

  11. Sia

    April 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Im scratching my head as to why Ebele will ever be considered influential.

  12. pret

    April 18, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    are these pple serious Rhianna is from Barbados not the US, it shows the level of their research so it explains why GEJ made the list

  13. Niño

    April 18, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    LIST IS NO BIGGIE…a list that has Chelsea handler in it…..snuff said

  14. Ndidi

    April 18, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Michelle Obama and Dr. Susan Rice did not make the list, but Pippa Middleton and Jessica Chastain did. This list isn’t worth the font, the ink or the paper wasted on it. Rubbish.

  15. chinco

    April 19, 2012 at 12:22 am

    I would rather say his wife is more influential(joke)…at least she makes me laff my a** off.

  16. Chattyzee

    April 19, 2012 at 12:26 am

    I guess there is something Time Magazine sees that we don’t ….isoke…

  17. Sequoyah

    April 19, 2012 at 1:24 am

    The comments above just prove what I have always said- that the problem with Nigeria is Nigerians themselves! How on earth can someone bring up the issue of bribery in a process such as this which was , and I quote BN here, “chosen by through voting by TIME readers from AROUND THE WORLD.” Ah Ahhhh Naija people! its high you gave yourselves a break and realize that such recognition is for OUR collective good. This only helps to burnish OUR collective image as a nation and make life much easier for those of us dealing with the outside world. Naija people let us change our jaded view about ourselves o! no one else will do it for us!

    • Name

      April 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      Americans are also very corrupt but mostly towards other people.

      If oyinbo man no corrupt, how slavery come happen. Africans dey groove jeje on their land and oyinbo man ENTER ship and come all the way looking to enslave.

      American fod billionaires feed their populace with chemicalised food in order to make more money and allow doctors make money as well.

      if they can do that to themselevs how much more we blacks?

  18. St. ED!

    April 19, 2012 at 2:15 am

    What’s their criteria for these choices……..How is Lionel Messi influential??? or Novak Djokovic….seriously?? I understand President GEJ…considering the fact that he’s the President of the Most Populous Black Nation……but seriously some of the names on that list should raise some doubts…..!

  19. e-bukun

    April 19, 2012 at 3:35 am

    I’m sorry, are we talking about the same Goodluck Ebele Jonathan? :/

  20. Tobechidaniel

    April 19, 2012 at 5:32 am

  21. Gerald Odogwu

    April 19, 2012 at 6:14 am

    But why are some Nigerians so ignorant and stupid. How would Jonathan Bribe Time magazine just to put his name on the list, do you people have sense? and i will also quote BN here, “chosen by through voting by TIME readers from AROUND THE WORLD.” Goodluck Jonathan is the president of the Nigeria, the most populous black Nation in the World, a country with one of the fastest growing levels of economy his name most definitely needs to be there a. It is simple, if you don’t like it, you might as well go to hell cause clearly your opinion is not a factor at all. Some Nigerians should learn to stop bad mouthing GEJ (although ignorant idiots will continue to do this), ROME was not built in a day, likewise it is impossible for GEJ or any president to create the perfect country every citizen wants in two years; this is something that is systematically done. 🙂

    • God is good

      April 19, 2012 at 8:17 am

      I guess this bribery claim should be applied to you then since you are now his spokesperson. It also seems to be that you and whoever approved of this list on TIme Magazine see how amazing Ebele is to his nation. Oya, how much did your boss pay you for this service?! *hiss*

    • jide

      April 19, 2012 at 11:28 pm

      Could you just shut up if you’ve got nothing sensible to post!!!

  22. iamfascinating

    April 19, 2012 at 6:50 am

    hmmn, influenced what @GEJ

  23. festacboi

    April 19, 2012 at 7:36 am

    my president… nation!! I’m a proud Nigerian today!! Whoever has anything to say against it should go and dive in a tornado and fall on a sword!! Stupid self-haters!! I’m Nigerian with a great President doing his best to hold up his country against his peoples’ lukewarm attitude to change!! And messi and Novak have inspired a whole mass of people……..please think before you make an input!! TIMES ON POINT!!

  24. oge

    April 19, 2012 at 8:34 am

    @ gerald odogwu—-kponkwem. well said. Nigerians dont read its a sickness. Ask the average nigerian when last they read a book, and you will be suprised at what you will hear.Truth be told GEJ is not a magician but the guy has brought a level of humility , transparency and accountability to government that we have not experienced in Nigeria in a long while.Lets recall the time of OBJ and how the man ruled this country with so much arrogance and high handedness and how he has come out lately to deny that he knew anything about the failed third term agenda. Jonathan needs to be encouraged and if you know anyway we can help him fight this insecurity please help. We need each other and im sure Nigerians want peace and security in this country. ”The labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain”….Peace!

  25. fokasibe

    April 19, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Hahahahaha I laugh in izon…..What are our standards? GEJ ke? Influential to whom? Certainly not me!

