The brilliant science-fiction writer Tomi Adeyemi has made it onto TIME magazine 100 Most Influential People. The 27-year-old took the publishing world by storm with her debut novel Children of Blood and Bone in 2018. The whimsical novel which weaves Nigerian mythology with the modern world became New York Times Bestselling novel when Adeyemi was just 25 years old. Tomi Adeyemi shared her elated response on Twitter.
IM ON THE 2020 #TIME100 LIST WITH BONG JOON HO AND MEG THE MUTHAF***IN STALLION BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
— TOMI (@tomi_adeyemi) September 23, 2020
Adeyemi’s tribute was written by John Boyega who is also of Nigerian descent and made cinema history by becoming the first Black lead in the Star Wars franchise. Boyega’s tribute carefully traces the nuances of Adeyemi’s writing and how it has carved out a path for Black generations to come.
Adeyemi’s trilogies were dubbed the “Harry Potter” for Black people because of how they infuse Black Western African culture and philosophies. Nigerian storytelling is prominent in African literature with greats like Ben Okri, Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Zakes Mdaand Ngugi Wa Thiong’o having paved the way for modern Nigerian writing. Adeyemi’s stellar debut novel also caught the attention of famous American-Nigerian sci-fi writer Nnedi Okarafo, who is a best seller herself, and has contributed to Black Panther‘s fame with her books. What’s significant about both authors is the centering of female protagonists as warriors and the utilising of indigenous cultural folklore to tell magical stories.
Black Panther star Michael B Jordan also features on the list along with British actress Michaela Coel, Nigerian economist Tony Elumelu and American basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo. Congolese microbiologist Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum, and Black Lives Matter founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometihave also made it to the list.
Children of Blood and Bone is currently being adapted for the big screen by prolific screenwriter Kay Oyegun who’s worked on Ava DuVernay’s hit series Queen Sugar. TIMES 100 Most Influential List is currently trending on Twitter under #TIMES100.