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Yvonne Nelson, Bonang Matheba, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie & More! Zen Magazine Highlights the Top 10 African Women of 2013



Zen Magazine Top 10 African Women of 2013 - BellaNaija - January2014006

2013 is well over and 2014 is already looking good. But before we head into realizing the many promises of the new year, online African fashion magazine, Zen, has taken a stroll down memory lane to highlight some of the African women that achieve great feats in 2013.

From Lupita Nyong’o who had her break out role in the drama movie 12 Years A Slave and has been walking red carpets and gracing the pages of magazines all around the world, to Bonang Matheba who juggles being a radio DJ, TV presenter, Reality show host, MC, and then became the first African woman to be the Face of Revlon outside the United States of America. Here is Zen magazine’s list of the Top 10 African Women of 2013 and do let us know if you agree.

Read the Editor’s Note.

2013 might have been the year of Lupita Nyongo, but it was also the year that saw many other actresses, models, singers, and CEO’s shine bright via their various missions and accomplishments. Zen Magazine has gone through the year and put together a list of their top 10 African women of the year for 2013. These are the women who have driven change via their respective fields, the people we have been talking about on social media, and the women who inspire millions worldwide. Without further ado, here is Zen’s list in no alphabetic order.

Check out the list below.

1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | Author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Portrait

2. MacDella Cooper | Founder, MacDella Cooper Foundation

Zen Magazine Top 10 African Women of 2013 - BellaNaija - January2014005

3. Lupita Nyong’o | Actress

Zen Magazine Top 10 African Women of 2013 - BellaNaija - January2014010

4. Liya Kebede | Model

Zen Magazine Top 10 African Women of 2013 - BellaNaija - January2014009

5. Bisila Bokoko | Founder, Bisila Bokoko African Literacy Project

Zen Magazine Top 10 African Women of 2013 - BellaNaija - January2014007

6. Linda Ikeji | Blogger

Zen Magazine Top 10 African Women of 2013 - BellaNaija - January2014004

7. Yvonne Nelson | Actress

Zen Magazine Top 10 African Women of 2013 - BellaNaija - January2014006

8. Lira | Singer/Songwriter

Zen Magazine Top 10 African Women of 2013 - BellaNaija - January2014003

9. Hanaa Ben Abdesslem | Fashion Model

Zen Magazine Top 10 African Women of 2013 - BellaNaija - January2014008

10. Bonang Matheba | TV Presenter, Brand Ambassador …

Zen Magazine Top 10 African Women of 2013 - BellaNaija - January2014001

Click HERE to read more on their profiles and the rest of the feature.

Get closer to Zen Magazine and find out more information by visiting their website: | Follow them of Twitter: @zenmagafrica | Like them on Facebook:  | Email them at [email protected] | Add them on BBM: 22483A88


  1. bitha

    January 6, 2014 at 10:33 am

    go Yvonne !you make some of us as young as we are very ambitious and never say die until the bones are rotten.

  2. Hausa Girl in Texas

    January 6, 2014 at 10:37 am

    That’s a big deal.

  3. Thelma

    January 6, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Interesting list….wondering how Yvonne made it and certain others didn’t but nice one all the same.
    I just have to ask, why isn’t Uche Pedro’s name on that list? Weird.

    • Oga Mike

      January 6, 2014 at 11:02 am

      LOL I’ll tell you why… I had to google the name to know who she is. The rest on the list, people already know them and their achievements.

    • Chic

      January 6, 2014 at 11:36 am

      I was thinking the same thing but I guess it’s because because her face and name are not all over the place so most of these award givers may not know of her but may ironically know of BellaNaija of which she is the founder I guess…

  4. Thatgidigirl

    January 6, 2014 at 10:50 am

    ….and what gives the list credibility? awards and lists everywhere, takes the dignity out of the word “award”.

  5. madman

    January 6, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Who puts Adichie and Yvonne Nelson on the same list? So silly.

  6. Anon

    January 6, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Watch how BN didn’t put Linda Ikeji’s name on the heading. Jealous much!? Like whoever Bonang Matheba is, we should be celebrating the Nigerian women on that list. Shame on you.

    • goldfinch

      January 6, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      You are so right! The omission was so conspicuous and very intentional.


      January 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      BN has an excellent relationship with LIB evidenced by the various features we have done on our site. All 10 women are fab, we really could not put everyone in the title so we chose 1 person from – Ghana, SA and Nigeria.
      Spread love in 2014 🙂

    • Newbie

      January 6, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Lol this wan wey BN reply sharp sharp to set the record straight! Idon’t blame her, before you people will user her own website to spoil her show 🙂

    • Chic

      January 6, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      People like creating beef for no reason. Linda has always acknowledged Uche for being her inspiration to start blogging she has never hidden that fact and BN too on the other hand features Linda a lot on their site and acknowledges her if they got a story or photos from her blog first. Good comeback BN!

  7. tinnu1429

    January 6, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I don’t get this List abeg where is Uche pedro’s name (a great Role model)?

  8. nana

    January 6, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    But really tho..why is linda on that list again? And yvonne nelson? If this list truly is to show the top women in africa, then i dont get it. Most of the names there are pretty new to me. Only lupita and chimamanda deserve a spot tbh. And its high time Uche steps it up and put her name out there, time for the underdog to rise.

    • randommer

      January 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      um if Bella should be on the list, then so should Linda! they both have their strengths and weaknesses. Hate or love Linda, she is inspirational to many people and she keeps it real! If people want to be posting rubbish as comments, I would rather read it and see what kind of Nigerians we have, than all the one kain censoring BN likes to do sometimes.

    • MyView

      January 7, 2014 at 5:42 am

      Linda Ikeji has done well for herself and deserves to be on that list as much as some and even more than some. You guys don’t have to come here to bash, go to her blog and she will post it. Unlike BN, Linda keeps it real and is not afraid to take the punches.

  9. Sopono

    January 6, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Noisemakers always get the pass in Nigeria. Always but those who know know. Yvonne Nelson is a talentless noisemaker

  10. Newbie

    January 6, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I only found out about this Yvonne Nelson girl about a month ago and I like her. I think she’s a good actress, better than a lot of Nigerian actresses. I think she’s too tall though – was watching some Ghana music award thing last night and she was towering over Kenny and D1 like they were her baby bros lol! But then again I’ve never met those two, so not sure if they just happen to be exceptionally short…

  11. Kidult

    January 6, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Good reply BN. quash the nonsensical rumours before they start. Great list, it gives me near orgasmic pleasure to note that genevieve omosexy and rita are not on the list. Go bonang and lupita big moves yo! @newbie your point is noted, I will watch these guys for u from now on. There’s a need to clarify the extent of exception that can be attributed to their height

  12. Anon

    January 6, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Paid! LOL!!

  13. wiklo

    January 7, 2014 at 5:50 am

    BN has often posted positive (none in uncompromising/unflattering stance) pictures of Linda at event they equally happen to be covering, even though they didn’t have to….that is classy to say the least….

  14. christopher green

    March 24, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    wow linda ikeji really deserve that spot,if you ask me another person to look out for in the men category is the owner of

  15. christopher green

    March 24, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    wow linda ikeji really deserve that spot,if you ask me another person to look out for in the men category is the owner of

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