People include in no particular order:
- Nana Akufo-Addo (President of Ghana) – “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” Given black Caribbean’s historical links to West Africa, President Akufo Addo’ decision to visit the Caribbean and sign visa-waiver agreements was a major landmark and long over due.
- Jody Wilson-Raybould (Canadian Politician) – Started 2019 as Attorney General/Justice Minister. Demoted after standing up to her PM Justin Trudeau’s attempts to prevent prosecution for corruption against a major company. She was kicked out of the Liberal Party. In October’s federal election she won her (strong Liberal) seat as an Independent candidate.
- Robert F. Smith (US Businessman & Philanthropist) – Erased the student debt (approx $40m) for the 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.
- Dahlia Harris (Jamaican Broadcaster, Actress, Playwright, Director, Media Executive) – Had the Midas touch throughout 2019. An exceptional year across all media platforms. Her production of “Ring Games” was the local TV hit of the year. RJR’s afternoon weekly radio show has been elevated with her inclusion. Opened a new play this week. She’s funny & deep in equal measure.
- H.G. Helps (Jamaican Journalist) – His Sunday page in the Observer is the kind of succinct take on life, sports, politics, business that’s been missing from the Jamaican papers.
- Ellyse Perry (Australian Cricketer) – She had a batting average of 97.87 across all international formats and took 28 wickets at an average of 16.5. Not normal.
- Koffee (Jamaican Reggae Singer) – Jamaican Reggae is good hands with Koffee leading the new wave of young roots & conshus artistes.
- Kabu Maat Kheru (Jamaica Radio Presenter, Media Executive) – Continues to set the benchmark in embracing Jamaica’ historical connections to Africa and not forgetting Jamaica’s real history. Her series of broadcast from Ghana during the “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” festivities is worthy of multiple media gongs.
- Krystal Ball (American Political Commentator) – Cuts through the BS to give a blunt and balanced picture of US politics that upsets the political establishment of both main parties and the rest of the media landscape.
- Avichai Mandelblit (Attorney General of Israel) – Indicting his boss and current PM Benjamin Netanyahu on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust took guts. If only other AG’s across the globe…
- Amelia Gentleman (Journalist, UK Guardian) – Kept the Windrush scandal in the public domain when others had lost interest too quickly.
- Carola Rackette, (German captain of rescue ship Sea-Watch 3) – Defied Italian authorities (arrested since) to rescue 42 migrants off Libya and deliver them safely.
- Rachael Blackmore (Jockey, Ireland) – Continued to excel in a tough & dangerous sport where both genders compete side by side. Finished runner up in the Irish National Hunt jockey championship. Won numerous top rated races in England and Ireland in 2019. Even won a big race today.
Happy 2020 – Hotep