Nigerian sensational singer Temilade Openiyi, popularly known as Tems, has made the TIME100 Next list, along with two other Nigerians: Dr. Toyin Ajayi, CEO of Cityblock, a health start-up, and tech duo Wemimo Abbey and Samir Goel, founders of Esusu.africa, a website that helps immigrants build credit in America by reporting tenants’ on-time rent payments to credit bureaus.
The list was revealed on September 13, 2023, recognising the 100 emerging leaders from around the world who are shaping the future and defining the next generation of leadership.
The TIME100 Next list, like the TIME100 Most Influential, features surprising pairings of the list members and guest contributors Time selects to write about them.
Tems’ writer was Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige. The singer compared Tems to legendary musician Nina Simone, stating that Tems sings with emotion and conviction.
“Tems is in a class all by herself because no other artist sounds like her. That voice is so unique and original, so much so that it reminds me of the first time I heard Nina Simone. They both sing with emotion and conviction, making you feel every word they sing. When Tems and I finally had a chance to meet last year at the Grammy Awards, we just exploded on each other, giving each other so much love. I know she will make it far because she’s a talented writer, singer, and producer—my only hope for her is that she becomes one of the biggest artists of her time. Talent is one thing, but how you treat people and treat yourself in this industry brings longevity, and I believe she will be around for a while because she’s a beautiful human being inside and out,” she wrote.