As the end of 2020 draw closer, this is time to remember some of the notable Africans in the continent that have died this year.
Let’s look back to 10 Notable Africans who died in the world of football, science, music, business, medicine, politics, activism and the arts.
Football: Papa Bouba Diop, 42
This Senegal top footballer died in November after prolonged sickness. He became one of the Notable Africans during his performance in Korea/Japan 2002 World Cup where he scored the winning goal against France in the match.
Ths made Senegal progress to Quarter-finals and also entered the African record because no African country has passed the stage as far as World cup competition is concerned.
During his club career, He won the 2008 FA Cup with Portsmouth and also played for Fulham, Wst Ham United, Birmingham City and French club, Lens.
We also lost: Leon Mokuna, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Gambia player Alhaji Momodu Njie (popularly known as “Biri Biri”), who was one of the most veteran African players that appeared in Europe and Cameroon player Stephen Tataw, who performed greatly during World cup.
Science: Gita Ramjee, 63
This Uganda-born South African Scientist died in March due to COVID-19 complications
She was well known for her research work to mitigate the risk of HIV transmission among female sex workers.
Two years ago, she was awarded an award for the best female Scientist by the European Development Clinical Trials Partnerships.
We also lost: Simon Mallam, who was the head of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission died after being affected by the fumed gas explosion in Kaduna.
Music: Manu Dibango, 86
Manu Dibango who was a Cameroonian saxophonist died in March as a result of COVID-19. he is known for combining jazz and funk music together with traditional beats and in 1972, his song was the most played during that time.
He became one of the Notable Africans after he claimed that one of his songs was copied by Late Michael Jackson.
We also lost: Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen, Congolese musicians Aurlus Mabele and Kasongo wa Kanema, Balla Sidibé, who was the founder of Senegal Orchestra Baoba, Somalia “king of di oud” Ahmed Ismail Hussein Hudeidi, Kenya musician John Nzenze, Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala, Rwandan gospel singer Kizito Mihigo, Algerian singer Hamid Cheriet, better known as Idir, Nigerian reggae legend Majek Fashek and Hachalu Hundessa.
Business: Richard Maponya, 99
This great entrepreneur died in January due to undisclosed illness he encountered.
He is better known as the father of black retail in South African.
In Soweto, he launched the country’s biggest black township which deals with BMW and also developed the Maponya Mall.
We also lost: Sindika Dokolo, Congolese businessman and art collector, husband to one of Africa richest women, Angolan Isabel dos Santos.
Medicine: Hawa Abdi, 73
This Somali doctor and human rights activist died in August.
She is well known as Mother Tersa of Somalia.
When Islamist Militants came to attack her medical centre in 2011, she and other powerful women started a Protest movement until the Terrorist fled the scene.
We also lost: Sudanese surgeon Adil El Tayar, Nigerian Emeka Chugbo, Ashraf Emarah, who was the Egyptian plastic and reconstructive surgeon that worked in Kenya, and Cameroon Tchouamo Michel, who all reportedly died from coronavirus.
Politics: Daniel Arap Moi, 95
This man has dominated the Kenya political scene for more than 25 years but died in February.
He was the President of Kenya from 1978 – 2002 and also became one of the notable Africans.
According to what his supporters said, he helped the country to stabilise but his critics also said he used strict power on his opponents in 2004. he later asked for forgiveness.
We also lost: Serving Ivorian Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Ambrose Dlamini, prime minister of Eswatini, and Burundian leader Pierre Nkurunziza (see below). Several other former presidents who also died, including Ghana Jerry Rawlings, Egypt Hosni Mubarak, Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa, Mali Moussa Traoré and Amadou Toumani Touré, Niger Mamadou Tandja, Burundi Pierre Buyoya, Congo-Brazzaville’s Jacques Joaquim Yhombi-Opango and Mauritania Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallah.
Other powerful politicians who also died were Libya’s Mahmoud Jibril, Somalia’s Hassan Abshir Farah, and Sudan’s Sadiq al-Mahdi, who served as the prime minister of the country.
Anti-apartheid struggle: Zindzi Mandela, 59
She is the youngest daughter of South Africa and first black President, Nelson Mandela.
She worked as an ambassador to Denmark but the bad news was that she died due to COVID-19 complications in July.
We also lost: human rights lawyer George Bizos, who defended Nelson Mandela and Andrew Mlangeni and Denis Goldberg who was convicted along with Nelson Mandela for the infamous Rivonia Trial.
Arts: Nikita Pearl Waligwa, 15
The Ugandan actress died as a result of a brain tumour in February.
The actress who was one of the stars of Disney Film Queen of Katwe was diagnosed of a brain tumour in 2016 and from reports gathered, she actually mobilised money for the treatment of the brain tumour in India.
One year after, she was okay with no more brain tumour but in 2019, the brain tumour shows up again.
Her fellow colleague, David Oyelowo said Nikita was indeed a “ball of light” in the film.
We also lost: Two great writers from Nigeria, author Chukwuemeka Ike and poet John Pepper Clark; Kenyan Swahili author Ken Walibora, prominent Egyptian actor Mahmoud Yassine and celebrated South African photographer Santu Mofokeng.
Activism: Lina Ben Mhenni, 36
The Tunisian blogger and civil rights activist died in January after battling with the auto-immune disease called lupus.
She entered the limelight in the early days of the 2011 revolution via her blog “Tunisian Girl”.
She was among the few people who document the crackdown on protesters for Sidi Bouzid where the uproar eventually cause the President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali to concede by losing his power.
We also lost: Uganda Barbara Allimadi, famous for her “bra protest”, Libyan anti-rape activist Hanan al-Barassi, and Nigerian #EndSars protester Anthony Unuode.
Biggest impact: Hachalu Hundessa, 34
The killing of the popular Ethiopian singer in June forced people to cause ethnic clash where over 160 people were claimed to have died and the famous activists such as Jawar Mohammed faced terrorism charges.
Songs by Hachalu target on the rights of Ethiopia largest ethnic group and the songs were later used as anthems that protesters sang that resulted in the downfall of the previous prime minister in 2018.
We also lost: Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza, who has run for 15 years.
When the former rebel leader first entered office following the civil war incident, it looks like he came to regain peace but his campaign for the third term in office cause serious trouble to the country.