  26. Light

    April 19, 2012 at 9:26 am

    TIME Magazine ‘s Research Team needs to redo their background studies or find a new research team… How many months have they lived in Nigeria and walked in the shoes of the average Nigerian??? Wrong assertion they have made…

  27. Kim K

    April 19, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Influential mean someone that has connection oh.Has norrin to do with weather GEJ is a gd leasder or nt oh.9ja i dey hail.

  28. Basheer Yussef Radda

    April 19, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Goodluck as one of 100 influenced people in the world, as in how? Influenced by corruption, unemployment, insecurity,………… GEJ pls tell us how much you paid as bribe to include your name among those people?

  29. LPS

    April 19, 2012 at 10:26 am

    this is so wrong. whats the point of him making the list when right under his nose corruption is number one on the menu. smh

  30. jamar

    April 19, 2012 at 10:40 am

    jonathan making the list,what is that based on?america should stop feeling smart.if they are feeling guilty for what they did,they should do the right thing by recalling kim and putting the right person there…okonjo iweala.jonathan making the time 100 most influential is the stupidest thing they can do to pacify nigeria for not doing the right thing.bloody americans!!!

  31. Chima (JIRO)

    April 19, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Hearty cheers and big congrats Mr. President. keep the strides going, the world is watching and God gat your back and will forever protect, guide and lead you…..Amen! Long live GEJ! Long live Nigeria!!…………………………haters should go take a plunge from atop d new KPMG Head Office here in V.I.

  32. Daisy Samuel

    April 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Wat has piper Middleton done to influence s world? Plss Time mag should do proper research & put deserving names on their list! This is not tmz or us weekly! Rubbish

  33. Deana

    April 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Piper Middleton? Dis is a big joke? What has she influenced? Hiiiiiiiiiissss! Time mag must think they are now gossip mags like usweekly and heat mag… Time pls do ur research and put up deserving names! Stop clowning

  34. BeautyFULL

    April 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    They should have put up Gov Fashola.He epitomizes the axiom that where this a will,there is a way.I love him.Great work BRF

  35. deeb

    April 19, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I want to believe this is based on highest google search.. TIME MAGAZINE nxt time choose on solid reasons thats just a lazy way of compling a list!

  36. deeb

    April 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    I want to believe this is based onpeople with highest google search.. TIME MAGAZINE nxt time choose on solid reasons thats just a lazy way of compling a list!

  37. Browngyrl

    April 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Is it the same GoodLuck? This is a joke. Am all for giving credit where it is due? Here’s it is clearly not due…
    Time = #EpicFail

  38. gerald

    April 23, 2012 at 5:30 am

    @God is good, Clearly you have a very myopic view on life….I would try as much not to diss you, I can tell your not my class :). Probably your parents collect bribe to feed you or you collect bribe to feed your family. I am Proudly Nigerian, I am not moved by Western Nations achievements because I believe they have a hand in every distress in any African Nation and most of them controlled African Nations until the 1960s nevertheless, most if not all African countries have risen out of that level of poverty and that sorta depiction. I’m a proud citizen of a country with a very influential president, the wealthiest black man alive, the most populous black nation, One of the fastest growing economies in the world and could be argued the second or even the greatest African Nation. Finally, i believe you and those who still think corruption is the day to day activity in Nigeria should get a reality check 🙂

  39. Marie

    April 23, 2012 at 10:53 am

    lwkm for here oh…..Nigerians….read read read…it doesnt take much….just make sure you are well informed about the topic of discussion before you jump in with your ridiculous comments…..some ppl here shouldnt even be allowed to handle phones or computer…..ignorance is a great disease eating deep into our system as Nigerians. And p.s just because u can speak English doesn’t mean you are fit to comment either.

  40. Soleruler

    May 28, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Tot I was the only one on earth who can see the marvelous work GEJ is doing thus far. Nigerians should learn to look inwards and appreciate him. Posterity will judge us Nigerian as we are already being judge over OBJ, AMBROSE ALLI and YAR ADUA.
    Everyone talking about Boko Haram. Did Yar Adua not dialogue with Niger Delta Militants? So what’s wrong if GEJ dialogues and gets a solution?
    Why blame GEJ over increase in Petrol pump Price when we all know that there are people responsible for such action and thank God he is exposing them one after the other. Our representives in the various houses are sittibg down and doing nothing and yet we blame GEJ. NLC sold us out again same way Adam Oshomiole did and yet we vblame GEJ. Let’s appreciate GEJ if for nothing but enlightening us more on thge misconduct and corruption going on within our government.
    In another life time, amongst all the available devils, he is still a better Devil. And soon we shall find redemption.

  41. Goodnewz

    December 28, 2013 at 1:01 am

    If GEJ is among the most 100 influencial people in the world, what about in Nigeria?
    You as a Nigerian how do you rate him?

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